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Mumbai vs Delhi which is better?

Discussion in 'Travel advice' started by NaveenRajput, Oct 29, 2016.

  1. NaveenRajput

    NaveenRajput New Member

    I am being transferred by my company and have been given a choice of moving to either Mumbai or Delhi. I have not been to either of these places to live before so have no idea about the living standards or life there.

    I would like some help from members to decide from Mumbai and Delhi to which is better for the living?

    Living with me would be just my wife and me, and please take into mind things like cost, availability of things, pollution, safety, etc.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hi there, welcome to the forum!

    Brief Overview of Delhi and Mumbai

    The choice between Delhi and Mumbai depends on the personal interests of the person himself. Both cities are progressive and modern facilities won't be lacking in any of them. Skyscrapers, shopping complexes, cinemas, you name it, they have it. But really, what sets these two cities apart? Are there stark differences between them that make one city stand out from the other?

    On the one hand we have Delhi, located in the National Capital Region, and known as the capital of the country. Although very much a metro city, the evidences of the past era are still rampant in the city. Along with these older structures, there are malls and theatres to keep you busy too. Delhi is also a foodie's paradise as there are plenty of restaurants and street food stalls to satiate your hunger. Captivating yet chaotic, Delhi would certainly grow on you and it would take some time to fully take in the beauty of this city.

    Delhi's Qutb Minar

    On the other hand we have Mumbai, known as the City that Never Sleeps. Features of the city like the Dabbawalas (home food delivery service) or the Dhobi Ghat (largest washing area in the world), make Mumbai one-of-a-kind. With a thriving IT sector, Mumbai is also a great place for job opportunities. For the first timer in the city, what would greet you are the crowds, traffic and slums of Mumbai, along with the numerous buildings and complexes too. Yet there's this certain warmth evoked by the locals themselves, who manage to smile and make do with whatever they have.

    Mumbai's Skyline (Image Courtesy of Steve Mohlen Kamp)
    The hustle and bustle of these cities are apparent already yet it seems quite impossible to choose between the two. But let's look further into what makes them different and which would be the more appropriate city for you.

