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India Travel Stories

Exploring Rajasthan’s Ranakpur Temple

Between the intricate carvings, jungle views and visiting monkeys, Chaumukha Mandir, the Jain Temple at Ranakpur, will transport you to another world.

Built in the 15th century, this enormous complex has 1,400 pillars, each one hand-carved with its own unique patterns, icons and elements from nature – no two pillars are alike.

Wander around the different chambers and marvel at the craftsmanship that took around 65 years to complete.  Don’t forget to stop for a photo of the lush jungle through the temple windows, or to get a glimpse of the families of monkeys that leap between the columns and domes.

Guides aren’t allowed in the temple, so make sure to grab an audio guide before you head in so that you can make the most of your experience and learn a bit more about the Jain religion if you’re not families with its traditions and beliefs.

Practical Tips for Ranakpur Temple

  1. Cover up your arms and legs.
  2. Leave your shoes and any leather goods you have outside.
  3. You will need on photo ID to leave as a deposit for the audioguide.
  4. Be aware that anyone offering to say a prayer on your behalf will probably be expecting money in return.
  5. Women are asked not to enter if they are menstruating.
  6. The earlier you can visit, the better – tourists are allowed to enter from midday.
  7. Stay away from the monkeys!  They look cute but they can be aggressive when provoked.  The last thing you want on your Indian vacation is to have to get a rabies vaccination.

Perfectly placed on the road between Jodhpur and Udaipur, this amazing site is not to be missed – and provides a nice way of breaking up the drive.  Be warned that the road is windy and bumpy through the countryside, so if you get car sick, think about taking a couple of tablets before you leave…..

If you’d like to visit on of the most beautiful temples in India, you are in luck!  It is one of the many amazing sites on our 14 day Rajasthan tour or you can customize your own holiday using our trip planning service!

Tips for Visiting the Taj Mahal

Show almost anyone a picture of the Taj Mahal and they’ll recognise it instantly. Imposing yet graceful, its true beauty can’t be appreciated in a photo alone – this is a site that has to be seen in real life to be believed. 

A romantic idea… But let’s face it – you won’t be the only person making the pilgrimage. The most visited site in India, tourist numbers for the Taj topped a gigantic 6.5 million in 2018. 

So how can you get the best out of your trip? Here are our top tips for planning your visit to the Taj Mahal:

  • Check it’s open

We know, we know – you’d never show up when it was shut, right? Just remember that opening hours will depend on sunrise and sunset, and that the whole monument is closed to the general public on a Friday. 

  • Wear what you like

There are no strict rules when it comes to clothing, and you’ll see plenty of people dressed to the nines for a romantic photo shoot. Wear what’s comfortable for you, but don’t forget to put on shoe covers before you enter the monument – these are available on-site. 

  • Pick your time carefully

Tourists visit all day, but we’d recommend the dawn session. If you’re lucky enough to get a good sunrise, the colours of the sky really transform the Taj. It’s also the quietest time to visit, with the majority of tourists arriving later in the day.  You can experience the Taj during sunrise on both a private tour by car or an overnight tour. 

  • Remember your mosquito spray

The palace is serenely positioned in front of a river, which creates an aura of peace and tranquillity… it also means that visiting at dawn makes you a part of the mozzies’ breakfast buffet. Don’t forget to wear your bug repellent. 

  • Go to Mehtab Bagh

Mehtab Bagh is a garden that was built across the river from the Taj Mahal and provides a stunning view of the back of the palace (which, thanks to its symmetrical shape is exactly the same as the front). Visit at sunset for the full effect – the peace and quiet make the view all the better.

  • Get a guide

The experience of arriving at the Taj Mahal can be a little overwhelming. A great guide will not only help you navigate the ticket queues, but they can also make sure you get the best out of your visit. There is plenty to learn about the rich history and craftsmanship behind the monument, so it’s worth getting an expert to tell you the whole story.

If you’d like to find out more about organising a tour to the Taj Mahal, we can help. Reality Tours offers private and group tours of Agra for all price ranges.  Find out more here!

