Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is the commercial hub and the biggest multi-ethnic city of India. It is the most populous conurbation and the sixth most populous agglomeration in the world. Located on the southwestern part of India, on a peninsular front that consists of seven islets lying off the Konkan coast, the city single-handedly owns a large share of India’s wealth and accounts for more than half of the foreign trade. Land prices here are comparable to that of New York and Tokyo. One–third of the income tax paid in India owes to Mumbai. The city is a major port off the Arabian Sea coast. Mumbai is also the administrative headquarters of Maharashtra.
Mumbai derived its name from the Hindu Goddess ‘Mumbadevi’, whose temple once existed in what is now the south-eastern section of the Mumbai city. The word ‘Bombay’ is the Portuguese corruption of ‘Mumbai’.
Mumbai is truly multi-cultural - representatives of every religion and region of the country can be found here. Vibes of every Indian language can be felt in the air.
Mumbai buildings exude an old world charm mixed with the modernity of contemporary constructions. Eighteenth and nineteenth century Gothic constructions – the erstwhile administrative and commercial structures – intermingled with sky scrappers and multi-storey concrete-blocks provide an interesting sight. Mumbai also has the largest slum in Asia, namely
Must see locales in this bustling metropolis include the
Gateway of India, Juhu Beach, Marine Drive, Essel World and Bollywood - The Film City (it produces the second largest number of movies in the world – next only to Hollywood). Nearby excursions include Bassein, Elephanta Caves, Matheran and Khandala. Apart from these, there are scores of museums, libraries, literary and other cultural institutions, art galleries, and theatres.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport handles more than 60% of the international air traffic in India. It is also the entry point for major international airlines into the country. Santa Cruz Domestic airport handles the domestic air traffic. Mumbai is a railhead for the Western and
Central Railways. The city has regular trains to all parts of the country. Two suburban electric train systems cater for public transport. Unlike the other cities of India, auto-rickshaws are absent within city limits, but a huge fleet of metered black-and-yellow taxis are available for hire which can be flagged down at any street corner, the fares being paid by meter.