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Country : India State : Maharashtra         Mumbai               
     
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Wikipedia Guide
Mumbai (Marathi: मुंबई, Mumbaī, IPA: [ˈmʊm.bəi] (help·info)), formerly called Bombay, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. Mumbai, the most populous city in India, is the second most populous city in the world, with a population of approximately 14 million. Along with the neighbouring urban areas, which includes cities of Navi Mumbai and Thane, it is one of the most populous urban regions in the world. Mumbai lies on the west coast of India and has a deep natural harbour. As of 2009, Mumbai was named an Alpha world city. Mumbai is also the richest city in India. The seven islands that came to constitute Bombay were home to communities of fishing colonies. For centuries, the islands came under the control of successive indigenous empires before being ceded to the Portuguese and subsequently to the British East India Company. During the mid-18th century, Bombay was reshaped by the British with large-scale civil engineering projects, aimed at merging all the seven islands...      Read more at wikipedia...
 
Title
Being the commercial hub of India, Mumbai is the main international gateway to the country. The city has far more international flights than Delhi, Kolkata or Chennai. It also has the busiest network of domestic flights, including flights to Aurangabad the base for visiting the world heritage sites of Ellora and Ajanta caves. The international airport (Sahar) and the domestic terminal (Santa Cruz) are 30km and 25km respectively from the center of Mumbai. You have a good facilities shuttle buses between the two terminals. Long-distance buses ply from the state road transport terminal opposite Mumbai's Central railway station to different destination within the state of Maharashtra and outside the state. The state buses of Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh connect Mumbai to different places in these states.
 
Facts At A Glance
Main Languages Marathi, Hindi, English, Gujarati
Area 440 sq. km
Population 11.51 crores
Airport Code BOM
Description
Mumbai is an exhilarating city fuelled by enterpreneurial energy, determination and dreams. The glittering and bustling city of Mumbai has the distinction of being the largest metropolis as well as the financial, commercial, industrial and celluloid capital of India. It is the most cosmopolitan of all Indian cities, and there is a place for everyone in this potpourri of cultures and city of glamour. Mumbai is also the capital of Maharashtra, and is the hub of cinema and film making in India; the Indian Hollywood, which is known as Bollywood is located here.

Mumbai once used to be a cluster of seven islands of Colaba, Mumbai, Mazagaon, Old Woman's island, Wadala, Mahim, Parel, and Matunga Sion, which were the homes of the Koli fishing community. Being situated on the western coast, it became an important trading center and port city after the English King Charles the Second gave it to the East India Company in 1668. The islands were named ?Bombay', meaning ?good bay' in Portuguese, by the Portuguese. In 1996, it was officially renamed Mumbai, the name being derived Mumbadevi, the goddess of the Kolis. The city is likely to become the world's second largest metro by the year 2015.
 
Location
Located in central India, Maharashtra is bounded in north and east by Madhya Pradesh, south by Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Goa, west by the Arabian Sea and northwest by Daman and Gujarat.
 
Best time to visit
Mumbai is pleasant during the winters (November-March) and hot as well as humid during summers. Temperatures begin rising from the month of March till the onset of monsoons in mid-June, till September. October offers a relief from humidity and heat.
 
How To Get There
Air: There is an extensive network of flights from Mumbai's Sahar (International) and Santa Cruz (Domestic) airports. International flights connect it to all the major cities of the world. There are domestic flights to all the major cities of the country.
Train: Mumbai has trains connecting it to all the major cities of the country. Intra city trains in Mumbai are very good, and are the fastest and cheapest way to move around in Mumbai.
Road: Mumbai is well connected to all the cities of Maharashtra by bus. Intra city bus services are also very good.
 
Attractions
Gateway of India
Gateway of India is the landmark of Mumbai city. The monument is situated on the waterfront in the southern part of the city. The gateway is an arch with a height of 26 meters and is made up of yellow basalt and reinforced concrete.

Flora Fountain
Inspired from Flora - the Roman Goddess of Flowers, Flora Fountain is a stone fountain in South Mumbai. Located in the Fort business district, the splendid fountain was built in 1864. It was constructed by the Agri-Horticultural Society of Western India.

Mahalakshmi Racecourse
Mahalakshmi Racecourse is actually an elite horse racing ground in Mumbai. This oval shaped ground is to be found in the Mahalakshmi area of India's commercial capital. Leased by the Bombay Municipal Corporation, Mahalakshmi Race Course is run by the Turf Club.

Town Hall
Town Hall is conceivably the most imperial structure amongst the heritage buildings of Mumbai. Housing the Asiatic Society of Bombay, Town Hall is located in the Fort area of South Mumbai. The pillared monument is even more significant for its exquisite edifice that has old wooden floor.

