Its shirt-tails swathed in greenery and brow bristling with gigantic skyscrapers, Malabar Hill, the promontory enfolding Chowpatty Beach at the north end of Back Bay, has been south Mumbai’s most desirable neighbourhood almost since the city was founded. The British were quick to see the potential of its salubrious breezes and sweeping sea views, constructing bungalows at the tip of what was then a separate island – the grandest of them the Government House, originally erected in the 1820s and now the seat of the serving governor of Maharashtra, Raj Bhavan.

Although none of Malabar’s landmarks can be classed as unmissable, its Hindu shrines and surviving colonial-era residences form an interesting counterpoint to the modernity towering on all sides. Bal Gangadhar Kher Marg (formerly Ridge Road) is the district’s main artery. You can follow it from Mumbai’s principal Jain Temple, with its mirror-encrusted interior dedicated to Adinath, all the way to the tip of the headland, where the famous Walkeshwar Temple stands as the city’s oldest Hindu shrine surviving in situ. According to the Ramayana, Rama fashioned a lingam out of sand to worship Shiva here, which over the centuries became one of the Konkan’s most important pilgrimage centres. Today’s temple, erected in 1715 after the original was destroyed by the Portuguese, is of less note than the Banganga Tank below it – a rectangular lake lined by stone ghats and numerous crumbling shrines.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

India features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Video: the essence of India

Video: the essence of India

When Paris-based production company Bed & Breakfast reached out to us with a video that so perfectly captured the essence of India in all but a minute, we c…

04 May 2017 • Colt St. George insert_drive_file Article
In pictures: the little-visited treasures of South India

In pictures: the little-visited treasures of South India

After a week-long whistle-stop tour of central India's least-visited attractions, travel writer and photographer Lottie Gross shares her favourite photos. In…

07 Mar 2017 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article
Indian trains: a traveller's survival guide

Indian trains: a traveller's survival guide

The Himalayan Queen, the Grand Trunk Express, the Deccan Odyssey… the very names of India’s trains are evocative of timeless style and old-school adventure…

09 Feb 2017 • Freya Godfrey insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month