Mumbai, the bustling metropolis on the western coast of India, is a city that never sleeps. It’s a place where dreams come true and where cultures collide in a colourful cacophony. One of the most iconic and beloved landmarks in this city of dreams is Marine Drive, often referred to as the “Queen’s Necklace.” The Queen’s Necklace has lots to see and needs to be seen while in Mumbai as part of an India tour.
Marine Drive, officially known as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road, is a 3.6-kilometre-long street that runs along the Arabian Sea coast in South Mumbai. The construction of Marine Drive began in 1915, and it was completed in the 1920s. The project was a part of the city’s ambitious urban development plan to connect the suburbs to the main city. Sir Pelham Hudson, the then municipal commissioner of Bombay (now Mumbai), played a crucial role in its planning and execution.
Marine Drive earned its nickname, the “Queen’s Necklace” due to its, crescent-shaped layout that lights up brilliantly at night. The road is set up with palm trees, creating an amazing visual effect that looks like a sparkling necklace when viewed from above. This spectacle has become an iconic image of Mumbai and is a must-visit for tourists and locals alike and should be a stop on any India tour.
One of the most enchanting experiences you can have on Marine Drive is witnessing the breathtaking sunsets and sunrises over the Arabian Sea. As the sun goes below the horizon, the entire stretch of Marine Drive is bathed in warm hues of orange and pink, casting a serene and romantic ambiance. Many people come here to unwind after a long day, find solace, or simply enjoy quality time with friends and loved ones.
Marine Drive isn’t just about beauty; it’s also a hub for leisure and recreation. The promenade is equipped with benches, making it an ideal place for a stroll or a peaceful chat with friends. You’ll often see joggers, fitness enthusiasts, and families enjoying the fresh sea breeze and the stunning view. For locals, this is an important part of the culture and history of Mumbai.
Art and culture thrive along Marine Drive as well. The area hosts several events and cultural programs, especially during festivals like Diwali and New Year’s Eve when the entire stretch is adorned with decorative lights. This celebration attracts thousands of visitors who come to revel in the festive spirit and catch a glimpse of the mesmerizing Queen’s Necklace. If you are in the area during Diwali, this is a must-stop on your tour of India.
Mumbai is a food lover’s paradise, and Marine Drive doesn’t disappoint in this regard. The area boasts a variety of food stalls, street vendors, and restaurants serving delicious street food like chaat, vada pav, and bhel puri. Additionally, Marine Drive is conveniently located near popular shopping districts like Colaba Causeway and Fashion Street, making it an ideal starting point for a day of retail therapy.
Marine Drive primarily features street food stalls and open-air eateries rather than formal sit-down restaurants. However, there are several restaurants, cafes, and dining options in the nearby areas, particularly in the neighbourhoods of Colaba and Nariman Point, which are within walking distance or a short drive from Marine Drive. Trying the food here is an important part of an India tour as Mumbai is known for some the most creative food options in India. Some of the best options are:
Koyla: Located in Colaba, Koyla is a rooftop restaurant that offers a unique dining experience. It’s known for its delicious kebabs and beautiful views of the Arabian Sea and the Queen’s Necklace.
Pizza By The Bay: Situated near Marine Drive, this restaurant offers a variety of pizzas, pasta, and other Italian dishes with a view of the sea.
Café New York: This iconic café in Nariman Point serves a range of Indian and international dishes. It’s a great place to enjoy a meal with a view of the Arabian Sea.
Bayview Café: Located at Hotel Marine Plaza, this restaurant offers a mix of international and Indian cuisine along with panoramic views of the sea.
Trishna: While primarily known for its seafood, Trishna in Fort (near Marine Drive) is a renowned restaurant where you can enjoy fresh and delicious seafood dishes.
Café Mondegar: Another iconic café in Colaba, Café Mondegar, offers a relaxed atmosphere, along with a diverse menu that includes burgers, Indian snacks, and more.
Harbour Bar: Located at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, the Harbour Bar is known for its wide selection of beverages and cocktails, making it an excellent spot for a drink with a sea view and you would be at one of the most iconic bars in the city, with a great story to tell on your India tour.
These restaurants are just a short distance away from Marine Drive and provide a sit-down dining experience, allowing you to enjoy a meal while still being close to the iconic promenade and its beautiful surroundings. Remember that it’s a good idea to check their operating hours and make reservations if needed, as some of these establishments can get quite busy, especially during peak dining hours.
With so much to see and do on Marine Drive, it is an essential part of your India tour. It doesn’t matter if you want to slow down and relax, just enjoy the view and do a little people-watching or try some of the amazing food the area has to offer. The Queen’s neckless has it all and its spot can’t missed on your tour of India.