Girgaum Chowpatty, Mumbai Overview
Situated along the southern coastline of Mumbai, Girgaum Chowpatty is a must-visit destination while travelling to Mumbai. Also referred to as just Chowpatty, this white sand beach is a famous place to relax, savour street food and partake in several interesting activities, available both for adults and children. The beach is easily accessible through the western rail line in Mumbai and is situated very close to Marine Drive.
At night, the beach is a sight to behold at. Lit in colourful lights, the stalls around the beach offer a wide range of fast food, including north Indian and traditional Marathi cuisines. Various activities like the Ferris wheel and merry-go-round are available for children. The beach is always packed with people, lazing around and relaxing on the soft sand, children running around, while some are seen busy building sandcastles. You can also visit the nearby local markets and other attractive places to make your trip to Chowpatty even more interesting. Girgaum Chowpatty is one of the best places in the city to spend peaceful and quality time with family or friends amidst the claustrophobic ambience of Mumbai.
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Things to do at Girgaum Chowpatty
At Chowpatty, you have the option of undertaking several fun-filled activities. Apart from taking long walks around the pristine coastline of the beach and enjoying the picturesque view, you can indulge yourself in a few of the exciting games. These sports activities include horse and camel rides. The children can partake in merry go round and motorbike rides on the beach. Since the water here is heavily polluted, do not swim at the beach. You can also spot a few snake charmers and monkey trainers on the beach. It is always exciting to stop by them to watch their performances.
For children, a visit to Chowpatty is an absolute enjoyment. Here, they can opt for various exciting activities such as bee-bee gun shooting, Ferris Wheels, merry-go-rounds and many more. For those looking for a more peaceful trip to this beach can opt for meditation and open-air beach massages. You can rent a mat or chatais from the local vendor and will be charged for the same on an hourly basis. You can simply relax on the mat or perform yoga or meditation amidst the moist sands of the beach.
History of the area
Matheran was discovered in 1850 by Hugh Poyntz Malet who was the District Collector of Thane. The foundation of this beautiful hill town was laid down by the Governor of Bombay, Lord Elphinstone. Very soon, Matheran became a popular summer retreat destination for the British officials.
Matheran is also the birthplace of Veer Bhai Kotwal who was a popular freedom fighter. Born to a barber family, he struggled his way through to becoming an inspirational figure in the region. To honour his contribution to the freedom struggle, the government has erected a monument in his memory at Matheran.
The hill station also has a small toy train service that runs all through the dense jungle of region. Constructed in 1907, the Matheran Hill Railway covers a total distance of 12 miles. The narrow-gauge railway was designed by an engineer named Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy and is also popularly referred to as Matheran Light Railway (MLR). When compared to other hill railways like the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Niligiri Mountain Railway, etc., Matheran hill railway, unfortunately, could not make it to the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites.
Matheran is known for its variety of scrumptious street food, that too at very reasonable prices. When travelling to Matheran, do not forget to try the lip-smacking Bhelpuri, also, savour the steamed rice with a variety of spicy chutneys. The chaat corners here serve mouth-watering delicacies such as Chana Masala, Pav Bhaji, Baraf Gola, Pulav, Pani Puri, and many other items. The region is famous for raw mangoes with added spices that make it tastes sour, sweet and spicy at the same time. There are also a few fancy cafes in the town such as Thackers, Bachelor’s and Revival.
Best Time to Visit Chowpatty
There is no specific season or time to visit Chowpatty. However, if you want to avoid the crowd then visit this place during the early hours of the day. The place is quiet and blissful in the morning and you can simultaneously immerse yourself in the serenity of the beach.
The beach is not suitable to visit during monsoon season because the high tides and waterlogging make the visit to the beach risky and might as well ruin your experience at the beach.
The beach is well-known for its elaborate celebrations during the festive season of Ganesh Chathurthi. You should plan a trip to Mumbai and visit Chowpatty during the Ganesh Visarjan celebrations. The place is packed with thousands of devotees that come from different parts of the country especially, Pune. The colourful ambience is made lively and energetic by loud chants and music played in the background.
How to Reach Girgaum Chowpatty?
Girgaum Chowpatty is well connected to different parts of the city with different modes of transportation such as cabs, autos, trains and local buses.
If you choose to travel to this place via road then cabs, local buses and autos are readily available from any part of the city.
For those travelling by Mumbai local trains should get down to Churchgate Station. From here, you will have to board another train headed to Charni Road. Get down at this station and walk to the beach.