About Mumbai

Popularly known as the ‘commercial capital of India’, and the ‘film city of the country’, Mumbai is truly cosmopolitan in all senses of the word. It is the capital of the state of Maharashtra and is located on the western coast of the country.To tell the history of the city, we’d have to go back to the time when, instead of today’s Mumbai, there were a group of seven islands. Yes, the current city stands on the reclaimed land from the seven original islands – Colaba, Mazagaon, Wadala, Mahim, Parel, Old Woman's Island and Matunga-Sion. The fisherfolks, Kolis, are believed to be one of the earliest inhabitants of the area. The name ‘Mumbai’ comes from ‘Mumba Devi’, a goddess worshipped by the Kolis. As years went by, many communities and races came to make Mumbai their home.

Mumbai was a part of the kingdom of Ashoka, the famous Emperor of India. It was also ruled for a short while by the Mughals. The Portuguese occupation of Mumbai and its neighbouring coastal areas in the early 1500s has a huge impact on the city’s make-up itself. They called the place ‘Bom Baia’, which means ‘good bay’ in Portuguese. After a few years, the Portuguese princess Catherine married King Charles II of England, and ‘Bom Baia’ was gifted to the English. They anglicized the name to Bombay.

In 1668, the English East India Company acquired Bombay for 10 pounds of gold per year. It was the English who paved the way for the city to become one of the most successful ports of south Asia now. Trade grew, and so did the city. By 1853, the first train in India ran between Bombay Victoria Terminus and Thane. In about two decades, in 1875, the Bombay Stock Exchange was set up. It was the first in India. It is now rightly called the ‘commercial capital of India’.

The British East India Company encouraged business to flourish in Bombay. Immigrants were allowed to settle in Bombay and continue their work. This saw an influx of Parsi and Gujarati businessmen. After more than a hundred years, now Mumbai is a cosmopolitan city, with people from all imaginable backgrounds living in it.

Getting here
The city of Mumbai is the most well-connected on the western coast of India. The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is located an hour from the centre of the city. Within India, there are domestic flights connecting Mumbai to all the cities across the country. The domestic and international terminals are four km apart from each other.
There are two main railway stations in Mumbai – Mumbai Central and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. A large network of trains connects Mumbai rest of India.

The roads in Mumbai might be a little congested with traffic. But, all the same, it is well-connected with other parts of the state as well as India. Taxis and rickshaws are convenient for tourists as you can visit many scenic spots and tourist centers at your own pace. Buses are available, too.

Places to see in Mumbai

Gateway of India | Marine Drive | Mahalaxmi Temple | Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Market | Malabar Hill | Nariman Point
Nehru Science Centre | Mani Bhavan | National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) | Nehru Planetarium
Prince of Wales Museum | Siddhivinayak Temple | Haji Ali | Powai Lake | Hanging Gardens | Islands Of Mumbai

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