Mumbai Daily Tours

Click on the boxes below to learn more about the daily tour options that will be offered in Mumbai during the congress. If you would like to book a tour, please download and complete the NES Tour Reservation Form and return it to info@44thnesconfindia.org

Please note that 5 people must sign up for a tour in order for the tour to be scheduled. If your desired tour does not reach the minimum number of participants, you will be notified by the organizing secretariat.

 Download the Tour Reservation Form

THE CAVES OF ELEPHANTA (5HRS. 30MINS)

Duration: 5hrs. 30mins

Cost: € 50

Price includes all boat fees and entrance fees

Elephanta1You drive to the Gateway of India, the city’s most famous landmark – an Indo-Saracenic archway built in 1911 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary. It was originally conceived as an entry point for passengers arriving on P&O steamers from England; today it is remembered more often as the place from which the British staged their final departure.

Here you will board a motor launch for a relaxing 1 1/2 hour cruise to the serene and densely forested Elephanta Island.

Over 1,000 years ago Hindu craftsmen excavated caves in the volcanic rock high up on the slope, depicting their beliefs in massive carvings of exceptional elegance. The Elephanta Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, was probably created during the 8th century AD, though the caves may have had earlier Buddhist origins. The island was called Gharapuri – city of forts – until the Portuguese renamed it “Elephanta” after a large carved elephant they found near the place where their ships docked.

Elephanta2From the landing stage there is a long stairway to the top of the hill. Sedan chairs / Palanquins will be available for guests not wishing to make the ascent on foot. The main cave is fronted by a veranda, at each end of which is a pillar carved in one of the various manifestations of Shiva. As you enter you will see a magnificent sculpture of Shiva as Nataraj, Lord of the Cosmic Dance, an enraptured expression on his face as with his left hand he removes the veil of ignorance.

The most outstanding sculpture is a powerful bust of Trimurti, the three-faced Shiva who represents the Hindu trinity: Brahma (The Creator), Vishnu (The Preserver) and Shiva (The Destroyer, or power through which the universe evolves). In other panels Shiva is depicted in service to humanity as he brings the River Ganges to earth, and at his most fearsome, as he crushes the power of the demon Andhaka.

Elephanta3A number of scenes portray Shiva with his consort Parvati. In one he stands with his prospective bride just before their wedding day. She looks down shyly, but her body is clearly drawn towards him. Behind Parvati is her father Himalaya, and to his left is the moon god, carrying a gift.

After visiting the temple you will walk back to the landing stage and board the launch for the trip back to the pier.

NOTE:

• Restrooms: At Gateway of India (Public toilet), Elephanta Caves (Toilet facilities are sub-standard – not very hygienic) or restaurants at Elephanta island.

• Walking information: Lost of walking involved, navigate around 120 steps and varied surfaces; this excursion is not recommended for guests with walking difficulties. Comfortable and non-slippery shoes recommended.

• Sedan chairs will be available for guests not wishing to make the ascent on foot – on direct payment basis. 

• Crawford Market & Colaba Cause way markets closed on Sunday’s.

• Elephanta caves closed on Mondays & during monsoon (June – September)

MARVELS OF MUMBAI (4HRS)

Duration: 4hrs.30 mins

Price: € 45

Price is inclusive of Mani Bhawan, Prince of Wales museum, and all camera fees

MoM2Begin with the Gateway of India, the city’s most famous landmark; an Indo-Saracenic archway built in 1911 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary. It was originally conceived as an entry point for passengers arriving on P&O steamers from England; today it is remembered more often as the place from which the British staged their final departure.

Continue to drive past Marine Drive, Mumbai’s seaside promenade Art Deco Marine Drive also known as the Queen’s Necklace at night, with its illuminated curve shape around the bay. Its graceful curve sweeps from the skyscrapers at Nariman Point to the foot of Malabar Hill. The whole stretch is popular for strolling, and it is a great place for people watching. At the northern end is the lively Chowpatty Beach, a Mumbai institution.

