Facts & Figures :
||468 sq. km
||Marathi, Hindi, English, and Gujarati
|Best time to visit
||October to March
very name conjures up a host of visions: of glamour and megastars who hold
millions in thrall, of some of the largest and worst slums in the whole of
Asia, of industrialists and business houses, of a multifarious futuristic
lifestyle that is likely to become even more intense as the city moves
closer and closer to becoming the worlds second largest metro by the
. Mumbai manifests a strong Western streak amidst the
traditional Maharashtrian milieu. This is probably due to its being
literally the Gateway of India, the point of arrival for most visitors from
the West. MUMBAI LOCATION....
(formerly Bombay), situated on the western coast of India, is the largest
metropolis of the country. It is the capital of one of Indias most
advanced states, Maharashtra. MUMBAI CLIMATE....
umbai is pleasant during the winter (NovemberMarch)
and hot during summer. The temperature is on the rise from the month of
March until the monsoons break out in mid-June, which goes on until
September. October offers a relief from humidity and heat. MUMBAI
Once a cluster of seven islandsColaba, Mumbai,
Mazagaon, Old Woman's island, Wadala, Mahim, Parel, and Matunga Sionthe
home of the Koli fishing community is today the financial capital of India.
The islands were ruled by a succession of Hindu dynasties, invaded by
Muslims in the 14th century, and then ceded to Portugal by the sultan of
Gujarat in 1534. In 1662, these islands were given to the English King
Charles the Second, as a part of the wedding dowry for the Portuguese
princess, Catherine of Braganza. In 1668, Bombay was given to the East India
Company. This was the time when foundation for a modern city was laid and
Bombay eclipsed other port cities of western India in trading activities. In
the 18th century, the city grew into a major port as the shipbuilding
industry was shifted to Bombay from Surat. The American civil war led to the
opening of the Suez Canal and cotton began to be exported from Bombay.
Bombay played a formative role in the struggle for Independence, hosting the
first Indian National Congress in 1885 and the launch of the Quit India
Movement in 1942. Bombay later became the capital of the Bombay Presidency
that had to be divided into Gujarat and Maharashtra in 1966. "Bombay"
was the name given to the islands by the Portuguese. The word means "good
bay" in Portuguese. In 1996, Bombay officially came to be known as
Mumbai. The present name derives from Mumbadevi, the goddess of the Kolis.
SITES TO VISIT IN MUMBAI..... The
Gateway of India
was built in 1919 and opened to public in 1924. The
ceremonial arch was built in 1927 to commemorate the visit of King George V
and Queen Mary for the Delhi Durbar in 1911. Historically, the gateway holds
greater significance as the last of the British troops left Independent
India by sea, marched through its portals. It is situated on the Apollo
Nine kilometers by sea from Gateway of India, a ferry ride
across the harbor takes one to the Elephanta Island
. A Shiva temple
on the island is a fine example of excellence in artisanship in rock-cut
structures. Built in 1914, the Prince of Wales Museum
by a beautiful landscape forming an ideal getaway from the bustle and hurry
of the city. One of the best museums in the country, it is a treasure house
of art, sculpture, china, rare coins, and old firearms. It also had
priceless collection of miniature paintings.
Standing on a busy
five-point intersection in the heart of the commercial fort area, the Flora
Fountain was erected in the memory of Governor, Henry Bartle Edward Frere.
s Tomb is a mausoleum built in the memory of
Haji Ali, a Muslim saint who was drowned while on pilgrimage to Mecca. It is
accessible by a narrow causeway.
Overlooking the Marine Drive are
the beautiful Kamala Nehru Park and the Hanging Gardens. Chattrapati
is an imposing structure formerly known as Victoria
Terminus. It was built in 1888, designed by Frederick William Stevenson. The
entire façade is covered by sculpture of animals and birds.
No visit to Mumbai is complete without a foray into the bazaars of Kalbadevi
, north of Crawford market. Highlights include
Mangaldas Market, Zaveri Bazaar, and Chor Bazaar. The Jama Masjid and
Mumbadevi Temple are also worth visiting.
and the Nehru Science
Center are located at Worli.
Both are extremely popular not only with the children but also adults.
Audiovisual shows are held here.
The Marine Drive is a winding
stretch of road from Nariman Point to Malabar Hill with tall buildings on
one side. This sweeping Queens Necklace, flickering with a thousand
lights at night, turns into the main thoroughfare linking Malabar Hilland
the northern parts of the islandto the southernmost points of Colaba,
Cuffe Parade, Nariman Point, and Fort.
The other places of
interest are Taraporewala Aquarium, ISKCON temple, amusement parks like
Essel World and Fantasy Land, beaches like Madh Island, Manori, Versova,
Goral, Marue, and Juhu. SITES NEARBY....
can be taken to Sanjay Gandhi National Park. This 104-sq-km protected area
of forested hills on the citys northern fringe has interesting flora,
birds, and butterflies, and boasts a small population of tigers.
excursion can be of Bassein Fort; it is the atmospheric remain of the
Portuguese fortified city of Bassein. The city walls are still standing and
you can explore the ruins of the Cathedral of St. Joseph. MUMBAI
Ganesh Chaturthi (late Augustearly September),
Navratri (OctoberNovember), Gokul Ashtami (mid-August), and Holi
(mid-March) are important festivals of Mumbai. WHERE
Mumbai is Indias greatest marketplace and
the opportunities for shopping are enormous. The main areas for the shopping
are Crawford Market (fruit and vegetables), Mangaldas Market (silk and
cloth), Zaveri Bazaar (jewelry), and Chor Bazaar. For handicrafts, one can
go to the emporia at the World Trade Center or to Central Cottage Industries
Emporium on Shivaji Marg. Clothes at cheap rates can be purchased from the
Fashion Street. HOW TO REACH MUMBAI.....
is Indias international gateway. It has also the busiest domestic air
network in the country. The international terminal is at Sahar, which is 30
km north of the city center. The domestic terminal at Santa Cruz is just 4
km away. The offices of most of the international and domestic airlines are
situated around Nariman Point. Prepaid taxis are available from the airports
to the downtown.
Mumbai is a prominent railway hub of the country.
It is the headquarters to two railway zones, Central and Western. The main
railway station is Victoria Terminal, now renamed Chattrapati Shivaji
Terminal. Other railway stations are Dadar, Churchgate, and Kurla. Express
and super-fast trains are available for most of the Indian cities from