The chaos and clutter of Mumbai can be intimidating for many, but peel the surface, dig deeper and there is a whole new wonderful world to be discovered. After all, there is a reason why this is said to be the city of dreams luring people from all walks of life. Here is a list of some of the offbeat things to do in this pulsating metro.

1. Hike up to Kanheri Caves

m_Kanheri CavesImage Credits: Flickr- pranay rao

Huddled in the green environs of Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivali, the Kanheri Caves provides a fetching escape from the chaos of the city. Breathe in fresh air and unravel fascinating caves that date back to 1st century BC. Get to witness 34 unfinished paintings of Buddha and ancient Indian architecture. The hilly landscape, little cascades and stunning sights add to the refreshing experience.

m_Kanheri Caves 2Image Credits: Flickr- tom greenwood

Good to know: Those who are unable to walk a lot can opt for a paid transport offered in the park.

2. Watch a play at NCPA Experimental Theatre

Theatre enthusiasts can saunter off to NCPA Experimental Theatre at Nariman Point for a regaling affair. With a capacity of around 267 seats, the whole set up gives you a cosy and personal feel of the rich performance. The theatre acts held here are usually a class apart and are worth a watch.

Good to know: After a good play, you can take a fine stroll by the ever-famous Marine Drive promenade.

3. Experience luxury sunset sailing

m_luxury sunset sailing 1Image Credits: boat booking india

Enjoy sunset like never before as you set sail on a luxury cruise on the shimmering waters of Arabian Sea. Starting from the iconic Gateway of India, you will get to romance the waters for around an hour and a half, savouring the therapeutic atmosphere and staying transfixed as the setting sun transforms the horizon.

m_luxury sunset sailing 2Image Credits: gate way charters

Good to know: Post your sojourn, you can amble through the Colaba Causeway and guzzle some drinks at the famed Cafe Mondegar.

4. Participate in the annual Mumbai Marathon

m_annual Mumbai Marathon 2Image Credits: Flickr- Joe

A great motivation to get into the fitness grove, the Mumbai Marathon occurs annually and is considered as the largest of its kind in Asia. Taking place during January, this is when people of diverse backgrounds from business stalwarts to Bollywood stars, athletes to novices take to the streets for a run. Feel the sense of accomplishment as you complete the race.

m_annual Mumbai Marathon 1Image Credits: Flickr- Joe

Good to know: Those who are sceptical of doing the entire marathon can opt for the Dream Run that is of 6 km.

5. Take to the skies of the city

See the city in a different light as you take to the skies. This one of a kind experience gives you the thrill of being in mid-air and soaking in great sights. Get panaromic views of landmarks such as Marine Drive, Chowpatty, Juhu Beach, Gateway of India and more.

Good to know: The experience lasts for around an hour and should be booked at least a day in advance.

6. Be inspired by a Qawwali recital in Haji Ali Dargah

m_Qawwali recital in Haji Ali DargahImage Credits: Flickr- Yogesh Mhatre

A venerated place of worship, several from different faiths throng to Haji Ali Dargah to pay their respects. The Mughal styled white mausoleum makes for a surreal vision amidst the waters. In the complex lies the Qawwal Khana where Qawwali recitals occur each Friday. The spiritual aura and great settings make for an evocative experience.

m_Qawwali recital in Haji Ali Dargah 2Image Credits: Flickr- joshua singh

Good to know: There are arrangements within the complex for pilgrims who wish to stay.

7. Go kayaking at Girgaum Chowpatty

m_Girgaum ChowpattyImage Credits: Flickr- Let Ideas Compete

Experience the exhilaration of kayaking at the sought after Girgaum Chowpatty. Glide gently across the waters as you reconnect with yourself and explore the Queen’s Necklace like never before. Offered at the H2O Water Complex, you have professional guides who give a briefing and insightful tips regarding the same.

Good to know: The time slots for the same are 7am, 8am and 9am during all the days of the week.

8. Relish in cheese pakoras and tea at Samovar Cafe

m_cheese pakoras and tea at Samovar CafeImage Credits: deena kakaya

Tucked in the artistic settings of Jehangir Art Gallery and overlooking Prince of Wales Museum gardens, Samovar Cafe is a little delight. There is something about the air of this quaint little restaurant that has said to have inspired great poets and painters. Digging into melt in your mouth cheese pakoras and washing it down with tea is an experience in itself.

m_cheese pakoras and tea at Samovar Cafe 2Image Credits: newsgram

Good to know: The cafe is open from 11am to 7pm from Mondays to Saturdays.

