Girgaon Chowpatty

Girgaon Chowpatty is located in the heart of Mumbai and is closest to Charni road station. Since the beach is open the entire day for public recreation, it witnesses huge crowds, especially on weekends and during festivals. The best time to visit Chowpatty is from October to March; when its neither too hot, nor is it raining. The beach adjoins the famed Marine Drive and is a major tourist attraction for people who come to soak in the salty winds of the Arabian Sea.

Image by Aam422/CC BY-SA 3.0

While Mumbai may have many seafronts but none can subdue the timeless glory of Girgaon Chowpatty. This beach has something for everyone from canoodling couples and collegians on chill-mode to families out on a weekend stroll; Girgaon caters to all apart from its golden brown sandsand old world charm. If you are planning to visit this beach, here is some information that will help you.

Timings

The beach is open throughout the day; however it is accessible to the public from early morning until late evening because there is police patrolling after 12:00 AM. However, during the wee hours of the mornings, the crowd is comparatively lesser, while evenings are completely packed out. Its best to avoid visiting Girgaon Chowpatty during monsoon due to high tides and water logging issues in the area which make the place unsafe.

How to reach

Charni Road which lies on the western line is the closest station and a 10-minute walk from there will take you to Chowpatty. If you are planning to take a taxi towards the beach, they charge around Rs. 15 on sharing basis and Rs. 22 for normal fare.

For the commuters travelling by Central railway line, the nearest railway station to Girgaon Chowpatty is Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. Another option could be travelling to Charni Road via Dadar.

Also, people coming from South Mumbai, can take a cab directly to Chowpatty. Bus numbers 108, 41, 103 and 101 also ply regularly towards Chowpatty area.

Best Time to Visit

The festivals of Navratri, Diwali and Ganesh Chaturthi are the best timesto visit Chowpatty to feel the essence of the city as well as the beach. During the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, huge crowds gather at the beach to seek blessings before the immersion process of the idols begins.

During the festival of Navratri and Dusshera, Chowpatty is jam-packed because it acts as a site of the age old tradition of Ramlila and effigy-burning. Various troupes enact the famed Ramlila for the crowds that gather at the Chowpatty area. Girgaon also boasts of the tallest effigy of Raavan being burnt down, at 25 feet.

The beach

The beach, which is also known as MumbaiChaupati (also pronounced as Chowpatty), is located on the northern end of the Marine Drive stretch. The main beach is nearly a kilometre long. While standing on the beach, one can see the skyline of the city overlooking the Malabar Hill on one side and Nariman Point on the other which forms a beautiful view to gaze at. The Chowpatty also has a memorial built for Tukaram Omble, the police officer who was martyred in the horrifying 26/11 attacks while capturing Ajmal Kasab (one of the terrorists involved in carrying out the attacks).

No beachfront in Mumbai is complete without its share of chaat and Girgaon Chowpatty too sees a lot of vendors selling delicious snacks like ragda patties,pav bhaji, bhel puri,pani puri. There is no organized selling like at MumbaisJuhuChowpatty and thus the beach is fairly free of stalls and the subsequent crowding which allows people to enjoy taking a stroll or spend some quality time by the seafront.

Activities

  1. Girgaon Chowpatty can fulfil your solitary feelings with a cup of chai and raw mangos or chana chat worth Rs.10 to enjoy the sea-view.
  2. Watching monkeys dance on the beach and going on horse rides are just some of the ways to get entertained.
  3. A lot of people come here for their fitness workouts or for a long run along the Marine Drive and Chowpatty.
  4. Girgaon Chowpatty often has families coming over on weekends for children to enjoy building sand castles and rides; whereas couples enjoy some quality time.
  5. Sometimes, one can also see events or street plays that happen in the Chowpatty area.

Restaurants

The following are some of the restaurants (with price of meals for 2) near Chowpatty that you could check out:

Bachelorrs Ice Cream: Rs. 50/- per scoop
Thackers, Gujarati cuisine: Rs. 700/-
Caf Ideal, North Indian & Chinese cuisine: Rs. 650/-
Sukh Sagar, Pan-Indian Cuisine: Rs. 700/-
Spices & Flavours, North Indian, Italian cuisine: Rs. 900/-
Cream Center, Fast Food: Rs. 1,200/-




Nearby tourist attractions

Marine Drive, Crawford Market, ColabaCausewayand Lamington Road are some of the nearby places that you could explore when you visit Girgaon Chowpatty.

The main image for this article was sourced from Wikimedia. Image by McKay Savage / CC BY-SA 2.0

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