The city of Mumbai is known to be the most diverse and culturally rich city. When it comes to the music scene here, one cannot get enough of it. There is a thriving culture of classic rock, metal, a burgeoning local hip hop culture, a revival of interest in jazz and the occasional regional pop and rock act performing in the language of their home state. The number of gigs and the variety of acts has exponentially jumped over the last couple of years, thanks in no small part to new venues and a growing interest in new sounds. Everyone who comes here is enriched with and surrounded by sounds of all kinds. Whatever taste in music one has, Mumbai will not disappoint!
India has nearly a 5,000-year history of traditional holistic therapies, such as Ayurveda and Yoga and you can experience almost all of them in Mumbai. There are wellness centres across the city, from barebones facilities like the Kerala Ayurvedic Health Spa, which offer age-old treatments, to swanky five-star spas. If you’re looking for one discipline that will have an enduring effect on your body and mind, stick with Yoga. Be warned: most yoga centres are utilitarian and spartan, so leave the Louis Vuitton yoga tote at home and experience the science in its most unadorned form.
Mumbai’s local art scene started with three private galleries that began in the 1950s and, a small, elite group of collectors. The number of galleries in and around the city has steadily increased in the following years. The galleries display the works of everyone from Raza, Husain, Akbar Padamsee and a bunch of International artists as well.
Apart from the weekly dose of new releases, Mumbai gets added shots of cinema from a handful of film clubs and cultural centres that bring international cinema of all hues to the city. Mumbai also hosts three international film festivals – the Mumbai International Film Festival, Mumbai Academy of Moving Images festival and the Asian cinema-focused Third Eye festival. The movie buff will thoroughly enjoy this city!
Mumbai’s theatre scene is as diverse as the population of the vibrant city. There are a number of theatre festivals in the city throughout the year, including the popular Prithvi Theatre festival. The bulk of Mumbai’s theatre is performed in English, Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati. Gujarati theatre and Hindi drama consist largely of commercial drama. But some of Mumbai’s most innovative theatre is Marathi, which has a strong modern history of experimental drama. English theatre has a comparatively small presence in the city, but it has a growing cadre of writers producing original drama, and several theatre groups that stage interesting and innovative experiments.
There are seven classical dance forms in India, but only three – Bharatanatyam, Kathak and Odissi – are regularly performed in the city. While classical dance continues to rule the stage, contemporary performances have also found their space in Mumbai, and institutes specialising in Western styles such as salsa, modern dance, ballroom and Latin ballroom dances have gained prominence. To break free from the dogmatic nature of the classical dances, freestyle dances like Bollywood are immensely popular as well. One can find plenty of workshops, classes and performances to watch all around the city.
Restaurants and cafes
Indian cuisine is as diverse as the country itself and nearly all of them are available in Mumbai. There are a number of high-end restaurants housed at the five-star hotels, but in recent years a new breed of high-quality, stand-alone restaurants have emerged. Standards vary, but the best of the five-stars and the new standalones offer food that compares well with top quality restaurants the world over. There are new restaurants serving authentic Mediterranean and East Asian food and outposts of popular international restaurants such as Le Cirque Signature and Maritime by San Lorenzo. There’s a lot of experimentation going on too, with pan-Asian restaurants throwing together dishes from across the continent, often with Indian twists. There’s no doubt that there has never been a better time to eat in this city.
Gone are the days when things needed to be ordered internationally. With malls springing up in every locality and international brands dotting the streets, shopping is a great experience in the city. Colaba is king for kitsch and trinkets. Bandra is where boutique stores are abound with an eclectic mix of imported jeans and T-shirts, as well as home-grown designer-wear. Lower Parel has become a hub of activity since its dilapidated mills were converted into prime retail spaces. The outsourcing boom has also made once-sleepy Malad a hot shopping destination, with the city’s best-looking mall, Inorbit and Infinity 2.
The 12 best things to do in Mumbai
Wondering where to start in one of the most captivating cities in India? Check out our picks of things to do in Mumbai. click here here to know more.