Mumbai (Bombay)

views updated Jun 08 2018

Mumbai (Bombay)

Getting There
Getting Around
Public Safety
Health Care
Parks and Recreation
Performing Arts
Libraries and Museums
Holidays and Festivals
Famous Citizens
For Further Study

Mumbai, Maharashtra State, Republic of India, Asia

Founded: 1668
Location: Arabian Seacoast of Maharashtra, India, South Asia
Motto: Urbs Prima in Indis ("First City in India")
Time Zone: 5:30 pm Indian Standard Time (IST) = noon Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Ethnic Composition: Maratha, more than 50%; Gujarati,18%; Marwari, Sindhi, Punjabi, Bohra, Khoja, Koli, and others, 32%
Elevation: Sea-level
Latitude and Longitude: 18°58'N, 72°50E
Coastline: 36 km (23 mi), Bombay Island
Climate: Tropical monsoonal; warm temperatures all year, with heavy rainfall concentrated in the summer months
Annual Mean Temperature: 27°C (81°F); January 24°C (76°F); May 30°C (86°F)
Average Annual Precipitation: 180 cm (71 in)
Government: Municipal corporation
Weights and Measures: Metric; imperial measures also used; common numbers are one lakh (100,000) and one crore (10 million)
Monetary Units: Indian Rupee (Re)
Telephone Area Codes: 022
Postal Codes: 400001400104

1. Introduction

The city Mumbai, know as Bombay until 1995, is a great port city, situated on the west coast of the Indian peninsula. It is one of India's dominant urban centers and, indeed, is one of the largest and most densely populated cities in the world. Deriving its name from Mumba Devi, a goddess of the local Koli fishing peoples, Mumbai grew up around a fort established by the British in the mid-seventeenth century to protect their trading interests along India's western coast. The city's superb natural harbor provided a focal point for sea routes crossing the Arabian Sea, and Mumbai soon became the main western gateway to Britain's expanding Indian empire. The city emerged as a center of manufacturing and industry during the eighteenth century. Today, Mumbai is India's commercial and financial capital, as well as the capital city of Maharashtra State.

2. Getting There

The city lies on Mumbai Island, located off the Konkan coast of western India.


Mumbai is approachable by land only from the north (National Highway 8) and east, where National Highways 3 and 4 converge and cross over from the mainland to Thane on Salsette Island. This route then continues southward into the city, where a single main road continues to Colaba Point, the southernmost tip of Mumbai Island. Bridges, such as the Thana Creek Bridge, link Mumbai to the suburbs of Greater Mumbai on the mainland.

Bus and Railroad Service

Mumbai is an important rail center. Trains with colorful names, such as the Frontier Mail and Deccan Queen, set out from the city's two main stations, Victoria Terminus (now called Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) and Mumbai Central, carrying passengers to distant parts of the country. The headquarters of India's Western Railway and Central Railway are located in the city. The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation and other State and private companies provide bus service to and from the city.


Mumbai's Sahar International Airport (recently renamed the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport), on Salsette Island, handles almost two-thirds of India's international air traffic. The airport is served by most major international carriers. Domestic flights use Santa Cruz Airport (also renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Airport), which shares the same runways but operates from separate terminals.


Mumbai's deepwater harbor and harbor facilities make it the largest port in western India, handling some 40 percent of India's total maritime trade. Catamaran and hovercraft services carry passengers from Mumbai to Goa, a major tourist destination.

Mumbai (Bombay) Population Profile

City Proper

Population: Approximately 10 million
Area: Mumbai Island: 65 sq km (25 sq mi)
Nicknames: City of Gold; City of Dreams; Bollywood

Metropolitan Area

Population: 18,042,000
Description: Area administered by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation or BMC)
Area: 437 sq km (170 sq mi)
World population rank 1: 3
Percentage of national population 2: 1.8%
Average yearly growth rate: 3.5%
Ethnic composition: Maratha, Gujarati, Marwari, Sindhi, Punjabi, Bohra, Khoja, Koli, and others

  1. The Mumbai (Bombay) metropolitan area's rank among the world's urban areas.
  2. The percent of India's total population living in the Mumbai (Bombay) metropolitan area.

