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Cruising Article –11/08/2012

Explore the history and culture of Mumbai

Asian cruise, India, Mumbai,

Heading to the beautiful city of Mumbai - the "Gateway of India" and formerly known as Bombay - will immerse travelers in a wealth of religious monuments, royal structures, historical museums and natural wonders that they won't soon forget. Here are some of the incredible destinations and attractions in store for you on an Asian cruise from Princess Cruises.

Prince of Wales Museum
For nearly a hundred years, the Indian subcontinent and its surrounding land were under the rule of the British Empire. During this period, the British monarchy established the Prince of Wales Museum in Mumbai, which came to be one of the premier centers of culture and history in the city.

Since British rule ended in 1947, the museum has been renamed the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya in order to connect it closer to its Indian roots. Visitors to the museum may explore the extensive collections of temple artwork and sculptures as well as artifacts from the Hindu, Buddhist and Nepalese traditions.

Elephanta Island Caves
Known as the City of Caves, the Elephanta Island Caves are situated on a patch of land in the Mumbai Harbor and are protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, curious explorers can venture into a series of historic caves where the members of the cult of Shiva left behind a variety of impressions and rock art linked to the Hindu deity. Elephanta is also believed to be the island home of Lord Shiva, and it was discovered by Portuguese sailors navigating through the Sea of Oman, who noted a gigantic stone elephant protruding from the rocks. Scholars are still debating the exact age of the caves, but estimate that they may have originated as far back as the sixth to eighth centuries.

Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum
Perhaps India's greatest social figure and spiritual leader in the modern age, Mahatma Gandhi helped the country win its independence from Great Britain in the 1940s through a series of nonviolent protests and deft political maneuvers. In honor of his struggle and work, the Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum was established in the aftermath of Gandhi's assassination in 1948. The building used for the museum was a favorite place of Gandhi's, and he stayed here whenever he visited Mubai. Today, the institution contains a variety of important personal possessions, writings, journals, photographs, recordings and other items that paint a detailed picture of this incredible leader's life.

India contains a treasure trove of amazing cultural, religious and historical attractions, which are complemented by the mix of 21st century urban landscapes and rural villages. Click here to explore the variety of opportunities that await you in the city of Mumbai.