Kolkata & The Sunderbans

If you are talking to an Indian and mention the Kolkata, the first response is generally a wistful sigh and an explanation about the amazing street food available there.  When you are in a country that is known globally for having delicious food, this says quite a lot!  However, there is more to Kolkata than food.    The city was once the capital of British India and Kolkata is dotted with beautiful colonial buildings that remind visitors of a bygone era.   It is also the location of India’s biggest Durga Puja festival which transforms the city into a giant open air museum.  Adorable blue and yellow taxis whirl around the city like cartoon cars and iconic blue buses ply the streets and a wide variety of bars and restaurants line the streets.

Kolkata is a much-loved destination by expats in India because of the delicious food, beautiful architecture and calm city streets.  Yet, it gets even better!  Kolkata is also the entry point of the famous Sunderbans, a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its incredible biodiversity.   Known as one of the largest mangrove forests in the world, the Sunderbans are home to Bengal tigers, crocodiles, wild boars, deer and a wide array of birds.   While the Sunderbans are located in both Bangladesh and India, the easiest (and cheapest) place to organize trips is from Kolkata itself.

You can opt for an overnight boat trip operated by the West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation.  However, we highly recommend staying in an eco-village located near the park which gives you the chance to help support the local community.  (Our favorite “village” employs women from the local village.  Most of the jobs available in the Sunderbans are very dangerous and this is a safe way for them to make a living and support their families.)

Kolkata is easily accessible from most major cities in India with direct flights from Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore.  For onward travel, flights to Port Blair in the Andamans are inexpensive and relatively frequent.  Otherwise, you can grab a train to Darjeeling or even travel overland to Dhaka, Bangladesh!

For more information on West Bengal, please email us at info@realitytoursandtravel.com and we will be happy to help!

Planning Your India Trip

India is considered one of the most diverse countries in the world and it is not difficult to understand why.  With over 100 languages widely spoken, a stunning array of landscapes and a plethora of food to choose from, a trip to India is the equivalent of a trip through Europe.  So how do you even being to plan a trip to Incredible India?

The most important thing to consider is what KIND of trip you want.   Are you limited on time but want to see as much as possible?  Are you traveling on a  budget or are you hoping for some luxury?  Do you want to go slow and steady and soak up the experience?    Whatever type of trip that you want – don’t worry!  India has something for everyone.

For budget travellers, India is a dream destination.  Hotels are cheap and hostels are becoming more and more popular around the country.   Starting at around $3 per night for a dorm bed, hostels allow you to meet up with other travellers and usually offer a very social atmosphere.   One of our favorite chains is Zostel. With 36 properties located across India, Zostels are safe, comfortable and centrally located.  Another company that we love is Treebo.  With well-designed rooms and great value rates, Treebo has hotels in over 75 locations across India.  For luxury travellers, India is your oyster!  With fantastic heritage properties, 5-star hotels and gorgeous seaside resorts, India is a country that prides herself on amazing customer service.  Notable chains include Taj Hotels & Resorts, Oberoi, and Neemrana with a variety of beautifully restored fort hotels.  No trip to India is complete without a stay at the iconic Taj Hotel in Mumbai or the quirky Best Exotic Marigold Hotel near Udaipur.

India is also the perfect destination for slow travellers.  Train routes crisscross the country and although some of the trips may be a bit time consuming, they offer a fascinating look into the daily life of India.  The downsides of train travel is that booking train tickets can be a bit confusing (you may or may not need an Indian credit card – this is constantly changing) and tickets tend to sell out very quickly.   If time is of the essence, fast travellers will be happy to know that hiring private cars and drivers is surprisingly reasonable and that flight tickets can be surprisingly cheap on most of the very popular routes.

Top Tip:  Regardless of the type of trip you are taking, it is incredibly important to get a local SIM card.  Without this, it is nearly impossible to use public wifi as a local phone number is often needed for security reasons.   While it is possible to get a SIM card at Delhi’s international terminal,  the shop is usually closed late at night when most international flights from Europe and the US arrive.   For American travellers, make sure that your phone is unlocked as well.

