Skip to content

An aerial view of Mumbai city

May 8, 2008

These are some of the photographs I took as we flew over Mumbai last month. The first set I took from Spicejet, a low cost airline. The windows were awfully dirty and some of the photos are smudged.

The first photograph was taken after we had taken off from Mumbai and you can see that the plane was flying over some sort of railway yard…that is visible in the bottom half of the picture. A goods train, a local subway train as well as a train station can be seen in the lower left hand corner.

Railway yard

The next photograph is slightly clearer and looks like we were flying over some housing colony. The western express highway is visible on the right

Housing Colony

This is a better view of the western express highway

western express highway

I don’t know which slums these are but they appeared as we neared the sea


The next set of photographs were taken when we were landing in Mumbai (a few days later) from Kingfisher Airlines. The windows were cleaner and therefore I managed to get better photographs.

The first one is a little dull…but it is the Thane Belapur industrial belt and that is how it looked…dull brown, almost as if we were looking at the craters on the moon!

Thane Belapur Industrial Belt

This one was taken as we approached Vashi. You can see Vashi bridge on the right of the picture and I have drawn a red arrow to point out Vashi station.


This photograph was taken just a minute after the previous one.


In another minute or so we were over the Eastern Express Highway. The road seen in the photograph is actually a flyover. If you look closely you can see the road below the bridge and the vehicles plying on it.

Eastern Express Highway

And then into Mumbai, most probably the eastern suburbs.

mumbai outskirts

On the right hand side of the photo I think is either Vikhroli or Ghatkopar railway station.

Vikhroli or Ghatkopar railway station

The flight path of domestic airlines doesn’t take you over the fancy south mumbai skyline, which is what characterizes Mumbai and is the Mumbai that tourists usually see. I am publishing some south Mumbai pictures too…these photographs were taken at the end of last year.

This first photo shows the skyline of Malabar Hill, an elite area of Mumbai. In the foreground is Marine Drive, a place where people come and spend their evenings watching the sea.Malabar Hill

In fact Marine Drive is the most famous and probably the most good looking road of Mumbai. It has been called “Queens Necklace” because of the way it curves…and also because at night when its lighted up it glows like a diamond necklace from the sky. There’s a picture which shows this very well…you can see it here (not my photo).

Recently Marine Drive had a make-over. The following photo was taken while the repair work on the sidewalks and seafront was on. You can see it underway on the right of the photograph.

Marine Drive

The photograph below was taken a few months later when the repair work was over. Today Marine Drive has a spanking new look and is the pride of Mumbai city.

Marine Drive repaired

And this last photograph is of the famous Mumbai skyline – “Lands End.” The tall buildings are part of Nariman Point, which is Mumbai’s most expensive commercial area. The skyscraper facing you is the Air India building. Further down are the tall buildings of the naval establishment a Cuffe Parade, which is also another very posh area. Cuffe Parade has not just the Naval establishment, but also fancy hotels and fancy residential buildings. Malabar Hill is the only other residential address in Mumbai that is preferred.

Nariman Point

Related Viewing: A photo-essay of a traffic signal in Mumbai
A slide show of a sunset in Mumbai
A make-over for Mumbai – photos
A few more Mumbai snapshots plus information on real estate costs in Mumbai
View all posts filed under the category of Photography
View all posts filed under the category of SlideShows
An email forward about the Mumbaikar in a nutshell

Social Bookmarks:
49 Comments leave one →
  1. May 8, 2008 8:34 am

    Very nice pics. I wonder how you manage to identify pasts of the city… I never can!
    The Marine Drive pics remind me of the times when I used to drive my bike down it, and go to Valkeshwar, Worli, etc. The Air India building is a reminder of the bomb blast in 1992/93 (?). I was on duty in St. George’s Hospital nearby. That is another story!

  2. May 8, 2008 8:34 am

    I meant parts of the city in the first line, never mind!

  3. May 8, 2008 9:00 am

    Man…how much i miss Mumbai……………………

  4. May 8, 2008 10:09 am

    Nice pics Nita. I am the only one in my whole Khandaan who has not been to Mumbai. 😐
    Marine drive looks good. The houses there must be really expensive?

  5. May 8, 2008 10:13 am

    that was a nice tour of mumbai…:) i remember seeing those places when i came to mumbai(from the plane)…i think i missed the rail yard…

  6. May 8, 2008 10:16 am

    nice photos πŸ™‚

  7. May 8, 2008 10:39 am

    Really nice pics. I still fear to take pics from flight πŸ˜€ as they rudely announce that no electronics equipments are allowed during journey and also I travel mostly during night time πŸ˜›

  8. May 8, 2008 10:52 am

    Great shots. I am always afraid of taking my camera on board as they might not allow to have camera on board.

