If you like people-watching, Juhu Beach is a great place to be. Local boys play cricket, striking women in colorful saris sell their handicrafts and offer to decorate women in henna, and families gather to eat together and look out on the waves. It’s located in a relatively safe and clean neighborhood famous for its Bollywood cinemas, the Privthi theater, and the regaled Bollywood superstar’s home, Amitabh Bachchan, who comes out every evening at 5PM to wave to his fans.
We stayed at the Bawa Continental on the bustling street that appears in the video blog. It’s a great location to stroll down the street with an array of Indian cuisine, Western cuisine, and cafes and coffee shops, and is just a short walk to the beach (across the bustling traffic, of course).
If you’re into swimming or wearing bathing suits, you won’t find a beach in Mumbai that will accommodate those tastes, nor would you want to. The city dumps all its untreated raw sewage into sea that surrounds them. Plus, showing skin in a bathing suit would attract a lot of negative attention around these parts- those adventurous enough to wade into the vast toilet water are fully clothed.
I’ve enjoyed strolling up and down Juhu Beach with my toddler. She loves to point out the stray dogs and the other babies and children. She also delighted in the performing monkey and the groups of bright orange flowers, remnants of a funeral at sea washed up at shore. The only problem is that she loves swimming, so it’s tough to keep her from running into the sea, and you can’t really rationalize with a 15 month old that the water isn’t clean enough to swim in.
The nice part about Juhu Beach is that it is a pleasant place to walk in Mumbai that doesn’t require dodging traffic or auto-rickshaws. It’s full of life and color and makes for a stimulating environment for a curious little one, and their mommas, to soak in the sights and people around in a more relaxed spot than curbside in the bustling city.
Mornings are much more relaxed on Juhu Beach, with a few locals running across the sands, groups of school children excitedly gazing out at the sea, and a few families gathered across the sands. The most popular time for locals to enjoy the beach is around sunset, especially on the weekends. If you’re interested in a crowded and bustling beach complete with a mini-carnival (think bright pink cotton candy, roasted corn, and a miniature ferris wheel), check out the beach around 5 or 6PM on a Sunday night as the sun goes down and the beach comes alive.