3. Getting Around

Mumbai Island, the heart of Mumbai city, is only 65 square kilometers (25 square miles) in area and extremely congested. Six million people commute daily on Mumbai's public transportation system.

Bus and Commuter Rail Service

The most heavily used form of transport is the surburban electric rail system, with local trainsoverflowing with passengers during peak commute hourslinking Mumbai's suburbs to the city. It is common during the rush hour to see commuters hanging on for dear life to the outside of trains as they travel to the work place. The municipally-owned BEST corporation operates a fleet of buses over an extensive route system covering Mumbai and its environs. Recent improvements in this service include the introduction of luxury and air-conditioned buses. Black-and-yellow painted taxis ply the streets of Mumbai; however, unlike in most Indian cities, three-wheeled auto rickshaws are banned from the city center.

Land transportation in Mumbai is supplemented by a ferry system, which carries passengers across Mumbai Harbor to the eastern suburbs of Greater Mumbai on the mainland. Traditional watercraft plying these routes have recently been augmented by speedboats and hovercraft.


Mumbai hosts a variety of major attractions for Indian natives, as well as visitors from overseas. The most popular of these attractions is the rock-cut temples on Elephanta Island in Mumbai Harbor. Many sightseers travel to the island by boat from Apollo Bunder, the location of another famous attraction, the Gateway of India arch. Other sites of interest include the Crawford Market, the bazaars of Kalbadevi and Bhuleshwar, the Parsi Towers of Silence, and Haji Ali's Mosque.

4. People

With a population of 9.9 million people in the central city, Mumbai is the third-largest city in the world. Some 15.4 million live in Greater Mumbai (Mumbai and its suburbs). Though much of the city's population are Marathas, inhabitants of Maharashtra and speaking the Marathi language, Mumbai is a cosmopolitan city. Its inhabitants include diverse ethnic groups, such as Gujaratis, Marwaris, Sindhis, and people from other Indian states, as well as religious minorities, such as Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains. Mumbai is home to the largest community of Parsis (Zoroastrians) in India, as well as a small population of Jews.

City Fact Comparison
Population of urban area118,042,00010,772,0002,688,00012,033,000
Date the city was founded1668AD 969753 BC723 BC
Daily costs to visit the city2
Hotel (single occupancy)n.a.$193$172$129
Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)n.a.$56$59$62
Incidentals (laundry, dry cleaning, etc.)n.a.$14$15$16
Total daily costs (hotel, meals, incidentals)n.a.$173$246$207
Major Newspapers3
Number of newspapers serving the city31132011
Largest newspapaerThe Times of IndiaAkhbar El Yom/Al AkhbarLa RepubblicaRenmin Ribao
Circulation of largest newspaper813,3001,159,339754,9303,000,000
Date largest newspaper was established1838194419761948
1United Nations population estimates for the year 2000.
2The maximum amount the U.S. Government reimburses its employees for business travel. The lodging portion of the allowance is based on the cost for a single room at a moderately-priced hotel. The meal portion is based on the costs of an average breakfast, lunch, and dinner including taxes, service charges, and customary tips. Incidental travel expenses include such things as laundry and dry cleaning.
3David Maddux, ed. Editor&Publisher International Year Book. New York: The Editor&Publisher Company, 1999.

5. Neighborhoods

Mumbai city has many distinctive neighborhoods. The southern tip of Mumbai Island, Colaba, is known for the Gateway of India, a yellow basalt arch built in 1924 to commemorate the British presence in India. Just to the north lies the Fort Area, the site of the old British fort around which Mumbai was built. Its Victorian gothic buildings, such as Victoria Terminus and the High Court, are monuments to the city's colonial past. Marine Drive, lined with high-rise apartments, runs along the shoreline of Back Bay from Nariman Point to Chowpatty Beach. Malabar Hill, an exclusive residential area, lies to the northwest of Back Bay. This neighborhood is known for the Hanging Gardens, as well as the Towers of Silence, where the Parsis lay out their dead to be consumed by vultures and crows. The crowded, bustling Kalbadevi and Bhuleshwar bazaar areas north of Crawford Market were known as "Native Town" to Mumbai's early European inhabitants. Other well-known city landmarks are the Taj Mahal Hotel, Oval Maidan, Cuffe Parade, Horniman Circle, and Flora Fountain.

