Mumbai with kids and keeping them engaged – Part 2
Bandra – also known as the Queen of Mumbai’s suburbs has always fascinated me. From the quaint streets, residences, hip cafe and food joints, the roads spill into busy markets – a shopper’s paradise. While I can spend ages immersed in these shops and cafes, when it comes to kids you need to find that sweet equilibrium.
Following on from my earlier post on town area, here is my listing of some places to visit and things to do in Bandra, that I have noticed kids also enjoyed.
1) Bandstand Promenade
“Bandstand”. I just love the unique beachfront.
The Bandstand Promenade, popularly known as Lover’s point, is a 1 kilometer long walkway along the sea. It is a popular hangout, jogging track, and a hot date spot ! Due to its notorious reputation, it is also on the radar of moral police. In my opinion, its popularity is also due to the Bollywood stars like Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan and Farhan Akhtar owning houses close to it. I have seen fans thronging in front of these security tight houses to catch a glimpse of their favorite actors.
When we visited, we had the place mostly to ourselves and the kids loved sitting on the benches, enjoying the rocky sea shore and attempting walking on the rocks under very watchful eyes !
There is a Barista and Café Coffee day outlet right across the road, where we settled for cold coffee with the glorious view of the sea. In the evening, there are options of street food like bhel puri and pani puri as well.
Apparently, this is a venue for various cultural events in Bandra.
2) Bandra Fort
Now, a visit to Bandstand can not be complete without a visit to the Bandra Fort – a fort by the sea.
Bandra Fort, also known as Castella de Aguada , is located adjacent to Hotel Taj at Land’s End. It was built by the Portuguese in 1640 as a watchtower overlooking Mahim Bay, the Arabian Sea and the southern island of Mahim. Castella de Aguada has been featured in several Hindi films, Dil Chahta Hai, probably making it most popular.
Though the fort is almost entirely destroyed, the ruins remain one of the few standing reminders of the days of Portuguese glory.
3) Bandra-Worli Sea Link
The Bandra–Worli Sea Link, officially the Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link, is a cable-stayed bridge which links Bandra and with Worli, reducing travel time from 45–60 minutes to 7 minutes ! A lesson maybe Bangalore can learn 😉 . Apart from obvious convenience, it is an architectural marvel. I never tire of watching it soar , curve and take the travelers across the Arabian Sea.
The kids loved the view of the sealink from the fort. Nothing beats sitting on the safer walls of the fort – gazing into the horizons while sipping juice, wind ruffled hair and the sweet sound of waves !
4) Worli Sea Face promenade
Once you cross the sea-link from Bandra, you land at Worli Sea Face promenade. It is great to visit this in the early morning for sunrise or late evenings for sunset. The pavement is broad and ample space for kids to run around and play. Be prepared to encounter joggers though, especially in the morning. No hawkers and almost no litter. Enough benches to sit on and spend time with your family. Of course, the glorious view of the Sea Link from here is an added bonus.
Things you may want to know before the travel (Travel tips)
- For tips on when to visit Mumbai refer to my blogpost here
- Avoid visiting Bandstand in the evening with impressionable kids in tow for reasons stated
- Bandra Fort opens at 10 AM and closes by 7 PM
- One major drawback of being in this area are the lack of basic amenities like restrooms
- There are a couple coffee joints opposite the Bandstand for food and coffee
- Wear sensible walking shoes to explore the beachfront and fort
- Carry caps, sunglasses and use ample sunscreen
- Stock enough water with you to stay hydrated