Marine Drive in Mumbai, India is a three-kilometre-long promenade constructed by Pallonji Mistry along the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road. The road is a ‘C’-shaped, six-lane concrete road that runs along the coast of a natural bay. The promenade is lined with palm trees and at the northern end is Girgaon Chowpatty Beach, which is famous for its Bhel Puri (local fast food). The promenade links Nariman Point at the southern tip to Babulnath and Malabar Hill at the northern tip.
Marine Drive is situated on reclaimed land facing west-south-west and is also known as the Queen’s Necklace. This is because the street lights along the drive resemble a string of pearls in a necklace when viewed at night from an elevated point anywhere along the drive. Many restaurants and hotels, including the 5-star Oberoi, The Intercontinental, Hotel Marine Plaza, and Sea Green Hotel, line this stretch of the road. Real estate prices along the Esplanade are high.
The area has many sports clubs, including members-only clubs like the Cricket Club of India, Hindu Gymkhana Ground, and Garware Club House, as well as others like the Mumbai Police Gymkhana, Hindu Gymkhana, Parsi Gymkhana, and Islam Gymkhana. The stretch of Marine Drive also has some cricket stadium and club grounds.
The buildings along Marine Drive were constructed in an art deco style popular in the 1920s and 1930s by wealthy Parsis. Among the earliest art deco buildings on Marine Drive were the Kapur Mahal, Zaver Mahal, and Keval Mahal. They were built between 1937 and 1939 for a total cost of 1 million rupees.
Many film stars, such as Nargis and Raj Kapoor, lived nearby in the 1940s and 50s. A well-known singer from the 1950s, Suraiya, lived in a building on the stretch known as ‘Krishna Mahal’ in the ground-floor apartment (as a tenant of the Shah family) from the 1940s until her death on 31 January 2004. The house was first taken on rent by her mother, Mumtaz Begum.
How to reach
By Air: The nearest airport is Mumbai International Airport
By Rail: Nearest station is Churchgate station in Mumbai, Maharashtra
By Road: Tourists can take a bus or cab to reach this hot-spot