BANDRA – The Suburb by the Sea
This is probably the chicest of the western suburbs and in north Mumbai’s answer to Colaba the crown of ‘town’. This hip yet quaint place attracts everyone from young to old, rick to locals and has thus earned the title of ‘Queen of the Suburbs’. It is the enviable abode of many rich and famous faces that reign over Bollywood. This suburb is favourite among the high powered corporate head honchos too.
Like most suburbs in Mumbai this is also divided into eastern and western zone, the east comprising of the commercial area known as Bandra Kurla Complex and the west which is adjacent to the sea has a plethora of restaurants, lounges, shopping options and of course the very pretty, calm and serene Bandstand Promenade.
Once occupied by the Portuguese, Bandra still has one of the largest catholic population in Mumbai. Infact the largest number of Roman Catholic churches anywhere in the world, are found here. It’s catholic influence is had kept the charm intact for Bandra with its picturesque old bungalows’ peppered through leafy bylanes, a variety of bakeries and delis and the rustic old village or two peeking out of the corners that are reminiscent of Goa. But starry residents and beautiful bunglows aside, an array of fine dining options along with shopping arenas attract visitors in huge numbers. When it comes to shopping, Bandra has a variety o options from small groovy shops bursting with eclectic clothes and accessories to a number of designer stores with exclusive labels. Not to forget plenty of street shops on Linking Road & Hill Road with cheap knock-offs and kitsch footwear. The best time to shop here is from 11 am – 5 pm.
Bandra is a heaven for the foodies, restaurants catering to every cuisine and budget is available here. Whether you are in a laid back, easy on pocket al fresco dining kind of mood or are looking for a more refined, upmarket experience you can be assured to find a place to suit your mood. It is in the evening that Bandra comes to its full life with lounges and restaurants packed to the brim barley leaving any place to stand. This is when Bandra lives up to its reputation of being the most popular suburb.
Must Do Checklist:
- Admire old cottages while driving down Turner Road
- Sample yummy biscuits, buns & cakes at the old bakeries on Hill Road, American Express Bakery being an all time winner with Hearsch Bakery famous for its scrumptious burgers and rolls
- Take a stroll at the Carter Road promenade ending with some fresh coconut water
- Visit Mount Mary & Andrews Church
- Enjoy Kingfisher Beer, the king of Indian beers at any of the Bars
- Be sure to witness the sensational Olive bar night on Thursday
- Try the famous Mumbai pani-puri at Elco on Hill Road
- Get a peek at ‘Mannat’, Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan’s mansion and Galaxy, the Dabang Salman Khan’s apartment at Bandstand
- Experience the manly wonder called Bandra-Worli Sealink
- After all the roaming around pamper your tired feet at any of the foot spas
- And last but not the least, get a glimpse of the Mumbai nightlife at any of the Bars
- If you are lucky you can witness the ongoing festival of ‘The Lil Flea Market’ or ‘Bandra Festival’, that transports one into the real Bandra and lets one experience the real essence of this place
BKC – The New Financial District of Mumbai
From marshy low-lying land to glitzy business hub, BKC as it is colloquially known had quickly evolved to be the commercial heart of India’s financial capital and is a daily destination of over 600,000 people – as their work place. This is the imposing headquarters of several banks and financial institutions, the National Stock Exchange, the New Zealand Consulate as well as the U.S.Consulate and several luxury and business hotels. Restaurants both dinning and casual, dot BKC’s considerable landscape offering lunch and after hour options to its denizens. BKC also boasts of having few large open spaces which hosts humungous events, exhibitions and concerts. The most recent and epic being the ‘Make in India Week’ which was hosted my Maharashtra and held at the MMRDA grounds, BKC.
As the sun sets the buzzing financial district transforms into a nightlife hub. With some great places to eat, drink and party BKC is quickly becoming the epicentre of the party scene in Mumbai. Must visit places being: Masala Library, The Good Wife, Theobroma, Yauatcha, The Bar Stock Exchange and SodaBottleOpenerWala.