Top 10 Hidden Gems in Mumbai

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
India's most populated city isn't short on attractions, but there's even more to be discovered by the well-researched traveler. Welcome to MojoTravels and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Hidden Gems in Mumbai.
For this list, we're looking at the lesser-known spots that savvy travelers and locals love in this endlessly-bustling Indian city.

Top 10 Hidden Gems in Mumbai

India’s most populated city isn’t short on attractions, but there’s even more to be discovered by the well-researched traveler. Welcome to MojoTravels and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Hidden Gems in Mumbai.

For this list, we’re looking at the lesser-known spots that savvy travelers and locals love in this endlessly-bustling Indian city.

#10: Phool Galli

Most times of day or night, this looks like any old street. But between the hours 5am and 9am, something magical happens. Located in Dadar West, this morning flower market is where you’ll find some of the freshest, most vibrant flowers you’ve ever seen, and in an absurd variety no less. The myriad of colors and aromas make Phool Galli a feast for the senses. Even if you go with the intention of simply taking photos and window shopping, we suspect that, once you’re there, you won’t be able to help yourself. And with prices this low, why not buy a flower for your breast pocket or to wear behind your ear for the day?

#9: Powai Lake

There are a number of popular green spaces to get away from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai, but for whatever reason, Powai Lake has flown under the popular radar. This artificial lake was actually constructed by the British in 1799, and though it once served as a source of drinking water for the city, the water has long since degraded. Nowadays, the lake is best appreciated by boat or from its shores, where people walk and relax. In a city as busy and loud as Mumbai, peace and quiet is hard to come by. Whereas the city’s most popular green spaces get overcrowded, at Powai Lake, you actually have space to hear yourself think.

#8: Lamington Road

Found just next to Grant Road train station, this street is a tech-lover’s delight, but is unlikely to appear on any conventional city tour. Those in the know however, will tell you that this is the place to go for all of your discount or cutting edge technological needs. Known as the “IT Hub of Mumbai”, Lamington features a wide variety of specialty stores. Whether you’re in the market for consumer electronics, odd gadgets, vintage tech, or super niche parts for your own DIY projects, a store or stall on Lamington Road is sure to have you covered.

#7: Jogeshwari Caves

The Kanheri Caves in Sanjay Gandhi National Park are without a doubt the most popular caves to visit in Mumbai, but they aren’t the only ones. The Jogeshwari Caves date back to somewhere between 520 and 550 BCE. This makes them not only the largest caves in India, but the oldest as well. Though perhaps not as well preserved as the Kanheri Caves, the Jogeshwari Caves still feature some truly mesmerizing features, including pillars and wall carvings of idols such as Ganesh and Hanuman, among others. Though this architectural marvel gets busy during Maha Shivratri (a festival occuring in February or March), it’s otherwise typically quiet and devoid of tourists.

#6: CST Railway Heritage Museum

Trains are an incredibly important mode of transportation, not just in Mumbai, but for India as a country. Though most visitors to the city will likely use this convenient mode of transport, and while Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is one the Mumbai’s most popular tourist attractions, only a small fraction of tourists will visit the railway museum, despite the fact that it’s IN Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus! And that’s a real shame, because the CST Railway Heritage Museum not only provides a wealth of information about the history of trains in India, but it lets you get up close to a scale model of the Terminus it calls home - the architecture of which tourists obsess over.

#5: Chota Kashmir

Yes, in an ideal world, a trip to India would involve a visit to the world famous Kashmir. But maybe you’re on a business trip to Mumbai or simply on a budget and a trip to the country’s northernmost point isn’t in the cards. Thankfully, Mumbai is home to Chota Kashmir, or “little Kashmir”, which makes for a really nice consolation prize. This beautiful green space features a picnic area, garden and a lake on which you can go boating. It also has a deep connection to Bollywood cinema - numerous films used this area as a budget friendly stand-in for the real Kashmir. And yet, Chota Kashmir only gets a few hundred visitors each day!

#4: Sewri Flamingo Point

Have we got any bird lovers out there? Honestly, even if you’re NOT particularly interested in the fine hobby of bird watching, you still won’t want to make the same mistake as most tourists and overlook this unique destination. Every year, migrating flamingos come to this spot near Sewri and take up residency on the mudflats from the months of October through March. How often do you get to see thousands of flamingos in the wild? Pretty much never. And yet, with the exception of birdwatchers, most tourists skip out on this incredible photo op. Instagram, helloooo!

#3: Gilbert Hill

This is another spot that doesn’t get the love it should from the general public. Sure, Gilbert Hill does well with geology buffs, but what percentage of tourists to Mumbai does that really account for? Found in the Andheri locality of West Mumbai, Gilbert Hill is just one of three monolithic black basalt rock formations in the world, and it’s over 66 million years old. Whether you’re into geology or not, this formation is something special and really worth seeing in person. You can do more than appreciate it from ground level though; there are steps leading up to its top, where two temples and a breathtaking view await.

#2: Banganga Tank

Banganga Tank might not exactly be a secret to Mumbaikars, but the average visitor to the city is likely to come, explore, and leave without ever hearing about it. It’s an ancient water tank, dating back to 1127 AD, located in Malabar Hill, and really feels like a secret oasis. It’s a cultural meeting place for locals and has inspired numerous works of art over the years, but for all but the most savvy tourists, it’s completely off the radar, because it’s the last thing you’d expect to find in this upscale neighborhood, hidden amidst luxury apartments. It’s a relic and testament to the area’s history; and a sanctuary in a busy city.

#1: Sassoon Dock

Long overlooked and forgotten by all but locals, Sassoon Dock has gotten a new lease on life in recent years thanks to an unlikely force of cultural change - street art. Organized by public art collective St+art India in 2017, the makeover and accompanying Art Festival forced people to start paying attention again. Though the art festival has come and gone, the murals remain as a draw for tourists in the know. Perhaps even more importantly however, it’s reminded people that this is one of the very best places to get the freshest fish in the city. So once you’ve appreciated the art, be sure to explore the fish market itself!