/ BOMBAY, Capital
of Maharashtra, is the fastest moving city of India. Mumbai, being the
commercial capital of the country, it is a land for finance, trade and
entertainment of the country. This city is full of excitement energy
and enthusiasm. The city displays a cosmopolitan character which
reflects in its cuisine, culture, inhabitants and language.
bustling city, is the most busy ports of India and handles about 40
percent of India's Martine trade. The city which is a part of India's
splendid coast, has a natural harbour developed by the British.
city which was earlier the land of Kolis, came under the Portuguese
rule in 1534. Mumbai derives its name from Mumba Devi whose temple
still exists here. The portuguese however named it 'Bom Baim"
meaning good bay. Mumbai earlier was made of seven islands which are
today called Colaba, Mahim, Mazgaon, Parel, Worli, Girgaum and Dongri.
The profit hungry Britishers transformed it into an excellent port and
the large expanses of the open sea were filled in to further the land
area. Nariman Point and Churchgate.
fascinating city which houses people of all cultures and creeds, is
throbbing with life and absorbing the ever increasing needs of the
in 1911 to commemorate the visit of George V to India, this is a
principal landmark of Mumbai, situated at Colaba. This was officially
inaugurated in 1924 to welcome the visitors who came to by ship. This
distinctive monument was India's principal port. The monument's
architecture reflects similarity with the conventional arch of
Triumph. Colaba Causeway extending to one end of Colaba promontory,
southern end of Mumbai Island is situated near Gateway of India. One
more interesting place here is the Sassoon dock, especially when the
fishing boats come in and unload their catch. The gorgeous Hotel Taj
Mahal also lies in Colaba.
Flora Fountain erected in 1869 in honour of Sir Bartle Frere (Governor
of Mumbai in 1862-67), now bustles with busy life and is the many
business centre housing many major banks and offices. Gerald Aungier
began the Cathedral of St. Thomas in 1672, which was formally
opened in 1718 to the fountain.
along the shoreline of Backbay, extending from Nariman Point around by
Chowpatty beach upto Malabar Hills, is the most popular strolling
pavement of Mumbai, built on land reclaimed during 1920. One of the
most popular spots for evening outs is Chowpatty beach which also is
famous for its junk food. The lively atmosphere during Ganesh
Chaturthi Festival is worth a visit. One of the most fascinating
landmark of Mumbai is the VT or Victoria Terminus designed by F.W.
Stevens in Italian Gothic. In 1853 the first train ran from here to
Marine Drive also lies the Taraporewala Aquarium which houses fresh
water as well as saltwater fishes. A fantastic view of Mumbai can be
seen from the Hanging Gardens and Kamala Nehru Park, set on the top of
Malabar. The famous Mahalaxmi Temple, is the oldest temple in
Mumbai, dedicated to the Goddess of Wealth which lies some distance
away from Malabar Hills. A little further away is a long causeway
which leads to Haji Ali tomb and mosque, accessible during low tide.
In Prabhadevi comes the exquisite temple of Siddhivinayak dedicated to
Lord Ganesha always bustling with devotees. Juhu Beach, Nehru
Planetarium and Nehru Science Centre are other tourist attractions.
famous beach is no place for a sun bathe or a dip. In fact, there's
not much going on at Chowpatty at all during the day, but in the
evening it develops a magical fairground atmosphere as locals come to
stroll among the contortionists, masseurs, transvestites, balloon
sellers, gamblers, fortune tellers, magicians, drug dealers, nut
vendors, ferris wheels and shooting galleries. In the middle of all
this mayhem is a small Koli fishing community, where the original
inhabitants of the island mend their nets and dry their fish oblivious
to the shenanigans going on around them. Eating at the collection of
stalls on the edge of the beach is an essential part of the Mumbai
experience. Chowpatty is a great place to witness the annual Ganesh
Chaturthi Festival in August / September when large images of the
elephant-headed god are immersed in the murky sea.
major tourist attractions are the rock-cut temples on peaceful
Elephanta Island, 10km ( 6miles ) north-east of the Gateway of India.
