Mumbai (Bombay)

Mumbai (formerly called Bombay) is a densely populated city on India’s west coast. A financial center, it’s India’s largest city. On the Mumbai Harbour waterfront stands the iconic Gateway of India stone arch, built by the British Raj in 1924.

Till the 17th century, Mumbai (earlier known as Bombay) was a combination of seven small islands in the Arabian Sea.Koli fishermen were the first inhabitants who developed their villages and settlements along with the cost of Mumbai.Their goddess was Mumbadevi, on whom the city received its name Mumbai.

Hindus, Buddhist, and Muslim rulers ruled the greater Bombay region. However, after Vasco da Gama of Portugal landed at Calicut in 1498, Bombay witnessed the dawn of development.

The Portuguese acquired the 7 islands from the Sultan of Gujarat in 1534 in exchange for military support.They set up their capital at Bassein and controlled the island for more than a century, and converted thousands to Christianity in and around Bombay.

The King of Portugal gifted the islands to King Charles II of England in 1661; This was a marriage gift to King Charles II on his marriage with a Portuguese princess (Catherine of Braganza).King Charles II further leased the island to the then East India Company. The company then fortified the island to protect it against any foreign attack.

The British connected the island by building several causeways and undertook multiple reclamations to bring the islands together to form one land.The Municipal Corporation was established in 1872 and the Bombay Port Trust in 1873.Bombay (currently Mumbai) developed as India’s financial center for trade and industries.

Interesting Facts

  • It has the highest number of millionaires and billionaires among all cities in India.

  • It is home to Bollywood.

  • India’s first ever train ran between Mumbai and Thane -On 16 April 1853, India’s first train commenced its operation. Mumbai Locals are the busiest railways in the world and carry about 2.2 billion passengers every year. Mumbai also has the most obsolete electric rail chain in India, which was installed in 1925.

  • Mumbai was the first one to start a bus service in India – It was on 15 July 1926, that the first ever bus service in India was started.

  • World’s most expensive house is in Mumbai :Antilia, Mukesh Ambani’s 27-story skyscraper is cited as the world’s most expensive house, valued at almost $1 billion.

  • The Bandra-Worli Sea Link is made up of cement and steel wire equal to the girth of the earth -Officially known as Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link, it has a length of around 5.6 kms. It was made with 90,000 tonnes of cement and steel wire equal to the earth’s girth.

  • Mumbai is the birthplace of the author of The Jungle Book :-Rudyard Kipling, the Nobel Laureate who wrote The Jungle Book was born on 30 December 1865 in Mumbai. Kipling’s birth home still stands on the campus of the J J School of Art in Bombay which was used as the Dean’s residence for many years.

  • India’s 1st car owner lived in Mumbai – The first person to own a car in India was the great Sir Jamshetji Tata, the founder of the Tata empire. It was in 1901 that any India brought a car.

Museums to visit in Mumbai

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya(CSMVS)

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, is a museum in Mumbai which documents the history of

cat-icon 159-161 Mahatma Gandhi Road, Fort, Mumbai - 400023 Maharashtra, India.