“Mumbai is like a giant piece of soul. Every time a new person comes to Mumbai and attaches oneself to this city regardless of wherever you go after that, it travels with you, enriching you.”

Mehak Batra

India’s largest port, its commercial and industrial center, as well as fashion capital and heart of Bollywood (India’s thriving movie industry), Mumbai is an endlessly fascinating hive of activity. A jumble of captivating contradictions, grand colonial architecture rubs shoulders with chaotic bazaars, trendy restaurants, exclusive boutiques, slums and shanty towns, all interspersed with beautiful, tropical palm trees. A shopper’s haven, this bustling cosmopolitan metropolis offers anything from pavement stalls and ancient markets to glitzy malls and designer outlets. A melting pot for cultures from every corner of the country, Mumbai embodies a little bit of all India’s diverse traditions and rolls it into one.

History

Mumbai stands on what once was an archipelago of seven islands: Bombay Island, Parel, Colaba, Mazagaon, Worli, Mahim and Little Colaba. They came under the control of the Buddhist Mauryan Empire and the Hindu Satavahana, Shaka and Rashtrakuta dynasties. The Chalukyas built the glorious cave temples on Elephanta Island. In 1668, the islands were rented out by the British East India Company for just ten pounds a year. Soon, realizing Mumbai’s potential as a harbour, the Company began to strengthen the coastal defences and shifted its administrative headquarters to Mumbai. Political stability, the hope of religious freedom and numerous opportunities soon attracted a large number of settlers and merchants. These, and the later immigrants, added considerably to the growth of Mumbai as a key trading centre.

Culture

The culture of Mumbai is a combination of tradition, religions, cuisines, music and fine arts. Termed as ‘The city that never sleeps’, it is one of the busiest cities in India. Fun is equally important to the people of Mumbai. This is evident from the way the festivals are celebrated. Though Diwali, Eid, Holi and Christmas are celebrated enthusiastically, nothing compares to the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi.

Interesting facts:

  • India’s first ever train ran between Mumbai and Thane.

  • The Bandra-Worli Sea Link is made up of cement and steel wire equal to the girth of the earth.

  • Mumbai is the birthplace of the author of The Jungle Book.

  • Mumbai has a coastline of about 150 kilometres.

  • Mumbai's Juhu Aerodrome was the first airport in India founded in 1928 and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is the 3rd best international airport in the world.

Climate

Mumbai experiences an overall tropical wet and dry climate. The summer season is between March to May, during which the city is hot and humid. June to September is the monsoon season when there are heavy rains, sometimes making it difficult to go outdoors. The winter season from October to February is dry, cool and pleasant, an ideal time for visiting the city.

Best Time
  • October - February

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