Once you have an idea of how long you will be traveling for and what type of budget you have to spend, you can begin to decide on WHERE you want to go.   Are you a culture-vulture, a history nut or an adrenaline junkie? Do you love beaches, mountains or deserts?  Is soaking up the sun in Goa your idea of a dream trip or is exploring the magnificent forts of Rajasthan more your thing?

Simply put, India has a ton of places to go.  The most famous tourism hotspots include Goa, Kerala, Rajasthan, and the famous Golden Triangle of Jaipur, Delhi and Agra (you can find our top tips for visiting the Taj Mahal here!).

Famous for its forts and palaces, Rajasthan really is the Land of Kings.  From the Golden City of Jaisalmer to the Pink City of Jaipur, Rajasthan’s ancient architecture feels straight out of a fairy tale.  The best time to go on a Rajasthan tour is during the winter months of October – March in order to escape the deadly heat.

Goa is hugely popular partly due to its string of beautiful beaches and also for its colorful architecture.   The laid back vibe of this tiny state makes even the most serious of travellers want to slip on some flip flops and shorts.   Palolem is one of the most famous beaches with good reason.  The beach is perfect for swimming and there is an interesting variety of restaurants and bars to choose from.  Further north, Ashwem offers an attractive respite and its close proximity to Panjim (the state capital) makes it an easy destination to reach.

Nicknamed “God’s Own Country”, Kerala is the home of India’s famous houseboats and no trip to the country is complete without a boat ride through Kerala’s backwaters. Alleppey is the starting point for any backwater adventure.  For tea-lovers, Munnar is the perfect spot to enjoy a delicious cuppa straight from the tea plantation.

But did you know that there is so much more waiting to be discovered?  India is comprised of 29 states and each one has something unique to offer.  Gujarat has spellbinding stepwells and one of the largest salt flats in the world.  Punjab is known for its delectable cuisine and the shimming Golden Temple –  Sikhism’s most holy spot.  West Bengal offers a more laid back vibe than other states and its capital, Kolkata, was India’s colonial capital.   Full of beautiful Victorian buildings and known for delicious street-food, Kolkata is also the starting point of any trip into the Sunderbans, a UNESCO World Heritage site or the Northeast.   The Seven Sisters of the Northeast are one of the most unexplored regions of India and have mind-boggling diversity and a fascinating history. Tamil Nadu is the home of Pondicherry, which boasts a quaint French Quarter that looks more like France than India and a plethora of brightly colored South Indian temples.   Mahabalipuram and Auroville are must-sees and provide a glimpse into India’s past, present and future. Finally, Ladakh is THE place to go for epic road trips with stunning scenery.  Its capital, Leh, is laid-back, friendly and has some of India’s cutest stray dogs!

India certainly deserves her nickname of “Incredible India” and throughout my travels as a solo female backpacker, I have always been treated with warmth and kindness.  So what are you waiting for?

Top Tip:  Organizing a trip to India can be time-consuming, confusing and exasperating.  Let us help make it easier.  Simply email us to say what your interests are, where you want to go, a rough budget and timeframe.  We will make your trip become a Reality!

The Top 5 Travel Destinations for Solo Female Travellers

Without a doubt, traveling as a sole female in India presents a few unique challenges compared to other places in the world.   People stare at you, personal space is non-existent and you have to be aware of your surroundings at all times. (You can read more about safety in India here!)

However, India is much safer than the media makes it out to be and there are a number of amazing places in the country that are beautiful AND female friendly!  As the CEO of Reality Tours and Travel and a major travel addict (you can read my bio here!), I constantly have a long list of places where I want to visit.  As soon as I tick one off the list, there are about five more added. I have traveled alone in the north, the south and everywhere in between.

After seeing India pretty much from the top to the bottom,  here is my list of the top female friendly destinations for solo female travelers.

Rishikesh – Without a doubt, Rishikesh is a mecca for female travelers. Not only is it THE place in the world to do yoga, it is also a spiritual place.  It is also one of the best places to go river rafting on the famous Ganges River.  Tourists, yogis and sadhus alike roam the streets and the most dangerous thing you are likely to encounter is a cow heading straight towards you.  You can easily get from the train station in Haridwar to Rishikesh via tuk tuk or take a bus directly there from Delhi.