    Perhaps I have asked you this question, but asking it again, do you give touchings to photographs?

  9. May 8, 2008 10:56 am

    Wow Nita, I have been to Mumbai just once, these photos are surely a treat for me. πŸ™‚

  10. May 8, 2008 11:04 am

    Thanks rdoc, but I am just guessing what these are. πŸ™‚ I may be wrong. I usually cannot make out where is what unless I examine the pictures later anyway.

    Neo, Mumbai is my blood too. I think once you live here you are hooked!

    , those houses are the most expensive real estate in the world, more so that even manhattan new york. Just in case you (or anyone else) wants the details I have written a post on it here and the post which says ‘snapshots’ of mumbai (linked to at the bottom of my post) is the one. I think now I shall change the title as it’s more about the real estate costs.

    Ofcourse JV but not as much as one would imagine. For examplel, in some of the earlier shots there was too much haze because of the dirt on the window or pollution or whatever. So I went to photoshop and went to ‘images’ and then ‘selective colour’ and then to ‘neutral’ and increased the black. that is mostly what i have done in these pictures. there is also an automatic option of colour correction which I use at times, but have not used it in these photos. In the second batch I have used the automatic adjust option and I think basically what it does is darken the picture and increase contrast. In 1 picture I have remove the tail of the plane as well.
    Only one photo has been cropped, the one of the western express highway.
    In one south mumbai photo I have manually darkened it and increased the contrast. As far as possible I do not try to increase the intensity of the colours as it ruins the picture. I do this rarely but I have done in 1-2 of the south mum pics.
    Its all a lot of hard work!!

    Dinu, Vishesh, Kartik, Suda, thanks.

  11. May 8, 2008 11:11 am

    hey, nice pictures…

    Lazy me is about to finish posts about my last part of my Goa trip, I will also write about one day I spent in Mumbai. I will link you this unique post there. πŸ™‚

  12. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    May 8, 2008 11:36 am


    //The flight path of domestic airlines doesn’t take you over the fancy south mumbai skyline//

    This is largely true of flights taking off from or landing in Mumbai, not those overflying (e.g. direct flights between Ahmedabad and places south/south-east of Mumbai. Believe me, the stretch from Colaba Point to Malabar point offers a breathtaking view from an altitude of 20k-plus feet.

    I also remember an occasion when, flying in from the south, unusual weather conditions required my flight to approach the airport from the west (over the sea), rather than the usual east. We swerved off from the coastline over the Jaigad creek and flew a long arc to approach Mumbai airport, gradually losing height. I had a right-hand window and enjoyed a fantastic low-altitude view of Coalba, Marine Drive and the Raj Bhavan grounds. This was a long time ago, when security-related flight-path rules were not as strict as they are now.


    Just go to Google Maps or Wikimapia to identify the parts. Some of Nita’s pics lend themselves admirably to such an exercise.

  13. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    May 8, 2008 12:18 pm


    Sorry, that should be Google Earth, not Google Maps.

  14. May 8, 2008 12:55 pm

    nice pics, Nita. Thanks for sharing.

  15. May 8, 2008 12:56 pm

    I love these pics taken from an airplane. πŸ™‚

  16. vivek mittal permalink
    May 8, 2008 2:02 pm

    Photographs of nariman point and marine drive are impressive

  17. May 8, 2008 3:35 pm

    nice pics… marine lines looks really nice now .. so does worli seaface…

  18. May 8, 2008 4:31 pm

    Cool pictures, Nita. But I wonder how you managed to take the one on Marine Drive. Did you take it from the top deck of a double-decker bus?

  19. May 8, 2008 4:47 pm

    Poonam, thanks. πŸ™‚

    Vivek K, I would like to experience that one day…because even if I have I don’t remember it.

    Amit, Xylene, Vivek M, Harini, thanks.

    Raj, good observation. Actually I took it from the flyover which is near chowpatty.

    Kartik, I forgot to tell you…if an airhostess stops you just ask her – “Are cameras electronic equipment?” πŸ™‚ In any case electronic equipment is disallowed only while landing and taking off.

  20. Joss permalink
    May 8, 2008 5:14 pm

    Great! We all went to Mumbai today.Thanks for the tour! Marine Drive looks very tidy now. They’ve done the same thing to the famous (in Britain) Golden Mile in Blackpool. Seafront-side it looks the same as the Queen’s Necklace. Landward-side, rather different! There are pound shops, penny arcades, slot machines, fish and chip shops and greasy cafes. But it all has happy memories for many, same as in Mumbai, same as everywhere.