    In-Depth Comparison of Delhi and Mumbai

    1. Cost for Apartment
    • Delhi - Delhi has comparatively lower rental rates than Mumbai so if budget is one of your main concerns, then Delhi would win in this regard. For example, a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre of Delhi costs Rs. 16,700 per month while it costs even lesser outside the city centre at Rs. 9,750 per month. If ever you would be purchasing an apartment, the costs are different too when outside the city centre and when inside it. Generally, an apartment costs Rs. 180,000 and above when in the city centre but you can just purchase one of those rent to own basis ones. Additionally, Noida is just an hour away from Delhi and rental rates here are cheaper so you can also opt to stay there.
    • Mumbai - As compared to Delhi, there's a huge gap between the rental rates in Mumbai, as high as 50% even. If you're going to be renting a one-bedroom apartment, expect rates to be as high as Rs. 35, 300, in the city centre. The further you go to the north of Mumbai, the lower the rental rates but still cannot compare to Delhi as you would need to shell out about Rs. 18,500 per month. Your best option, if you're on a budget, would be paying guest apartments. You would pay about Rs. 15,000 per month (South Mumbai) for this but you only have your room and the rest are shared facilities like the kitchen and bathroom. Lastly, given the congestion issues in Mumbai, apartments here are definitely smaller than in Delhi so if you're okay with cramped space, then you would do well in the city.
    2. Proximity to Commercial Hubs
    • Delhi - There are plenty of malls around Delhi and chances are, one mall is easily located within any residential area. The most well-known malls here are the DLF Promenade, Select City Walk and Pacific Mall. Smaller malls like Metro Walk and Ambience Mall also line the city. Higher end places like Connaught Place, Greater Kailash, South Extension and Khan Market has international brands of apparel as well as home appliances and kitchenwares. Also, there are grocery stores within each locality of Delhi, with the likes of Reliance Fresh and Big Bazaar. Actually, shopping won't be an issue at all in Delhi as this is the main hub for shopaholics. For trendy clothes, do check out Janpath Market, Palika Bazaar and Sarojini Nagar, these street markets allow haggling so they are perfect for bargain hunters.
    Select City Walk in Delhi
    • Mumbai - Malls are also plenty in Mumbai, with the likes of R City Mall and Viviana Mall. On the other hand, for luxury shoppers, you can go to the High Street Phoenix Mall, one of the most posh malls in the city. It carries international brands like H&M and Sephora. If you're more into street markets, Mumbai has an assortment of those too. There's the Linking Road in Bandra for the trendiest and most affordable clothes. Colaba Causeway is another good option, especially for exotic accessories and traditional shawls. For grocery shopping, head on to Crawford Market where you can purchase wholesale produce like fruits and vegetables. And lastly, Hindmata Market in Dadar would suit all your ethnic and traditional Indian clothing needs. Yes, just like Delhi, you won't find any trouble finding shopping areas around Mumbai.
    3. Cost of Basic Needs
    • Delhi - Most goods like milk, bread and vegetables are priced lower in Delhi than in Mumbai. However, items like rice and water are priced a bit higher in Delhi than in Mumbai. When it comes to utilities like electricity and water bills, it depends on the consumption. But generally, there are higher charges in Delhi than in Mumbai for them. And lastly, retail items are priced about 2% to 4% higher in Delhi than in Mumbai.
    • Mumbai - As mentioned above, most items in Mumbai are priced higher than in Delhi except for rice, water and wine. Utilities and internet fees are also priced lower in Mumbai than in Delhi, about 2% to 4% in difference. However, liquor and other alcoholic beverages have higher rates of about 14% to 20% in Mumbai too.
    4. Traffic and Transportation
    • Delhi - Delhi's roads are generally wider and more well-maintained. It's not devoid of the usual traffic jams though, which are rampant in any city anyway. But the good thing is that the city has the Delhi Metro, which makes travelling around the city more convenient and also eco-friendly. For short distances, you can rely on auto rickshaws, though they are notorious for ripping off tourists in the city. Make sure that you negotiate a price beforehand and over time, the longer you stay in Delhi, the more you are able to deal with them. You can also use the Delhi Transport Corporation buses if you are travelling during off-peak hours. This is actually one of the largest bus companies in India and the buses cater for the whole city of Delhi. If ever you need to reach other cities outside of Delhi, you can easily do so as there are different railway stations around Delhi in New Delhi, Okhla, Hazrat Nizamuddin and many more.
    • Mumbai - Mumbai has more congested and narrower roads so traffic here is highlighted more. Perhaps the most popular and fastest way of commuting in Mumbai is through the Suburban Railway, which is also the oldest of its kind in Asia. While train journey is your best option, be prepared for the crowds as this is the main means of transportation for most middle class and lower class individuals. The Mumbai Metro has the Line 1 up and running already but the other lines are still not operational. It passes through 12 stations from Versova until Ghatkopar. Once completed, the metro is supposed to help with the congestions of the street of Mumbai. Auto rickshaws are also available in the city although they are not allowed in the suburban areas of Mumbai. You can opt for cycle rickshaws for such locations. And lastly, there's an extensive taxi system as well in Mumbai, if you would like a more comfortable option for travelling.
    Mumbai Suburban Railway (Image Courtesy of India Destinations)