Bandra and Juhu Beach are prosperous residential areas just north of the Mahim Causeway. Further north are many large suburbs, including Andheri, Kandivili, and Borivali. New Mumbai and Nhava Sheva, on the mainland to the east of Mumbai Harbor and Thana Creek, form part of the Greater Mumbai area.

6. History

The area of the Konkan coast where Mumbai 1ies has been settled since prehistoric times. It later came under the control of several states that ruled western India. These included the Buddhist Mauryan Empire (fourththird centuries B. C. ) and the Hindu Satavahana, Shaka, and Rashtrakuta dynasties. The Chalukyas (A. D. 550750) built the magnificent cave temples on Elephanta Island in Mumbai Harbor. At the end of the thirteenth century, the Yadava rulers, who had their capital at Aurangabad, some 300 kilometers (186 miles) to the northeast, established a settlement at Mahim on one of Mumbai's original seven islands. This was in response to raids on their territory by the expanding Delhi Sultanate.

Mahim was captured by the Muslim ruler of Gujarat in 1348. The Portuguese reached India's western shores in 1498, Francisco de Almeida becoming the first Portuguese to enter Mumbai Harbor when he seized a Gujarati ship there in 1508. The Portuguese eventually forced Bahadur Shah, the sultan of Gujarat, to cede them Mumbai in 1534. Mumbai was acquired by the British in 1664 as part of Catherine of Branganza's dowry when the sister of Portugal's king married Charles II (16301685; r. 16601685) of England. In 1668, the British East India Company leased the islands from the Crown for the nominal rent of ten pounds per year.

Recognizing the potential of Mumbai and its harbor, the East India Company set about strengthening the settlement's defenses and soon shifted its administrative headquarters to Mumbai from Surat, in Gujarat. Mumbai's second governor, Gerald Aungier (d. 1677), laid the foundations for the city's future growth. Political stability, the promise of religious freedom, and land grants soon attracted large numbers of settlers, including Gujarati and Parsi merchants, to Mumbai. These, and later immigrants, contributed significantly to the growth of Mumbai as an important trading center. By 1676, Mumbai had a population of around 60,000. The very end of the seventeenth century saw the beginning of the construction of seawalls, breakwaters, and reclamation projects that eventually connected the original seven islands (Mahim, Worli, Mazagaon, Old Woman's Island, Colaba, and Mumbai Island) into a single Mumbai Island.

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Mumbai lagged behind Calcutta and Madras in importance. However, a series of events in the early and mid-nineteenth century propelled the city to a position of prominence. The continuing struggle for power between the Mughals (the Muslim rulers based in north India) and the Hindu Marathas created unstable political conditions in Gujarat and western India. Artisans and merchants fled to Mumbai for security, providing the stimulus for growth and expansion. This was further enhanced by the British defeat of the warlike Marathas and the expansion of trade both with the mainland and with Europe. In 1857, the first spinning and weaving mill was established in Mumbai, creating a cotton textile industry that was given a great boost by the American Civil War (186165), which cut off supplies of cotton to Britain. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 was another stimulus to Mumbai's growth, further enhancing its position as a major trade, commercial, and industrial center.

Mumbai's size and economic power are reflected in its role in India's modern political history. The city was an important center in India's struggle for independence from British colonial rule. The Indian National Congress, which led the nation's fight for freedom, was founded there in 1885. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (18691948), the Mahatma, spiritual leader of the independence movement, launched his "Quit India" campaign against the British in Mumbai in 1942. Linguistic tensions between Mumbai's Marathi and Gujarati speakers resulted in violence in the city in the late 1950s. This led eventually to the separation of Gujarati-speaking areas from Mumbai state and the creation of Maharashtra State (1960).