9. Unfold the Warli Village

m_Warli villageImage Credits: Flickr- Kaushik Narasimhan 

Meet the tribe behind the famous and distinct Warli painting. The experience of visiting their village in a Thane district is nothing short of extraordinary. Interact with the indigenous people, unfold fascinating stories, get a whiff of their daily life and discover a whole new world.

m_Warli village 2Image Credits: Flickr- Kaushik Narasimhan

10. Shop at Chor Bazaar

m_chor bazaar 2Image Credits: Flickr- Nicolas Mirguet

It is said that in case you have lost something in Mumbai, chances are that you might just spot it at Chor (meaning thief) Bazaar. As you walk through the lanes of this market, you come across anything and everything from second-hand goods to vintage items, antique wonders and more. Located in Bhendi Bazaar, it is said to be one of the largest flea markets in the country.

m_chor bazaar 1Image Credits: Wikipedia

Good to know: As with any flea market, bargaining is the key here.

11. Engage in a heritage walk

m_heritage walk 1Image Credits: Flickr- UrbanWanderer 

On a regular day you will find a deluge of people busily scurrying across these buildings, getting along with their daily life. Though, these legendary edifices have some great tales behind them. With a heritage walk, you get to revisit history and understand the city beyond its modern presence. Uncover the Fort and Kala Ghoda areas and more.

m_heritage walk 2Image Credits: Flickr- Justin Gaurav Murgai

Good to know: Catch hold of a good tour operator for this experience. Since it might get sunny, dress accordingly and wear friendly footwear for a comfortable experience.

12. Take a tour of Dharavi

m_a tour of DharaviImage Credits: Wikipedia

What appears like a line of slums in Dharavi has a lot going on within. This is where several small scale industries are born. A walk through the local is an inspirational one as you see the strong unity of the people as well as their drive to excel and survive. Witness how revenue is created with an assortment of businesses such as recycling, bakery, pottery-making, soap factory, leather tanning and more.

m_a tour of Dharavi 2Image Credits: Flickr- Adam Cohn

Good to know: The interiors of Dharavi can get quite complex and confusing, it is advisable to visit this place with a guide who knows his way around.

13. Indulge in a Solapur wine tour

m_Solapur wine tour 1Image Credits: Flickr- Michela Simoncini

Think beyond the vineyards of Nashik, for the salubrious settings of Solapur provide a fetching engagement. Home to the Fratelli Vineyards, the tour gives you deep insight into the entire wine making process. Charms include visiting the winery and cellar, a tasting session of around 5 types of wine, availing of the recreational options and also an ATV ride!

m_Solapur wine tour 2Image Credits: Flickr- Mrugesh Karnik

Good to know: This experience would cost you around INR 1800 per person.

14. Partake in the Literary Festival

m_Literary FestivalImage Credits: indian quarterly

This is for all you bookworms out there. Steep yourself with the fine world of literature as writers, readers and publishers come together under one roof. Participate or simply be the spectators of some highly though provoking and intellectual talks.

Good to know: Budding authors who wish to get some visibility can take part in the MyStory Contest that takes place during the fest.

15. Visit Vasai Fort

m_Vasai Fort 1Image Credits: Flickr-Adam Cohn

A place where some Bollywood films have been shot, the Vasai Fort harbours ruins of Portuguese establishments. It lies about 48 km from Mumbai, across the Ulhas River. The haunt is good for exploration and clicking pictures.

16. Lap up the Bandra Fair

Bandra is a little world of its own and is where several gather to catch up with friends, take a walk by the sea and have good times. Said to be about 300 years old, the Bandra fair takes places in September each year and is associated with Mount Mary Church.

Good to know: Do expect huge amount of crowds.

17. Experience Open Mic at Prithvi Theatre

m_Prithvi TheatreImage Credits: prithvi theatre

An illustrious place, Prithvi Theatre has a long standing reputation for its contribution in the arts of theatre. In an initiation to promote upcoming talents, the Open Mic is a unique event where anybody and everybody can recite, sing, dance and show their capabilities for 2 minutes. Watch maestros in the making!

m_Prithvi TheatreImage Credits: Prithvi Theatre

Exuding a palpable and in infectious vibe, this ‘maximum city’ has several marvels of history, arts, food, culture and recreation bundled up within it. Take your time to explore Mumbai.


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