Bombay (Mumbai) tour / travel / guide / attractions

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Bombay or Mumbai is the financial capital of India, and it is the western gateway to India. It is the capital of the state of Maharashtra and is the home of Bollywood (Bombay+Hollywood) movies.

There are lots of places to see and things to do in Bombay. We will, of course, concentrate on those things which have been featured on Indian postage stamps. You can click on any stamp image on this page to see an actual photo of the featured subject on the stamp and/or to learn more about it.

We will begin our Mumbai or Bombay tour at the Gateway of India. This is Bombay's most famous monument. It was built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary. This was also the place from where the last of the British ships had set sail for England when the Raj ended in 1947. Tourists can take motor launches from the Gateway of India for a short cruise through Bombay's busy harbor.

Gateway of India, Bombay
Gateway of India,
Bombay

Barely a stone's throw from the Gateway of India is the Prince of Wales Museum. Close by are Bombay Natural History Society Museum and Jehangir Art Gallery. These are all worth visiting while in the Gateway of India area.

Next we will see Bombay's famous Marine Drive (current name Netaji Subhas Road) or "Queen's Necklace". This semi-circular roadway right next to the Arabian sea and separated from the sea by a concrete wall is indeed very pretty. At night, when the street lights are on, this semi circular road really looks like a diamond necklace from the Malabar Hills (which is actually a hill) area. This road ends when it actually reaches the sea at a place called the Nariman Point. The financial district of Bombay, with many skyscrapers, can be seen behind Nariman Point from Malabar Hills, and Bombayites call it the Manhattan of Bombay. The area indeed looks a bit like Manhattan from a distance.

Marine Drive, Bombay
Marine Drive,
Bombay

A few impressive buildings in Bombay comes to mind that have been featured on postage stamps. They are Bombay High Court building, Bombay University building and the Victoria Terminus (Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) railway station building. Victoria Terminus building is an outstanding example of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture in India, and it is a World Heritage site. The building was completed in 1888 and was designed by F.W.Stevens. It was named after the then Queen Empress, Queen Victoria. It is the western most end point of the Central Railways of India. Victoria Terminus was renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in 1996.

Bombay High Court
Bombay High Court

Bombay University
Bombay University

Victoria Terminus Railway Station
Victoria Terminus Railway Station
Mumbai CST Station
Mumbai CST Station
2009 stamp showing the renamed station

One of the most popular day trips from Bombay is a visit to the Elephanta Caves. It is a small island in the Arabian sea. You can catch a ferry boat from the Gateway of India and the trip takes about 20 minutes. The boat goes through the Bombay Harbor area so you get a good look at the harbor. The Elephanta Caves are a National Heritage site and you can read about it here. Inside the caves there are many sculptures carved out of stone. The most famous amongst them is the statue of Trimurti which is a three-headed statue of God representing Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwar in one body. This famous statue has been depicted on a 1949 definitive postal stamp of India.

Trimurti, Elephanta Caves
Trimurti,
Elephanta Caves,
Bombay

Bombay is the home of Bollywood movies, which is a rival to Hollywood movies. Bombay produces many more movies per year than Hollywood does, and Bollywood movies are very popular in many countries outside the Indian sub-continent, such as in all middle-eastern countries, and in many countries in Africa, specially East Africa. It also quite popular in many western countries including UK and USA. Bombay movies these days are usually released internationally. So if you go to Bombay, do visit a film studio and try to see the shooting of a film. It will be an experience to remember. Raj Kapoor was a stalwart of Bollywood movies at his time having played different roles as actor, director, and producer for many years. After his death, the Indian Postal Department issued a stamp to honor him.

Raj Kapoor, Bollywood movie star
Raj Kapoor,
Bollywood movie star

India also issued several stamps on other cinema personalities. Though not all of them were associated with Bollywood, most of them were. An interesting collection of such stamps can be seen here.

Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) is located in a town called Trombay, about an hour out of Bombay. It is, of course, not open to tourists for visiting. But you can see a picture of it on the following stamp:

Trombay Atomic Reactor
Trombay Atomic Reactor

The following are some selected links related to Bombay (Mumbai) tourist/travel information:

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