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October to March
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Mumbai, state capital of Maharashtra, is named after the local Hindu goddess Mumbai who has a temple dedicated in her honour. Maharashtra's capital, built on an archipeligo of seven islands beside the Arabian Sea, is India's most populous city and boasts one of the nation's leading economies. Among the first things travelers visiting this metropolis will experience is a warm tropical environment, high rise skyline, a mix of civic and religious architecture, lively, colorful street markets and the intoxicating aroma of Maharashtra's fantastic cuisine. Bollywood, the world-renowned producer of Hindi language film, also has its headquarters here and a number of film stars call this city home.
The Gateway of India, located at Mumbai Harbour by the edge of the water, is a ceremonial arch built to commemorate the 1911 Imperial Durbar of King George V and Queen Mary. This relic of the bygone British Raj era, standing at the place where the royal couple arrived in the lead up to the proclamation ceremonies, was designed by Scottish architect George Witted who sought to combine classical elements of both European and South Asian architecture. This imposing structure, constructed from reinforced concrete and local yellow basalt between 1911 and 1924, was built to a design inspired by Roman triumphal arches, Hindu temples and Indo-Islamic Mosques.
Juhu Beach, located along the affluent coastal suburb after which the beach is named, is a favoured local hangout and popular tourist destination. Activities common to this busy seaside resort, comprising three miles of golden-brown sand edging the coastal waters of the Arabian Sea, include jogging, paddling, ball games as well as riding camels, horses and donkeys. Local cuisine such as bhelpuri, masala fries, panipuri, pav bhaji and vada pav is sold from food stalls and there are a number of international restaurants lined up along the seafront. The Juhu suburb is a fashionable place for Bollywood actors to live and the beach has been a setting for numerous Bollywood films over the years.
The ISKCON temple, located in the Juhu neighborhood near the beach, was established in Mumbai during the 1970s by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swamy Prabhupada who founded the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) during the 1960s. Prior to the temple's construction Srila Prabhupada found Sri Sri Radha Rasabihari deities housed in an insufficient shrine and promised to build a magnificent temple for them, acquiring four acres of land for that purpose. Alongside the auditorium, restaurant and main temple building there is a 76 room guesthouse available for those wishing to stay on the premises, complete with hot running water, telephones and cyber café.