Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra, is sited on the western coast of India. Its geographical location accedes to have the surging Arabian Sea as its background. The terrain of the city came into existence with the merger of seven islands namely, Isle of Bombay, Mazagaon, Colaba, Old Woman's Island, Parel, Worli, and Salsette Island. Mumbai lies just above sea level, with its meager altitude ranging from 10 to 15 metres.
The fascinating city of Mumbai has achieved world recognition primarily due to the fact that it is home to the biggest and most prolific film industry in the world, 'Bollywood'. Remarkably, Bollywood has surpassed Hollywood in the United States for the number of theatrical releases as well as the number of movie-goers. With its popularity at an all time high, Mumbai has developed an impressive tourist infrastructure with a wide selection of accommodation that range from elegant 5-star hotels to lodgings for budget travellers. One of most fascinating aspects of Mumbai has to be its remarkable ability to blend old-world heritage and modest neighbourhoods with ultra-modern skyscrapers and trendy developments. Another reason for travelling to Mumbai is the gentle spirit and warmth of its local people.
The Island City is divided into two different regions, one the city itself and the other, its suburbs. In the coastal region called Konkan, Mumbai (or Bombay) is to be found at the mouth of Ulhas River. The mountains dominate the northern part of the city, where the highest point elevates to 450 metres in Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Sprawled in the total area of 603 km², the Bollywood city is dotted with lakes like Powai, Tulsi and Vihar Lake.
Moreover, there are three small rivers within the periphery of the Island City. Numerous creeks and bays are strewn on its coastline. On the eastern coast of Salsette Island, the area is cloaked with large mangroves, while the western coast is generally sandy and stony. In Mumbai, the soil cover is largely sandy because of its propinquity to the sea. Geography states that the underlying rock of the expanse is made of Black Deccan Basalt flows and their acid and basic variants.
||West coast of Maharashtra
||603 sq kms
||Gateway of India, Bombay High Court, Marine Drive, etc.
||English, Marathi and Hindi
||Hinduism, Islam, Christians and Zoroastrians
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Although Mumbai was not founded until the 1600s by the British and Portuguese, the site on which the city sits today has been inhabited by humans since the Stone Age, according to archaeological evidence. Along with the Isle of Bombay, the other six islands that today make up the city were once no more than a series of tropical mangrove swamps and sea. Originally the area was inhabited by the Koli, a Marathi tribes-people that lived off the sea, and the Aagris people.
By the 4th century BC, the Mumbai area fell under its first group of systematic rulers with the expansion of the Maurya Empire, which eventually took over much of the subcontinent. At this early stage, the whole empire was relatively tolerant of different religions; which allowed Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism to flourish in the area, the Koli showing a preference for the former.
After the Maurya Empire fell in the 2nd century BC, the area later developed into the most significant trading port on the western coast of India, a city that was then known as Sopara. Trade links were established with the major civilisations of the day conveniently located across the Arabian Sea such as Egypt, Mesopotamia, Eastern Africa and Arabia.
This era lasted until the area again fell into the hands of a major regional power at the beginning of the 800s, the Silhara dynasty ruled the land for around 500 years. In the mid-14th century, the Silhara dynasty was ended in Mumbai when the Muzaffarid dynasty from Gujarat took over. As with the Silhara dynasty, the area around Mumbai remained relatively insignificant, even if the port was still functioning.
It was the Portuguese, arriving at the very end of the 15th century, who oversaw the beginning of Mumbai’s rise to prominence. Taking over much of the western coast of India, the Portuguese named the area ‘Bom Bahia’ (meaning ‘Good Bay’) a few years later, which eventually turned into the more familiar Bombay.
When the British East India Company leased the Bombay islands in 1668, the city really began to grow. The marshlands and mangrove forests were transformed into a working deep-sea port that handled the bulk of traffic into the subcontinent from that moment on. By the 19th century, Bombay was the jewel in the British colonial crown, a city more important commercially than any other under London in the East including Rangoon, Delhi and Calcutta.
