Visit the Elephanta Caves on Gharapuri Island, about an hour's boat ride from the Gateway of India. Depart at 8.30-9.30am so you can be back for lunch you need at least four hours to do the trip. The caves are a complex of shrines, courtyards and halls carved out of rock, and date back to 600AD dedicated to Lord Shiva. The boat ride itself is amazing. The trip will cost at least 300 rupees and you can hire a guide on the island. Closed on Mondays.
Some of the best views of the sunset are from the Haji Ali Mosque, which is only accessible during low tide. Please check tide and sunset times with the concierge. Irrespective of the faith and religion people visit this Dargah to get blessing of the legendary saint.It takes about 30 minutes to get there and the taxi costs around 100 rupees one way.
Tip: Kindly make prior appointment before getting there. Enjoy a one-hour ayurvedic massage at the Kerala Ayurvedic Health Spa, about one kilometre from the hotel. Try a shiro dhara (medicated aromatic oil is poured on the forehead drop by drop) and a body massage: a relaxing antidote to a busy day in Mumbai. The concierge can arrange this for you.
Tip: The taxi fare to this place will be between Rs 70 to 80 and is about 20 minutes from the hotel during non busy hours. Visit Mani Bhavan, the old Mumbai residence of Mahatma Gandhi. The house contains a reference library of 2,000 books and a permanent photographic exhibition of Gandhi's life. The best time to go there is during Gandhi Week when celebrations and films take place. Closed on Mondays
Tip: The best time to get there is around 1100hrs as this is the time most of the shops open and they do offer a good price for their first customer of the day. The streets behind the Taj Mahal Hotel in downtown Colaba are a shopper's paradise. This is an excellent place to find last-minute souvenirs to take home. Don't hesitate to bargain at the stalls along the streets and you could save 50 percent on quoted prices. Café Leopold is perfect for a quick beer on a hot afternoon.
Tip: In the morning between 6am and 8am or in the evening between 6pm and 8pm is the best time to visit. Its good to carry some small change if you plan to go there for your tickets. This beautiful garden is situated about three kilometres from the hotel. It spans an area of three acres and has a pleasant promenade with comfortable seats overlooking the sea. Open 6-10am and 4.30-8.30pm. Entry is two rupees.
About a kilometre from the hotel, this lively area occupies the site of the old British-built fort and is the commercial center of Mumbai. It is an extravagant blend of Victorian Gothic buildings, 19th-century British institutions and trading houses. The Bombay Stock Exchange on the famous Dalal Street is one of the many establishments found here. Tip: The best time to get there is between 9:00am to 11:00am so that you can avoid the traffic and the crowd of office-goers.
Marine Drive is one of Mumbai’s most popular romantic spots and a great place to watch the sunset. During the summer months, the optimal time to be there is between 18:00 to 18:45. If you're feeling energetic, a stroll down Marine Drive is possibly the best way to discover the area. This windswept promenade is flanked by the sea and a row of Art Deco buildings. It loops between the concrete jungle of Nariman Point - Mumbai's Manhattan - and the leafy green slopes of Malabar Hill.
Mumbai's best-known Jain temple was built in 1904 entirely out of marble and is dedicated to Adinath, the first Tirthankara or Jain apostle. Inside, the walls are adorned with frescos depicting events in the lives of the 24 apostles. On the first floor there is a black marble shrine dedicated to Parsvanath and the ceiling shows the planets according to Hindu mythology.
Walkeshwar Temple was originally built by the kings of the Silhara dynasty who ruled Mumbai from the ninth to the 13th centuries. One of the oldest structures on the site is the Venkateshwar Balaji Mandir, a Peshwa-era temple with a wooden canopy, dating from 1789. Tip: The best time to visit is between 9am and 1pm.
Called ‘the laundry of Mumbai,’ Dhobi Ghat is best visited between 7am and 10am- when laundry men and women have the highest load of clothes to wash. Most of the clothes come from locals and the government hospitals. Tip: The taxi drive from the hotel costs about a INR100 and it takes about 20 minutes to get there during the morning hours.
Tip: Begin bargaining at half the quoted price and gradually work your way upwards. Ready-made garments are one of Mumbai's chief exports and the surplus lands up on Fashion Street. Much of the merchandise here has been rejected by quality-conscious importers, but the clothes are largely of good quality, trendy and probably the cheapest anywhere in the world.
This prime example of Victorian architecture and 'Mumbai's lifeline' is a must-see. Buy a platform ticket before you go to the station. The best time to arrive is between 8am and 10am or in the evening between 5pm and 7pm, as these are peak hours. The sight of people travelling is incredible: 2 million people pass through the station annually. Tip: it takes 10 minutes to get there from the hotel. Ask the concierge to give you the vantage point to view the crowd.