Also known as:
Bombay / Financial And Commercial
Capital Of India
Shopper's paradise with bargain buys,
exclusive boutiques, ethnic markets and mini bazaars
known as Bombay or Mumbai is an amalgamation of seven islands Colaba, Mumbai, Mazagaon, Old Womans island, Wadala, Mahim, Parel,
and Matunga Sion. The Portuguese called the islands "Bombay" meaning
"Good Bay". These islands were ruled by the Hindu dynasties, the
Muslims and then were presented to King Charles II in 1661 as part of
the dowry when he married Princess Catherine de Braganza of Portugal.
Bombay was handed over to the East India Company in 1668. It started
growing as a trade center owing to shift of the shipbuilding industry
from Surat. The opening of the Suez Canal after the American Civil War
enabled export of cotton from Bombay. It also played an important role
in the freedom struggle of India. The first Indian National Congress
was hosted in Bombay in 1885. Bombay was also the capital of the
Bombay Presidency that was divided into Gujarat and Maharsahtra. Since
1996, Bombay has been officially known as Mumbai, derived from the
name of Goddess Mumbadevi.
Gateway of India
Mumbai's most recognized monument, the Gateway of India, was
constructed to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary
to the city. It was completed in 1920 and remains as a striking symbol
of the British Raj era. After this era ended in 1947, the last of the
British troops departed through the Gateway of India. The looming
Gateway is designed to be the first thing that visitors see when
approaching Mumbai by boat. It's also a popular place to start
exploring Mumbai. These days the atmosphere around the monument
resembles a circus at times, with numerous vendors peddling everything
from balloons to Indian tea.
Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat
This massive open air laundry provides an unforgettable glimpse into
the inside of the city. Dirty laundry from all over Mumbai is brought
here and painstakingly hand washed by the dhobis (washermen) in the
seemingly endless rows of concrete troughs. The profession, handed
down from generation to generation, requires incredible strength and
determination. The thousands of dhobis spend hours every day standing
up to their knees in water filled with chemicals, manually scrubbing
and beating the dirt out of each item of laundry.
The imposing Haji Ali is both a mosque and tomb. It was built in 1431
by wealthy Muslim merchant and saint Haji Ali, who was inspired to
change the course of his life after going to Mecca. It also contains
his body. Situated in the middle of the ocean, Haji Ali is only
accessible during low tide from a narrow, 500 yard long walkway. On
Thursdays and Fridays tens of thousands of pilgrims flock there to
receive blessings from the dead saint. If find you need to pass some
time until the tide lowers enough, there's a shopping center on the
opposite side of the road.
Mumbai is the center of India's booming "Bollywood" film industry. The
architecturally resplendent Eros Cinema, adjacent to the Churchgate
railway station, is a great place to take in a Bollywood movie.
Alternatively, it's possible to go on a tour to the heart of the
action in Film City. Or if you'd rather be in a Bollywood movie than
simply see the set of one, that's possible too!
Kala Ghoda Art Precinct
Kala Ghoda, meaning "Black Horse" in reference to a statue that was
once located there, is Mumbai's cultural center. This crescent-shaped
stretch is home to Mumbai's best art galleries and museums. It's also
filled with cultural spaces, including some wonderful pavement
galleries. Stroll around at leisure, but be sure to visit the
acclaimed Jehangir Art Gallery. Every year in February, the Kala Ghoda
Association hosts a nine day Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, which is
Caves and National Park
In contrast to its millions of inhabitants and sprawling development,
Mumbai surprisingly also has a national park located within its
limits. It's worth a visit just to see the many ancient Buddhist
caves, which have been hand carved into volcanic rock there. More
caves, dedicated to the Hindu Lord Shiva, can also be found on
Dabbawala, meaning a person who carries a container, is the term given
to the thousands of men responsible for transporting and delivering
around 200,000 lunch boxes of freshly cooked food to the city's office
workers every day. This unique concept was started to meet the needs
of British rulers..
The Banganga Festival is a musical extravaganza organized by the
Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation in January at the
atmospheric Banganga tank at Walkeshwar. Top artistes from around the
country perform live classical music concerts and cultural enthusiasts
attend the festival and feast the soul as well as the mind.
Elephanta festival (18-19 Feb)
The Elephanta Island is the site of the magnificent Elephanta caves,
containing beautiful carvings, sculptures, and a temple to the Hindu
God, Lord Shiva. These caves are located at a distance of 11-km from
In February Elephanta Island comes to fervour as the site of the
Elephanta Festival. Organized by MTDC, every year, renowned dancers
and musicians perform outside the caves, beneath a star-studded sky,
to a select and appreciative audience. Special launch services and
catering arrangements are provided for visitors.
Gudhi Padava (Mar-Apr)
Gudhi Padava is the Maharashtran New Year's Day celebrated on the
first day of Chaitra(Mar-Apr). This day marks the start of the Hindu
solar year. It is a day of great festivity and rejoicing. People get
up early and clean their houses, decorating them with intricate
rangoli designs. Bamboo staffs (gudhi) decorated with silk cloths and
topped with a brass goblet or kalash are erected. These are supposed
to drive away evil from the houses.
Nariyal Poornima (Aug)
Nariel Purnima or coconut day in August marks the end of the monsoons
and is celebrated by Mumbai's fisher folk. Boats are painted, little
oil lamps lit and set afloat amidst the waves and carried in the
boats, and coconut are broken against their bows as an offering to the
Sea God and the seas are set afloat with garlands of flowers as the
new fishing season begins.
Parsi New Year (Aug-Sep)
Pateti in August is the Parsee New Year, significant because it was on
this day that the Shahenshahi Zoroastrian community landed in India
while migrating from Persia. The Parsees celebrate at the fire temple,
and the community bonds are strengthened through feasts and the
meeting of friends and relatives.
Ganesh Chaturthi (Aug-Sep)
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in the month of Aug.- Sep., as the
birth anniversary of Ganesha, the Hindu god of wisdom. The festival is
so popular in Mumbai and the preparations begin months ahead. Images
of Ganesha are installed and elaborate arrangements are made for
lighting and decoration and celebrations are held for 7-10 days. The
Chaturthi is the last day dedicated to the elephant-headed god, and
thousands of processions converge on the beaches of Mumbai carrying
the idols of Ganesha, to be immersed in the sea. This immersion is
accompanied by drumbeats, devotional songs and dancing and marks the
end of the festival.
Bandra Feast (Sep)
The feast day of Virgin Mary is celebrated in Bombay for a week
beginning on a Sunday closest to the birthday of the Virgin Mary (Sep
8). The feast is held at the Basillica of Mount Mary in Bandra. A fair
is held with huge Ferris wheels, amusements and rides, bands and
shows. The devout trudges up the stairs of the church to light their
from major cities
How to reach there
Chhatrapati Shivaji International
Airport is the major airdrome that receives both domestic and
international traffic to the city.
Mumbai Railway Station is well
connected with all major states & cities of India directly.
Mumbai is well connected with good
network of roads to all nearby cities of Mumbai.
Hotels in Mumbai
hh - heritage hotel ;
ph - palace hotel ; bh - boutique hotel ; gh - guest house ; hs -