When the Indians under Mahatma Gandhi began to push for independence at the beginning of the 20th century, naturally Bombay was at the forefront. Independence in 1947 saw Bombay remain the trade hub of India as its population continued to expand. Its official title was changed to Mumbai in 1995 but still many know the city by its timeless colonial name, Bombay. From the start of the 21st century, Mumbai was one of the few cities in India to truly embrace the new millennium both socially, culturally and economically,setting the pace in all walks of life on the subcontinent.
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The most pleasant time of the year to visit is during the cool season, which begins in December, although January and February are typically the most comfortable months of the year. Expect average temperatures between 20 and 25˚C in the day at this time and nights that regularly drop into the teens. March is a little warmer but still pleasant and by April things tend to heat up steadily.
By May, the humidity has typically risen considerably and temperatures usually hit close to 40˚C. The heat continues until the end of June.
The monsoon season begins in early July. It's during this period that the greater part of the city’s annual 114cm of precipitation falls. Humidity is exceedingly high during the wet season and temperatures are also steamy, hovering in the 30s (°C) for the most part.
The fascination for the Island City of India, Mumbai, never gets exhausted. People plan trips according to their holidays and suitability, yet one should refer the weather and peak travel season of the city before scheduling the trip. Mumbai, being located on the coastline, observes humid and sultry climate throughout the year. Summers elongates from March to May, where high temperature doesn't allow enjoying the capital of Maharashtra.
Monsoon season gives an amusing breathing space, but excessive rains spoil the mood of a holiday. Frankly, one should not plan a tour to Bombay during the rainy season. Due to its propinquity with the sea, the Bollywood City virtually floats in the heavy showers. The cultural festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, held in August/ September, attracts people from various parts of the country as well as the world.
After monsoons, the weather changes and, owing to the light breezes, becomes quite agreeable. Winters arrive and make the climatic conditions truly pleasant. It is the time when the city is comparatively less humid. However, winters doesn't mean wearing loads of woolens in Mumbai. The weather is just fine to take pleasure in the attractions, which the city offers. Thus, the best and ideal time to visit Mumbai is between the months of October and February.
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Mumbai is one of the most glamorous and happening cites of India. Being highly influenced by the British during the colonial rule, the city has transformed drastically and is now known as the commercial capital of the country. It has an unfaltering lifestyle and never comes to a halt. Besides, Bombay has been bestowed with a host of tourist attractions which are thronged by a great influx of tourists every year. Therefore, the sightseeing tour to the city will refresh you by all means. Moreover, these tourists spots will not only make your tour exciting, but will also provide an insight into the otherwise hidden legacy of the place. Visitors looking for a variety of cultural attractions in Mumbai will be not leave disappointed with so many options to choose from. Mumbai also offers numerous renowned heritage sites that India is famous for around the world.
Gateway of India
Built in dedication to former British monarch King George V when he visited India at the beginning of the last century, the Gateway to India, like many other colonial relics, has been adopted by the independent India as its own and a powerful, sturdy icon of the city. Located right on the harbour front in southern Mumbai, many visitors end up here without planning to, so you will no doubt see it during a trip here. This is also the departure point for numerous ferries.
Elephant Island/Elephanta Caves
These carved shrines dedicated to Shiva are centuries-old and one of Mumbai’s premier tourist sites and the host of the Elephanta Festival every February. The Portuguese vandalised this important site when they arrived nearly 500 years ago but the caves remain as splendid today as ever. Catch a ferry from the Gateway of India ferry terminal to get here.
Inspired from Flora - the Roman Goddess of Flowers, Flora Fountain is a stone fountain in South Mumbai. Located in the Fort business district, the splendid fountain was built in 1864. It was constructed by the Agri-Horticultural Society of Western India.
Mahalakshmi Racecourse is actually an elite horse racing ground in Mumbai. This oval shaped ground is to be found in the Mahalakshmi area of India's commercial capital. Leased by the Bombay Municipal Corporation, Mahalakshmi Race Course is run by the Turf Club.
