THE INSIDERS MUMBAI
GO: Mumbai is India’s largest city and with its population of almost 20 million squeezed on a tiny parcel of land, it is teeming with life and energy. Home to Bollywood cinema, the fashion industry and the financial capital, you can see side-by-side the country’s heritage and its push to modernise; incredibleindia.org.
ENJOY: Discover the city’s South Indian hub with a visit to King’s Circle in Matunga. Savour the tastes of masala dosa and filter coffee at Cafe Madras and at dusk see the flower sellers hawk their garlands of marigolds and roses.
EXPLORE: Mumbai never really sleeps. Venture out in this busy metropolis before it ramps up each day with an early morning bicycle tour that will reveal the city in an (almost) peaceful state. See the neo-gothic masterpiece that is Victoria Terminus railway station, ride the 3km-long Marine Drive along the Arabian Sea and visit Sassoon Docks to see the morning catch brought ashore.
DRINK: For the most glamorous outing, head to AER, the open-air rooftop bar at the Four Seasons Hotel. Marvel with champagne and cocktails at the 360degree views of this mega city at sunset. For a more modest bar with a view, stop at Hotel Harbour View in Colaba. Its rooftop bar has a casual atmosphere and impressive views of the Gateway of India monument and Mumbai Harbour; fourseasons.com; viewhotelsinc.com.
STAY: The Taj Mahal Palace, opened in 1903, is India’s most iconic heritage hotel. International and local visitors flock to have their photo taken in front of its famous facade. With the best location in Mumbai, just across from the Gateway of India, a stay at this fabulous property will set your experience of the city apart; tajhotels.com.
DINE: Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra is one of the best places to experience contemporary Indian cuisine in an elegant setting. Mixing traditional recipes with molecular gastronomy, indulge in the tasting menu for the ultimate experience; masalalibrary.co.in.
Lincoln Harris is a former resident of Mumbai and the founder of Remarkable East, a Melbourne-based company specialising in small group tours of the subcontinent. He will conduct a North India Revealed tour in September. More: remarkableeast.com.au.
Graham Erbacher Graham.Erbacher@news.com.au