The city of dreams, Mumbai, showcases a
perfect blend of modernity and old traditions, glamour and struggle, and
elitism and poverty. Formerly known as Bombay, the city has a rich history as
it played an important role during the independence movement and was also a
prominent site of factory workers’ protest. Soaked in colonial vibes, Mumbai
surpasses other colonial cities with its splendid European and Portuguese
architecture and monuments. It is indeed a melting pot of lifestyles, culture
and religion. Here, you will find people from all walks of life, be it the
inhabitants of slums, migrants, fishermen, struggling actors, to industrialists
and Bollywood stars. The city people, Mumbaikers, are full of enthusiasm and
live with zeal to achieve something extraordinary in life.
One of the focal points of art, culture,
music, theatre and dance, Mumbai is a cosmopolitan city, with interesting
events happening across its different regions. Immerse yourself in the colonial
aura of South Mumbai. As you walk past the streets of South Mumbai, also
referred to as old Bombay, you will be awe-struck by the grandiose monuments
constructed in colonial style. You will for sure feel like you are transported
back in the time to the British era.
Situated on the coast of Arabian Sea is the
majestic Gateway of India. It is one of the most iconic structures in Mumbai,
overlooking the pristine blue water of the Arabian Sea. Positioned right across
this splendid monument, the world-famous Taj Mahal Hotel stands tall boasting
its rich heritage and sophistication. You can visit this place and spend your
time with family and friends sitting at the shore, enjoying the view of the sea
and the hotel in the backdrop.
Being a coastal city, Mumbai has awesome
beaches where you can unwind from day’s stress and busy city life. Visit Marine
Drive and relax on its shore with the breeze gently kissing your face. The view
of the sunset from this place is breathtaking, against the roaring waves of the
mighty Arabian Sea.
When travelling to Mumbai, do not forget to
visit Bandra which is a porsche locality and a hub of residential colonies of
Bollywood stars. Here, you will find many nightclubs, bars and pubs where you
can experience the best of Mumbai’s nightlife.
For all the foodies out there, Mumbai will not
disappoint you with its wide range of street food and cuisines. The city is
dotted with several food joints where you can savour the local Marathi
delicacies. Street food majorly comprises of pav bhaji, Dahi puri, vada pav,
Kala khatta, and pani puri. Moreover, those fond of shopping can visit various
street shops, malls and other stores to purchase fashionable and traditional
outfits. Colaba Causeway and Linking Road are known for the street shopping
where you can buy trendy items such as shoes, jewelleries and other designer
More on Mumbai
The ‘City of Dreams’
Mumbai is the commercial and financial capital
of India owing to its dense network of industries and services. Also known as
the ‘Maximum City’, Mumbai presents you with a rich mix of work culture and
aspirations. In addition to this, the city is home to the largest cinema
industry in the world, the Bollywood industry. Very similar to Kolkata, this
city has its unique culture and traditions and it gets alive during festivals
such as Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali and Navaratri.
Mumbai has a lot of surprises in store for its
visitors. Get ready to be enchanted by the tinge of colonial heritage found
amongst its infrastructures, the majestic Taj Mahal Palace, the Mumbai Central
Railway station, and many more. A visit to Wankhede Stadium, Siddhivinayak
Mandir and Marine Drive will be a memorable experience and leave you wanting to
return to the city again.
Mumbai is a paradise for food lovers. The
restaurants here will greet you with exquisite options of delicacies, Parsi
Cusine and Missal Pav being a few of them. The city is also home to heritage
and European style cafes. Being the one-stop for all the ambitions and dreams
in India, Mumbai is indeed the ‘City of Dreams’.
History of Mumbai
Bombay was founded right after the treaty of
Bassein was signed in 1802 between Portuguese and Sultan Bahadur Shah of
Gujarat. As per the treaty, seven islands were to be offered to the Sultan
which were later constituted as Bombian. Gradually, several forts and churches
were built across the town by the Portuguese, and due to its strategic
location, it became an important harbour used for trade by Dutch and British
Prior to this treaty, these islands were given
as a dowry to Charles II of England during his marriage to Princess Catherine
of Portugal in 1661. However, in 1688 the British gave out 3 islands on lease
to the East India Company and a few years later, the Company transferred its
capital from Surat to Bombay. As the years passed by, the city grew rapidly and
became one of the major hubs for military and commercial activities.
In the year 1730, the Portuguese finally had
to leave Bombay after they were defeated by Marathas. Soon after the Anglo
Maratha war and signing of several treaties, the British were able to take full
control of Mumbai after driving the Marathas away. All the islands were
connected into a single landmass under the Hornby Vellard Project. Furthermore,
during the independence movement, Bombay played an important political role in
Royal Navy Mutiny in the 1940s and Quit India Movement.
Largest Slum and the Most Expensive Building
The irony of Mumbai city is that despite being
one of the richest cities in India, it is also home to the second-largest slum
in Asia, Dharavi. Antilia, the residence of the Mukesh Ambani, one of the
richest people on earth, is also situated in Mumbai. Mumbai is known for its
diversity in reference to its luxurious facilities and poverty. Dharavi used to
be a less populated island packed with mangroves and swampy areas. Due to the
increase in rural migration owing to rapid establishments of factories in
Bombay, Dharavi, which was founded in 1883, expanded at an exponential rate.