Town Hall is conceivably the most imperial structure amongst the heritage buildings of Mumbai. Housing the Asiatic Society of Bombay, Town Hall is located in the Fort area of South Mumbai. The pillared monument is even more significant for its exquisite edifice that has old wooden floor.
Mumbai is synonymous to the Film City of India. Perhaps this silver screen allures thousands of aspirants, who come to test their fortune in the flicker industry of movies. Bollywood, the Hindi Film Industry, is generally taken for the entire film industry of India.
Churchgate is a downtown business district in South Mumbai. Imbibing its name from Churchgate Railway Station, the city center is crammed with several offices and banks. However, the railway station is a big hit in the transportation market of Mumbai.
Banganga, which once had been a gorge, is today present in the form of a water tank, in the Malabar Hill area of Mumbai (Bombay). To be found in the complex of Walkeshwar Temple, this tank has a mythological legend behind its emergence.
Malabar Hill is a small hill in South Mumbai that is quarters to the famous Hanging Gardens, Walkeshwar Temple and Kamala Nehru Gardens of the Dream City of India. In fact, it is the highest point in the city center, with a height of 50 meters.
Nariman Point is the leading business center in Mumbai, previously called Bombay. Located on the southern end of Marine Drive in South Mumbai, Nariman Point owes its name to Khusheed Framji Nariman - a futurist Parsi, who wished to retrieve the land from the sea in 1940.
Prithviraj Kapoor, a legend in himself, is the source of inspiration behind the establishment of Prithvi Theatre. A well-known theatre of Mumbai, Prithvi Theatre belongs to the Kapoors - the leading actor/director families in Bollywood. Shashi Kapoor, youngest son of Prithviraj Kapoor,
Rajabai Tower is essentially a majestic clock tower in South Mumbai. Located in the precincts of Mumbai University in Fort Campus, right next to the High Court, Rajabai Tower is a beautiful structure, ornamented with oriental figures. Its history reveals that it was designed by Sir Gilbert Scott.
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Mumbai is a versatile city, where the rationale of entertainment lies in different means. Recreation could be different for different people, some like indulging in late night parties and gobbling the best alcohol, while others may prefer watching movies at cinema halls and splurge in shopping. Regarding nightlife, Mumbai (or Bombay) is the hottest place in the whole country, to catch the great discotheques and nightclubs.
Most of the teenagers opt for hanging out in cafes and restaurants. Called the Capital of Indian Nightlife, Mumbai always has the greatest events on its social calendar. It's for sure that its hangouts, such as cafes, restaurants, discotheques, clubs, pubs, etc, never let down the partying spirit in you. Be it cultural shows, fashion extravaganza, charity shows, product launches, movie screenings, film festivals or award functions, the 'bindaas' Mumbai has various means of entertainment.
Bowling alleys, huge shopping malls, paragliding, art shows, and many more events make this conurbation completely entertaining. Moreover, Bollywood - the centre of Hindi Film Industry, is the pride of the nation. Silver-screen stars have infused fashion and style in the younger generation. Movies and celebrities bring the latest trends to the markets of India. The groovy lifestyle of Mumbai makes it the hottest destination, where recreation is not limited to amusement parks and beaches, but quite more than that.
Art Galleries often depict the aesthetic sense of the people. Mumbai, the Financial Hub of India, is not afar in portraying the talents through such art galleries. The pictorial and refined art revealed by means of Mumbai galleries is certainly creditable.
Mumbai is the hub of commercial activities in India. Taking into consideration the requirements of this metropolis, auditoriums have cropped up to serve as venues for big conferences, seminars, meetings, competitions, discussions and presentations.
Mumbai, the City of Dreams, houses the prime centre of Hindi Film Industry, better known as Bollywood. Acclaimed as one of the biggest film industries of the world, Bollywood produces over 800 films every year. Since 1913, Indian Cinema has made a long journey from simple silent movies to sound films.
Bollywood movies have always been the greatest entertainer for the public of India. Mumbai, the centre of Hindi Film Industry, is no exception to it. Movies entertain a great deal of people, however some may like comedy, other could love thriller or suspense and some might prefer watching romantic love stories.
