Manori Island: The Hidden Gem near Mumbai That You Must Visit
Picture this: The dusk has arrived. You are basking in the glow of the setting sun while being coaxed by the dashing sounds of the waves. All you see are endless blue skies with amusing cloud patterns, as the cool sea breeze calms your soul.
Finding this serenity in the bustling city of Mumbai may seem as rare as water on Venus! But fear not, introducing you to Manori, a hidden gem right here in Mumbai.
Manori is a lesser-known island village nestled in northwest Mumbai. Some even call it ‘Mini Goa’ due to its striking resemblance to the coastal state. It is so secluded or “lowkey” (as the internet would call it) that even many Mumbaikars don’t know of it! And how are you going to make it there? Well, a 5-minute joy ride on a ferry is all it takes.
What to expect?
The moment you set foot in this islet, you’ll be captivated by the colorful huts, cottages, old bungalows, and narrow pathways lined by swaying palm trees. The entire village is ornamented with vibrant local flower blossoms. You may laze around on its many unexplored beaches. You can also spend time learning about the unique culture and history of this location. Or you could take a stroll on its vibrant lanes, or even better, take a bullock cart trip around it!
Long story short: Spending some time in Manori could feel like a natural dose of serotonin.
How to get there?
Manori is a short 20-25 minute drive from Grand Sai Palace in Malad West. Marve Beach is roughly a 5-kilometer drive from here and takes around 20 minutes. From there, a 5-minute boat journey will take you right to Manori Village.
Pro tip: You can bring your own 2-wheeler bike for it can be transported through the ferry. A bike will surely come in handy when exploring the quaint coastal village.
Must see places
For the most part, it is Manori’s enchanting ambiance that makes it worth visiting. It’s all about the lush greenery, pristine beaches, and charming local villages! But, amidst the rejuvenating surroundings, there are some must-see attractions that you should definitely add to your itinerary.
1. Samudeshwar Temple
This beautiful Shiva temple will greet you at the entrance of the Marve-Manori jetty. The first thing you’ll notice about the temple is its unique architecture and
spaciousness. This is a unique Koli-style design surrounded by a lovely grove of cashew trees. True to its name, this temple is a shining glory in this land amidst the seas.
2. East Indian Museum
Manori is inhabited by local fishing and farming villagers known as East Indians, who live a lifestyle influenced by both Portuguese and Maharashtrian traditions. Learning about this community’s intriguing past- would be a treat to any history buff! Manori’s East Indian Museum showcases ancient artifacts of these East Indian families- clothes, utensils, jewelry, pictures, and sculptures.
3. Manori Beach
This relatively lesser-known beach is seldom crowded. Its glistening golden sand surrounded by black cliffs is a perfect scenic beauty. It is a wonderful spot for
unwinding. Best time to visit, you may wonder? Well, a sunset at Manori Beach is an absolute must-see!
Who doesn’t know of Mumbai’s crowning glory, the magnificent Pagoda? And here’s a thing, it is quite close to Manori. Its enormous dome-shaped building houses a peaceful meditation space. It is truly the ultimate spiritual haven that bestows peace of mind upon the visitor.
5. The Old Portuguese church
Speaking of peace of mind, Manori Island is brimming with churches and chapels. As you spend your time trotting around and exploring various churches, it is the Old Portuguese Church that exudes an irresistible old-world charm that draws you in.
What to eat?
Because of the Goan culture that predominates in Manori, the cuisine is largely East Indian and seafood.
You can also indulge your taste buds with tangy tidbits like amla, kairi, starfruit, bor, imli because there inevitably will be a vendor selling those!
Also, don’t deny yourself the delights of a juicy tadgola or ice apple, all of which can be found in plenty here.
So there you have it, a day well spent and a plethora of fresh new experiences. What’s the best part? After a long but wonderful day, you may be serenaded by live music and a vibrant guy singing old Bollywood tunes while you take the ferry back home. A perfect finishing touch!