Thought to have been carved between 450 and 750 AD, the temples
survived Portuguese vandalism (one cave was reputedly used by a
Portuguese battalion as a shooting gallery) and remain equal in size,
beauty and power to the caves at Ajanta and Ellora. The main cave
contains large sculpted panels relating to Siva, including the
astonishing 6mt ( 20 feet ) high triple-headed Trimurti - in which
Siva embodies the roles of creator, preserver and destroyer. Boats run
daily from Mumbai's Apollo Bunder every hour until early afternoon,
although it's best to make the trip during the week.
at the end of a long causeway poking into the Arabian Sea, is a
whitewashed fairytale mosque containing the tomb of the Muslim
Haji Ali. The saint is believed to have been a wealthy local
businessman who renounced the material world and meditated on a nearby
headland following a pilgrimage to Mecca. The mosque and tomb were
built by devotees in the early 19th century. Alternative versions say
Haji Ali died while on a pilgrimage to Mecca and his casket amazingly
floated back to Bombay and landed at this spot. The mosque can only be
reached at low tide, when the causeway is lined with beggars suffering
every imaginable affliction and deformity . There's nothing somber about the building's cool courtyard, which is generally full of
chattering families and refreshment stalls. The rocks exposed at low
tide behind the mosque are a favourite spot to catch sea breezes.
visit to Mumbai is complete without a foray into the bazaars of
Kalbadevi, north of Crawford Market. The narrow lanes of this
predominantly Muslim area are hemmed in by laundry-draped chawls , and
a seething mass of people bring Mumbai's traffic to a standstill. It's
in complete contrast to the relative space, orderliness and modernity
of South Mumbai. Entire streets are often devoted to a single product
since caste traditions remain stronger than capitalist marketing
theories; this can make browsing a strange experience as you suddenly
encounter shop after shop selling bathroom fittings or copper pipes.
Some people consider the bazaars a spectacle rather than a place to
shop, but it's a lot more fun doing both. The main areas are Zaveri
Bazaar (jewellery), Mangaldas Market (cloth), Dhabu Street (leather goods)
and Chor Bazaar (Mumbai's `thieves' market'). You can pick up anything
at Chor Bazaar from car parts to Victorian porcelain - the traditional
joke is that it was probably stolen from you in the first place.
Mutton St in Chor Bazaar specialises in antiques, ingenious
reproductions and miscellaneous junk. Don't place too much faith in
authenticity or the lifespan of objects with mechanical parts.
called Bollywood by locals and cynics, Film City clings
to the outskirts of the National Park, and is practically
overrun by assorted stars and starlets -- the demi gods
and goddesses of Modern India. Don't snigger. Bollywood
churns out over 900 films every year, all packed with
those mandatory elements of song, dance, melodrama,
violence and erotica that Indian audiences love. Which is
probably why Film City sets are heavily booked around the
year. They are closed to visitors, but special
permissions can always be "obtained" to check
out the action.
next to Mahalaxmi Race Course, the Nehru Planetarium is a large domed
building, popular with the city's amateur astronomers. Inside, various
cubicles estimate your weight on each of the nine planets of the Solar
System while in the domed interior, daily shows uncover the timeless
mysteries of the cosmos. The place is usually packed with school
children so make sure you buy your ticket in advance. Adjacent to the
planetarium is the Nehru Centre, venue of numerous international trade
fairs and local exhibitions. In the basement, the Nehru Auditorium
usually boasts classical music and dance recitals, concerts and plays.
Raja Bhai Clock
Prince of Wales
It is never too hot or too cold in
Mumbai and since it is a coastal city there is not much change in
the temperature throughout the year. Due to its proximity to the sea
the weather is humid throughout the year.
Summers: The summer season in Bombay is from April to mid
June. The weather is hot and humid. The maximum and minimum
temperatures are around 35°C and 25°C respectively.
