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Marine Drive, Mumbai

Mumbai (long known, until the mid 1990s, as Bombay) (renamed 1996) is the largest city in the western Indian state of Maharashtra and in India and one of the top six largest agglomerations in the world. It is a coastal city of around 18.1 million people with a deep natural bay. The city is a significant contributor to Indian trade and taxation.

Mayor: Shri Devle Mahadev Bhagoji (March 10, 2002-)

Municipal Commissioner: Shri Karun Chandra Shrivastava (as of 21st November, 2003)

See Administrative divisions of Mumbai

Table of contents
1 History
2 Geography and climate
3 Economy
4 People of Mumbai
5 Educational and Cultural Institutions
6 Recreation and Malls
7 Industry and Commerce
8 Present Problems
9 Transportation to/from Mumbai
10 Events
11 Miscellaneous
12 Related articles
13 External links


The city originally consisted of seven islands. It was called Mumba (after Mumbadevi) and part of the kingdom of Ashoka and then various Hindu rulers of the Silhara dynasty until 1343 when it was taken by the kingdom of Gujerat. In 1534 the Portuguese took the islands from Bahadur Shah of Gujarat and renamed the area Bom Baia ("Good Bay"). The islands remained in their hands until 1661 when it was part of the dowry of the Infanta Catherine de Braganza to Charles II of England. He in turn leased it to the British East India Company in 1668 for £10 per annum. The company found the deep harbour at Bombay eminently suitable, the population rose from 10,000 in 1661 to 60,000 by 1675, and in 1687 the East India Company transferred their headquarters there from Surat. From 1817 the city was reshaped with large civil engineering projects merging the seven islands into one single mass of around 435 km² by 1845. In 1853 the first railway link in India was completed, between Bombay and Thana. The city remained in Company hands until after the Indian Mutiny (or First War of Independence) of 1857 when it was taken from the Company by the Crown. Flora Fountain, Victoria Terminus, Hanging Gardens and the lakes were built in this time period. The Bombay Municipal Corporation was founded in 1872. Gateway of India and Prince of Wales museum were built during the early 20th century under British rule.

On March 12, 1993 several bombs exploded in the city killing about 300 and injuring hundreds more.

Historical population

1661: 10,000 inhabitants
1675: 60,000
1864: 816,562
1872: 644,605
1881: 773,196
1891: 821,764
1901: 812,912 (Greater Bombay)
1911: 1,018,388
1921: 1,244,934
1931: 1,268,936
1941: 1,686,127
1951: 2,966,902
1961: 4,152,056
1971: 5,970,575
1981: 8,227,382
1991: 9,900,000 + 2,600,000 (
Thane) = 12,500,000 (Greater Bombay (historically accurate name) urban agglomeration)
2001: 16,368,084 (Greater Mumbai urban agglomeration including Thane)

Geography and climate

Mumbai city, viewed from satellite.

Mumbai spans over 437.77 sq kms in area. Mumbai is located at sea level. Mumbai has a warm and humid climate throughout the year and the average temperature being Day - 35º C, Night - 25º C. The city is adjacent to water, so temperature changes are not as drastic as those inland. Mumbai enjoys its monsoon showers from June to September with the annual rainfall being 216 cms.

Mumbai earlier was made of seven islands which are today called Colaba, Mahim, Mazgaon, Parel, Worli, Girgaum and Dongri. 

The people of Mumbai are commonly referred to as Mumbaikars.


Mumbai is often referred to as the financial capital of India. It is the highest contributor to India's income tax as well as corporate taxes. It is also center of the largest film industry in the world (in terms of number of films produced), "Bollywood". Over 300 films are produced each year in Bollywood most of which flop at the box office. It is also the location of the oldest stock exchange in Asia, Bombay Stock Exchange established in 1875. (The average daily turnover of the exchange in 2002-03 was 1251.29 crore rupees (approx. 275 million US dollars) although 2 years back the average daily turnover was much higher at 3984 crore rupees or 870 millon US dollars. Average number of daily trades in 2002-03 was 563,000.) The Mumbai financial industry is based in Dalal Street.

People of Mumbai

A resident of Mumbai City is a Mumbaikar, Bombayite before 1996. Many Mumbaikars still prefer to call the city by its historic name, Bombay and themselves Bombayites. Within Mumbai, areas correspond to nearest railway station on the suburban railway network and people often associate themselves with the particular area where they live. People prefer to stay close to the railway station as the railways are the lifeline of Mumbai. Hundreds of people migrate to Mumbai everyday in search of jobs. This is creating a heavy strain on the resources and is emerging as an issue of the local people residing here since long time. Mumbai has always been cosmopolitan in nature. The various languages of India blend together into a language referred to as Bambaiyaa Hindi. Hindi is the chief language of the people of Mumbai although being situated in Maharashtra, a state whose chief language is Marathi some Maharashtrian people (including some very powerful people) like to emphasize that it is a part of Maharashtra state and hence Marathi language should be given due importance. Besides Hindi, Marathi and English are also spoken often in government offices and other public places although at home and in local groups, virtually all the languages of India are spoken as people have migrated here from all over India.

Mumbai is the only city in India where all the women feel safe in public places at any time of the day or night, according to recent surveys. The cosmopolitan nature of the sleepless city means that women feel safe to wear the clothes they like and travel at any time alone. Also the work environment is commended as being closer and more open to the concept of gender equality than anywhere else in India.

Educational and Cultural Institutions

Mumbai city boasts of a large number of premier educational and cultural institutions.

Number of municipal primary schools: 1,188 (as of 1st September, 1999) Source: Municipal Corporation statistics

Prominent among them are:

Technical Institutions Cultural, Social and Miscellaneous Institutions

Recreation and Malls

Mumbai has several European style shopping malls, recreation centers, pubs etc. Indian Movies (
Bollywood) is the chief recreation of the masses. Mumbai is also a center for various concerts of Indian Classical Music and other performing arts.

Industry and Commerce

Mumbai is the economic capital of India. Major industries are chemicals, textiles and fisheries. India's film industry has a strong presence in Mumbai.

Present Problems

Population is the biggest problem facing Mumbai. Land is scarce, cost of living is high. Population explosion has put a tremendous strain on the basic infrastructure and transport facilities of this city. In fact, Mumbai is set to replace Tokyo as the world's most populous city by 2020 . Many local political activists demand that unemployed immigrants to the city after 1995 must vacate, so that the population in the city's slums is reduced.

Transportation to/from Mumbai




4.7% of AIDS cases in India are from Mumbai. This means that incidence of AIDS in Mumbai is 160% more than the average prevalence in India.

Related articles

External links

Bombay is a 1995 Tamil/Hindi movie by Mani Ratnam starring Arvind Swamy and Manisha Koirala and music composed by A.R. Rahman.

Also see: Bombay Dreams musical produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber and composed by A.R. Rahman.