Overlooking the twinkling Arabian Sea, coast-hugging Marine Drive (Netaji Subhashchandra Bose Road) is one of Mumbai’s most popular places for a walk, especially around (cooler) sunset when the place really springs to life. People of all stripes gather here to soak up the ocean views, jog, catch up with friends, or simply enjoy a solitary stroll. Marine Drive has been affectionately dubbed the “Queen’s Necklace” due to the sparkling string of street lights that arc this stretch after dark. The pretty route gently curves some two miles (three kilometers) from the southern end of Nariman Point north to Malabar Hill. There aren’t many attractions as such, but the Marine Drive walk is heartily recommended simply for its sweeping ocean views, sea breezes, and delightfully easygoing atmosphere.
Start your beach-side stroll at the southern end of Marine Drive, (1) Nariman Point, where it joins Madame Cama Road. As you walk north along the promenade, you’ll be passing some of the most sought after (and expensive) real estate in India, including a number of wonderful old art deco-style apartments, weathered from years of exposure to the salty sea winds.
Beyond Veer Nariman Road (to your right), you’ll eventually pass the large (2) Wankhede Stadium (D. Road, Churchgate), a popular cricket venue. This stadium has hosted many major international cricket matches. If you happen to be in town during the cricket season (usually from around October to early April) it’s worth attending a match just as much for the electric crowd ambience as for the game itself.
As you keep walking north you’ll notice an increasing number of (3) food and drink vendors selling roasted corn on the cob, fried snacks, masala-dusted peanuts, ice cream, fresh coconut water, and fizzy drinks. Enjoy a light bite but be sure to save room for the iconic bhelpuri sold at nearby Chowpatty Beach.
Continuing north, you’ll arrive at Mumbai’s famous (4) Chowpatty Beach, a magnet for young couples and families. Pause here for a plate of delicious bhelpuri (fried savory snack), a much-loved Mumbai specialty.
Where the Marine Drive promenade gently bends south (entering Walkeshwar Marg [Road]), you’ll come across steps that take you up to two scenic viewpoints, the first being (5) Kamala Nehru Park, on Bal Gangadhar (BG) Kher Road. This rather overgrown park has lovely views over Marine Drive and Chowpatty Beach.
Adjacent to Kamala Nehru Park (further up the same hill on Bal Gangadhar [BG] Kher Road) is the larger and better maintained (albeit more crowded) (6) Hanging Gardens. Conclude your tour with a languid stroll around this lush ornamental park.
2014 Traveler Photo Contest
Submit your best shots for a chance to be featured in our weekly galleries and to win a grand prize trip for two to Alaska.