 

Mumbai – Known as India’s entertainment, business and financial capital, Mumbai definitely has some swag and is a very safe destination for female travelers. The streets of Colaba and Kala Ghoda offer gorgeous colonial architecture and Bandra is the undisputed dining and nightlife center of Mumbai.   It is also the home of some of Bollywood’s biggest names.  There are a number of places to visit in Mumbai for both history-lovers and culture vultures.

 

Ladakh – The region of Ladakh is jaw-droppingly beautiful and the warm Ladakh (similar to Tibetan) culture is welcoming to female travelers. Head to Leh, join up with a tour and make your way to the hotspots of Nubra Valley and Pangong Lake for a Ladakh trip that you are unlikely to forget!  Getting to Ladakh can either be very tricky or pretty straightforward.  Direct flights operate from Delhi or you can take a gruelling 2-day bus trip from Manali.

Hampi – The other-worldly landscape of Hampi is something you must see to believe. The ruins of a lost empire and the relaxed environment of Hippie Island are a reminder of India’s unique past and present.   Getting to Hampi is easily accessible from Bangalore or Hyderabad.   Hotels in Hampi range from backpackers to riverside resorts and there is definitely something for everyone.

Goa – Goa’s beaches beckon sun and sea lovers and unlike in most parts of India, women can wear bathing suits comfortably. Beer is cheap, seafood is plentiful and there are a number of historic sites and yoga ashrams that are worth checking out.  South Goa beaches are a bit quieter than the ones in the north and I highly recommend a trip to Palolem, Calangute or Baga.  There are a number of ways to get to go from Mumbai to Goa including flight, buses, overnight train and a new launched ferry service.

While there are many, many places in India to choose from that are solo female friendly, hopefully this gives you a great start when planning your next trip

Is India Safe?

Dear readers,

We are well aware that India has a reputation for being unsafe and that women in particular should not travel alone. However, this is not the full picture. India is a country replete with culture, experiences and, of course, people.

People, people everywhere. This means that you’ll be hard pressed to find yourself alone when travelling. Plenty of people does mean that there will be those who are not so friendly, those who may not have the best intentions. Here are few common conceptions that we’ve heard about travelling around India:

1. “But there are pickpockets, bag snatching, and scams everywhere!”-  Unfortunately, this can happen everywhere you go not just in India; any traveller can be a victim of theft or scams. The main way to prevent this is by being mindful of your surroundings and avoid flashing/carrying too much cash on you at once, ensure you keep money in different places (don’t put all of it in your wallet or bag for example), and stay vigilant of your bag and wallet. That being said, I’ve been travelling solo around India and have never had an issue. In crowded areas I put my bag and belongings in front of me and hold onto it tight.

Avoid talking to people who aren’t official guides, people who approach you and claim to know the best hotel/shop/restaurant (could be getting commission for bringing you).

2. “I’m a woman and I’m afraid of being sexually harassed…I’ve heard that India is the worst!” – We completely understand the fears and reservations women have regarding safety in India. The news is constantly showcasing events and cases; India’s treatment of women has been condemned not only internationally but also within the nation. Protests against sexual harassment, rape and more have drawn widespread attention subsequent legal changes over the years.

This means that if ever you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, do not be afraid to make noise and get peoples’ attention. There will always be others to step in and help when needed. Also, be sure to let people know where you’re going if you’re heading somewhere alone. Ensure to respect dress codes and be mindful of attire; many parts of India are conservative, so ensure to dress accordingly to avoid unwanted attention. Do research about where to stay, which neighbourhoods are safe and well connected. India’s a place where you’ll quickly learn the balance of being assertive and being open, especially when travelling alone.

3. “I couldn’t manage taking public transport, rickshaws, and local trains myself” – This is a huge misconception! Train travel is seamless, comfortable and fun. We’re talking about the overnight train journeys or shorter train rides between neighbouring cities. For example, I took the train to get from Udaipur back to Delhi. The train ride was a fun experience, as I had the company of a large family travelling with kids. The kids were curious and playful and I found myself entertained for most of the ride. The family insisted I sample all the delicious homemade food and snacks they had.