MoM1Even if you are not possessed of an interest in other people’s dirty laundry, you’ll be fascinated by the dhobi ghats, your next stop. Each morning washing from all over Mumbai is brought here to be soaped, soaked, boiled, beaten, and thrashed. The next day, after being aired, pressed, folded and wrapped, the bundles are returned from whence they came. The secret that keeps the operation running smoothly is the coded symbol that each dhobi-wallah places on every item. Invisible to the untrained eye, this mark ensures that nothing will be lost.

You will continue to Mani Bhavan, Gandhi’s Mumbai base between 1917 and 1934. Nowadays, a permanent museum and memorial to the Mahatma, contains a research library of more than 20,000 volumes. A series of tiny dioramas tell his life story in an interesting fashion. The walls are covered with photos of historic events and noteworthy people and there are a number of personal artefacts – including a letter to Hitler asking him not to go to war, and correspondence with Roosevelt, Tolstoy, and Einstein. Gandhi’s sitting room/bedroom is preserved behind glass.

Proceed for your next destination Prince of Wales museum, driving past a most remarkable railway station. Inspired by St. Pancras Station in London, the Victoria Terminus was built during Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee year. It is an extraordinary conglomeration of domes, spires, Corinthian columns and minarets in a style described by journalist James Cameron as “Victorian-Gothic-Saracenic-Italianate- Oriental-St. Pancras-Baroque”. The first train in India left from this station in 1853; today, half a million commuters use the station every day.

Prince of Wales Museum, built in a confluence of Gothic and Moorish styles, and crowned by a sparkling white dome. It boasts a good collection of ancient Indus Valley artefacts dating back to 2000 BC, plus some priceless Tibetan and Nepali Art. There is an entire gallery devoted to Buddhist tankha scrolls and another to Tibetan bronzes, but the chief attraction here is the collection of over 2000 miniature paintings from the various art schools of India.

NOTE:

• Restrooms: At Mani Bhavan, Prince of Wales museum

• Walking information: Moderate amount of walking involved and varied surfaces; this excursion is not recommended for guests with walking difficulties. Comfortable and non-slippery shoes recommended

• Prince of Wales museum closed on Mondays & National holidays (January 26, May 1, August 15, October2)

• Schedule and duration of the tours are subject to change according to local circumstances i.e. Opening & closing hours of the monuments, temples & markets.

HERITAGE WALK (3HRS)

Duration: 3 hrs.

Cost: € 30

Heritage1Drive to Kala Ghoda, where you have the opportunity to walk through the Art Precinct of Mumbai’s British Heritage district, here you will be introduced to the vibrant world of contemporary Indian painting and sculpture. Kala Ghoda, meaning Black Horse, is a crescent shaped sub-precinct that has developed into a prominent culture centre in Mumbai. The crescent has a distinct visual identity as it houses a fine collection of heritage structures in Victorian Neo-Gothic, Indo Saracenic, Renaissance Revival and Edwardian Neo Classical styles.

Heritage2Walk through Horminan circle. Benjamin Guy Horminan was an Irish journalist with the Bombay Chronicle and wrote against the British rule in India’s freedom struggle for Independence. Flora Fountain, a Neo Classical and Gothic Revival is an ornamentally and exquisitely sculpted architectural heritage monument built in 1864, the name ‘Flora’ is derived from the name of the Roman Goddess of Flowers. CST railway terminus (earlier known as Victoria terminus). Most remarkable railway station. Inspired by St. Pancras Station in London, the Victoria Terminus was built during Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee year.

Heritage3Board the bus and drive to Gateway of India for a pho to stop. Gateway of India, the city’s most famous landmark – an Indo-Saracenic archway built in 1911 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary. It was originally conceived as an entry point for passengers arriving on P&O steamers from England; today it is remembered more often as the place from which the British staged their final departure.

