From Marine Drive to Shivaji Park and beyond — these are some of the best places to celebrate Diwali in Mumbai.
Mumbai may not necessarily be among the traditional destinations such as Varanasi to celebrate Diwali. But the city is a melting pot of cultures and while most celebrations are private — unlike in Varanasi there aren’t public festivities — Mumbaikars are pretty enthusiastic about fireworks. So, during Diwali every Mumbaikar seems to be on the streets either lighting fire crackers or watching the spectacular display of fireworks.
And what are the best places in Mumbai to celebrate Diwali?
1. Marine Drive
Mumbai’s iconic Queen’s Necklace is one of the few large open public spaces in the city that literally sees thousands of people stepping out to light fire crackers. Home to some of the richest people in the city, Queen’s Necklace arguably has the best and the most expensive fireworks display. The night sky is lit with fireworks so stunning that hundreds of people step out of their homes simply to watch the show!
2. Shivaji Park
Bastion of Maharashtrian culture, Shivaji Park is a large public ground in the central Mumbai area of Dadar. On most days, the ground sees hundreds of aspiring cricketers polishing their skills with the bat and the ball almost throughout the day. This in several ways is the Mecca of Mumbai cricket with several cricketing greats including Sachin Tendulkar taking their first steps of their career here. Shivaji Park is also a popular venue for political rallies, the most popular of them being the annual Shiv Sena Dussehra rally. On Diwali the ground turns into yet another venue for fireworks display. Motorbike rallies also begin from or end here with riders turning out in their best traditional outfits and truly reflecting the blending of the old and the new.
3. Juhu Beach
Yet another seafront, yet another fantastic party! While Marine Drive puts up the best fireworks display in Mumbai, Juhu, the city’s other most famous seafront, gives it a tough competition. The icing on the cake at Juhu, though, is the easily accessible food stalls serving delicious street food — everything from bhel puri to pav bhaji and dosa. What better way to watch fireworks than over a sinfully yummy snack?!
4. Talao Pali
Though technically not in Mumbai, Talao Pali is a famous lake in Thane, Mumbai’s neighboring township. Thanks to rail connectivity — the country’s very first train ran between Mumbai’s Victoria Terminus and Thane in 1853 — Thane has pretty much been a suburb of the glitzy metropolis. On Narak Chaturdashi, all roads around the lake are closed to traffic and enthusiastic Thanekars step out to light fire crackers. Quite like in Dadar’s Shivaji Park, Thanekars also step out in their traditional best to celebrate this festival of lights.
So if you are in Mumbai this Diwali, know that while south Mumbai’s Marine Drive is the best place to see some awesome firework display, there are other places too! Where will you be?