Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra, is the fastest moving, most affluent and industrialized city in India. Mumbai is part of India’s beautiful west coast that runs down from Gujarat, through Mumbai, to Goa, Karnataka and Kerala. The city has a natural harbour, which was developed by the British. It is one of the busiest ports of India, handling approximately 40 percent of India’s maritime trade. Mumbai (till recently known as ‘Bombay’) derives its name from the local deity Mumba Devi, whose temple is still there. The Portuguese predecessors of the British preferred to think of the name as Bom Baim, the Good Bay.
Truly cosmopolitan, Mumbai is home to people of all Indian creeds and cultures. It is a fascinating city, throbbing with life and, for many people, the gateway to India. Known as the business capital of India, it is the country’s principal financial and communications center. The much celebrated film industry, India’s very own ‘Bollywood’ has its home here.
Mumbai is a group of seven islands which are today known as Colaba, Mahim, Mazgaon, Parel, Worli, Girgaun and Dongri. Large expanses of open sea have been filled in, and tidal swamps have been reclaimed for furthering the land area. These reclaimed areas include Churchgate and Nariman Point.