Mumbai Panorama
Mumbai PanoramaSee the highlights of the city from the comfort of your motorcoach as you set off for a panoramic tour of Mumbai city.
Begin with the Gateway of India, the city’s most famous landmark – an Indo-Saracenic archway built in 1911 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary. It was originally conceived as an entry point for passengers arriving on P&O steamers from England; today it is remembered more often as the place from which the British staged their final departure.
Marine Drive is Mumbai’s seaside promenade, an eight-lane highway with a wide pavement. Its graceful curve sweeps from the skyscrapers at Nariman Point to the foot of Malabar Hill. The whole stretch is popular for strolling, and it is a great place for people watching. At the northern end is the lively Chowpatty Beach, a Mumbai institution.
Malabar Hill is Mumbai’s ritziest neighbourhood. Popular since the 18th century because of its forested slopes, fresh sea breezes and panoramic views, merchants and colonial governors built many mansions and bungalows on its hillsides. Today high-rise luxury apartment blocks have taken over – home to politicians, film stars and gangsters. Also on the hill is the Jain Temple, built of marble and dedicated to Adinath, the first of the twenty-four or Jain prophets.
Your drive includes a look at a most remarkable railway station. Inspired by St. Pancras Station in London, the Victoria Terminus was built during Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee year. The first train in India left from this station in April 1853; today half a million commuters use the station every day.
You will make one stop before returning to the pier – to relax with a cold drink at the renowned Taj Mahal Hotel, built by Parsi industrialist J.N. Tata after he was refused entry to what was then the best hotel in town, the “whites only” Watson’s. His revenge was sweet and long lasting – while Watson’s has long since disappeared, the Taj is Mumbai’s grand dame, her gray and white sandstone facade and red domed roof dominating the harbour from just behind the great Gateway. Today the original building and its adjoining modern tower are a favourite of diplomats, sheikhs, and Mumbai’s jet set.

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