During the early 1990s, communal violence between Hindus and Muslims in Mumbai again shattered the myth of a tolerant, cosmopolitan city. Rioting led to the deaths of several hundred people (mostly Muslims) and culminated in the bombing (with numerous fatalities) of several buildings in March 1993. The Shiv Sena, a right-wing Maharashtra-based Hindu political party led by Bal Thackeray, was widely blamed for instigating Hindu violence against Muslims in the city. Subsequently elected to office, the Shiv Sena party in 1996 changed Mumbai's name to "Mumbai," the Maratha name for the city.

7. Government

Mumbai is administered by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation or BMC), whose chief executive officer, the Municipal Commissioner, is appointed every three years by the state government of Maharashtra. The office of mayor is a primarily ceremonial one, with its occupant being elected annually by the BMC.

Some city services are administered by the state while others, such as communications, are the responsbility of India's central government. As the capital of Maharashtra, Mumbai is the site of the state government's headquarters.

8. Public Safety

The Mumbai Police Force, some 40,000 strong, is administered by the state government. Its head, the Police Commissioner, answers to the home secretary of Maharashtra State. Although Mumbai is a relatively safe city, it is renowned for its underworld. The dons, the leading figures of the Mumbai mafia, have become legendary figures in the city. Recently, organized crime has expanded its activities from smuggling, the black market, and drugs to infiltrate political and business circles. Kidnapping of wealthy citizens for ransom is becoming an increasingly common occurrence. City services include a Fire Brigade and ambulance service, as well as police.

9. Economy

Though once dominated by the cotton textile industry, Mumbai's economic base is now diversified. Textiles still remain important, but the city's industries include petrochemicals, automobile manufacturing, metals, electronics, engineering, food processing, and a wide range of light manufacturing. Mumbai is home to some of India's largest and wealthiest industrial conglomerates, such as the Aditya Birla Group, Godrej, and Tata & Sons. More specialized economic activities are diamond cutting, computers, and movie making (in sheer numbers, Mumbai, or "Bollywood," produces more movies than any other city in the world, including Hollywood).

In addition to manufacturing, Mumbai is a leading commercial and financial center. The city is home to the Reserve Bank of India, the Mumbai Stock Exchange, and a variety of other major financial institutions. The government and service sectors are also important in the city's economy.

Business in Mumbai has traditionally been dominated by Gujaratis and the Parsis, and Gujarati is the language in which most business is conducted. Mumbai's economic success, however, and its burgeonong population have created their own problems. The city is rated among the worst in India in terms of housing, cost of living, education, and health care.

10. Environment

Built on what is, in effect, a peninsula, surrounded on three sides by water, and with the backdrop of the hills of the Western Ghats, Mumbai occupies a site of natural scenic beauty. However, sheer numbers of people and rapid population growth have contributed to some serious social and environmental problems. Mumbai attracts immigrants from rural areas seeking employment and a better life. Despite government attempts to discourage the influx of people, the city's population grew at an annual rate of more than four percent a year. Many newcomers end up in abject poverty, often living in slums or sleeping in the streets. An estimated 42 percent of the city's inhabitants live in slum conditions. Some areas of Mumbai city have population densities of around 46,000 per square kilometeramong the highest in the world.

As a result of Mumbai's size and high growth rate, urban sprawl, traffic congestion, inadequate sanitation, and pollution pose serious threats to the quality of life in the city. Automobile exhausts and industrial emissions, for example, contribute to serious air pollution, which is reflected in a high incidence of chronic respiratory problems among the populace. Breathing Mumbai's air has been likened to smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day! The scale of such environmental problems, however, pales in light of a United Nations (UN) report that projects Mumbai's population to reach 27.4 million by the year 2015.

11. Shopping

Mumbai is among the best shopping centers in all of India. It offers the shopper everything from modern, air-conditioned department stores to traditional bazaars and open-air, roadside stalls. Most modern shops, where prices are fixed, accept credit cards. In private handicraft shops, antique and curio shops, and on the street, prices are usually negotiable, and bargaining is part of the shopping experience.

