There are many spots to visit in Mumbai. It is not a premier tourist destination in India for no reason, despite the fact that it does not have amazing beaches, dive sites, and other gifts of nature. What it does have are nature parks, exciting flea markets, awe-inspiring temples, lively festivals, and amazing foods, not to mention the friendliness of the locals. One of the major spots that local and foreign tourists do not miss visiting is Malabar Hill, a hillock on the southern side of the city.
Mumbai is a glamorous city since it is India’s Hollywood; and appropriately, the Hindi film industry is called Bollywood. The appeal, prestige and desire of seeing a Bollywood celebrity equals those when getting a chance meeting with a Hollywood star. Bollywood is so huge in South Asia that it actually releases an average of 100 blockbuster movies every year. Hollywood has not been that successful. Mumbai is also the proud home of leading corporations — local and international. The city is teeming with museums, art galleries, upscale restaurants, five-star hotels, and shopping centers. It is a must-visit for all Indian nationals, and the Western world has taken notice.
Sadly, Mumbai is also home to extreme poverty, heavy pollution, and annoying traffic. The largest slum community in all of Asia is found in Mumbai, and the major highways are always congested and noisy. The warm and humid weather doesn’t help either. It gets worse during the monsoon since the city is prone to flooding. Mumbai gets an average of two major floods in a year.
Malabar Hill is a refreshing break from all the hassles and struggles in the city below. The major attraction on top of the hill is the Hanging Gardens Park. Visitors get to enjoy a spectacular view of the city below, as well as Chowpatty Beach and Marine Drive. Families come to spend their weekends here. Children especially enjoy running and playing around the animal shaped hedges. Within the Hanging Gardens is a vast reservoir that supplies water to the town below. Another widely known park on top of the hill is Kamala Nehru Park.
Within this popular hillock and near the sea is a highly revered cremation ground where a number of Samadhi shrines are found. The shrines house famous Indian saints, including Shri Nisargadatta Maharaj and Shri Ranjit Maharaj.
Other than the two nature parks and the spectacular view, Malabar Hill is primarily known as an upscale community for the rich and famous. Houses here are among the most expensive homes in the world. Known to be living in the area are rich Indian business tycoons, expats, and Bollywood celebrities such as the late actor and director, Shammi Kapoor. Also found on the hill are the official home of the Governor, official bungalow of the Chief Minister or Maharashtra, and former home of the founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah. At the outskirts of the hill stands the most expensive house in India and most probably in all of South Asia. The house is called Antilia, a 27-storey tower that costs almost a billion dollars and owned by Mukesh Ambani, the richest man in India and the ninth richest in the world.