Taraporewala Aquarium (3.2 km)
Taraporewala Aquarium is situated along the Marine Drive in Mumbai. The late Dr. Rajendra Prasad formally opened it in 1951, this aquarium has interesting specimens of marine and freshwater fish. Constructed at a cost of Rs. 800,000, there are also shell & shell-craft art and fishery by-products on display. The aquarium has three large rooms where fish are displayed in such a manner as to highlight the attractiveness of their appearance. The large tanks have shark, octopus, kite fish and the smaller tanks display corals, worms, sea flower and sea horses. A pipeline brings water directly from the sea for the marine fish. It is soon to be renovated into a high-tech Aquarium with a glass vision seaworld. Closed on Mondays, it is opened for visitors from 10 am to 7 pm with a nominal fee of Rs.3.00 for adult and Rs.1.50 for children. Ph.2012063/2082061/2.
Chowpatty Beach (4 km)
At the top end of Marine Drive is Chowpatty Beach, the only beach in the central part of Mumbai. A popular beach where celebration of festivals such as Coconut Day and the Ganesh Chaturthi immersions take place. On the beach are statues of India's freedom fighters, Lokmanya Tilak and Vallabh Bhai Patel who symbolise the freedom struggle. Chowpatty occupies a special-place in the life of Mumbai, having been the venue of mass political meetings in the pre-independence era. One can witnesses many Hindu religious ceremonies taking place at Chowpatty like the annual thread-tying ceremony initiating young boys into the Brahmin caste. Though the beaches remain empty throughout the day, it is a hub of activity in the evenings. Besides little kiosks selling Mumbai's special snacks, Bhelpuri, A Kulfi (local ice cream), one can find professional masseurs, pony-leaders, beebee-gun shooting galleries, contortionists, snake charmers, monkey-trainers, balloon sellers, flower-girls and lots more. Sometimes the film shoot or a street play also adds to the festive atmosphere of the beach. Recently they have added a park called "Nana-Nani Park" for elderly people. On the beach itself is a small colony of the original inhabitants of Mumbai, The Koli fishermen who can be seen drying their catch or mending their nets.
A 5 km long beach fringed with palms and coconut trees is one of the largest and frequently visited beaches of India. Located 18-km north of the city centre, it's a beckoning beach on the shores of Arabian Sea with residential apartments and bungalows surrounding it, one can find the bungalows of the famous film personalities here. The central part has food stalls again, similar to Chowpatty and a lot more, in terms of fun rides for children. Juhu beach is attractively studded with many five star hotels offering the customers a splendid view of the coast. The beach remains noticeably crowded on weekends. On weekends one can take the pleasure of horse and donkey rides, dancing monkeys, acrobats, cricket matches, toy sellers and every other type of Indian beach entertainment. Versova Beach is towards north of Juhu, which is a home to Mumbai's largest Koli fishing community.
Marve, Manori and Gorai
North of Mumbai and away from its bustling crowds and pollution, are these 3 beaches that have become popular havens for Mumbai's beleaguered fun lovers. Marve, the closest and the quietest is a lovely little fishing village. There are some beautiful bungalows and up-scale homes belonging to the city's wealthy used mainly as weekend getaways. Low hills along the beach offer you extraordinary views of sunrise and sunset. Gorai and Manori, a little further away, are more crowded with revellers and are famous for all night beach parties. Marve is about 40 kms by car from Mumbai. You can alight at Malad railway station (a suburban station on the Western Railway line) and proceed by road. A 15 minute ferry ride from Marve or Borivali will take you to Manori or Gorai. Trombay, a picturesque fishing village 16 miles from Mumbai, has some fine scenery. Here is situated India's largest atomic plant.
Mandwa and Kihim
These two are 12 miles north of Alibag on the north coast and easily accessible from Mumbai. Mandwa is a beautiful, untrodden beach. On a clear day one can enjoy a long, breathtaking view across the bay, up to the Gateway of India. Mandwa village too, has a charm of its own -- with its beautiful groves of coconut palms. Plan an unusual tent holiday nearby at Kihim. It is accessible by boats and road. There is regular ferry service between the Gateway of India and Mandwa Jetty. For Kihim, one can take an auto-rickshaw or bus further onwards. By road, Kihim is 136 kms from Mumbai.