As a major textile and fashion center, Mumbai is known for its fabrics and clothes. Boutiques at Kemp's Corner sell trendy western-style designer clothes though more traditional Indian clothes and fabrics may be found at Mangaldas Market in Kalbadevi, the nearby Mulji Jetha Market, and along M. Karve Road north of Churchgate Station.

Other shopping areas are Crawford Market (fruits and vegetables), Zhaveri Bazaar (jewelry), and Chor Bazaar ("Thieves' Market"), where everything from used car parts to furniture can be bought. Stalls along Colaba causeway sell handicrafts, watches, perfumes, clothes, jewelry, and leather goods. Many luxury hotels, such as the Oberoi and Taj Mahal, have exclusive (and exclusively priced) shops while a variety of traditional handicrafts can be purchased at government emporiums, such as those found in the World Trade Centre Arcade in Cuffe Parade.

12. Education

Mumbai is a major center of learning and education. The University of Mumbai was founded in 1857 as an affiliating and examining body patterned after the University of London. Although it still has numerous constituent colleges, the institution has also taken on teaching functions. Other important educational and research institutions include SNDT Women's University, the Indian Institute of Technology (ITT-Mumbai), the Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC), the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), and the National Center for Software Technology (NCST). The Haffkine Institute is an important center for research in medicine and allied sciences.

Mumbai municipality runs more than 1,000 primary and secondary schools for the city's children. Instruction is provided in the student's mother tongue (mainly Marathi, Hindi, Urdu, and English) though Marathi is a compulsory subject in all municipal schools. Education is free up to certain grades although parents pay for text books and school uniforms. Literacy rates in Mumbai are high (c. 82 percent in 1998) although school drop-out rates are also high.

Inadequate resources and declining standards in public institutions result in parents sending their children to the city's elite private secondary schools, such as Sophia College and St. Xavier's College. Many wealthier families look overseas for higher education.

13. Health Care

The city of Mumbai has around 1,000 health care centers to serve its population. Most of these are private hospitals and clinics with excellent doctors and medical staff, many of whom have been trained overseas. There are, however, 17 municipal hospitals that provide care which is affordable to the city's poor. Major health problems in the city include AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, chronic respiratory ailments, and gastro-intestinal diseases related to poor sanitation and hygiene. Numerous pharmacies ("chemists") supply a wide range of prescription and non-prescription drugs.

14. Media

Both the Times of India and the Indian Express, two national papers, have Mumbai editions. Other local papers include Asian Age, the Free Press Journal, and the Economic Times. The List is a weekly guide to what's going on in Mumbai. In addition to these English-language papers, newspapers are also published in Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, and Urdu (the language commonly spoken by India's Muslims).

All India Radio (AIR) and two local stations provide radio service to Mumbai. Several local TV stations provide programming in Marathi, Gujarati, Hindi, and English. BBC World, CNN, Star TV, and other international programming can be accessed by satellite cable.

15. Sports

Mumbai is the home of Indian cricket (a game played on a large field with a leather ball and a flat wooden bat by two teams of 11 players each), and international matches between India and other countries are held at Wankhede Stadium. Cricket games can be found at almost any time on Mumbai's maidans (open spaces). Soccer, field hockey, and kabbadi, a form of Indian wrestling, are also popular sports. Local beaches are available for swimming although the famous Juju Beach has serious problems with pollution.

Horse races are held from November to April at Mahalaxmi Race Course. Golf, tennis, swimming, badminton, and squash facilities are available at private clubs, such as the Breach Candy Club, Mumbai Gymkhana, and Willingdon Sports Club.

16. Parks and Recreation

People in Mumbai enjoy strolling along beaches, such as Chowpatty Beach, or in the city's numerous parks. The Hanging Gardens (Pheroze Shah Mehta Gardens) and Kamala Nehru Park, in the residential neighborhood of Malabar Hill, provide interesting views of the city. The Mumbai Zoo is located in Jijamata Garden. Further afield, in northern Greater Mumbai, is the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. The nearby Kanheri Caves, a complex of Buddhist caves dating to the second century, are a popular destination.