  21. May 8, 2008 9:06 pm

    Wow! Mumbai looks huge! Makes Vancouver, as seen from the air look like a pimple. ;-). I love aerial views of cities, and knowing I’ll never in this lifetime fly over Mumbai makes me really appreciate seeing these photos. I love your pride in your home place, Nita. G

  22. May 8, 2008 10:47 pm

    I like your blog and keep reading it on and off, though don’t really comment.

    These pictures got me all nostalgic. I’ve lived in Mumbai too, and I right now, I miss it, and also my hometown…and well, India in general.

  23. May 8, 2008 11:12 pm

    Nice pictures. I somehow can never take any picture while on board as I am always in awe of the view and forget to take out the camera ! πŸ˜›

    You can show some more pictures of Marine Drive to your viewers. But I never touch my pictures and post them as they were clicked. Maybe I should start doing a little bit.

    Thanks for sharing, keep posting.

  24. lekhni permalink
    May 9, 2008 2:06 am

    Like Rambodoc and others, I can never be sure about any landmark or road from the air, even if I know every twist and turn on land 😦

  25. May 9, 2008 3:17 am

    I was attracted to this page by its title “An aerial view of….”. which was almost identical to how I named some of my pages. Just to think of how similar the names – i thought “that’s cool!”.

    seems like there are irregularities on which electronics can be used during takeoff. digital camera was specifically announced a ‘disallowed’ items during takeoff & landing at SIA, Air France, TAM and BA. I think camera is okay as long its not a signal transmitting device (like laptop or mobile phone), which might distrub any flight apparatus….. that’s why i always got my camera ready during take off & landing. Cheers! πŸ™‚

  26. May 9, 2008 5:29 am

    cruel. nothing can make one more bombay-sick than aerial photos! I wish I was on that flight now!
    πŸ™‚ nice photographs!

  27. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    May 9, 2008 7:06 am


    Your first photograph is really a mystery. Prima facie I’d say it was Bandra Terminus, but the sharpest U-turn to the left after take-off in a Boeing 737 would normally cross the coastline, flying eastwards, south of Shivaji Park, over Prabhadevi or North Worli. And if this was from a Goa-bound flight, it would have no reason to take such a U-turn at all.

    A pity about the haze. If it is indeed Bandra Terminus, you would see a bit of Powai lake at the top right corner.

    Anyway, my main point of mystification still remains: if it was a Goa-bound flight, why was its flight path after take-off aligned at right angles to an N-S railway line?

  28. May 9, 2008 7:52 am

    Joss, I guess it’s the area around the big/main roads that makes each place unique. It is the same for the different cities in India as well. I love the sea and therefore this is my favourite road.

    Suburban, mumbai’s population is 13 million plus (2001 figures) and therefore you see so much built up area.

    Celine, thanks for commenting. And thanks for reading my blog. πŸ™‚ Hope you make that trip back home soon.

    Cuckoo, well, these photos were very unclear and therefore had to increase the black. That is the major thing done in them.

    Lekhni, it’s not easy to find out what is what unless the landmark is a huge one!

    jimonge, thanks for dropping in! I agree with you that a camera should not be classified as an instrument that interferes with navigation and I don’t know why some airlines are paranoid about it. I’ll tell you a secret. I’ve taken pictures while taking off and landing too…and that is because I do believe that a camera does not interfere with the navigation instruments.

    tgfi, πŸ™‚

    Vivek, Bandra terminus sound right to me. Yes, it was a goa-bound flight. And well, the flight was delayed by half an hour so perhaps that could explain why it changed its course? I have no idea as to how flight paths are decided or why they are changed…

  29. May 9, 2008 9:37 am

    Thanks for this post and pictures Nita. It gives me a feeling as if I just flew over Mumbai! πŸ™‚

    Should visit the city soon.

  30. .N.D. permalink
    May 9, 2008 11:39 am

    Beautiful pictures!! It has been almost a year since I last saw all that. Brings back some really good memories.
    BTW I am pretty sure that is not Ghatkopar station:)

  31. May 9, 2008 1:11 pm

    Hey…the view of marine drive is really appealing to visit Mumbai !!!

  32. Rajesh permalink
    May 10, 2008 3:46 am

    Hi Nita lovely pictures…It reminds me of the days I use to buy mysore masala dosa near Nariman point every weekend and sit at Marine drive…and enjoy the breeze and dosa…:)

  33. May 10, 2008 10:27 am

    Jo, N.D, Tara Prasad, Rajesh…
    It’s great to hear that I managed to revive some of your old memories! Nostalgia I think is one of our most enjoyable human emotions!

