On your trip to Mumbai your checklist is pretty clear: Gateway of India, Elephanta Caves, Marine Drive, Victoria Terminus, Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Juhu Beach among others. Moreover, Mumbai is where most Bollywood stories are created! If lucky, you may also get to spot your favourite actor and other celebrated actors in real life. Clearly, there’s a lot to see and do in the city of dreams (mayanagri) that deserve a special spot in your itinerary. But what other places can you visit in Mumbai? Do you know, there are many underrated places in Mumbai, though often overlooked, are just as beautiful and fascinating as the most popular sights. Even just adding one of these lesser known spots could give your itinerary a nice personal touch.
So, the next time on your visit to Mumbai, consider skipping the same set of well-known places, to explore the below lesser-known, underrated places in Mumbai that are sure to delight both first timers as well as returning travellers.
1. Global Vipassana Pagoda
A Symbol of Peace and Harmony!
Spread over 13 acres of lush greenery on the Gorai Island, the Global Vipassana Pagoda is a meditation center created in honour of Gautama Buddha, to spread teachings of the Buddha and to promote the practice of Vipassana. The Pagoda is proudly known as one of seven wonders of Maharashtra and is a must-visit tourist spot in Mumbai.
While the Pagoda consists of three domes, the first and largest dome is most famous containing the bone relics of the Buddha – donated by the Sri Lankan government and the Mahabodhi Society of India, Bodh Gaya. It is the world’s largest pillar less (built without pillars) stone dome, the height of the dome is approximately 29 metres, while the height of the building is 96.12 meters, twice the size of the previously largest hollow stone monument in the world, the Gol Gumbaz Dome in Bijapur, India. Moreover the dome can accommodate up to 8000 people at a time for meditation. The second and third domes, along with an auxiliary dome adjoining the second dome, sit atop the first dome
The best part is that there is no entry fee or charge to see the Global Vipassana Pagoda. The management also organises Vipassana meditation courses that are absolutely free of cost and anyone can attend.
Address: Global Pagoda Road near Esselworld Gorai, Borivali West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400091.
Open Hours: Monday to Sunday, 9 am – 7 pm. (Last entry will be permitted till 6.30 pm only)
Entry Fee: Free
2. Chota Kashmir, Aarey Milk Colony
Nothing matches up to a picnic like boating around trees and birds!
Want to enjoy a relaxing boating experience amidst greenery and wildlife. Aarey Colony is most famous for its iconic Chota Kashmir lake. Famously known for its boating options, Chota Kashmir is also considered as a paradise for birdwatchers as there are various birds such as hummingbirds around the lake. Every weekend, it turns into an ideal spot for families, couples and nature enthusiasts who love green scenic views.
Offering the perfect blend of nature and adventure, Aarey Colony is also home to several gardens, picnic spots, milk plants, serene lakes, an observation pavilion and a nursery. Inspite of being so popular among families and kids, Chota Kashmir is an underrated place in Mumbai.
Address: Mali Nagar, Aarey Colony, Goregaon, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400065.
Open Hours: Monday to Sunday, 09:00 am – 08:30 pm
Price: Boating charges are Rs.20 per person for 30 minutes.
3. Gilbert Hill, Andheri
Our very own ‘Devil’s Tower’!
Resting in the middle of a bustling and densely populated suburb of Andheri in Mumbai at about 200 ft. in height, this monolithic column of black basalt rock is quite spectacular and yet an underrated place in Mumbai. It is a rare monolithic rock which is said to date back to prehistoric times – popularly known to be one of the only two of its kind in the world, the other is the Devil’s Rock in the US.
The climb to the top is simple. Perched on the top is a peaceful Durga Mandir and a Neem Tree. Once on top, one can see the Mumbai Metro on the north, the Mumbai airport’s ATC tower on the east and the sea on the west. This underrated place in Mumbai is surely a must-visit!
Address: Gilbert Hill, Sagar City, Andheri West, Mumbai, Maharashtra, 400047.
Open Hours: Open all hours
Price: No entry fee
4. Hasnabad Dargah, Byculla
Our very own Taj Mahal!
Located in Mazgaon, Hasnabad Dargah is one of Mumbai’s most beautiful mausoleums, that looks like our own mini version of Taj Mahal. The main significance of Hasnabad Dargah lies in the fact that it is the final resting place of Hasan Ali Shah, aka Aga Khan I, a renowned spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslim community (who passed away in 1881) and houses the Imam’s tomb. The mosque is built with intricately carved designs and is ornamented with two marble white 90 feet minarets and a huge central blue dome. People from all walks of life and religions come here to seek blessings.
Address: Anjeerwadi Road, Byculla East, Mazgaon, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400010.
5. Banganga Tank, Malabar Hill
Mini Banaras of Mumbai!
A place to get lost, wander, and take in the mellow vibe.
Settled like a green oasis in one corner of Malabar Hill and surrounded by soaring skyscrapers, the Banganga Tank is an ancient water tank which is part of the Walkeshwar Temple Complex in Malabar Hill area of Mumbai in India.