NOTE:

• Restrooms: Public toilets near Gateway of India (Toilet facilities are sub-standard – not very hygienic)

• Walking information: Moderate amount of walking involved and varied surfaces; this excursion is not recommended for guests with walking difficulties. Comfortable and non-slippery shoes recommended

MUMBAI PANORAMA (3HRS)

Duration: 4hrs.30 mins

Cost: €30

Panorama1Departing the tour you proceed to Marine Drive, Mumbai’s seaside promenade, to see its shops, restaurants, bars and throngs of people. At the northern end of Marine Drive, you will find popular Chowpatty Beach. You drive Malabar Hill, Mumbai’s most exclusive neighborhood. Popular since the 18th century due to its forested slopes, fresh sea breezes and panoramic views, Malabar’s hillsides are filled with picturesque mansions and bungalows built by merchants and Colonial governors. Today, luxury high-rise apartments also dot the landscape.

Panorama2You drive past the spectacular Jain Temple, Hanging gardens & Parsi Towers of Silence for a spiritual stop at ISKCON; the amazing temple of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. The god Krishna often blue and playing a flute has a mischievous nature and his peasant background and legendary exploits with the milkmaids have made him of the most popular gods. Krishna devotees believe the material body is subjected to birth, old age, disease and death, whereas the spirit soul is by nature eternal, full of knowledge and bliss. We witness the prayer chanting offered for the welfare of humanity in this stunning temple.

From here, you will proceed past Victoria Terminus for a photo stop, a remarkable railway station highlighted by domes, spires, Corinthian columns and minarets. India’s first train departed this station in April 1853; today, half a million commuters use the station each day.

Panorama3We then make a photo stop at the Gateway of India. This Indo-Saracenic archway was built in 1911 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary, and is the city’s most famous landmark.

NOTE:

• Restrooms: At hotel Taj Mahal

• Walking information: Minimal walking involved approx. 100 meters; this excursion is recommended for guests with walking difficulties who utilize a collapsible wheelchair & are able to enter and alight the coach on their own.

• Schedule and duration of the tours are subject to change according to local circumstances i.e. Opening & closing hours of the monuments, temples & markets.

MUMBAI BY NIGHT (5-6 hrs)

Duration: 5-6 Hours

Cost: € 70

Price is inclusive of movie ticket. Price is NOT inclusive of nightcap drinks.

MbN1At dusk, leave the hotel and immerse yourself in the scintillating after-dark ambience of this intriguing city. This city of many facets that enjoys its status as a commercial capital by day, transforms itself from a flourishing centre of commerce and trade into a dazzling entertainment centre when the sun sets and the lights come on.

We immerse ourselves into this Maximum City visiting a night market at with its variety ranging from street food stalls to spice shops to silks and jewellery. Browsing through offers the opportunity to meet local `Mumbaikars’ known for their easy going and friendly nature.

MbN2After nightfall, your experience begins with a visit to the Eros / Regal Cinema Hall, Bombay’s first Art Deco theatre, where you will have a short viewing of a typical Hindi film. Nicknamed Bollywood, the city’s film industry actually produces more movies per year than Hollywood!

Next, it’s a scenic drive past the impressive gothic style buildings -High Court, the Art District of Kala Ghoda, Victoria Terminus, the Centre of Science and the landmark Gateway of India at Apollo Blunder. Illuminated at night, each of these notable sights seems to take on a distinctive and perhaps more beguiling character than is seen during the day. You will also travel down the Art Deco Marine Drive, referred to as the Queen’s Necklace at night due to the vision it creates with the curved shape of the bay being accented by thousands of sparkling lights.

MbN3Before returning to the hotel, we take a buggy ride from Marine drive to one of the city’s trendy bars- “Dome” at hotel Intercontinental / “Geoffrey” at hotel Marine Plaza/ Pizza by the Bay to enjoy a nightcap before concluding what will surely be a memorable evening.