Madh Island is another popular spot, which comes off surprisingly in the rural area of Mumbai's northwestern coast. It is dotted with the bungalows of the urban upper class. It has a reputation as a discreet place to throw beach parties and hold techno raves. Madh is lined by a series of unspoilt sandy beaches.
Marine Drive located in the central Mumbai, built in the 1920s and 1930s on land reclaimed from the sea, is Mumbai's most famous thoroughfare. It is also referred to as "Queen's Necklace" because of the dramatic line of street lamps lit up at night. Recently it has come to known as "Netaji Subhashchandra Bose Road" with Nariman Point on one end to Babulnath, at the foot of Walkeshwar on the other. Situated at the end of Marine Drive and the foot of Malabar Hill this expanse of sand and sea is the place where pleasure seekers come to relax after dusk in the cool sea breeze. A stroll down the Marine Drive is the best way to discover Mumbai.
The suburban electric train stops at malad, from where the journey must be made by road. Hotel accommodation available.
Malabar Hill (5.6 km)
The poshest area of Mumbai, Malabar Hill has attractive residences, including the Chief Minister's house and a palatial state guest house. Here also, are the ruins of Walkeshwar temple built sometime between 810 and 1260 AD. It is believed that Lord Ram on his way to rescue his wife Sita, stopped here and made a lingam (phallic totem) out of sand to worship Lord Shiv.
Gentle winds, soft sands and inviting waters make Shriwardhan Bay irresistible to beach lovers. And if one relishes sea-food, there is no dearth of delicacies to sample here. Adventurers can even take a small boat to the north side of the bay and explore a land where the Peshwas or prime ministers of the Maratha kingdom, originally resided. The Peshwa Smarak is of interest to most people who visit Shriwardhan. The town of Harihareshwar is known for its tranquil and picturesque beach and is also famous for the temple of Harihareshwar. Nearst airport is Mumbai. 215 kms. Nearest railhead is Mangaon, 65 kms.on Konkan Rly. Mumbai-Harihareshwar,230 kms. via Panvel-Mangaon-Goregaon Phata on Mumbai-Goa Highway. Shriwardhan-Harihareshwar,20 kms. Bangmandala-Harihareshwar,4 kms by road.
Situated 6 kms south of Malvan and 546 kms away from Mumbai on the coast of Maharashtra is Tarkarli. The mojar attraction here is the long and narrow stretch of beach, with its pristine water. On a clear day, you can see the sea bed through a depth of 20 ft.Then, of course there are the forts, Singhudurg, one of Maharashtra's more popular and importance sea forts, built in the 17 th century and the famous Padmagarh fort. Nearest airport is Dabolim (Goa). Nearest railhead is Kudal, 45kms. On konkan Railway. Mumbai-Tarkarli, 546 kms. Kolhapur-Tarkarli, 160 kms. Malvan-Tarkarli 7kms.
State Transport buses ply from Mumbai, Kolhapur, Pune to Malvan and from Malvan to Tarkarli by road.
North of the Shastri River lies the idyllic village of Velneshwar. The quiet, coconut-fringed beach offers the visitor the ideal opportunity for swimming or just relaxing . There is an old Shiva temple in the environs which is often frequented by pilgrims. Velneshwar is the focus of attention once a year in March, when the Maha Shivratri Fair is held in honour of the god Shankar or Shiva. The nearest railhead is Chiplun on the Konkan Railway. By road, Mumbai via Chiplun and Guhagar is 370 kms away.
With its long stretch of white sands, and hills covered with cashew, coconut, jackfruit and mango groves lies the pristine and beautiful town of Vengurla. It has two well-known temples: the Shri Devi Sateri temple and the Rameshwar Mandir. On what was once an inner island, and is now part of the mainland, lies the old town of Malvan, almost hidden by palms. The rocky terrain of Malvan holds 2 forts: Sindhudurg and Padmagad. It is said that there was an underground route joining them. Formerly a trading zone, Malvan is toady known for its salt pans, Chinese clay pottery and the special Malvani cuisine which is quite distinct from Konkan food. The closest railhead is Kudal on the Konkan Railway. By road, Malvan is 514 kms away from Mumbai, 200 kms from Ratnagiri. Vengurla is 522 kms from Mumbai.