Mumbai

An energetic melting pot of diverse cultures, Mumbai is truly the Indian city of dreams.

The metropolis formerly known as Bombay may throb to the beat of the world's largest film industry, but scratch the surface and you'll find much more than the mesmerising song and dance routines of Bollywood. Bicycles laden with jewel-bright chillies, the spicy tang of chutney-smothered street food and a vivid array of flowing saris all jostle for sensory space against a juxtaposing backdrop of sleek skyscrapers and graceful Victorian architecture. Throw in sandy beaches lined with ice cream and coconut wallahs, a sweeping natural harbour and an abundance of tranquil temples, and you have a vibrant city with ambition bubbling at its core.

The Westin Mumbai Garden City

Address: International Business Park, Oberoi Garden City, Goregaon East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400063.

Phone: (91) (22) 6147 0000

City Highlights

Local Overview

The seven islands that make up modern-day Mumbai have a history peppered with rulers from Hindu dynasties to Muslim Sultans and the Portuguese, who gave Bombay to Britain when Catherine of Braganza married King Charles II in 1661. Independence followed in 1947.

Oberoi Garden City spans 80 acres of prime real estate in the green suburb of Goregaon East, close to Film City and the legendary Filmistan Studios. Nearby lies 'Queen of Suburbs' Bandra, home to a plethora of Bollywood superstars, hip bars and luxury emporia. Venture further south to soak up the carnival atmosphere of Chowpatty Beach, browse the downtown area's snaking markets, or follow in the footsteps of Demi Moore and Hillary Clinton by purchasing a piece of Azeem Khan Couture in the prestigious shopping district of Colaba.

Getting Around

Black and yellow 1950s-style taxis, aircon cabs, auto-rickshaws and cherry red double-decker buses all vie for a slice of Mumbai's wide boulevards, while ferries chug between the grand arches of the Gateway of India and Vashi in the twin city of Navi Mumbai. Buses and taxis especially provide a cheap, easy and efficient way to get around Mumbai's 600 square kilometres, while in the downtown area, good old fashioned walking can be the best way to soak up the city's charms.

Mumbai's meandering suburban train network transports some 6.6 million commuters every day: half the daily passenger capacity of all Indian Railways routes. While Goregaon lies on the Western line, rampant overcrowding means you may wish to seek alternative transport to get you downtown during peak hours.

Even if you don't have a train to catch, the majestic gothic architecture of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) is well worth a visit. The station, originally opened as Victoria Terminus on the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 1887, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.

Attractions

Shop till you drop

For an avid shopper, Mumbai is a dream come true. The city offers almost everything money can buy - from a variety of Indian handicrafts at state emporia and boutique ethnic shops, to modern malls. If you want to experience the real Mumbai, head downtown and practise your bargaining skills at the many tumbling bazaars offering up their treasures. Mingle with Mumbaikars browsing for flowers, fruit, meat and fish at Crawford Market; pick up gold, diamonds, bejewelled belts and shining silver at Zaveri Bazaar; or head to the aptly named Fashion Street for cheap but achingly on-trend clothes. For a truly eclectic experience, try Chor Bazaar, teeming with everything from woodwork to crystal glassware and antique silver 'hookah' pipes.

Soak up the culture

A city with a history as rich and varied as its inhabitants, Mumbai is a fascinating cultural journey. Museums, art galleries, theatres, architectural wonders, amusement parks, beaches and gardens… Mumbai has everything your heart desires.

Contemporary art is well-represented in art spaces and private commercial galleries such as the Jehangir Art Gallery and The National Gallery of Modern Art. Stroll through the ages with a visit to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly The Prince of Wales Museum), a renowned museum in the heart of South Mumbai which houses rare and ancient exhibits of Indian history. Or rub shoulders with the city's culture aficionados and theatre personalities at the renowned Prithvi Theatre, not far from Juhu Beach.

The famous Annual Kala Ghoda Arts Festival attracts audiences and participants from all over the city. This nine-day arts extravaganza features gallery and pavement shows, exhibitions, literary events, film screenings, music concerts, dance performances, theatre, workshops, heritage walks, a food fiesta, and a buzzing street festival.

Sample Mumbai's sizzling street stalls

A city known for its fast pace, Mumbai offers a blend of cuisines covering everything from chic fine dining to the famous street food. When US chef Anthony Bourdain took his gastronomic journey through India, a five-rupee (US 10 cent) vada pav from Mumbai's smoky street carts was declared the best food of the trip. The spicy potato patty is just one of the delicious freshly cooked dishes served up by Mumbai's 'bhelwalas' every day, with gram flour, chickpeas, tomatoes, onions and a multitude of herbs and chutneys all featuring heavily. If you'd prefer to enjoy 'chaat' in air-conditioned comfort, head to one of the many Jumbo King or Kailash Parbat outlets across the city.

Accommodation

The Westin Mumbai Garden City

Conveniently located on the Western Express Highway, The Westin Mumbai Garden City is an oasis in North Mumbai. Nestled amidst lush greenery, it offers a refreshing respite and provides a renewed perspective to the city both for business as well as leisure, with endless possibilities to restore the body and expand the mind. Strategically located, close to the major emerging business districts and the widely acclaimed Film City, it is just a short drive from the International and domestic airports. With the city's premier shopping mall only a casual walk away and the famous Sanjay Gandhi National Park a few minutes drive from the hotel, there is something on offer for everyone. Find total rejuvenation in one of the spacious rooms and suites or refresh with one of the many distinctive food and beverage offerings. Inventive services provide an unmatched level of comfort and ease of mind in whatever you do. Memorable experiences, signature services and facilities, refreshing rituals and thoughtful acts of renewal evoke an inspiring environment to make you live your best.

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