Film City
Mumbai is synonymous to the Film City of India. Perhaps this silver screen allures thousands of aspirants, who come to test their fortune in the flicker industry of movies. Bollywood, the Hindi Film Industry, is generally taken for the entire film industry of India.

Churchgate
Churchgate is a downtown business district in South Mumbai. Imbibing its name from Churchgate Railway Station, the city center is crammed with several offices and banks. However, the railway station is a big hit in the transportation market of Mumbai.

Banganga
Banganga, which once had been a gorge, is today present in the form of a water tank, in the Malabar Hill area of Mumbai (Bombay). To be found in the complex of Walkeshwar Temple, this tank has a mythological legend behind its emergence.

Malabar Hill
Malabar Hill is a small hill in South Mumbai that is quarters to the famous Hanging Gardens, Walkeshwar Temple and Kamala Nehru Gardens of the Dream City of India. In fact, it is the highest point in the city center, with a height of 50 meters.

Nariman Point
Nariman Point is the leading business center in Mumbai, previously called Bombay. Located on the southern end of Marine Drive in South Mumbai, Nariman Point owes its name to Khusheed Framji Nariman - a futurist Parsi, who wished to retrieve the land from the sea in 1940.

Prithvi Theatre
Prithviraj Kapoor, a legend in himself, is the source of inspiration behind the establishment of Prithvi Theatre. A well-known theatre of Mumbai, Prithvi Theatre belongs to the Kapoors - the leading actor/director families in Bollywood. Shashi Kapoor, youngest son of Prithviraj Kapoor,

Rajabai Tower
Rajabai Tower is essentially a majestic clock tower in South Mumbai. Located in the precincts of Mumbai University in Fort Campus, right next to the High Court, Rajabai Tower is a beautiful structure, ornamented with oriental figures. Its history reveals that it was designed by Sir Gilbert Scott.
 
History
The name Mumbai comes from ?Mumbadevi', the patron goddess of the Koli fishermen, original inhabitants of the seven islands that make up the city. The old name, Mumbai was adopted in 1996, not without resistance and its share of controversy, but its use has gradually spread though the city remains ?Bombay' to lots of people.

Like the rest of the Maharashtra, Mumbai has its share of ancient rock-cut caves, at Kanheri in the north (2nd to 9th century) and Elephanta Island across the harbour (8th century) dating back to the period of Buddhist and Hindu rule. For a long time, this cluster of seven islands remained in a time warp, home to only fisherfolk, all the while sheltering a superb natural harbour to their east. Meanwhile, north and south along the coast, several thriving ports at Veraval, Diu, Surat, Janjira and Goa carried on maritime trade with other neighbouring civilisations.

Hindu domination lasted till the Gujarat Sultanate captured the area in the 14th century. Then in 1534, assuming it was of little importance, Sultan Bahadur of Ahmedabad transferred it to the Portuguese who, in turn, passed it on to the British as part of Catherine of Braganza's dowry when she married Charles II in 1661. The British government gave it on lease to the East India Company in 1668 - for the princely sum of $10 annually as rent!

The English securely established themselves by building a fort and then consolidated by building the city and attracting settlers ? Marwaris, Kachchhis, Parsis (whose Persian ancestors landed in neighboring Gujarat in 700 AD), Gujaratis and Goans. This laid the foundation for its economic growth and the base for a multicultural society.

Bombay soon developed as a major trading port, its steady growth helped along by the arrival of steamships, the construction of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway in the 1850s, exports of cotton to Britain during the American Civil War, opening of the Suez Canal and large-scale expansion of the port and dock facilities. Meanwhile, a massive land reclamation project commenced in 1862, which joined the seven islands together and spurred further industrialization and prosperity.

The city played an active part in the independence movement, being host to the launch of the ?Quit India' movement in August 1942. With independence it was made the capital of the Bombay Presidency. Then, in 1960, it took on the mantle of Maharashtra's capital when the Bombay Presidency was split into the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra.
 
Places To Stay
The premier hotels in the south of the city, are Taj Mahal Hotel and Taj Mahal Intercontinental (Tel: +91-22-2023366) near the Gateway of India, Ambassador Hotel (Tel: 2040004, Fax: 2040004), Ritz Hotel (Tel: 220141), Oberoi Towers (Tel: 2024343) and Hotel President (Tel: 2150808).

Near the airport there is the Centaur Hotel (Tel: +91-22-61126660), Hotel Airport Plaza (Tel: 6123390), Hotel Airport International (Tel: 6122883) and Leela Kempinski (Tel: 6363636, Fax: 8360606).

Along Juhu beach, the good hotels include, Hotel Sun-n-sand (Tel: +91-22-6201811), Hotel Sea Princess (Tel: 6122661), Holiday Inn (Tel: 6204444) and Ramada Inn Palm (Tel: 6112323).
 