Discotheques are always synonymous with music, dance, drinks and fun. It's a place where you can spot the most happening crowd of the city. Throughout your stay in Mumbai, discos will be a great place to entertain yourself, amidst the finest tracks and dancing steps.
Mumbai is the coolest destination in India, where you can see couples, friends and groups hanging out. Indeed, Hangouts have become an inseparable part of city's culture. Be it college guys or girls, professionals or others, mooching is a regular feature.
The phrase - 'city that never sleeps', goes right with the most-happening city of India, Mumbai. The sparkling conurbation gleams all the more in the hours of darkness, when lights illuminate and music reverberates in its streets. It's for sure that its rocking nightclubs would buoy up your bashing spirits.
Envisage the idea of flying over the sea and mountains with wings of your own. Feeling great, yes and why not? Perhaps it is the veiled thought of almost every person. Mumbai, the Dream City, actually offers you the chance of flying and pleasing your craved thoughts.
Pubs & Bars
Unlike any other part of India, boozing is very common in Mumbai. Apart from the hours of darkness, a person having a shot in daylight is nothing exceptional. The cosmopolitan culture has very much penetrated into the Island city, where you can find top-notch pubs and bars.
Malls have become the latest trend of shopping in cities, where people don't have much time to go to different places for buying various things. The malls have changed the idea of old shopping, when people used to shop in different markets, while sweating and holding several bags at the same time.
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Shopping is an exhilarating activity for almost every person. As regards Mumbai, it becomes even more exciting and electrifying. For the reason that it houses Bollywood, the city always has an appeal about itself. And certainly, the appeal is not only ostentatious like a far-flung star, but is actually real. Here, one can find each and every thing, varying from trendy clothing to antique jewelry, sparkling cars to high-tech gadgets, colorful handicrafts to abstract paintings, fabulous leather ware to the most-modern furniture, and the list goes on.
Indeed, you can spend hours exploring markets, where your mind would simply boggle concerning what to buy. There are huge malls that even specialize in jewelry, sports items, interiors, furniture, electronic equipments and weddings, apart from the ones having all the basic things. After browsing the malls, you can check out the ancient and renowned markets like Chor Bazaar or Theives Market, Crawford Market, Mutton Street, Linking Road, Hill Road, Fashion Street and Zaveri Bazar.
Shop to your heart's content in these markets of Bombay. Said to be the New York of India, the Island city has almost everything that you can think of. You can find stores of designer clothes, designer jewelry, antiques and branded items as well. While shopping at the local markets, get ready to bargain a lot with the shopkeepers. Sometimes you can also get the products at throwaway prices, so don't get into the haggle if you find the price okay. Come and experience shopping in Mumbai.
Antiques are becoming the style statement of today's drawing rooms. And a trip to Mumbai (or Bombay) could unfold some of the best antiques you might have ever seen. Chor Bazaar is the place poised on the Mutton Street, where you can grab vintage assortment of curios.
Crawford Market is one of the prominent markets of Mumbai. It is located in South Mumbai, to the north of Victoria railway station and opposite the Police headquarters. The market is called so, after the City's Municipal Commissioner Arthur Crawford.
Fashion Street (FS) is the name that you can hear from most of the college students in Mumbai as soon as the last bell rings. Indeed it has become the stomping ground of the students and teenagers, who make the style statement in their classrooms and the realm of fashion.
Mumbai Shopping Places
Often termed as the 'city which never sleeps', Mumbai has a host of shopping places to be explored. The most fascinating fact is that these markets offer such vide variety that shopping becomes nearly irresistible. From air conditioned malls to branded shops, from celebrity outlets to street side stalls, Mumbai has got something for everyone.
Specialization is the keyword of the present times. To your surprise, our ancestors were not ignorant of this current fact when Zaveri Bazaar was established. Zaveri Bazaar is virtually a market that understands and speaks the language of gold. You are guessing right.
