If I were a guide, these are the 5 places in Mumbai I would take a tourist to

From Sagar Upvan in Colaba to an ancient tank with its roots in mythological stories, here are some not very popular places one can visit in the Maximum city

If I were a guide, these are the 5 places in Mumbai I would take a tourist to

Mumbai is not a city, it's an experience to be embrace in itself. Along with the obvious choices like Marine Drive, to historic structures like CSMT, Elephanta Caves and Gateway of India, to the adventure-filled Sanjay Gandhi National Park, the city holds wonderful beaches, historical architecture, street shopping and lip-smacking street food and every nook is incredibly different from the next. So sit back and enjoy these 5 offbeat places I would take a tourist to devour Mumbai in its true sense. 

1. Sagar Upvan, Colaba

Sagar Upvan or Bombay Port Trust (BPT) Garden, as it is famously called is spread over 12 acres on the tip of South Mumbai in Colaba. Confused whether you’re a hill person or sea person? Well, then this garden offers a stroll on small hills along with a sea view.

Jogging Track at Sagar Upvan

One can seek solace and inspiration while sitting on the benches overlooking Ratan Tata’s sea facing bungalow. This seaside garden nestled in a cosy niche behind the Sassoon Dock is also a botanical garden with over thousands of species of plants on display. This hidden gem in Mumbai is a perfect getaway for people of all age groups. 

Sea View at Sagar Upvan

As this place was close to my school, it was my perfect escape to seek some peace and go for random walks. The memories of sitting on the benches and admiring the grandeur yet simple bungalow of Ratan Tata and reflecting that how it perfectly defines his persona has been etched forever.

Botanical Garden at Sagar Upvan

2. Banganga, Walkeshwar 

One of Mumbai’s most-revered sites and the oldest surviving structure dates back to 1127 AD and was built by Lakshman Prabhu, a minister of Silhara dynasty. It's a sacred oasis which has a very fascinating mythological anecdote connected to it. It is believed that when Lord Rama went on his journey to get Sita from the clutches of Ravan, he stopped here to seek blessings from a sage. He was thirsty and therefore shot his baan (arrow) into the ground and a freshwater tributary of the Ganga river emerged from below the surface. Hence, the name Banganga. There’s a pole in the middle of the tank which marks the spot of Ram’s arrow that pierced the ground. At one hand there are musicians and artists seeking their inspiration in this nature laden place and on the other side people can be seen feeding ducks and freshwater fishes. It's one of the few places in Mumbai where you can spot ducks in such a large number and don’t forget to carry some seeds to feed them. The best part about this place for me is that people from all walks of life and religion come here to seek some ‘me-time’ and unleash their creativity. 

Banganga Tank amid Walkeshwar

3.  Amarsons Garden

Spinning across the arc of Mumbai's coastline and being an epitome of serenity and calmness, Amarsons garden in Breach Candy is a popular destination amongst everyone in Mumbai. This sea-facing garden has jogging tracks, library outside the gate, special area and equipments for children to play. Its a tranquil haven for family outings or some much-needed  ‘me-time’. Being a tea fanatic, my best experience with this place is sipping the amazing tea by the sea that one can get from the stall just near the gates.

Jogging Track at Amarsons

Sea View at Amarsons

4. Bhavan’s Nature and Adventure Centre (BNAC), Andheri

Conveniently located near Azad Nagar Metro station, this place which was once a landfill site has now been converted into a mini sanctuary. Imagine a riverside place in Mumbai amidst a college and school campus with a variety of animals and birds like peacocks and peahen, python, hamster, ducks,  dogs, sea turtles and land turtles and hundreds of plant species including pitcher plant and Venus flytrap. Along with these, equipments for adventure activities like rock climbing, flying fox, tyre walk, commando net, Burma Bridge etc. BNAC has turned this into reality with an access to all pass for just ₹150. Being an animal lover, this place had offered me with a chance to observe nature and the species of animals very closely. The founder of this place Himanshu Joshi had made me accustomed with the different species of plant and the special display that they have which showcases tribal life of India. Whether you’re an animal lover or an adrenaline junkie, BNAC has something in store for everyone.  

Adventure activity at BNAC

5. Sewri Mangrove Park 

Flamingos, mud swamps, mangroves, bird watching, what more could a true nature-lover ask for?  With over 15 acres of mangroves and a stone’s throw distance from Sewri station, this area is protected by Bombay Port Trust.  This area is also flocked by various bird species like egrets, herons, gulls, ibises, plovers, terns and sandpipers. So grab on some binoculars and enjoy the bird-watching site that the city has to offer.  In a city like Mumbai where sparrows are almost extinct, I hop onto this place to see some rare species.  

Spectacular view of Flamingos at Sewri Mangrove Park

Even though I’ve been living in Mumbai since the time I was born, every day is like a new experience. In a nutshell, these places are a haven for nature lovers and a striking proof that Mumbai is much more than its chaotic lifestyle. There’s definitely a lot more to Mumbai than what catches the eye. So what are u waiting for? Whether you’re a Mumbaikar or from any part of the world, plan your weekend with family or friends to these lesser-known places. 

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