Moviegoing is a universal pastime in Mumbai. Film City in northern Mumbai is the center of India's movie industry, and the lives and activities of popular film stars are eagerly followed by fans all across the country. Visits to restaurants, clubs, pubs, and discos are popular among the city's westernized youth. Pool halls and cybercafes are a rapidly growing aspect of the Mumbai entertainment scene.

17. Performing Arts

At one time, Mumbai was a thriving center of live theater, with performances in English, Hindi, Marathi, and Gujarati. Many of the city's theaters have now been converted into movie houses. However, the National Center for Performing Arts (NCPA) at Nariman Point was established in Mumbai in 1966 to promote Indian music, dance, and drama. The NCPA stages performances ranging from concerts by visiting western classical music groups (Zubin Mehta regularly takes the Israeli Philharmonic to Mumbai) to regional Indian theater and Indian classical dance and music. The Prithvi Theater at Juhu Beach, founded by the actor Prithviraj Kapoor, provides a home for Hindi theater. Performances also include productions in Marathi, Gujarati, Urdu, and English. The Prithvi also runs a summer theater workshop for children. Other venues for live theater and music performances include Nehru Centre (Worli), Shivaji Mandir (Dadar), Bhaisdas Hall (Vile Parle West), and Shanmukananda Hall (King's Circle).

18. Libraries and Museums

Mumbai's imposing Town Hall, overlooking Horniman Circle, houses the Royal Asiatic Society of Mumbai's library, as well as the State Central Library, which is a repository for every book published in India. Other libraries in the city include the David Sassoon Library and the Max Müller Bhavan library, both in Kala Ghoda.

Built in the Indo-Saracenic style, the Prince of Wales Museum (also in Kala Ghoda) has sections on art, archaeology, and natural history and is known for its collection of Rajasthani and Deccani miniature paintings. The Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum (Byculla), formerly the Victoria and Albert Museum, has exhibits relating mostly to Mumbai and western India. The Mumbai Society of Natural History is located in the Fort area.

The city's art galleries include the National Gallery of Modern Art, which houses both permanent and touring exhibits, and the Jehangir Gallery.

19. Tourism

Mumbai is a destination for Indian tourists, as well as visitors from overseas. The rock-cut temples on Elephanta Island in Mumbai Harbor can be reached by boat from Apollo Bunder and are the city's major attraction. Dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva and dating to around the sixth century, the temples were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. Apollo Bunder is also the location of the famous Gateway of India, the arch built to comemmorate the visit of King George V (18651936; r. 19101936) of England to India in 1911. Other tourist attractions include the city's impressive gothic architecture, Crawford Market, the bazaars of Kalbadevi and Bhuleshwar, the Parsi Towers of Silence, and Haji Ali's Mosque.

Mumbai is also a departure point for excursions to the old Portuguese fort at Bassein, to the hill stations in the Western Ghats (Matheran, Lonavla, and Khandala), to Pune, and other attractions in western Maharashtra.

20. Holidays and Festivals

India uses a lunar calendar, and festivals may fall in different months in different years. The date of Muslim religious festivals falls about 11 days earlier in each succeeding year according to the western calendar.

Makara Sankranti (a Gujarati festival celebrated by kite-flying)
Banganga Festival (music festival held at Banganga Tank)

Elephanta festival (classical Indian music and dance performed on Elephanta Island)

Mahashivratri (Hindus worhip the god Shiva.)
Holi (spring festival of the Hindus)

Gudi Padava (Maharashtrian New Year)
Mahavir Jayanti (Jains celebrate birth of founder of Jainism.)
Muharram (Muslims comemmorate the martyrdom of Hussain, the Prophet's grandson.)

Coconut Day

Parsi New Year
Ganesh Chaturthi (Images of Ganesh are immersed in the sea.)
Gokulashtami (Krishna's birthday)
Dussehra (nine-day festival celebrating Rama's victory over Ravanna, the demon king of Lanka)

Bandra Fair (Feast day of the Virgin Mary is celebrated at the Basilica of Mount Mary in Bandra.)

Diwali (The Festival of Lights marks the New Year for Jains and many Hindus.)