Public transportation in  metropolitan cities is generally easy to use and easy on the pocket. Delhi has a reliable, clean and safe metro system to take you all over the city. (Did we mention it’s air conditioned?)

Mumbai has local trains that offer respite from hours of being stuck in traffic. You can get around almost every large city in India via public transport.

Rickshaw rides are also fast and easy to navigate. Know the average prices and route between locations beforehand so you can effectively haggle. But sometimes you don’t feel like engaging in the haggling process with taxi or rickshaw drivers (yes, we understand as it can be intimidating). Luckily, Uber and Ola operates in most cities here in India. Simply download the mobile application and input your destination and go at a pre-determined price.

The points above are, however, applicable to anywhere you travel. No matter where you go, where you stay, any traveller–and even local–may face these issues. Indeed, safety issues are not unique to India and common-sense precautions should be taken. Be vigilant, wary, but also open to new experiences along the way. You’ll realise that most people you encounter are warm, helpful, and hospitable.

We hope this helps clarify a few things about travelling around India!

Exploring Maharashtra with Reality Tours

Hello readers,

Just before summer heat kicked in here in Mumbai, we were busy creating a new experience for you. After a few enquiries and subsequent research, we found out that magnificent ancient cave temples existed not too far from Mumbai. And so, we hopped on a train to Aurangabad to see the sights and stories waiting to be discovered.

Early on a Saturday afternoon, we convened at Dadar Train Station for the Janshatabdi Express train to Aurangabad. We sank into our comfortable seats and armed ourselves with snacks, water, music, and books for the 6 hour train journey. The lull of “chai-chai-chai- kopi-kopi-kopi” came through the aisles as we slept and intermittently woke up to enjoy the scenery.

We arrived at night and were eager to settle into our beds at Zostel. Upon arrival at the hostel, conveniently located close to the train station, we were delighted by not only the design and but also the cleanliness of it. Zostel is the oldest and largest chain of hostels all around India. If you’re looking for a reasonable price for a clean bed and shower, (and to meet like-minded people) Zostel is a good and trusted option.

We quickly got ready for bed as we had an early start the next morning to begin our Maharashtra Trail adventure.

Day one: Ajanta Caves

To fuel our 3.5 hour road trip from Aurangabad to the caves, we stopped by a dhaba (roadside restaurant) for breakfast. Our energy levels shot up after we filled ourselves with poha (flattened rice) and jaggery-sweetened chai. Then we hopped back into our car for a bumpy ride towards Ajanta.

When we arrived, the sun was shining brilliantly above us and we hopped on a tourist bus to get into the complex.

A short ride and a few steps later, we were greeted by a spectacular sweeping view of Ajanta caves. It inspired jaw-dropping, “ooo-ing” and “ahhh-ing” all around us. What stood before us was a vast gorge encircled caves housing Buddhist Art dating back to 2nd century BC. In fact, the Ajanta is far older than its  Ellora Caves.

I’m almost certain we took 15,000 steps or more that day, walking in and out of each cave, up and down the Ajanta Cave complex. We took in the ancient art remaining in the caves and learned about the symbolism in the artwork and sculptures. What a memorable experience! (Tip: ensure you bring plenty of water, as there are no shops in your immediate surroundings)

Day 2:  Ellora Complex, Devgiri Fort, and Bibi Ka Maqbara

First thing in the morning, we hopped into a rickshaw to get us to Ellora Caves. Feeling the crisp morning breeze as our rickshaw cruised through the city roads and outskirts was a treat. Our ride was smooth and before we knew it, we arrived and walked into a whole other world.

Ellora Complex was nothing short of astounding: a fascinating mix of 34 structures from Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. We were filled rapture and wonder staring at some of world’s largest monolithic structures. The detailed structures have been chipped and carved over the course of 500 years. The sheer scale and diversity of the complex reflected how various religions had lived in harmony in India’s past.

After exploring an array of remarkably intricate rock-cut caves, temples, and chapels, we took a break and enjoyed a hearty meal. The Ellora Complex could have easily taken a full day of exploration. However, we had a few more stops to make in Aurangabad to ensure we made the most of our time.

To burn off some calories from our lunch, we paid a visit to Devgiri Fort–a glorious 16th century fort overlooking the city. In the spur of a moment, we decided to take an hour to hike up to the top; though we panted and heaved all along the way, the journey was well worth it. At the end, we were rewarded with a stunning view of Auranagabad. The hike up and around its ruins was a sweaty and fun activity. It was the highlight of our day, as we bonded over the burn in our legs and feeling of accomplishment.

Our last stop on our tour around Aurangabad was the famous Baby Taj–also known as BiBi Ka Maqbara. Wandering into the tomb was surreal; we felt like we were in Agra entering the renowned Taj Mahal complex.  The structure was indeed a replica of the Taj! We learned about the details of its creation along with some stories associated with it. (And we posed for a few photos and selfies while we were at it, of course!)

Needless to say, after hours of walking through historic monuments, taking in ancient religious art, and clicking photos galore, we called it a wrap.

Our recce to Aurangabad was what led to the creation of our Maharashtra Trail. We experienced first-hand all the sites, the food, the history of Aurangabad–one of Maharashtra’s best kept secrets. Here we have put together the best itinerary and plan for a weekend trip from Mumbai: perfect for anyone looking for an interesting and action-packed weekend getaway!

Keep your eyes peeled for another blog post about our travels to come.

Much love,

AK

Who Run Reality? Girls!

Dear readers and fellow travellers,

Today marks International Women’s Day! (Though in Reality, every day is Women’s Day.) We asked our girls who run the Reality Tours Mumbai office what the day means to them.

Here’s what our formidable ladies have to say:

Evelyn, Reservations Manager

Every day is Women’s Day! I don’t think this day should be only for a day. I believe in gender equality. It is no doubt that women have contributed to our society and we have proved time and time again that we are no less. I’m proud to be a woman!

Simran, Tour Guide

I think Women’s Day is particularly important because we need to celebrate togetherness. Together we must remember our moments and achievements together. We–both women and men–need to support one another to achieve our goals to become successful, to live our dreams.

Think of Mahatma Jotirao Phule and his wife Savitribai Phule who started the first school for girls in Pune in 1848. We are celebrating all people who have helped the plight of women. We are celebrating our sisterhood. Happy Women’s Day!

Laxmi, Tour Guide

Women represent strength, courage, love. Today we celebrate women’s day, but really, it’s not just a single day!

Priya, Tour Guide

We celebrate women’s day to give importance to the women in our world. It’s a reminder to treat each and every woman respectfully every day, not only on this particular day. As I came from a Hindu medium school, it was difficult for me to speak English at first. But with the help of Reality I learned to speak English and day by day, I’m getting better. So thank you to Reality for empowering women like me!

Divya, Tour Guide

It’s important to celebrate our achievements, to remember how we demanded for our right to vote, to hold public office and much more. Every day is Women’s Day! We should be recognised for our achievements without regard to divisions–be it national, economic, cultural, political. We should be able to express ourselves no matter how we look or where we come from. We should never be ashamed of our true selves. We deserve to have the freedom to make our own choices and be respected for them. Happy International Women’s Day!

Swathi, Tour Guide

Every day is Women’s Day. It’s not just one day for us to talk about. We need to constantly strive towards a better world, a more balanced world where women and men are treated equal. I’m a proud woman and tour guide, having the independence to go where I want to go and be who I want to be. Today I stand with my sisters, my girls, as well as the boys and men around me. We all need to work towards achieving equality. Let’s not forget that! Happy Women’s Day to all.

 

 

Mumbai – A Visit to the City Which Never Sleeps

Dear readers,

Mumbai is one of the leading metros in India if not the leading one already. It was earlier referred to as Bombay. It happens to be the biggest city in India and is also the capital of the western Indian state of Maharashtra. To begin with, Mumbai was a collection of 7 islands on the Konkan coastline. They were joined together to form the city that we see today. The island was later joined with Salsette, a neighboring island, to form what is known as Greater Bombay. In 2005 it was estimated that the city had a population of 21 million people.