  34. raju permalink
    June 4, 2008 3:42 am

    good pictures of mumbai , made me think to come to india , back,,,

  35. October 16, 2008 7:12 pm


  36. sukanta chattopadhyay permalink
    November 22, 2008 7:00 pm

    we want more good picture.i love mumbai,i think mumbai,i feel don’t missed visite to mumbai.

  37. February 4, 2009 11:20 pm

    Great photos (esp the aerial ones)!

  38. Vivek Manvi permalink
    September 1, 2009 12:23 pm

    Hi All,

    Let me explain what the aerial pics display.

    Nita’s Spicejet 737 has taken off from the secondary Runway (14-32) at Mumbai. This means that it is heading in the south-east direction

    Picture 1: This picture shows the mainline Central Railway tracks (between Kurla & Vidyavihar) on the left and the yard of the Kurla terminus at the bottom of the picture.

    Picture 2: This shows the buildings at Tilak Nagar. The circular ground is where the famous Sarvajanik Ganesh festival is held.

    Picture 3: This is the Eastern Express Highway and not the Western Express Highway.

    Picture 4: The slums are in the Deonar-Govandi-Mankhurd belt.

    Picture 10: This shows the Ghatkopar railway station.

    • Vivek Khadpekar permalink
      September 1, 2009 1:15 pm

      Vivek Manvi,

      Brilliant! The “secondary runway” explains a lot of things. I suppose the SE direction is to enable the aircraft to achieve a good enough altitude to get out of the way of planes taking off from or landing on the primary runway. The flight must have changed direction to head straight south to Goa soon after the last shot of that series was taken.

  39. akash permalink
    March 17, 2010 4:43 pm

    nice photo

  40. suresh permalink
    June 30, 2010 7:29 pm

    hai…………….this is suresh..this pic r so beautiful………..i like so much………this is the greateness of india.

  41. Sam de Silva permalink
    July 1, 2010 7:00 am

    Hi Nita,

    I came across your site as I was looking for photos of Mumbai couple of days ago. As an avid fan of Bollywood movies I keep checking on everything about movie stars, especially SRK. I used to listen to Vividh Bharathi on short-waves in Sri Lanka when I was a teenager in the early 1960s. My favourite singer was, and still is, Rafi. When I was checking up information about this great singer recently I came across his address and I wanted to see a photo where he lived and died. That address was a building facing the ocean, on Google satellite photos. Probably that is why M. Rafi was so fond of flying kites from his home terrace even in short breaks between recordings, as his wife says.

    Anyway, Rafi search lead me to your Marine Drive photo. I assume that it is the sea front appeared in many old movies. I visited Mumbai in 1990, only a few days, and enjoyed every minute of the hospitality of my friends’ friends. Visited Juhu beach.

    I was overwhelmed by your May 2008 photo no. 4. In 1990 on my way to Mumbai from Udaipur I saw some long stretches like that as the bus approached the City, but seeing the extent of them from air is amazing. I never saw Mumbai from a plane because I took the train to Madras via Pune. I was so obsessed with your photo, I located where that area was after spending hours on Google satellite pictures. Your camera was facing the NE direction – The major road running SE-N is Jeejabai Bhosle Marg, and it extends north for several kms from the left edge of your photo to meet the Eastern Express HWY. Judging from the shadows, the photo was taken in the afternoon.

    Hope you break soon your indefinite break!


    Sam de Silva.
    01 July 2010

    Hey Sam, thanks for your note. Great to hear that my photos stirred some memories and that you enjoyed them. – Nita

  42. shabbar Hussain permalink
    October 2, 2010 2:39 pm

    Good photos

    international flights from gulf also take the same route b4 landing

  43. SIDHARTH DAS permalink
    June 19, 2012 4:24 pm

    I be came verry happy when i saw such baautifil photos of our commercial capital MUMBAI .Thanks to the gov. of INDIA.

  44. Sahil Satthar permalink
    September 7, 2012 6:50 am

    Thanks Nita… Nice snaps… I lived in Mumbai for a short time and I fell love with the city… Its such an amazing city… your pics made me a flashback…


  1. Mumbai from the clouds | DesiPundit
  2. Hazy Picture of Mumbai « Texas Liberal
  3. Of Paperwork, Bulbs and Bad Movies « Confessions of a Magnificent Mind
  4. The second half of my vacation | Ajay - On the Road called Life

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: