“Girgaum (Also referred as ‘Girgaon’) is a location and so the name of the Chowpatty beach, Located at Charni Road Railway station, South of Mumbai.
Most famous and visited beach of South Mumbai, It is famous for 2 main things, Ganesh Visarjan (Immersion of Lord Ganesha Idol) and ‘Ghau Galli’, The famous street food of Mumbai.
Let us know more about beach attractions & Specialty and other details like Car parking, wash rooms facilities, Nearest railway station and How to reach etc..”
Beach Attractions & Specialty
Before detailing further, A small note about the word Chowpatty Beach. Mumbai also have another very famous Juhu Chowpatty beach at Andheri, Mumbai Suburban and many first timers are bit confused when referring to word ‘Chowpatty Beach’. The difference is the word ‘Juhu’ & ‘Girgaon‘.
The famous promenade of South Mumbai is a combination of Queen Necklace, Nariman Point, Marine Lines and this Famous Girgaon Chowpatty beach. This beach is adjacent to Charni Road Railway station, Which is also famous for the main Markets of Mumbai (Both Wholesale and Retail).
Girgaon was once a small village of this city and so the name of this beach. It is a very small beach, Yet very famous and most visited due to proximity and eateries inside. Food lovers frequent here with families at night for the list of famous chaat food, ice candies and other delicacies like Bhel Puri, Pani Puri, Chana Masala, Pulav, Pav Bhaji, Baraf Gola (Ice Candies), Ice Creams and more.
Chowpatty beach as also known is now much cleaner compared to a decade before due to awareness & education, Specially since the Swachh Bharat Mission by our Government. Some recent pictures on this page will give and idea of same.
Before 1980’s and 1990’s when there were less option of unwinding and entertainments like Malls, Pubs etc, People use to gather to this beach in evening time and enjoy some light moments with family. It is a dry white sand beach loved by Kids to build Sand Castles, Jump and Roll around. It is a safe beach with normal water current usually, So one can enter the beach water safely, Especially during medium to high tides. Low tides are always dangerous at beaches.
So what do people of Mumbai do at this beach ?
For all those who do not wish to seat directly on the sand, Rented Sheets (‘Chatai’ in Hindi) are available for Rs.15. Lay Down and enjoy the breeze, Watch others having fun. One do not need to guide kids as they are naturally blessed with energy and things to do on this famous Girgaum beach.
Champi & Tel Malish (Open Air Oil Hair Massage) is another specialty of Girgaon chowpatty. Our Mumbai beaches and culture do not allow public nudity, So massage are limited and cannot be like what Goa beaches and other countries offer. Sip some Indian Cutting Chai, Enjoy the famous Chana Jor Garam and bite some sugar candy floss and ice creams is still the fun here. Kids cannot resist seeing those fancy Balloons and other flying toys which are sold at this beach.
With a view of beautiful Sunset, The beach glows up in evening as the pole lamps are on, Those huge billboards are still the charm around since decades and the best part is the view of the glowing semi circular street lights that starts at this beach till Nariman Point, Which is why we call it ‘Queen’s Necklace’ of Mumbai. As soon as it is dusk, Food lovers pops up to the special food zone attractions of this beach called ‘Khau Galli’, Specialty of Girgaum Chowpatty.
On the right is a famous hillock location called ‘Malabar Hill’, which can be seen from this beach. It is one of the famous and expensive residential locations of Mumbai for elite class. Surprisingly, still few middle class have their old homes, chawls, duplexes connected along with the skylines and posh. That is what Mumbai is in real, Co-existing will still go long way here. Did i missed on the cute strays which still gives company to this beach lovers without any menace.
If get a chance, I avoid this chowpatty during Weekends and Public holidays, It is over crowded on beach and the food zone as well. Although, the hard working middle class life in Mumbai do not allow most to reach the beach in weekdays, Isn’t It a good idea to ignore such places in weekends and give some space to all those who cannot on weekdays..?
Girgaum Beach Famous Ganesh Visarjan Days
Of all the things Mumbai is famous for around the globe, Sure in the list if the famous Ganapati Festival celebrations. Those 10 days are the most Vibrant of all festivals in Mumbai.