This makes it one of the most populated cities in the world.

The enigma that is Mumbai

Mumbai is, without a shadow of a doubt, the commercial capital of India. It also has one of the biggest ports in the country as well. By virtue of being a metro city, it has an eclectic population that gives it its cosmopolitan nature in the first place. This is further borne out by the presence of Bollywood. Bollywood is basically the Hindi film industry that wields a global influence of sorts. This is because of the presence of the Indian Diaspora in all parts of the world.

At the same time, Dharavi in Mumbai also has the biggest slum population of the whole country. Incidentally, both these contrasting entities form an integral part of a Mumbai city tour.

What to see here in Mumbai?

There are plenty of things to see while you are on a Mumbai tour. The tourist attractions can be categorized into the following and examples may be mentioned as below:

  • Rock cut caves – Elephanta, Kanheri, Mahakali
  • colonial buildings – Fort St. George, Gateway of India, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Chhatrapati Shivaji Vastu Sangrahalaya, Taj Mahal hotel, Mumbai University, High Court
  • museums and galleries – National Gallery of Modern Art, Jehangir Art Gallery, Nehru Centre Art Gallery, Nehru Science Centre
  • beaches – Girgaon Chowpatty, Juhu beach, Aksa beach
  • zoos, parks, and gardens – Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Bhavans Nature Adventure Centre, Veermata Jijabai Udyan, Hanging Gardens, Kamla Nehru Park, Mumbai Port Trust Garden, Five Gardens

religious places – Portuguese church at Dadar, Haji Ali Dargah, Global Vipassana Pagoda, Siddhivinayak temple, ISKCON temples at Juhu beach and Chowpatty beach

What to eat here in Mumbai?

You can be sure that no matter which part of the world you are from you would get something to eat in this city.

However, there are some dishes that you should definitely have when you are here in Mumbai. They may be enumerated as below:

  • Gujarati Thali
  • Kebab rolls, Keema, and Pattis
  • Maharashtrian Thali
  • Indian sweets such as Kulfi Falooda
  • Kerala Thali
  • Vada Pav
  • Indian Chinese
  • South Indian food at a Udupi restaurant
  • Goan seafood
  • Bread Maska
  • Chaats such as Bhelpuri and Paani Puri
  • Alfonso mangoes at the summer time
  • Pav Bhaji

Visiting Mumbai is an experience of a lifetime – one that you would always cherish.

Planning Your Trip to India?

Happy New Year everyone! A new year means more opportunities to explore, new destinations to visit. And of course, India should be on your list!

To make your trip to India easier, we’ve put together a few helpful resources to aid you in choosing transportation, finding accommodation, and more nitty-gritty elements needed to build the perfect itinerary.

1) This is not a secret but we love Lonely Planet. Use this as a guide to learn about different cities, the must-see attractions, the best restaurants and more.

2) What’s our favourite, affordable way of interstate travel in India? Travelling by train! Train travel in India is organized, reliable and fairly simple to navigate. This is a great way to experience typical local means of transportation as well. Avoid paying extra to booking agents and book your train tickets directly here.

3) Looking for the lowest flight rates within India? Make My Trip is our search engine of choice here in India. They always have promo codes you can take advantage of at any time of year.

4) Don’t feel confident in haggling with auto-rickshaw drivers? Have no idea what is a reasonable rate? Ride-sharing apps such as Uber and Ola are your best friend. Simply download the applications on your phone and you can book a ride in any major city to take your straight to your desired destination:

4) Looking for authentic, locally-guided tours in Mumbai, Delhi, all over India? We have you covered. Not only does your money go to fund our educational programmes via Reality Gives, but also your guides are trained to provide you with the best experience, showing you the real India: www.realitytoursandtravel.com

Should you go North, South, East or West? Have no idea where to even begin? We’re happy to do all the planning, organizing, booking, and more for you. Simply fill out this form–http://realitytoursandtravel.com/plan-your-trip/

We’ll put together your dream itinerary, catering to your tastes, needs, and budget. Let us make your trip to India memorable.

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