Marine Drive, also called the Queen’s Necklace, is one of the most easily recognizable landmarks in Mumbai. This arc-shaped bay-side boulevard lining the Arabian Sea in South Mumbai is arguably the best spot to watch beautiful sunsets and indulge in leisurely walks. A favorite hangout spot of the Mumbaikars, it is a prime tourist attraction as well. When you step out of your hotels in Mumbai, make sure to explore this hotspot that offers splendid views of the city’s skyline.
Looking for more details on Marine Drive, Mumbai? This blog sums up everything you need to know about this iconic promenade in Mumbai, including its history, timings, attractions, things to do, and other details.
Marine Drive, Mumbai Quick Info
|Location||Chowpatty, South Mumbai|
|Also Known as||The Queen’s Necklace and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road|
|Nearest Metro Station||Girgaon Metro Station|
|Built by||Bhagojisheth Keer and Pallonji Mistry|
|Year of Construction||1920s|
Marine Drive, Mumbai: History
Although touted as one of the top places to visit in Mumbai, this stretch of road wasn’t originally planned as a tourist attraction or a spot for recreation. In fact, this beachfront promenade came into existence as the result of a failed reclamation project.
Way back in 1919, the Backbay reclamation scheme was initiated by the British Government in Mumbai. Its objective was to connect Nariman Point with Malabar Hill through a lovely promenade that would be lined with beautiful office buildings, apartment blocks, and public squares resembling the Oxbridge quads. But by 1920, it became clear that the project was an ill-planned move. Though the project was originally launched to reclaim 1500 acres of area, a much smaller area was finally reclaimed due to the flawed planning. Out of this reclaimed area, around 17 acres of land was used to construct this beautiful promenade. It was built by late philanthropist Bhagojisheth Keer and Pallonji Mistry.
Over the next couple of decades, this stretch of road saw the emergence of several iconic buildings that display the Art Deco style. The buildings lining this road also became home to the rich and famous personalities in the city, including top Bollywood stars of yesteryears like Nargis and Suraiya. But it is primarily the stunning view of the Arabian Sea that made this place a preferred spot for people to spend some relaxing moments amidst the rushed life of Mumbai.
Marine Drive Architecture
Marine Drive is a C-shaped boulevard that features a six-lane concrete road lining the natural bay along South Mumbai. This 3.6 km long road flaunts the Art Deco architectural style through its buildings and edifices. This style is prominent in many celebrated bayside boulevards around the world, including the seafronts of Alexandria, Miami, and Havana. These buildings lining the Marine Drive, which became a part of Mumbai’s identity, include New India Assurance, Eros Cinema, Liberty Cinema, Keval Mahal, Zaver Mahal, Kapur Mahal, and the University of Mumbai, to mention a few.
Several of the Marine Drive buildings were designed and built by famous Indian designers like G. B. Mhatre, who was an expert in Art Deco architecture. He had designed several other buildings in Mumbai in this same style.
Marine Drive, Mumbai: Today
Today, a visit to the Marine Drive counts among the best things to do in Mumbai. The road stretches from the southern end of Nariman Point to the Girgaum Chowpatty aka Chowpatty Beach. During the day, it is a fantastic place to drive along or stand and absorb the mesmerizing view of the sea and the beach. The place becomes more attractive during the evening hours when the gorgeous view of the setting sun adds to its beauty. Come night and the whole crescent-shaped coastline illuminates with sparkling lights that resemble a string of pearls, justifying its moniker ‘Queen’s Necklace’. Every year, on the 26th of January, a colorful parade takes place along this promenade on the occasion of India’s Republic Day.
Lesser Known Facts about Marine Drive, Mumbai
- The actual name of the Marine Drive area is Sonapur. The road that stretches along this area is officially named Netaji Subash Chandra Bose road, though many people know it as just Marine Drive.
- The promenade was built so sturdily that it didn’t require any repair for 72 long years. After that, it was repaired as a safety measure but not out of necessity.
- The large tetrapod-like structures lining the Marine Drive were not placed there as beautification objects, but to protect the boulevard against the strong waves of the Arabian Sea. More than 6,500 tetrapods line this stretch today.
- This glorious seafront stretch has been featured in many Bollywood movies. Remember Rajesh Khanna singing in abandon the famous song Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana from the 1971 hit Andaz? And Amitabh Bachchan defiantly driving a motorcycle in the 1978 blockbuster Muqaddar Ka Sikandar? These are just two instances from a very long list.
Attractions near Marine Drive, Mumbai
- Chowpatty Beach (1.2 km)
- Taraporewala Aquarium (1.9 km)
- Shree Chandreshwar Mandir (2.4 km)
- St Teresa’s Church (2.6 km)
- Wankhede Stadium (2.6 km)
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (4.3 km)
- Thomas Cathedral (4.9 km)
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (5.2 km)
- Gateway of India (5.9 km)
Restaurants and Cafés near Marine Drive, Mumbai
Marine Drive is one of the best places to eat out while in Mumbai, that too with a great view. Some of the best restaurants and cafés in Marine Drive include:
- Pizza by the Bay
- The Dome – Hotel InterContinental
- New Yorker
- Geoffrey’s – Hotel Marine Plaza
- Crystal Restaurant
- Mocking Bird Café Bar
- Long and Short – Hotel InterContinental
Things to Do on Marine Drive, Mumbai
Marine Drive takes on a life of its own during the evening hours when it is filled with fast food peddlers and a lively crowd. If you want to experience its quieter side, plan a visit during the early morning hours when joggers throng this place. The top things to do on Marine Drive, Mumbai include:
- Watch a sunset
- Take an evening stroll enjoying the cool breeze
- Visit the Art Deco buildings dotting the area
- Try the delicious street food of Mumbai near the walkway and Chowpatty (must-try items include bhel puri, vada pav, etc.)
- Take Instagram-worthy shots
Also, if you are looking for things to do in Mumbai for couples, you can always plan a trip to Marine Drive with your sweetheart and spend some wonderful moments lost in each other’s company. So, go ahead and enjoy a drive to the Queen’s Necklace in the City of Dreams.