"Mumbai is my heart, Bombay is my soul."
Once you have lived in MUMBAI no other city is good enough.
Mumbai - Bombay
Mumbai, formerly Bombay, is big. It’s full of dreamers and hard-labourers, starlets and gangsters, stray dogs and exotic birds, artists and servants, fisherfolk and crorepatis (millionaires), and lots and lots of people. It has India’s most prolific film industry, some of Asia’s biggest slums (as well as the world’s most expensive home) and the largest tropical forest in an urban zone. Mumbai is India’s financial powerhouse, fashion epicentre and a pulse point of religious tension.
If Mumbai is your introduction to India, prepare yourself. The city isn’t a threatening place but its furious energy, limited (but improving) public transport and punishing pollution make it challenging for visitors. The heart of the city contains some of the grandest colonial-era architecture on the planet, but explore a little more and you’ll uncover unique bazaars, hidden temples, hipster enclaves and India’s premier restaurants and nightlife.
The seven islands that constitute Mumbai were originally home to communities of Marathi language speaking Koli people, who originated in Gujarat in prehistoric times. For centuries, the islands were under the control of successive indigenous empires before being ceded to the Portuguese Empire and subsequently to the East India Company when in 1661 Charles II of England married Catherine of Braganza and as part of her dowry Charles received the ports of Tangier and Seven Islands of Bombay. During the mid-18th century, Bombay was reshaped by the Hornby Vellard project, which undertook reclamation of the area between the seven islands from the sea. Along with construction of major roads and railways, the reclamation project, completed in 1845, transformed Bombay into a major seaport on the Arabian Sea. Bombay in the 19th century was characterised by economic and educational development. During the early 20th century it became a strong base for the Indian independence movement. Upon India's independence in 1947 the city was incorporated into Bombay State. In 1960, following the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement, a new state of Maharashtra was created with Bombay as the capital.
Mumbai is the financial, commercial and entertainment capital of India. It is also one of the world's top ten centres of commerce in terms of global financial flow, generating 6.16% of India's GDP and accounting for 25% of industrial output, 70% of maritime trade in India (Mumbai Port Trust and JNPT), and 70% of capital transactions to India's economy. Mumbai's billionaires had the highest average wealth of any city in the world in 2008. The city houses important financial institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India, the Bombay Stock Exchange, the National Stock Exchange of India, the SEBI and the corporate headquarters of numerous Indian companies and multinational corporations. It is also home to some of India's premier scientific and nuclear institutes like Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Nuclear Power Corporation of India, Indian Rare Earths, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, Atomic Energy Commission of India, Department of Atomic Energy and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. The city also houses India's Hindi (Bollywood) and Marathi cinema industries. Mumbai's business opportunities, as well as its potential to offer a higher standard of living, attract migrants from all over India, making the city a melting pot of many communities and cultures.