Girgaon beach is much in focus during these 10 days and the news and pictures flashes around starting the very next day of Visarjan (Idol Immersion) which One and Half day from start. Small idols, families from Girgaum village and others are seen along with their cute looking Ganapati Idols who are Immersed here at this beach. Also Do Not Miss : To See Khotachiwadi ] an attraction near this beach & read about the famous Gudi Padwa Rally.
5th Day of Visarjan at this beach and the crowd doesn’t seem to be low, People are here in groups. This is the day also when many Sarvajanik Mandal (Location Galli Groups) also comes to the beach. Gradually, 7th day and the main Visarjan day the 10th Day of Ganesh Festival when the Giant Idols are out of the streets of South Mumbai, Right from Lalbaug to every other lanes of Khetwadi and others, They all start moving from afternoon towards the beach.
Special arrangements are done by Mumbai police, Municipal corporation and Traffic police who blocks public movements at many locations due to security and easy of hundreds and thousands of large 10 to 15 feet huge idols movement towards beach. There are Road Diversions, Watch towers, Drones keeping watch and Helicopters on top of the beach as the crowd is in lakh, Both the Mandals and the Spectators who comes from far distances of Mumbai suburban and other cities too, Specially to get the glimpse of the Main Visarjan Day on this beach.
Khau Galli Food Zone On Beach
You name the famous Mumbai street food and it is here at this Khau Galli, The Famous Chowpatty food zone on the left side of main entry. Baraf Gola’s, Indian Version of Chinese, Masala Dosa, Tava Pulao, Sliced Ice Creams (Casata Slides), Pav Bhaji and Lots more, Below are Some mouth watering pictures of same.
More Places to See Around Girgaon Beach
To start with, Let me help you with the list of beaches in Mumbai first.
Best this about this beach is that it is located right in the center of main city and so there are many other attraction places to see if you wish too. Below, i would recommend some of the Parks, Aquarium, Promenade and Famous Market places which should be on Priority list and not to be missed.
Nearest and Best Places to See First
- If you like Fish Aquariums, Taraporewala Aquarium is just adjacent to this beach at walking distance of 5 to 10 minutes along the coastal area.
- A famous old lord shiva temple called ‘Babulnath‘ is next i would recommend which is opposite this beach, just ask anyone and they will point you right from the beach itself, Of course the Maps are handy now a days. I personally love to visit this temple more than any other due to the old structure still maintained, the feel, the walking steps and the beautiful Idol area itself.
Many old Bollywood movies of 80’s and 90’s did their shooting at this temple.
- Want to just relax a bit and enjoy the breeze and view of Promenade along with Queens Necklace in evening ? Head to nariman Point promenade of about 4 Kms roacky shore front, which i already detailed. You can see the long semi circular promenade from this beach. If you love walking, It is just 3 to 5 Km, Else just 5 minutes ride on same stretch.
If you are here during monsoons, Do not miss the beautiful sight and those large waves during high tide days specially, Otherwise also it is a very beautiful experience here. Check this video.
- 3 Famous tourist attraction on the right of this beach, Located at Malabar Hills, I briefed about in the above section. First is a heritage and historic place called The Sacred Banganga Water Tank, Other 2 are the very famous gardens of South Mumbai which are Hanging Garden & Kamla Nehru Park, Both adjacent to each other and part of same complex.
I recommend this place in evening. The Old old lady shoe park (Kamla Nehru) is lately renovated and has a Viewing gallery with great view of this beach & queens necklace from top.
- The adjacent and nearest railway station is ‘Charni Road’ which is next on my list of recommended places to see. If you have never visited South Mumbai markets, This is the place. You might need someone to guide along the tiny lanes and famous markets which are all connected covering few square Kilometer area.
Check the station names of Mumbai if required. The above listed adjacent station itself has many places to see.
How to Reach This Beach
As said, Nearest railway station to reach this beach is Charni Road on western railway route (3rd station from Churchgate). The beach is right in front of this station.
Car parking is a major challenge as no special parking facilities at this so famous beach. Washroom / Toilets are available at main entry.
If you are coming by road from Mumbai suburban and beyond, Simple take Bandra Worli Sea Link to save some time. On the way towards beach pointer of your guiding map are some famous places like Haji Ali Dargah, Mahalakshmi Temple.
Few Pictures Courtesy : Sefra Correa (Vlog).