Tourist Information Centers
Government of India Tourist Office
123 Maharishi Karve Road, Churchgate, Mumbai (Tel: +91-22-291585)
Extension Office at
International airport (Tel: 6325331) and domestic terminal (Tel: 6149200)
Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation
CDO Hutments, Madame Cama Road, Mumbai.
 
Festivals
Elephanta Festival
Elephanta Island douses in the revelry of dance festival every year in the month of February. Located about 10 km from the Mumbai Harbor, the island is renowned for embracing Elephanta Caves - one of the World Heritage Sites in India.

Banganga Festival
Banganga Festival is one amongst the most-awaited festivals that is celebrated for two days in the month of January every year. The picturesque Malabar Hills make the venue for this musical event in the Mumbai city of India. Banganga Music Festival is organized by MTDC.

Ganesh Chaturthi
Ganesh Chaturthi is the blessed day when Lord Ganesha appears to confer happiness to the people on earth. Also called Vinayaka Chaturthi, Ganesha Festival is celebrates the birthday of the Lord. It is observed for 10 days, starting from Shukla Chaturthi till Ananta Chaturdashi.

Kala Ghoda Festival
Kala Ghoda Festival is the most sought-after fair for the lovers of arts and crafts. In the Bollywood city of India, the venue for the event is made near the renowned Jehangir Art Gallery. The fair owes its name to Kala Ghoda, a district in South Mumbai that literally means Black Horse.
 
Excursions
Ajanta Ellora Caves
Ajanta & Ellora Caves have the distinction of being counted amongst the World Heritage Sites in India. Located in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, these caves are rock-cut cave monuments that represent the Indian rock-cut architecture.

Aurangabad Caves
Situated just on the fringes of Aurangabad are the caves that were carved out during the 2nd to 6th century in Maharashtra. These caves are ten in number and have been shaped out of somewhat soft rock. Tantric Hinduism has been the inspiration of their architecture and iconography.

Alibag
Set in the lap of nature, Alibag is a coastal town of India, famous for its clean waters, sandy beaches and fresh air. It makes a great escapade for the Mumbaikars, owing to its close proximity to Mumbai, which is around 35 kms away. Alibaug is an amazingly beautiful place, where nature appears at its best.

Elephanta Caves
Earlier called Gharapuri is today's Elephanta Island, which is known for embracing the remarkable Elephanta Caves. To be found about 10 kms off the eastern coast of Mumbai, Elephanta Caves has been given the position of a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Kanheri Caves
Through the meandering paths of Sanjay Gandhi National Park, you can reach the staircase that leads to Kanheri Caves of Maharashtra. Located in the picturesque surroundings of Borivali, Kanheri Caves have a distinctive aura about them.

Khandala
Khandala is an impressive hill station, cuddled up in the Sahyadri Range of Maharashtra. Endowed with nature's splendor, Khandala makes a quick excursion at a distance of 101 kms from the bustling city of Mumbai. This beautiful place immersed in pastoral beauty, had been known since years.

Lonavala
Lonavala is a picturesque hill station, often called the 'Jewel of the Sahyadri Mountains' in India. Located in the Pune district of Maharashtra, Lonavla is much preferred hill resort to the Mumbaikars, especially since it is only 96 kms from Mumbai.

Matheran
Set in the lap of nature, Matheran is probably the smallest hill station in India. It is located about 108 kms from Mumbai city, in the Karjat Tehsil of Maharashtra, at an altitude of 803 metres. The pastoral beauty of this tiny hill station is exceptionally striking, more so because of motor transport ban in the region.

Mahabaleshwar
Mahabaleshwar is a beautiful hill station, nestled in the Western Ghats Range of India. Earlier the summer resort to the British, Mahabaleshwar is today a popular holiday resort, especially for the exhausted souls. It is to be found about 285 kms from Mumbai, amidst the Satara district of Maharashtra.

Pune
Pune, the cultural capital of Maharashtra, is a striking city set amidst picturesque locales. Sited about 170 kms from Mumbai, Pune is known to be the state's second largest city. In the earlier times, the city had been the residence of Shivaji - the Maratha leader.

Panchgani
Snuggled in the Sahyadri Mountain Ranges, Panchgani is one of the most beautiful hill stations of Maharashtra. It makes a nice excursion from the jostling city of Mumbai. This 6-hour journey will never let you get bored, especially when Krishna River will accompany you throughout the way.

Shirdi
Shirdi, the graceful abode of Sai Baba, is a religious town that allures devotees day and night. Sited about 300 kms from Mumbai, the town has a mystic aura about itself, which never fails to captivate even a casual sightseer. This small town is spread over an area of 2 sq kms.
 
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