Taj Mahal Palace
CALLING MUMBAI A MASH-UP would be an understatement. India’s most populous city is marked by an unrelenting convergence of high and low: Prada-clad women wait for fresh sugar-cane juice at corner street stalls, and luxury high rises overlook psychedelic street murals. In Mumbai (or Bombay, as most locals still call it), you can rub elbows with bankers, diamond merchants and film producers at velvet-roped bars, then step outside to grab some of the world’s best street food and watch the sun set at Chowpatty beach, whose atmosphere turns carnival-like in the evening. Uncomfortably hot in the summer, Mumbai swings into peak travel season now, with foreigners and NRIs (an official-turned-cheeky term for nonresident Indians) showing up in droves for vacations and weddings.
Though extreme poverty blights the city, a rich cultural renaissance is under way. Contemporary art galleries are fast multiplying in Colaba, Mumbai’s southern district. Boutiques…
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