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.

25 years and 10 editions: The Rough Guide to India over the years

25 years and 10 editions: The Rough Guide to India over the years

It's 25 years since an adventurous quartet of Rough Guides authors set off for the Subcontinent to begin work on researching the inaugural instalment of The Rou…

30 Nov 2016 • Edward Aves insert_drive_file Article
The most romantic places in India

The most romantic places in India

India has to be one of the world's most romantic destinations. Its beguiling mix of ancient forts, pretty palaces, shimmering lakes and gorgeous beaches is boun…

25 Nov 2016 • Freya Godfrey camera_alt Gallery
13 tips for backpacking India

13 tips for backpacking India

Whether you’re hurtling along in a rickshaw, eating fantastic curries, kicking back on the backwaters or hiking in the mountains, backpacking India will alwa…

23 Nov 2016 • Helen Abramson 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