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Arts and Culture in Mumbai

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Mumbai is a massive melting pot of different cultures, which explains why it’s overflowing with cultural highlights and creative outlets. From the temples that throb with colour and chaos, to the Bollywood film screenings that draw huge, dancing crowds, Mumbai has a vibrancy and authenticity to it that few places in the world can match.

 

Religious sites

 

Whether it's Neo-Gothic churches, ornate temples, gleamingly domed mosques or synagogues, the religious sites in Mumbai make up an essential part of the city’s culture and history, and are well worth checking out.

 

Shree Siddhivinayak

 

Dedicated to the elephant-headed Lord Ganesh, this temple’s golden roof hints at the opulence within. Don’t think you’ll be experiencing a world of peace necessarily, however, as attendances can stretch into the tens of thousands each day. The beauty of its idols and floral arrangements mean that even the crowds can’t detract from the soul-stirring atmosphere that this gold-lavished temple generates.

 

SK Bole Marg, Mumbai 400028 . Tel:+91 22 2437 3626

 

Shree Siddhivinayak website
Elephanta Island

 

For a break from the urban chaos, a boat ride out to Elephanta Island is a magnificent escape. You’ll enjoy a spectacular view back over Mumbai’s hazy skyline as you float over, before being welcomed to Elephanta Island by a boisterous crowd of monkeys. After all the monkeying around, head up to the island’s ancient cave temples. Carved directly into the rock, these incredible temples protect amazing carvings of Hindu gods, and a towering six-metre high statue of Sadashiva.

 

 

Elephanta Island website

 

Musuems

 

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya’s 50,000 exhibits sit inside a stunning Indo-Saracenic style building, and offer a comprehensive overview of India’s history under one roof. However, of all the museums in Mumbai, the one telling the story of Gandhi’s life is likely to live with you longest.

 

Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum

 

Few human beings have made such an impact on the world as Gandhi, and the champion for peace is honoured in this appropriately humble, but fascinating, museum. Feel inspired by the difference one person can make, as you tour his former home and work space, and learn about the life of the man that many in India call the ‘Father of the Nation’.

 

Laburnum Road, Mumbai 400007. Tel:+91 22 2380 5864

 

Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum website

 

Sports

 

Cricket runs through the veins of this country, and the thrill of attending a game will live long in the memory. You can see the stars of the cricketing world lighting up Mumbai, and delighting the crowds, as they turn on the big-hitting fireworks during India’s lucrative IPL competition.

 

Wankhede Stadium

 

The sounds of bat on ball, and screams of bowlers appealing hopefully, can be heard right across Mumbai as kids repurpose any empty space into a makeshift cricket pitch. To fully understand the country’s passion for cricket, however, you need to visit Wankhede Stadium. The infectious atmosphere during a match never fails to knock newcomers out of the park.

 

D Road, Churchgate, Mumbai 400020. Tel:+91 22 2279 5500

 

Wankhede Stadium website

 

Performing arts

 

Prithvi Theatre is a great place to catch a local theatre production, and you’ll literally feel centre-stage as the performances play out in the round, surrounded by seating. The National Centre for Performing Arts is the city’s flagship venue, however, so take your seat and get ready - the show’s about to start.

 

National Centre for Performing Arts

 

While Mumbai is the pumping heart of the Indian film industry, its performing arts scene is a little less well known. Dip your toes into it here, where you can watch ballerinas sweeping gracefully across the stage, or tuxedoed symphony orchestras swelling to dramatic crescendos. Free Bollywood film screenings ensure that everyone can enjoy a little culture in this state of the art auditorium.

 

NCPA Marg, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021. Tel:+91 22 2282 4567

 

National Centre for Performing Arts website