Mumbai (long known, until the mid 1990s, as Bombay), is the largest city in the western Indian state of Maharashtra and one of the top six largest agglomerations in the world. It is a coastal city of around 18.1 million people with a deep natural bay. The city is a significant contributor to Indian trade and taxation.
The city originally consisted of seven islands. It was called Mumba (after Mumbadevi) and part of the kingdom of Ashoka and then various Hindu rulers of the Silhara dynasty until 1343 when it was taken by the kingdom of Gujerat. In 1534 the Portuguese took the islands from Bahadur Shah of Gujarat and renamed the area Bom Baia ("Good Bay"). The islands remained in their hands until 1661 when it was part of the dowry of the Infanta Catherine de Braganza to Charles II of England. He in turn leased it to the British East India Company in 1668 for £10 per annum. The company found the deep harbour at Bombay eminently suitable, the population rose from 10,000 in 1661 to 60,000 by 1675, and in 1687 the East India Company transferred their headquarters there from Surat. From 1817 the city was reshaped with large civil engineering projects merging the seven islands into one single mass of around 435 km≤ by 1845. In 1853 the first railway link in India was completed, between Bombay and Thana. The city remained in Company hands until after the Indian Mutiny (or First War of Independence) of 1857 when it was taken from the Company by the Crown.
On March 12, 1993 several bombs exploded in the city killing about 300 and injuring hundreds more.
Places of Tourist interest
Educational and Cultural Institutions
Mumbai city boasts of a large number of premier educational and cultural institutions. Prominent among them are:
Cultural, Social and Miscelaneous Institutions
Recreation and Malls
Mumbai has several European style shopping malls, recreation centers, pubs etc.
Indian Movies (Bollywood) is the chief recreation of the masses. Mumbai is also a center for various concerts of Indian Classical Music and other performing arts.
Industry and Commerce
Mumbai is the economic capital of India. Major industries are chemicals, textiles and fisheries. India's film industry has a strong presence in Mumbai.
Transport and communication in Mumbai
Mumbai city has one of the best transport facilities in India. It is well connected through suburban railway (along the Western Railway line and the main and harbour lines of the Central Railway; it is a kind of metro, but not underground), and also via bus services of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST, formerly Bombay Electric Supply and Transport).
Population is the biggest problem facing Mumbai. Land is scarce, cost of living is high. Population explosion has put a tremendous strain on the basic infrastructure and transport facilities of this city. In fact, Mumbai is set to replace Tokyo as the world's most populous city by 2020 . Many local political activists demand that unemployed immigrants to the city after 1995 must vacate, so that the population in the city's slums is reduced.
Transportation to/from Mumbai