    5. Safety
    • Delhi - With regards to safety, it's no secret that Delhi has had issues with this. For a long while, the city has been tagged as unsafe for women, mostly because of the higher cases of rape here than in other cities, even as compared to Mumbai. But you do have to keep in mind that Delhi is always under the radar of the media, simply because it is the capital of the country. As such, rape cases and even violent crimes are sensationalised at times. That's not to say that you shouldn't exercise caution when in the city, so do be careful and refrain from leaving your apartment during late night. Or if you must, make sure you are with reliable friends or co-workers. With the growing population, crimes are hard to avoid but you can always look out for yourself to avoid being the target for these crimes.
    • Mumbai - Mumbai, being the most populous city in the country, has its fair share of crimes too. But generally, it is a safe city to be in, as the folks here sleep later at night. So even walking alone at night, you are in the presence of many crowds so you can feel safer. Do be safe though as petty crime makers like snatchers and pickpockets also roam round the city. As compared to Delhi though, Mumbai has a 49% crime rate, while the former has a 61% crime rate so there's an obvious difference between the two cities.
    6. Air Pollution
    • Delhi - Considering that Delhi has about four times more vehicles than Mumbai, the quality of air in the city is quite bad. Not to mention that major industrial hubs and factories also reside in and around the city which contribute to the pollution. Unlike the coastal cities, there is no sea breeze to blow the pollution away so the dust and dirt remain on the atmosphere of Delhi. In addition, its proximity to desert areas along with the alluvial soil of the city, are added pollution factors to Delhi. As such, especially during winter, smog is apparent in the city and can make breathing quite hard. But the good news is that the quality of air in Delhi has improved over the last few years. Perhaps with more car pooling and probably use of public transportation, more improvements would result in the quality of air in the city.
    Foggy Delhi
    • Mumbai - Since most locals in Mumbai opt for public transport, the quality of air here is better due to lesser vehicles on the road. Additionally, the numerous beaches around Mumbai provide some breeze to counter the dust particles in the atmosphere. Also, Mumbai receives more rainfall than Delhi too which can also help to relieve some of the air pollution around the city. Around Mumbai, there are plenty of green areas too which provide some fresh air to the residents of the city.
    7. Seasons
    • Delhi - Delhi experiences an extreme of climates depending on the season. For instance, summers here are extremely warm and humid with temperatures reaching 40°C and above, especially during May. By June, the monsoon season sets in although it is not the rain that marks its arrival but rather the humidity. Temperatures reach below 39°C but humidity is still rampant. By August, rainfalls are apparent in the region yet it fully stops at around late September. The last season, winter, is marked by extremely low temperatures reaching 0°C but snowfall doesn't occur in the region. What does occur is frost along with fog and smog which make visibility around the city low.
    • Mumbai - Mumbai is generally warm all-year round. Sure, there are a few months from October to February, winter, when the temperatures are lower. Yet they don't really go any lower beyond 20°C and at the most, temperatures during this time are at the 30°C mark. Summers can be very uncomfortable in Mumbai with temperatures reaching 45°C at times. Thankfully, the cool breeze from the sea makes up for the harsh summers in the city. The last season, monsoon, from June to September, has an onset of moderate to heavy rainfalls. The months of July and August experience the most rainfalls and flooding around Mumbai is very common.
    8. Entertainment
    • Delhi - If you love historical places, Delhi has a lot in store for you. There's the majestic Red Fort, with its high walls and imposing red facade. It stands as the best attraction in Delhi, an example of the Mughal era style of architecture. The mysterious Qutb Minar is also worth a visit, as it is the highest minaret structure in the country. It's also a fine example of the mixture of Indian and Islamic styles of architecture. Humayun's Tomb is yet another must visit place and at first glance, you would find its resemblance to the Taj Mahal quite quickly. It's a gem of its own though and was built even before the prestigious Taj Mahal was created. And lastly, while you cannot visit the inside of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, it's worth it to see its outer facade which still boats of elegance and grandeur. After all, what's a visit to Delhi without visiting the official residence of the president? After all these historical places, you may also visit the numerous temples around Delhi like the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib and Bahai Lotus Temple. Greenery, you say? Delhi also has them with the likes of the Lodi Gardens, Mughal Garden and Garden of Five Senses. Or maybe you're more into museums, then why not visit the National Rail Museum or the Gandhi Smriti. And although the night life in Delhi isn't as happening as in Mumbai, there are also some bars here worth visiting like the Kitty Su and Aura.
    • Mumbai - Mumbai doesn't have as much historical sites unlike Delhi. There's the Gateway of India, built around the 19th century to commemorate the arrival of King George V and Queen Mary in the country. Another must visit here is the Bandra Worli Sea Link which connects Swami Vivekananda Road in Bandra with the Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan Road in Worli. Maybe you can also visit the famous Dhobi Ghat, where locals wash huge linens and sheets without the use of any washing machine. It's especially fascinating to see when the clothes and linens are all hung up. For its architecture, the Bombay High Court is also worth a visit, as its British style and design looks quite out of place in the city. The Kanheri Caves, located to the south of Borivali, are Buddhist rock cut caves that can be traced back a hundred years ago. Of course, Mumbai is known for its many beaches with Juhu Beach and Chowpatty Beach being the most crowded ones. The further beaches of Aksa Beach, Marve Beach and Dana Paani are cleaner and less crowded and are only a few minutes away from the city centre of Mumbai. There are also some gardens around Mumbai that you can explore like the Hanging Gardens and Priyadarshini Park. Mumbai also has a very active night life with the likes of bars like Trilogy and Breeze Lounge.
    Bandra Worli Sea Link (Image Courtesy of Abhishek Tripathi)

