Thought Mumbai is an island city, the city’s high population has left little room for its beautiful beaches. Among the few popular stretches along the Arabian Sea are the Juhu beach and the Girgaum Chowpatty. In such a densely populated city, its beaches are a breath of fresh air, and their vibrant atmospheres bring together citizens of all ages.
Juhu Beach Mumbai
Just near the beach, the Juhu aerodrome is where JRD Tata landed in 1932 inaugurating India’s first scheduled mail service. Today, the commercial airport lies a few kilometers away but Juhu beach still offers a spectacular sight of flights as they take off from the city, over the sea and far away into the horizon.
Juhu beach is on the must-see list of every tourist to Mumbai. One can get here from almost every point of the city by road and rail and it is close to other suburban places like Santa Cruz, Vile Parle and Andheri.
The beach is a welcome retreat for walkers and joggers at dawn and leisure seekers in the evening, who throng to the beach to get a respite from the city’s hectic lifestyle. It is known for its chaat food specialties like bhel puri, paw bhaji, Pani and ice Golas.
The ISKCON Krishna temple is a major attraction in Juhu. There are many multi-star hotels and some opulent shopping options available in the area.
Chowpatty Beach Mumbai
Chowpatty beach is another popular Mumbai beach. This was the location for many an important meeting of the freedom fighters during the struggle for India’s independence. Chowpatty is really Chaupati (four channels or four creeks). Lying close to the Central Business Districts of Nariman Point Churchgate and the old colonial quarters of South Mumbai, it is flanked by the trademark Marine Drive skyline on one side and the elite Malabar hill on the other.
A long walk along the beautiful promenade of Marine Drive and spending an hour or two through the breezy seashore makes it a pleasant getaway. Come evening, the beach transforms itself into a complete platform of entertainment. From pony rides to snake charmers and dancing monkeys to acrobats, there is something here for everybody.
Chowpatty beach also known as Girgaum Chowpatty, wears vibrant colors during Ganesh Visarjan, when thousands of people from across Mumbai bring Ganesha idols for immersion after ten days of worship during Ganesh Chaturthi. Mumbai’s popular snacks of vada pav, Bhelpuri, Panipuri, Ragda patties and kulfi are sold by vendors at the beach.
With Mumbai’s oldest skyscraper, the Air India building, the Trident Hotel, the revolving tower of the Ambassador hotel as well as the spectacular “queen’s necklace” on one side and the tall buildings of Malabar Hill tapering to Raj Bhavan, the official residence of the Governor of Maharashtra, on the other, Chowpatty offers a magnificent view of the Mumbai skyline.
[Read More: Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus]
Other Beaches around Mumbai
Within a fifty kilometer radius are located many more stunningly picturesque beaches like Madh Island which also boasts of an Old Portuguese fort and Aksa one of the quietest of beaches. Marve and Manori are pleasant beaches for bathing and Gorai, a little further away is now the location of the Global Vipassana Pagoda.