States of India
A decade ago the luxury hotels fronting this long stretch of sandy beach were as glamorous as it got among Mumbai's filmi crowd. Stories of wild pool parties at at the Holiday Inn and illicit tete-a-tetes at the Sun 'n' Sand Hotel were an essential ingredient of every film magazine's gossip columns. Juhu's allure is a little jaded these days, but its reputation is still strong enough to make it a must-do for every Indian tourist visiting Mumbai. When there was nothing more substantial at Juhu than a sprinkling of weekend bungalows, the Juhu airstrip used to be Bombay's international airport. JRD Tata landed here on his inaugural flight from Karachi in 1932, an event that marked the begining of what was to become Air India. It Was an achievement that wasn't blitzed until Bombay socialite Protima Bedi hit the headlines when she streaked on Juhu Beach in 1960s. Today the area is home to decently dressed, legendary film stars such as Amitabh Bachchan and Madhuri Dixit.
It's a pleasant beach if you're not expecting a quiet sunbathe or a swim. The real attraction is the carnival atmosphere that develops on weekend afternoons and evening. Huge crowds paddle in the sea, stroll along the shore, play beach cricket and enjoy the fresh air. They're serviced by a mobile army of snack sellers and fruit vendors, entertained by fairground rides, and sweet talked by toy sellers, fortune tellers and yarn spinner.
During the rest of the week it only 1 a short stroll from the hotel strip to be alone with your thoughts. If you fancy heading off into the wild blue yonder, Mumbai largest Koli fishing community is at the northern end of the bay in Versova.
Juhu's secondary attractions include lounging poolside at the beach front hotels checking out the Hare Krishna ISKDCON complex downing a coffee at the Prithvi Theatre and shooting pool at Raspberry Rhinoceros.
Reaching There :
Juhu is 25km north of the city centre, not far from Mumbai's airports. Catch a suburban train from Church gate or from VT using the Harbour Line to either Santa Cruz train station or Vile Parle station.