Girgaum Chowpatty

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Time Required: 1-2 hrs

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After Sunset
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Girgaum Chowpatty, Mumbai Overview

Popularly known as Chowpatty, the beach is located in southern Mumbai along the western railway route. This small sandy beach is a popular place to chill, and a must visit for all tourists who visit Marine Drive for the first time.

At night, the beach appears to look like a colourful fair. Children from all age groups rush to ride the Ferris wheel and merry-go-rounds, while the adults indulge in the city's famous street snacks. Visitors also head to nearby attractions and local markets, to get the most out of their day out. Never is this beach empty or deserted. You will always find one or the other person here, lazing around on the beach; or children, lost in their world, blithely building sand castles along the shore. All in all, the Girgaum Chowpatty offers fun, frenzy and delights all rolled into one, and it is worth spending a few hours here to break free from the usually claustrophobic city.

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There are tons of activities that you can indulge in, to relax and enjoy yourself at the Chowpatty. These include horse and cable rides, long walks down the beach and fun and exciting games. The most obvious thing to do here is to take a long walk along the sea shore and enjoy the picturesque views, with the cool breeze gently playing with your hair. However, avoid swimming here as the water is heavily polluted. People often amuse themselves with snake charmers and dancing monkeys who entertain the crowds. Fortune-tellers also grab the attention of many visitors. Camel and horse rides are also available here.

Visits to the Chowpatty are a pure delight for the children, who enjoy themselves at this beach. Merry-go-rounds, Ferris wheels, and bee-bee gun shooting galleries are some fun options for them. Local vendors also give 'chatais' on rent, which is chargeable per hour. You can perform yoga asanas here or simply lie down and relax on these chatais. Open air beach massages are another attraction of the Girgaum Chowpatty. Simply lie down on the sheets and enjoy the massage. If you are looking for opportunities to simply sit down and introspect, just grab a quiet corner and enjoy the view.

Matheran was discovered by Hugh Poyntz Malet, the then district collector of Thane district in May 1850. Lord Elphinstone, the then Governor of Bombay laid the foundations of the development as a future hill station. The British developed Matheran as a popular resort to beat the summer heat in the region. Matheran is birth place of famous freedom fighter Veer Bhai Kotwal. He was born on 1 December 1912 in a barber family. State Govt. has built a monument in his memory. The Matheran Hill Railway was built in 1907 by Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy and covers a distance of 20 km (12 mi), over large swathes of forest territory. The Matheran hill railway, also known as Matheran Light Railway (MLR), was inspected by UNESCO world heritage site officials but failed to make it to the list as a World Heritage Site. India's other Hill Railways like the Darjeeling Railway, the Kangra Valley Railway, Nilgiri Mountain Railway are already on the list.

This is the place where locals flock to consume lip-smacking delicacies at dirt-cheap prices. Bhelpuri is especially famous here-enjoy crisp puffed rice in a variety of chutneys of mint, chilli and tamarind. The local Chaat corners are equally famous for the other scrumptious foods that they serve- Pav Bhaji, Pulav, Pani Puri, Chana Masala, Baraf Gola, etc. among others. Spicy raw mangoes and roasted peanuts are also widely available here. Cafes/ dine-in options are also available here- Bachelor’s, Revival and Thackers to name a few.

You can visit Chowpatty at any time that you want to. But the crowd is considerably less during the early hours of the morning, which means that you can enjoy yourself more if you are a lover of serenity and peace. A word of caution. Avoid visiting the beach during the monsoon season, as high tides and water logging can mar your entire experience. Also, the area becomes dangerous at this point.

If you can, plan a visit to this beach around Ganesh Chathurthi. In fact, this beach is famous and reputed for its Ganesh Visarjan celebrations. Thousands of devotees flock here from Mumbai and Pune every year to immerse the idols of Lord Ganesha in the Arabian Sea. The energy and frenzy at this time are indeed contagious and showcases the best that Mumbai has to offer. The loud chants and music playing in the background add to the liveliness of the overall atmosphere.

Girgaum Chowpatty is easily accessible by all means of transport; be it cabs, buses or autos.
If you are travelling by road, hire an auto or a taxi to reach the site. Local buses also ply to the beach all across the city.
In case you are planning to visit the beach by local, the nearest railway station is Churchgate Station. From Churchgate station, you will have to board a local train to Charni Road and then reach the beach on foot.

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