Legend has it that since there was no fresh water to anoint the diety Lord Shiva Pind (Shri Walukeshwar), Lord Ram shot an arrow into the ground that brought fresh water of the River Ganga here. A pole in the centre of the tank indicates the spot where the arrow pierced into the earth. The 10-metre deep, 135-metre long rectangular historic water body thus got its name ‘Banganga Tank’ as a combination of ‘baan’ (arrow) and ‘Ganga’ (the river, which is located over 1,500 kms away to the north-east from here) and remains a revered place since centuries. Therefore it is considered among the most important places of worship in the city.
Adjacent to the serene tank is a temple of Lord Shiva and other Hindu gods, besides the Shri Kashi Mutt, which attracted people from all over the country for darshan.
Address: Walkeshwar, Malabar Hill, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400006, India.
6. Sewri Flamingo Viewpoint, Sewri
If you’re a bird lover, this is for you!
Every year during winters, thousands of beautiful pink flamingos with dark black bills migrate to Sewri Creek mudflats from their breeding area, Rann of Kutch in Gujrat to the mud flats in Sewri. Thanks to the surrounding mangroves of Sewri, the mucky location is beneficial for them.
They arrive in the month of October and stay till March for food and breeding purpose. Along with flamingos, other birds like the Greater Spotted Eagle, Sandpiper, Heron and Black Bellied Tern are also seen in unison.
India is home to two types of flamingos – the Greater Flamingo and the Lesser Flamingo. Both types can be seen at the Sewri jetty during the migratory season. If you’re a bird lover, do not miss this underrated place in Mumbai.
Arrive early (preferably by 7 am) for the best view and do not forget to carry your binoculars.
Address: MPT, Sewari, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400015.
7. Sassoon Docks, Colaba
The stench of fish, the sight of numerous boats with their vibrant flags, colorful saree-clad Koli fisherwoman, buckets full of fishes, this underrated place is a must visit activity on your trip to Mumbai.
Nestled in the historic Colaba district of South Mumbai, Sassoon Docks is one of Mumbai’s oldest and busiest fish markets in Mumbai built in 1875 on a reclaimed land.
Originally, the Sassoon family who built the dock were traders of cotton and so the dock was used to unload the commodity. However, after the decline of the Indian cotton industry, fishing became the main activity. Since then, it is home to Mumbai’s oldest and largest wholesale fish markets operated by the Koli community.
Being South Mumbai’s main fish loading and trading centre, one can see all sort of fish varieties here in the small baskets that come off the boats. A crowd of fishermen and fisherwomen come at the dock and set up their daily catch. The place is most lively in the mornings. The activity here starts as early as 5:00 am when the fresh catch is brought in from the sea. Moreover, it is the only port in Mumbai which operates 24×7 spread over three hectares.
Sassoon Docks is a fine example of the typical day to day activity of the fisherfolk community in Mumbai- what they do, how they associate with their fellowmen and the public dealing.
Address: Azad Nagar, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400005.
8. CST Railway Heritage Museum
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is an example of architectural triumph. is one of the busiest in India, used by around three million passengers daily,”
Mumbai’s 129 years old Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Victoria Terminus) is not only an iconic landmark but also the pride of India. Previously known as Victoria Terminus, CST is a UNESCO-listed World Heritage building since 2004.
Have you ever wondered whats inside this structure? Well, the CSMT building houses a heritage museum with timeless treasures that not many people are aware of.
Built at a cost of nearly 22 lakhs, CST Railway Heritage Museum is spread across 1,500 square meter area on the ground floor of CSTM’s south-wing. The museum houses old artefacts, tate-of-the-art clocks, tables, chairs, replicas of original drawings by CST Chief Architect F W Stevens, historic stamps, rare photographs, documents from archives; old colonial furniture, miniature models of steam, old railway engines and antiques associated with the Indian Railways such as crockery, telephones and brass bells. Furthermore there are also be Audio-Visual Gallery, 41 Steams and Ancient Locomotive available for public display.
Address : Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Area, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001
Open Hours: Monday to Friday, 02:00 pm to 06:00 pm
Price: Students: Rs.100, Others: Rs.200
9. Jogeshwari Caves
The Buddhist Cave Temple, commonly known as the Jogeshwari Caves, offers a unique and divine experience to the Pilgrims. It is historically significant and pertains mainly to Buddhist and Hindu history. The caves date back to 520 to 550 CE. These beautiful caves attract a large number of devotees and tourists during festivals like Mahashivratri. There are four temples within the caves dedicated to the important Indian deities- Shiva, Devi, Ganesha and Hanuman.
The caves are accessed through a long flight of stairs into the main hall of this cavernous space.
One prime attraction of these caves is the unique form of pillars in the lower cave that cannot be found in any other temple in the state.
Address: Gupha Tekdi, Jogeshwari West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400060.
10. Maharashtra Nature Park, Dharavi
Established upon a former garbage dump along the south bank of the Mithi River, the Maharashtra Nature Park is a unique 37-acre forested park. The main objective of the park is to inspire Mumbaikars to respect nature and move towards greater sustainability through awareness and lifestyle choices. Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) simply converted acres of dumping grounds in Dharavi into this nature pleasing space.
Address: Sion Bandra Link Road, Dharavi, opp. Bus Depot, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400017.
Open Hours: Monday to Sunday, 08:30 am – 03:30 pm
Price: Rs. 20
This vibrant and mesmerizing city, well known for its iconic tourist attractions, eating scene and shopping has it all. Rather than going where the masses go, try walking off the beaten path and explore the above underrated places in Mumbai.
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