THE CITY OF DREAMS
Location: West coast of Maharashtra, Deccan region of India
Area: 603 sq. km
Attractions: Gateway of India, Bombay High Court, Marine Drive, Film City, Chowpatty Beach
Languages Spoken: English, Urdu, Marathi and Hindi
Major Religions: Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Christians and Zoroastrians
Many people travel to Mumbai for many different reasons. Whether you want to experience a cultural cocktail of diversity or visit in the hope of making it as a Bollywood star, Mumbai truly is the city of dreams. The centre of the world’s largest film industry, Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra.
An estimated population of almost 19 million roam the busy streets on a daily basis making Mumbai the fifth most populous city in the world as well as the entertainment, financial and commercial capital of India.
Bombay in the 19th century was characterized 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. The city was renamed Mumbai in 1996.
There has been much debate regarding the original name of the city. Some say the current name of the city Mumbai is the original name; and is an eponym derived from “Mumba”, the name of the local Hindu goddess Mumbadevi, and “Aai”, meaning “mother” in Marathi. Others claim Bombay was an anglicized version of Bom Bahia, a name given by the Portuguese to mean “Beautiful Bay” and later made popular by the British as the name of the Bombay state. The name was officially changed from Bombay to Mumbai in 1995.
Poverty is strife in Mumbai and hundreds of shanty towns are spread all over the city. In saying that, the wealthy are extremely wealthy and many of the world’s richest individuals reside in Mumbai. Successful people such as Mukesh Ambani, Dilip Shanghvi and Pallonji Mistry, who have a combined wealth of over 47 Billion dollars, are all Mumbai based and made much of their fortunes in India.
The Mumbai film industry is one of the largest and oldest film industries in the world. One of India’s greatest exporter, Bollywood has acted as a great ambassador for Mumbai and millions of people from around the world travel to the city in the hope of catching a glimpse of their screen icons. Situated in the suburb of Juhu, the film industry churns out in excess of 400 movies a year and is the home to megastars such as Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai.
Mumbai generally has humid and muggy weather, which is influenced by its proximity to Arabian Sea. This proximity is the main reason for ups and downs of the temperature. The month of May is the warmest one in Mumbai wherein the temperature spins between 32 degree Celsius and 40 degree Celsius. Mumbai is coolest in the month of January as the maximum temperature recorded is around 24 degree Celsius, and the minimum so far has been 18 degree Celsius.
There is no dearth of nightclubs, pubs and bars in Mumbai. As it competes with the rest of the world in terms of being one of the most happening cities, it is doing its best by housing some elite hotels, internationally famous lounge bars and many other establishments which can push it up the ladder of international oomph.
Mumbai is situated on the western coast of India and is surrounded by the magnificent Arabian Sea. For this reason, there are a number of beaches in Mumbai and watching the glorious sunsets from these beaches is indeed a heavenly sight. Chowpatty Beach is one of the most popular beaches situated in Mumbai. Equally beautiful, and one of the most visited beaches in Mumbai, is the Juhu Beach’, which is sited next to a posh locality. Marve Beach is not only a picturesque beach but also serves as the perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.