Can't-Miss Sights of Mumbai

Photo: Bustling Lane in Mumbai - Photo Credit: Om Kamath from Unsplash

With 20 million people, all hustling and bustling daily, Mumbai is a whirlwind of sensations. Grand sights like Hindu temples and buzzing bazaars meld with a titillation of the senses … the fragrance of burning incense alongside bright flowers and fresh street food, the shouts of merchants and shoppers haggling over wares in the market harmonizing with the thrum of traffic and the ethereal chants of Hindu rituals. There’s lots to take in with a visit to Mumbai; here are a few helpful suggestions for what you can’t miss.

Elephanta Caves

Carved sometime in the mid-5th or 6th century, the Elephanta Caves are an incredible testimony to rich, ancient cultures of a bygone era. Located on the Island of Gharapuri (otherwise known as Elephanta Island), this collection of caves not only constitutes one of most important collections for the cult of Shiva, but it also qualifies as one of the greatest (early) examples of Indian art. The showstopper is undoubtably the sculpture of Sadashiva at the entrance of Cave 1 — which represents the three aspects of Shiva: the creator, the preserver, and the destroyer.

Photo: The Gateway of India - Photo Credit: Siddharth K Rao from Unsplash

The Gateway of India

Erected during the 20th century to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary, the Gateway of India today serves as little more than an impeccable display of Indo-Saracenic architecture. This has done little to tarnish its draw: as the city’s top tourist attraction, it’s often referred to as the Taj Mahal of Mumbai. Strolling under its imposing archway, trailing in the footsteps of the various viceroys and new governors of Mumbai (then Bombay), is a worthwhile experience for contextualizing how the city has grown since then.

A Yagna Rite

India is awash in cultures and customs that can fascinate or captivate even the most experienced globe-trotter. While there’s a certifiable cornucopia of Hindu prayers, rites and rituals you might consider attempting to witness, a yagna rite should be at the top of your list. To give you a SparkNotes summation: A yagna (or yajna, or yajna) is an offering to the gods based on the rites prescribed in the Vedas (earliest scriptures of ancient India). While the aim can be anything — even something as general as happiness or sustaining the natural order of the universe — a yagna is always purposeful, and the conductors of such ceremonies are Brahmans (professional priests). Attending such a ceremony is bound to be spiritual, regardless of your own beliefs or habits.

Ready to start planning your trip to Mumbai? Not only are travel agents certified experts on all things vacation, but they’re also well connected to the leading names in travel — such as Oceania Cruises. Exploring the patchwork of vibrant moments in Mumbai is quite a bit easier when you consider all the above is offered as offshore excursions with Oceania Cruises while staying overnight at this fabled port; satisfied wanderlust is simply a given with any of their immersive itineraries.

Start planning your next foray into wanderlust!

Reprinted with permission from Travel Leaders Network | Justin Gibson | December 23, 2022

Hero Image by Hardik Joshi from Unsplash