Formerly known as Bombay, Mumbai is the capital of the western state of Maharashtra. The city is a natural harbour lying at the mouth of the Ulhas River on the west coast of India.
The Arabian Sea lines the western border of Mumbai, which has an average elevation of 14 m. The city is sub-divided into two distinct regions, Mumbai City district (Island City) and Mumbai Suburban district, which together cover an area of 603.4 sq km.
With a population of approximately 12.5 million, Mumbai ranks as the most populous city in India and the fifth most populous city in the world. Along with the neighbouring areas of Navi Mumbai and Thane, the city forms one of the most populous urban regions in the world. Mumbai has also been christened as an 'Alpha world city' in 2009 and has the highest GDP in South, West and Central Asia.
History of Mumbai
Mumbai was originally built on an archipelago of seven islands, namely Bombay Island, Parel, Mazagaon, Mahim, Colaba, Worli and Old Woman's Island (Little Colaba). These islands have been inhabited since the Stone Age and were collectively known as Heptanesia. The region was ruled by dynasties like Satavahanas, Konkan Mauryas and Rashtrakutas, from the 2nd to 9th century BC.
The islands came under the control of the Silharas (810 to 1260), King Bhimdev (1261 to 1346), and the Delhi Sultanate (1347 to 1407). An independent Gujarat Sultanate governed the islands from 1407 onwards. Bahadur Khan Gilani of the Bahamani Sultanate tried to establish control over the islands in 1493, but failed.
During the European rule, Sultan Bahadur Shah of the Gujarat Sultanate signed the Treaty of Bassein with the Portuguese on 23 December, 1534. Control over the seven islands of Bombay, along with Bassein and its dependencies, was thereafter surrendered to the Portuguese on 25 October, 1535. The British Empire took possession of most islands on 11 May, 1661, after the marriage treaty of Charles II of England and Catherine of Braganza.
After Baji Rao was defeated by the British East India Company in 1817, Deccan was incorporated in the Bombay Presidency. The seven islands were coalesced into a single landmass by the Hornby Vellard project and were made the capital of the Presidency. Post independence, the territory was restructured into Bombay State. In the 1950s, the Samyukta Maharashtra movement was initiated to create the state of Maharashtra.
On 1 May, 1960, the state was reorganised on linguistic lines, and was named Maharashtra State with Bombay as its capital. In the following years, Bombay witnessed several unfortunate events like Hindu-Muslim riots (1992–93), series of bomb blasts (1993), and terrorist attacks (2006 and 2008). However, the city still flourishes and currently serves as the commercial capital of India.
People & Culture of Mumbai
Rechristened as Mumbai in 1995, it has become the largest city in South Asia. It is home to the world's most prolific film industry and also houses several historic sites. Characteristic of natural beauty, ethnic cuisine and eclectic shopping destinations, Mumbai is a popular tourist destination. The city of Mumbai is known for its 24x7 culture and vibrant nightlife.
Things to do in Mumbai
Mumbai has a lot of structures, monuments, cultural centres that are a standing testimony to its rich history. It is also home to a number of gardens and a national park, which are must-visits for travellers visiting Mumbai. There is a lot Mumbai tourism has to offer and travellers can choose to sign up for Mumbai holiday packages to explore the city better.
Food & Shopping in Mumbai
Mumbai’s food truly reflects its character – that it is a melting pot of different cultures. It is also considered as one of the highlights of Mumbai tourism; right from its street food such as vada pav, pav bhaji and chaats sold at Mumbai’s famous Chowpatty to cafes and restaurants that offer international cuisine
Travelling to Mumbai
The best time to visit Mumbai is between November and February during which Mumbai hosts several music shows, International film festivals and more. Festivals and Events form an important part of life in Mumbai. Processions, prayers, songs and dance performances are held across the city during festivals. Being the home of Bollywood, Mumbai hosts many film festivals like the Pumelo International Film Festival, Yensa short film festival, Banganga Festival and the Enoma International Film Festival.
Tourists can reach Mumbai from destinations around the country by air, road or rail. Mumbai has its domestic and international airport, known as Chatrapati Shivaji International/Domestic airport, well connected with almost all major cities in India and the world.
Mumbai has a well connected road transportation system. State owned buses connect Mumbai to all neighbouring points. Many Deluxe and Super Deluxe buses are available to travel in and out of the city.
Mumbai is the headquarters of two of Indian Railway zones: the Central Railway (CR) headquartered at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) and the Western Railway (WR) headquartered at the Church gate Mumbai is also well connected to most parts of India.
Accommodation options in Mumbai