The weather from September to April makes this the best time to book flights to Mumbai. If you want to experience a big event, come for the Ganesh Chaturthi, a ten-day Hindu festival in August/September.
Book a flight to Mumbai and take part in Holi, another major festival of the Indian culture and is celebrated throughout the nation on the full moon day in the month of March. The atmosphere is electric as bright colours fill the air in Mumbai’s streets and villages. Traditionally individuals celebrated Holi by pouring coloured water over one another. The Holi festival in Mumbai will bring happiness, prosperity and peace to everyone involved, locals and travellers, as it is believed to be the friendliest and fun-filled festival throughout India. When partaking in Holi, it is advisable to wear disposable clothing as you will finish the celebrations as a multicoloured masterpiece.
You will find cheap flights to Mumbai during the monsoon season, high humidity and summer heat make June through September the low season.
Bombay became Mumbai in 1995, named in honour of Mumbadevi, the Hindu goddess, but many locals still call it by the name that Portuguese explorers bestowed on it in the 1600s – Bombay from “Bom” (good) and “Bahia” (bay). Whatever you call the city, you’ll never forget your visit.
Take a flight to Mumbai and see a city that never stops. The streets throng with humanity; about 20 million people call it home. It has a “New York”-type energy, and the gap between rich and poor is yawning wide. The mansions of the millionaires contrast sharply with the slums, where half of Mumbai’s population live.
There are a few landmarks that the first-time visitor should not miss. One is the Gateway of India, built by the British in 1911. From there, many visitors will take boat trips to Elephanta Island to visit the ancient cave temples.
From Kamala Nehru Park, at the top of Malabar Hill, there are sumptuous views of the city, Chowpatty Beach and Marine Drive. At night, the lights twinkle and shine, resembling nothing so much as a diamond necklace, hence the unofficial name the Queen’s Necklace.
Mumbai has a tropical climate with periods of high humidity, though the coastal location keeps temperatures lower than many areas of the country. Average daytime temperatures only fluctuate a few degrees throughout the year, from about 25°C December to March to about 30°C in April to June, before dropping slightly again in summer. Travel during June to September is not recommended, however, because of the high rainfall at this time.
Taxis are cheap and plentiful and, given Mumbai’s traffic, you won’t need to rent a car to get around. Auto-rickshaws are allowed to operate beyond Bandra in the western suburbs and beyond Sion in the central suburbs. Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (known as BEST) operates an efficient and comprehensive bus service. Most Mumbaikars use the extensive Suburban Rail Network.
There are also intra-city ferry services such as one to the Gateway of India to the Elephanta Caves.
If you’re happy to splurge, private, chauffeur-driven cars are available.
Once the flight arrives at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM), there are several ways downtown. Taxis – metered and prepaid – are available. There’s a railway reservation desk in Terminal 2 where you can organise a connection to Mumbai and beyond. City buses (for Mumbai) and a pre-paid coach service (other destinations in India) are also available.