As per the recent estimates, Dharavi resides
about 300,000 to 1 million people belonging different religion, ethnicity, and
occupation. Majority of the residents indulge in informal works such as
pottery, ragpickers, rickshaw-pullers, textile making, leather tanning, and in
various recycling industries.
The goods produced in the informal economy of
Dharavi are exported to different parts of the world and the average annual
turnover from such activities is approximately USD 1 billion. The state
government has come up with various development schemes for Dharavi, however,
the region still is plagued by the unhygienic environment, poor sanitation, and
lack of other basic amenities for survival.
On the other hand, there is Antilia, the most
expensive residential property in the world, only after Buckingham Palace. The
massive and extravagantly expensive structure is the residence of the
multi-billionaire, Mukesh Ambani and is located in South Mumbai. The residence
is named after a mystical island and is estimated to be valued at USD 1
billion. Around 600 staffs are recruited for the maintenance of Antilia and
cater to the needs of Ambani family. This splendid work of architecture was
designed by Chicago-based Perkins and Will, however, there are various legal
issues embroiled regarding the purchase of the land and construction of
Financial Capital of India
After Bombay was made the capital of British
East India Company and with the inauguration of Suez Canal 1869, there has been
a growing trade between Mumbai and the rest of the world. Today, Mumbai has
become the financial and commercial capital of India and contributes about 6.6
per cent of the total national GDP. The major contributors to this growth were
the textile industry and sea trade. After the liberalization of the Indian
economy in 1991, the city has witnessed a tremendous increase in IT, finance
and engineering sector.
As many as 500 Fortune companies have their
headquarters in Mumbai. In addition to this, financial organizations such as
the Bombay Stock Exchange, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and the Securities
and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) also have their offices in Mumbai. In 2009,
Mumbai financial market was ranked the most expensive office market in the
world and was also included in the top 10 Forbes list for richest cities around
Architecture of Mumbai
The city of Mumbai has a unique blend of
different styles of architecture ranging from Gothic-European style to
Indo-Saracenic style. As you walk past the city, you will come across several
buildings constructed during the colonial period that exhibit the Victorian
style of architecture. The architecture of the famous Victoria Terminus is
heavily influenced by a diverse palate of Gothic-revival style and also
includes other aspects of European style such as Dutch roofs, Tudor casements,
and German gables. Majority of the building in South Mumbai are constructed in
Soviet-style as well.
As you proceed to Gateway of India, you will
be mesmerized by its architecture will follow the Indi-Saracenic style.
Furthermore, Marine Drive was built following the Art-Deco style of
architecture. In fact, Mumbai has the most number of Art Deco infrastructures,
only after Miami. Apart from traditional
architecture, the city is also known for its modern forms of architecture, with
tall skyscrapers found in every corner of the city. Mumbai also has a few
UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the Elephanta Caves and Chhatrapati
Nightlife in Mumbai
Mumbai is the city never sleeps. There are
many night clubs and bars that are found throughout the city and offer an
unmatched nightlife experience. If you go out in the streets at night, you will
see many shops that are open, occupied with people busy talking, sipping tea or
coffee. Without any doubt, it is a city with the best nightlife in the country.
Restaurants and Local Food in Mumbai
In addition to its diverse culture and
lifestyle, Mumbai also offers a lot of diversities when it comes to food. The street
food here is cheap and delicious. You should try out the hot streaming idlis
and vada pav from any of the street side food joints. Alternatively, you can
visit the grand Wasabi restaurant in Taj and savour the Japanese meal.
Furthermore, there are many restaurants in the city that are known for serving
scrumptious international cuisines, when compared to other Indian towns. You
can also try the mainstream North Indian and South Indian dishes at various
Mumbai is packed with happening pubs such as
The Little Door in Andheri and Hard Rock Café in Worli. For those who like
partying, ought to visit these places and to get an awesome experience of
Mumbai nightlife. There are also quite a few cheap places to party in the city
like Laxmi in Powai, Gokul in Colaba, and Janta in Bandra. Here, you can grab a
drink or two with your friends.
Day 1 – Once
you have reached Mumbai, the first place to visit is the Regal Cinema Circle. This place is connected to other famous
spots of the city such as Colaba Causeway, which is also known as the Cultural
Hub of Mumbai, and Gateway of India. The best time to visit this Circle is
during the evening, when the place is hustling and bustling with a variety of
shops, people and is lit up with beautiful lights.
Day 2 – On the
second,get ready to explore the
local life of Mumbai. Board the famous local train of Mumbai and head to any
place you like. Alternatively, you can head to Koli fishing village at Cuffe
Parade. From here you can even proceed to Fort District, which is the central
point for all the financial activities in Mumbai. Later in the evening, head to
Mahalaxmi Temple and Haji Ali Dargah.
Day 3 – Make
your third day in Mumbai interesting by visiting the iconic Maratha Mandir.
Here, you should go for the 11:30 show of the famous movie, Dilwale Dulhania Le
Jayenge. After this, you can take a stroll around the Crawford Market. This
place is just 15 minutes away from Dadabhai Naroji Road. Situated close to this
market is the Victorian London Market where you can shop for several European
Spend your evening by relaxing at Marine Drive
where you can witness the electric lighting which, in turn, is commonly known
as Queen’s Necklace. Towards one end of Marine Drive, lies the popular Chowpatty
Beach where you can savour the snacks from the street shops including bhelpuri,
misal pav and chaat.