Also known as the Pherozeshah Mehta Gardens, Mumbai's Hanging Gardens is a beautifully manicured park known for its extensive topiary, primarily carved into animal shapes. Due to the park’s location atop Malabar Hill, it's long been a popular spot to take in views of the Arabian Sea, particularly at sunset.
These gardens date back to the 1880s and sit atop a reservoir that supplies much of the municipal water supply to local residents. With an abundance of flowers, topiary, sprawling lawns, and whimsical features, including a house shaped like a boot, the gardens are among the top attractions in Mumbai and feature on many city tours.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Hanging Gardens are great for nature lovers and families.
- Wear comfortable shoes and a hat and don’t forget to bring sunscreen.
- The gardens are not easily accessible for wheelchair users.
How to Get There
The Hanging Gardens are located at the top of Malabar Hill, a 15-minute walk from Chowpatty Beach. If you're coming by car, take Walkeshwar Road or Ridge Road; if you’re taking public transportation, catch a train to Grant Road (on the Western Railways line) and either walk half an hour to the gardens or take a taxi, which cuts down the trip to about 10 minutes.
When to Get There
The gardens are open daily from early in the morning until a little after sunset, and are best visited either first thing in the day or after nightfall, when temperatures are coolest. Dawn and dusk can bring mosquitos, except during the dry months of December through February, which are ideal for watching sunsets over the sea from the gardens. Avoid June through August, which are known for their torrential monsoon rains and consequent mud.
Topiary through the Ages
Topiary, the art of pruning plants to create shapes, has been practiced around the world for thousands of years. It went through numerous revivals throughout the centuries, gaining favor in the 16th and 17th centuries before falling out of fashion again. These days, it's a rare site outside of historic houses and castles—and, of course, Disney theme parks.