Stretching along a beach of the same name in Mumbai’s West, Juhu is one of the city’s most affluent areas. Its relatively peaceful setting, street food stalls and celebrity residents make it an alluring destination for both locals and tourists to come and relax, with magnificent sunsets over the Arabian Sea.
Juhu Beach is the main attraction in the neighbourhood, stretching six kilometres from Patil Pada in the south to Versova Beach in the north. At weekends it is packed with cricket matches, performance artists and toy sellers, as well as horse-drawn carriages and camels offering rides along the beachfront. It’s also popular amongst plane spotters, with the beach situated beneath the departure and arrivals paths of both the Juhu and Mumbai Airports. The area is famous for its street food stalls serving up local delicacies, including panipuri, bhelpuri and pav bhaji, as well as a scattering of well-regarded Italian restaurants. Juhu is often referred to as the “Beverly Hills of Bollywood” as home to some of the industry’s biggest celebrities, including Amitabh Bachchan, Zayed Khan and Anil Kapoor. It boasts numerous luxury hotels such as the JW Marriott and Ramada Plaza Palm Grove, as well as religious buildings of all faiths, including St. Joseph’s Church, Mahalaxmi Temple and the Grand Mosque Juhu. During the annual Ganesh Chaturthi festival, Juhu attracts devotees from near and far who come in huge processions carrying Lord Ganesh idols to immerse them in the waters of the Arabian Sea.
Juhu is located just to the west of Santacruz, Andheri and Vile Parle train stations on the Western and Harbour railway lines, while the DN Nagar metro station lies just to the north. However, none are situated close to the beach, and public bus or rickshaw is the most convenient means of getting in and around Juhu.
During the 19th century, Juhu was a narrow sandbar island off the coast of Salsette which could be reached by foot during low tides. A village known as Juhu lay at its northern point where toddy tappers and salt traders lived, while a small settlement of East Indian and Goan fishermen lived at its southern point. In the 1890s, Jamsetji Tata who founded the Tata Group built a bungalow here and developed the surrounding area as a seaside resort, with the Juhu Airport built during the 1930s for the Bombay Flying Club.