When you think ‘beach’ in Mumbai, the first thing that comes to mind is litter and gray sand. But that’s not all there is to the city’s coastline.
Take Manori, a picturesque strip of sandy coast and rocky outcrop with a solitary golawala and an easy-to-climb hillock jutting into the ocean at one end. It doesn’t sound anything like Mumbai, but it’s about half an hour from bustling Malad.
Then there’s Carter Road, a leafy idyll of shady benches and lush mangroves, and adjoining Bandstand — a curving promenade with sunlit waves crashing onto the rocks on one side and iced mocha lattes at hand at the cafés dotting the other.
“You can find a local fisherman in Manori and ask him to take you around in his boat,” says Pooja Shahani, a 24-year-old marketing professional and Manori frequenter. “This is perfect weather for a picnic there and the beachside resorts offer a great escape from the city — so close yet so far.”
If you’re looking for a more lively vibe, head to Gorai, a short drive from Manori. Not as secluded, Gorai is great for family picnics, short horse rides for the kids or a cool dip in the sea.
Gorai also has a famous late-night party scene, with youngsters renting out beachside cottages for seaside bonfire parties. EsselWorld is within easy reach.
Closer home, Sewri creek offers the treat of a cloud of pink flamingoes stepping delicately through the mudflats.
“When I went to Sewri in January 2009, the mudflats looked pink — you couldn’t see the water,” says businessman and Peddar Road resident Gautam Agarwal, 23. “I feel like Sewri creek is the only completely natural bit left in Mumbai.” In addition to flamingoes, you can also expect to see herons and brown-headed gulls.
If you live in south Mumbai, renew your friendship with Marine Drive. Take advantage of the crisp, cool mornings to get out your car or bike or just walk along this, Mumbai’s original, promenade.