Mumbai – City of dreams. A cosmopolitan metropolis, earlier known as Bombay, is the largest city in India and the capital of Maharashtra state. It lies on the west coast of India and has a deep natural harbour.
Mumbai is built on what was once an archipelago of seven islands: Bombay Island, Parel, Mazagaon, Mahim, Colaba, Worli, and Old Woman's Island (also known as Little Colaba). It is bounded by the Arabian Sea to the west. Pleistocene sediments found along the coastal areas around Kandivali in northern Mumbai suggest that the islands were inhabited since the Stone Age. Perhaps at the beginning of the Common era (2,000 years ago), or possibly earlier, they came to be occupied by the Koli fishing community.
The name Mumbai is derived from Mumbā or Mahā-Ambā—the name of the patron goddess (Kuladevi) Mumbadevi of the native Agri, Koli and Somvanshi Kshatriya communities—and ai meaning "mother" in the Marathi language, which is the mother tongue of the kolis and the official language of Maharashtra. For centuries, the islands were under the control of successive indigenous empires before being ceded to the Portuguese and subsequently to the British East India Company. During the mid-18th century, Bombay was reshaped by construction of major roads and railways. British made Mumbai an important port on Arabian Sea since it already had a natural harbor.
Mumbai is the commercial, financial and entertainment capital of India and is one of the predominant port cities in the country. Mumbai's nature as the most eclectic and cosmopolitan Indian city is symbolized in the presence of Bollywood within the city, the centre of the globally-influential Hindi film and TV industries. It is also home to India's largest slum population.
Mumbai's culture is a blend of traditional festivals, food, music, and theatres. The city offers a cosmopolitan and diverse lifestyle with a variety of food, entertainment, and night life, available in a form and abundance comparable to that in other world capitals. Mumbai's history as a major trading centre has led to a diverse range of cultures, religions, and cuisines coexisting in the city. This unique blend of cultures is due to the migration of people from all over India since the British period.
The city has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and the Elephanta Caves. Mumbai is also known for the Heritage structures (Victoria Terminus, Bombay University and Gateway of India). The building styles are influenced by Gothic Revival style, Indo-Saracenic style, European styles such as German gables, Dutch roofs, Swiss timbering, Romance arches, Tudor casements, and traditional Indian features. Mumbai has the second largest number of Art Deco buildings in the world after Miami. Mumbai is a bustling, diverse metropolis with a flair all its own. The entrepreneurial spirit and pulsing pace of life provide a sharp contrast to much of the rest of India.
- Elephanta Caves
- Mount Mary Church, Bandra
- St. Michael's Church
- Portuguese Church
- Afghan Church
- Siddhivinayak Temple
- Haji Ali Dargah
- National Gallery of Modern Art
- Mehboob Studio
- R. K. Studio
- Film City
- Aksa Beach
- Juhu Beach
- Girgaum Chowpatty
- Gateway of India