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Mumbai, the Dream City of India, is famous for varied reasons. Be it architectural monuments or historical museums, sprawled beaches or spicy 'bhel puri', religious places or amusement parks, the city provides innumerable places to the tourists, to visit as well as admire its rich culture. While moving around the city, you might feel the need of its map. Seeing that there are many roads and places to see, it is always better to refer the map and plan out sightseeing trips and excursions accordingly.
Considering your requirement, here are provided the maps of the Bombay that would provide you a valuable insight into the glittering city. These maps will give an exact idea about the location of different tourist places, at the same time assisting you to enjoy a trouble-free tour. In case you are utterly new to Mumbai, you can locate the major roads and landmarks with the help of city maps.
||Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport
||About 28 kms in the north of Mumbai
||1-A & 1-B (Domestic), 2A & 2C (International)
Mumbai, the erstwhile Bombay, is the largest city and the financial hub of India. Since it a major metropolis, it has the best national and international connections. Getting to the Island City is easy because it is well-connected by means of air, road, rail as well as water. The most far-reaching network of roads and rails hook up this city with all the nook and corners of the country. Moreover, it is connected with almost all the major cities round the world. Though limited to some places, traveling to the Bollywood city by boat or cruise is another option. Read further to know how to reach Mumbai.
How to Reach
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is the major airdrome that receives both domestic and international traffic to the city. Almost all the airlines operate flights to and from Mumbai. It is the busiest airport of the country, that handles at least 45 landings and take-offs per hour. It has two domestic and two international terminals, which are connected by shuttle services.
Mumbai boasts of an extensive network of rail tracks, which connects the city with all parts of the nation. It houses the headquarters of Central Railways and Western Railways. Besides Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminal - the major one, there are other railway stations at Bombay Central, Churchgate, Dadar and Kurla. One can board trains from here to any place across the country.
The National Highways No. 3, 4, 6, 8, 9 and 17 pass through the city, making it accessible from all parts of the country. Besides these National Highways, the Mumbai-Pune expressway traverses through the city. Many long distance buses leave from the State Transport Terminal, which is located opposite Mumbai's Central Railway Station. Many deluxe buses connect Mumbai with all tourist destinations within and outside the state. One can always hire car to move around the city and its suburbs.
One amongst the best natural harbors in the world, Mumbai port handles 50% of the passenger traffic and most of the cargo of the country. Above all, it serves as an important base for the Navy. One can reach close-by islands and beaches by getting in ferries that start from Ferry Wharf. Many travel companies provide sea-cruises to Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai, etc.
By Local Trains
Local Trains are the major means of transport in Mumbai. Most of the city-dwellers rely on Mumbai Suburban Railway to travel within the metropolis. The extensive network of Railways has three lines, called the Western Line, the Central Main Line and the Harbour Line.
Hiring a taxi is a convenient way of traveling in and around Mumbai. They are small sized cars which are cheap and easily available. The regular taxis are black and yellow in color, with manual meters and without air condition. There are even pre-paid taxis available, which rule out the meter and fix the fare before hand. From midnight, till 5 a.m. in the morning, 25 percent extra fare is charged. Big sized luggage items are charged at Rs 10 each. Before getting into a taxi, ensure that the meter is working properly.
By Auto Rickshaw
Auto rickshaw is yet another one of the comfortable means to travel in the city. These are not available in the downtown areas and operate only beyond Bandra and Sion in the western and central suburbs, respectively. Autos also carry meters and the initial marking is 10.00. Ensure the reading is right as soon as you board an auto. It should be preferred only for short distances, as its speed is very slow.
Buses are the most popular means of transport in Mumbai. A major chunk of the population travels by bus. Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) buses provide efficient services in and around the city. There are buses connecting Mumbai to the suburban areas like Navi Mumbai, Thane and Mira-Bhayanadar. The buses are numbered according to the route they run on and are usually very crowded. The tickets are given by a uniformed conductor. The buses operate till midnight and have seats reserved for senior citizens, ladies and handicapped.
Cars are also provided to the tourists by the Travel Agents and Hotels. These are private cars available with a private chauffeur for the convenience of the travelers. Though they are expensive, they are the safe, trusted and comfortable way of traveling around the city.
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