    9. Food
    • Delhi - As mentioned, Delhi is a foodie's paradise and there are plenty of restaurants here serving both local and international cuisines. You might get confused though as there are an assortment of high end and low end ones. For something more simple, go to the Hauz Khas Complex and have breakfast at one of the numerous cafes here. Scooter on the Wall serves Italian cuisine to guests while Greenr Store & Cafe serves Continental dishes to guests. With plenty of luxury hotels in the city, fine dining won't also be an issue here with the likes of Akira Back and Ottimo leading the pack. And lastly, why not indulge in street foods too? In Paharganj, there's the Sita Ram Diwan Chand which serves the best chole bhatura in the city. And in Chandni Chowk, head on to Jung Bahadur Kachori Wala, which yes, serves the best tasting kachori in the whole of Delhi.
    • Mumbai - Whether you're craving for something fancy or something simple, Mumbai has options for that. Starting with the best restaurants in the city, there's the Mani's Lunch Home, which serves South Indian dishes to guests. Sambars, idlis, filter coffee... Only the best South Indian dishes are served here. International cuisine, perhaps? There's The Gourmet Kitchen, serving delicious Mediterranean dishes to guests like hummus & pita or lemon herbs fish fillet. Then there are the numerous street food stalls around the city which can satisfy your hunger at affordable prices. For the best vada pav, head on over to Anand in Vile Parle West. Students, working employees, businessmen alike enjoy the delicious vada pav at this stall. Maybe you enjoy pav bhaji more and for that, go to Maa Anjani Centre or Sardar's, both serve unique but scrumptious pav bhajis.
    10. Excursions
    • Delhi - If ever you want to go somewhere else, away from the hustle and bustle of Delhi, you can do so. There's Agra, where the famous Taj Mahal is located along with other heritage sites such as Fatehpur Sikri and Agra Fort. It is only about three hours away and has even less travelling time when you utilise the Yamuna Expressway. Neemrana and Alwar are just under 150 kilometres away from Delhi too. Both have historical sites as well as lush greenery to rejuvenate you. If you're more into hill stations, there's Dehradun, just about 250 kilometres away from Delhi or under 6 hours of driving away. It has a number of natural attractions like waterfalls and caves that look quite scenic. Or better yet, there's Nainital, just over 6 hours away from Delhi. It has some lakes to keep your spirits up before you return for work. And lastly, Delhi is also located quite close to the main cities of Rajasthan like Jaipur, Udaipur and Ranthambore. You can visit ancient forts, palaces and marvel in the beauty of these structures.
    • Mumbai - Mumbai is located quite close to hilly destinations. There's Panvel, just 35 kilometres away from the city centre and has the Karnala Fort. The fort was built around the 14th century and although much of it is in ruins now, the adventure in trekking to reach it is truly what it is all about. About 83 kilometres away from Mumbai is Matheran, view points are abundant in the place which provides one with a view of the valleys and mountains. Hill stations near Mumbai like Lonavala and Khandala have forts, caves, waterfalls and treks that you can indulge in. Kashid, a beach destination, is around 120 kilometres away from Mumbai. It has secluded beaches like the Kashid Beach and the Nandgaon Beach. There are plenty of destinations around Mumbai that are under 3 to 4 hours away.
    So which one would you choose, Delhi or Mumbai? I hope you make the right decision for yourself! Either way, you're bound to enjoy the pace of the modern life with these two cities.

  3. Cwebster

    Cwebster New Member

    wow, thank you for your useful information, i'll save this! :)