Historical Places in Mumbai To Explore India's Past

Historical Places in Mumbai

The historical places Mumbai, or Bombay, have their roots with the signing of the Treaty of Bassein between Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat and the Portuguese, who were offered the seven islands that made up Bombay by the Sultan. Throughout history, Bombay was extremely active in the political sphere during India’s independence struggle and was part of the Quit India Movement & the Royal Navy Mutiny in the 1940s. Due to this, there are numerous historical places in Mumbai to explore in the present day.

1. Gateway of India - Iconic historical place in Mumbai

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One of the most distinguished monuments in Mumbai, The Gateway of India was built in 1924. It has become a popular historical place in Mumbai in the city. Located at Apollo Bunder Waterfront, the monument overlooks the Arabian Sea in the most beautiful way.

2. Elephanta caves

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A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Elephanta Caves is a specimen of rock-cut art and architecture from the times of medieval India. It is an island and is located at a distance of 11 km from the city of Mumbai. It also provides an amazing view of the Mumbai skyline.

3. Haji Ali Dargah - Mixture of historical place in Mumbai and spirituality

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Situated at the backdrop of a beautiful view of the sea, is the shrine of Haji Ali, a wealthy merchant turned into Muslim Sufi. The Haji Ali Dargah (mausoleum) was raised in 1431 in reminiscence of an affluent Muslim trader, Sayyed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, who gave up all his worldly belongings before making a trip to Mecca. People from all walks of life and religions come here to seek blessings. 

4. Siddhivinayak Temple

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Located in Prabhadevi, is a Lord Ganesha temple, one of the most significant and frequented temples in Mumbai. Visitors visit this temple in large numbers on daily basis. It was built by Laxman Vithu and Deubai Patil in 1801. It is one of the richest temples in Mumbai. The temple is dedicated to Siddhi Vinayak aka Lord Ganesha. The wooden doors to the sanctum are carved with images of the lord. The inner roof which is plated with gold has the central sculpture of Ganesha.

5. Marine drive - Iconic historical place in Mumbai

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Starting from the north of Nariman Point and ending at the famous Chowpatty beach, the Marine Drive is a 3 km long arc shaped road along the sea coast of South Mumbai. The coast lines the Arabian sea and is the best place to watch the sunset in Mumbai.

6. Kanheri caves

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At an altitude of 1500 feet above the sea level, the area offers a panoramic view of the city. Built inside Sanjay Gandhi National Park, the caves are around 109 in number, built during the Maurya and Kushana period.

7. Prince of Wales museum

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Prince of Wales Museum is regarded as one of the heritage buildings of Mumbai owing to its splendid structure. The museum comprises of a plethora of ancient artefacts preserving the age-old heritage. Visit this historical place in Mumbai for a comprehensive understanding of the city's past.

8. Mahalaxmi temple

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The Mahalaxmi Temple is dedicated to Goddess Mahalaxmi or the 'Goddess of Wealth'. Thronged with devotees and tourists in large number throughout the year, the temple is a must visit if you are visiting Mumbai.

9. Film City - Ultimate place for film history in Mumbai

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Indian Film Industry accounts as one of the largest in the world and Film City serves as an essential part of it. This is a place where it is difficult to differentiate between reality and dreams.

10. Bandra Worli Sea Link

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Spanning across the arc of Mumbai's coastline, this sea link is a civil engineering wonder that reflects the modern infrastructure of the city of Mumbai.

11. Jehangir art gallery

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Located at Kalaghoda in Southern Mumbai, the Jehangir Art Gallery was donated by Cowasji Jehangir. One of the most famous galleries in Mumbai, the gallery is a prestigious and modern venue for Indian artists to showcase their talent, and hence, has a broad media coverage. Artists have to wait for at least to two years for their artwork to be put here.

12. National gallery of Modern Art

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Situated in Colaba, Southern Mumbai, the National Gallery of Modern Art was established in 1996, with an objective to promote modern trends in the Indian culture. Initially a concert venue, the structure was later converted into an art gallery in 1954. The gallery boasts of its display of artworks from Indian as well as international artists ranging from M.F. Hussain, F.N. Souza, Amrita Shergil, Gaganendranath Tagore to Picasso.

13. Victoria terminus

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Also known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Victoria Terminus is a modern railway station in Mumbai. Constructed in the Victorian-Gothic style of architecture, the railway station is a declared as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. The station is one of the most famous historic landmark symbolizing the pre-independence British Raj in India.

14. Mahakali caves

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Alternatively known as Kondivite Caves, the Mahakali Caves are located in the western part of the city of Mumbai, Andheri. The Mahakali Caves are a total of nineteen rock-cut monuments, built between the duration of the 1st and 6th century. The main cave consists of Buddha figures and stupas, while the there are several Buddha idols carved on the rocks too.

15. Hanging Gardens

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A popular tourist destination in Mumbai, the Hanging Garden is a terrace garden built in 1880 and renovated in 1921. Dedicated to its barrister, Pherozeshah Mehta, the garden is also known after his name. It has impeccable animal shaped hedges and lush green vegetation along with a serene bird's eye view of the Arabian Sea.

16. Kamla Nehru park

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Named after the wife of Jawaharlal Nehru, Kamala Nehru, the garden is situated on the very top of the Malabar Hill and extends over an area of 4,000 sq. feet. The garden gives a gorgeous of Mumbai's skyline and the Chowpatty beach below. The garden is popular for its Boot House.

17. Global Pagoda

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Located near Gorai, North-West of Mumbai, the Global Vipassana Pagoda serves as a monument to peace and harmony. It is built as a form of gratitude to a Vipassana teacher and accountant general of Independent Burma, Sayayi U Ba Khin. He was instrumental in bringingVipassanaa back to its country of origin, i.e. India.

Being the one stop for all the dreams and ambitions in India, Mumbai is aptly called the 'City of Dreams' throughout history. Only visiting the city can help one understand the essence of it. Which of these historical places in Mumbai have you visited? Let us know in comments below!

This post was published by Surbhi Parashar

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