Travel Tips During the Monsoons in Mumbai
Monsoons In Mumbai
India is primarily a country of three major seasons. The summer (March –June), monsoons (June – September) and winter (October – February). Depending on what part of the country you are travelling to or are in, the weather will be one of these ranging from mild or extreme. Generally, the monsoons in Mumbai arrive by the second week of June, providing an instant relief from the heat and humidity caused by the preceding summers in Mumbai.
Beginning from the southern coast, reach Mumbai in the first ten to fifteen days of June. Mumbai and monsoons is a winning combination. The city looks a lot more beautiful. You can see kids in the city switch from their beloved cricket to football, or playing in the rain. Often you can see adults at Marine Drive or Juhu Beach enjoying the rain. The monsoons also have a very tricky drawback here, because in Mumbai when it rains it pours and the roads in the city are not all that great, so at times it can be dangerous. Caution is advised. Poor infrastructure and planning also may lead to a lot of problems with travelling. Trains and buses run late. The famous Mumbai traffic is also at its best. Travelling is always met with certain delay. Having said that, monsoons are the time when you would want to be in the country. And if you already are, we suggest you visit Mumbai.
Mumbai is a city made up of seven small islands, surrounded by the sea which is one of the most vital parts of Mumbai’s identity. It’s the only constant in a city where everything keeps changing with time. The sea is a big part of what makes the city of dreams stand tall, and the rain adds so much to its beauty. Here are a few things you could do to enjoy the season to the max.
Things to do in Mumbai during the monsoons
Marine drive is a landmark of Mumbai. People from all walks of life, regardless of the distance make it a point to visit Marine Drive. It’s on top of our suggestions too. Take a stroll down the promenade when it’s drizzling, with the sea providing a cool breeze as raindrops patter at your feet. It’s a very refreshing experience and highly rated by the locals so as to get the best feel of monsoons in Mumbai.
Getting here: Take a train to Churchgate station, the southernmost stop on the Western Railway line. As soon as you walk out of the station, look for the sea and start walking towards it and if you don’t know just ask someone or use Google Maps, it’s hardly a 5-minute walk away.
Gateway of India
Do you have a liking for boats and ships? Well, this is one of the best times to pay a visit to the majestic Gateway of India, the entry point to the city by sea. Catch a ferry ride up to Elephanta Caves. Ferry rides are suspended if it’s raining heavily, but if you are lucky you might just make it, and have a chance to enjoy the grandeur of the rain from the middle of the sea. The iconic Taj Hotel is opposite the Gateway of India; more than 100 years old, and a landmark of Mumbai. Visit this hotel in the rains for the view across the water.
Getting here: Churchgate Station again, or CST(Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus) on the central or harbour line, and take a cab to Gateway of India.
Visit a Cafe or Restaurant that overlooks the sea:
Like the sea but don’t like getting wet? Visit an eatery that overlooks the sea. There are lots of cafes and restaurants that even on the dry days have a brilliant view of the sea, the monsoons in Mumbai just magnify it. The Bayview Cafe in Colaba is one such place, perfect for a beer at sunset. It has an unmatched view of the sea, a lot similar to the view from Taj for a fraction of the price. Places like Pizza by the Bay near Marine Drive are also exemplary for lunch or dinner while enjoying the rain on the water and the playful winds. AER Lounge in Worli is another spot you must visit. An upscale restaurant with a panoramic view that is just unbeatable, with the Arabian Sea on one side, and on the other you can view the cityscape in all its glory during the monsoons.
Getaways around Mumbai
There are a few places, just a couple of hours away from Mumbai, which are a must visit during the monsoons, away from the madness of the city. The Monsoons magnify the beauty of these places and the lush greenery is at its best.
A holiday resort village on the western ghat, it is located in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. Just 185 kilo-meters away from Mumbai, it’s a place you must visit in the monsoons. The highest peak in Maharashtra Mount Kalsubai is also located here and the village is the base to many high mountains. It also has a beautiful waterfall and a placid lake ringed by forests. Bhandardara has everything a nature lover needs, and it only gets better during the monsoons.
Getting here: A drive from Mumbai to Bhandardara is quite quick. The route is full of ghats and can be tricky to navigate during the monsoons. So, if you plan to drive to Bhandardara we advise doing so with caution. The closest railway station to Bhandardara is Igatpuri railway station, from there you can take either a state transport or a private bus up to Bhandardara which is approximately 45 km away. Something to note is that on the way back to Mumbai, the trains from Igatpuri railway station are almost always late. So you might want to find some suitable alternative if need be.
Matheran is the smallest hill station in Maharashtra and is located at an elevation of 800 meters above sea level. With a name that means ‘Forest on the Forehead of Mountains’, it is an eco-sensitive region, and also Asia’s only automobile-free region. What makes Matheran so popular is the close proximity to the big cities. It’s just 90km away from Mumbai, so getting there isn’t too time-consuming. Matheran is full of viewpoints and parks, with a whopping 28 points to visit. It also has a couple of lakes and 2 parks. The Neral-Matheran toy train is a lovely journey up to Matheran. It’s a beautiful ride up the hills with only a few stops far and between. The Toy Train, as its name would hint, is small, and the compartments are a bit old, but it’s worthwhile. A few other places like Louisiana Point, Panoramic Point, Sunset Point, Porcupine Point, and Charlotte Lake are places we recommend you visit when in Matheran.
Getting here Matheran is easy to drive to from Mumbai city. Neral is the closest railway station. Trains from Pune and CST(Mumbai) ply daily to Neral and from there you can take a toy train to the Old Matheran station, soaking in the beauty of the journey towards Matheran. By road, you can take the Mumbai-Pune highway (NH4) or the Mumbai-Pune expressway.
Karnala Bird Sanctuary
The Karnala Bird Sanctuary is located near Mumbai, in the Panvel taluka of Raigad district. A popular hangout for bird watchers and hikers as it is within the reach of Mumbai and based near the legendary Karnala Fort in Mumbai. 137 different species of birds reside in the Karnala Bird Sanctuary and as many as 37 different species of birds migrate here at different seasons. If you are a bird lover, a hike in the monsoons here is a must.
Getting here The Karnala Bird Sanctuary is a 60km drive from Mumbai. You can take a train from CST station (southernmost from the Central line) to Panvel. It’s 12kms from there with a lot of buses, taxis, and rickshaws to take you to Karnala. State transport buses run from Bombay Central to Karnala, but they aren’t recommended. A taxi from Mumbai to Karnala is also a good option.
The most popular monsoon getaway for the locals of Mumbai and Pune, the drive here on the Mumbai-Pune expressway is amazing. Lonavala has a beautiful landscape, a lot of waterfalls and bright colours all around. The Tiger Point in Lonavala is the Grand Canyon of Maharashtra, the view of the mountain range during the monsoons is unmatched. Try catching the sunset or the sunrise from here.
Getting here We suggest driving to Lonavala on the Mumbai-Pune expressway. You can take the train from CST station to Khopoli (the last station on the central line) and it’s 15 kilometers from there (You can take a bus or taxi from there).
Travelling to India during the monsoons
Monsoons can be a great time to visit India, as it’s usually off season. Tourist attractions aren’t too crowded, the airfare is also cheaper and you can get a good discount on hotels as they aren’t as heavily occupied as they would be during the rest of the year. All things said, monsoons in Mumbai are worth witnessing.
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