Monsoon: Monsoon season starts from mid June and extends up
to mid September. It rains very heavily in Mumbai. Annual rainfall
in Mumbai is around 200 cm. The day temperature and the night
temperature is around 30°C and 20°C respectively.
Winters: Winter season is from November to February. The
weather is pleasant and the temperature is in the range of 15-25°C.
Mumbai is known as
the commercial and financial capital of India. The Indian textile
industry was originated in Mumbai and since then it has not looked
back. Bombay is the biggest contributor to the Indian exchequer.
Mumbai contributes 10% of factory employment, 33% of income tax
collections, 60% of customs duty collections, 20% of central
excise tax collections, 40% of India's foreign trade and Rupees
40,000 crore in corporate taxes. Headquarters of a number of
Indian financial institutions such as the Bombay Stock Exchange,
Reserve Bank of India, National Stock Exchange, as well as
numerous Indian corporate houses such as the Tatas, L&T, Godrej
and Reliance are located in Mumbai. Indian equivalent of the''
Wall Street'', Dalal Street-where all the share trading takes
place-is located in downtown Mumbai.
Mumbai is also the epicenter of entertainment industry. The Hindi
film industry, popularly known as Bollywood is located here. Most
of India's television and satellite networks are also located in
Mumbai. Mumbai has a strong entrepreneurial culture and it salutes
the entrepreneurial spirit of the people.
Mumbai is famous
for its Bindaas (carefree) attitude. It is the most cosmopolitan
city of India. Bombay is a melting pot of various cultures and is
in fact a microcosm of India. Average resident of Mumbai, known as
Mumbaikar or Bombayite, leads a fast-paced life and has very
little time for other activities owing to a significant amount of
time spent on daily commuting. Local railway network-established
by the Britishers-is the lifeline of Mumbai and the preferred mode
of transportation of most of the Mumbaikars. Local bus service run
by BEST is also very popular. Taxis and autos are also quite
efficient and run at reasonable rates.
Food: Mumbai is famous for its fast food consisting of vada
pavs, batata vadas and bhel puri. Apart from its famous fast food,
Mumbai offers lot of culinary variety such as South Indian,
Chinese, Punjabi, Mughlai, Thai, Mexican and Lebanese. Amongst
drinks the ubiquitously available coconut water is the most
popular. Tea and coffee are the other popular beverages.
Festival: Since Mumbai is a cosmopolitan metropolis all
religious festivals such as Diwali, Holi, Christmas, Id, Moharram,
and Ganesha Chaturthi are celebrated with great fanfare. But
amongst these festivals Ganesha Chaturthi is most popular. It is a
Hindu festival celebrating the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha
(elephant-headed god). The festival lasts for the 10 days and
culminates with the immersion of idols of Lord Ganesha in the sea.
Architecture: Mumbai is a mix of various architectural
styles. During the British era, The Indo-Saracenic architecture
was the official architecture of the city. Many Indo-Gothic
monuments also line South Mumbai. Victoria Terminus; BMC building,
Gateway of India are some examples of this style. In 2004
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) was
nominated a World Heritage Site by the World Heritage Committee of
UNESCO. The Marine Drive,is home to some of the finest buildings
of the art deco style, which flourished in the 1920s and 1930s.
Cinema: Mumbai is the birthplace of Indian film industry.
Popularly known as Bollywood, it is the biggest film industry in
the world. A large number of theatres, including an IMAX dome
theatre, catering to mainstream Bollywood and Hollywood films dot
the city. Besides cinemas, the city also hosts various plays and
cultural performances. Prithvi Theatres is a well-known theatre
company, which produces plays. There are also two art galleries,
The Jehangir Art Gallery and The National Gallery of Modern Art
and a museum, The Prince of Wales Museum in South Mumbai. The
Asiatic Society of Bombay is the oldest public library in the city
built in 1833.
Mumbai is a city
that never sleeps. No matter what time of night you venture out
you will find substantial number of people on streets and roads.
The city is famous for its vibrant night life. There are plenty of
bars and clubs to suit every taste.