Nanak Jayanti (Sikhs celebrate the birthday of Guru Nanak, founder of their religion.)
Prithvi Theatre Festival

Christmas (celebrated by Christians December 25)
New Year's Eve (celebrated by Christians December 31)

Ramadan (Muslim month of fasting during daylight hours)

21. Famous Citizens

H. J. Bhabha (190966), nuclear physicist.

Madhuri Dixit (b. 1967), movie star.

S. M. Gavaskar (b. 1949), cricket-player.

Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy (17831859), Parsi businessman, social reformer, and philanthropist, the first Indian to be knighted (1847) by the British Government.

Rudyard Kipling (18651936), English author.

Zubin Mehta (b. 1936), orchestral conductor.

Dom Moraes (b. 1938), writer.

Dr. Dhadabhai Naoroji (18251917), first Indian to become a Member of the British House of Commons and President of the Indian National Congress.

Salman Rushdie (b. 1947), Indian-born British writer.

J. N. Tata (18391904), industrialist and philanthropist.

Sachin Tendulkar (b. 1973), cricket-player.

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar (18911956), a leader of the "untouchable" Hindus widely regarded as the chief architect of the Indian constitution.

Amitabh Bacchhan (b. 1942), movie star.

W. M. Haffkine (18601930), doctor and discoverer of the plague vaccine.

M.F. Hussein (b. 1915), contemporary artist.

M. A. Jinnah (18751948), lawyer, Muslim political leader, and the father of the state of Pakistan.

Sir David Sassoon (17921853), Baghdadi-born Jew, business tycoon, and philanthropist.

22. For Further Study


Bombay Net. [Online] Available (accessed February 5, 2000).

Mumbai Central. [Online] Available (accessed February 5, 2000).

Mumbai Net. [Online] Available (accessed February 5, 2000).

The Mumbai Pages. [Online] Available (accessed February 5, 2000).

Rediff on the Net. [Online] Available (accessed February 5, 2000).

Government Offices

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation
(BMC) BMC Building
Dr. D. Naoroji Rd.
Nagar Chowk
Mumbai 400002

Mantrayala (Maharashtra State Civil Service)
Madame Cama Road
Nariman Point
Mumbai 400021

Tourist and Convention Bureaus

Bombay Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Mackinnon Mackenzie Building
Ballard Estate, Shoorji Vallabhdas Marg
Mumbai 400001
Tel: 2614681
Fax: 2621213

Government of India Tourist Office
123 Maharshi Karve Rd.
Mumbai 400021
Tel: 2033144
Fax: 2014496

Maharashtra Tourism Development Office (Tours Division and Reservations Office)
CDO Hutments, Madame Cama Rd.
Nariman Point
Mumbai 400021
Tel: 2026713
Fax: 2852812


Indian Express (Bombay) Inc.
Express Towers
Nariman Point
Mumbai 400021
Tel: 2022627
Fax: 2022139

The Times of India
Times of India Building
Dr. D. Naoroji Road
Mumbai 400001
Tel: 2620271
Fax: 2620144


Bhojani, Namas and Arun Katiyar. Bombay: A Contemporary Account of Mumbai. New Delhi: Harper Collins, 1996.

Collins, David. Mumbai (Bombay). Melbourne: Lonely Planet Publications, 1999.

Contractor, Behram. From Bombay to Mumbai. Mumbai: Oriana Books, 1998.

Desai, Anita. Baumgartner's Bombay. New York: Penguin, 1998.

Dwivedi, Sharada and Rahul Mehrotra. Bombay: The Cities Within. Bombay: India Book House, 1995.

Edwardes, S. M. The Gazetteer of Bombay City and Island. 3 vols. Bombay: Times Press, 190910 [reprinted 197778].

Mehta, Rina. Mumbai Mum's Guide. Bombay: Oxford and India Book House, 1999.

Moraes, Dom. Bombay. Amsterdam: Time-Life Books, 1979.

Patel, Sujata and Alice Thorner. Bombay: Metaphor for Modern India. Bombay: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Patel, Sujata and Alice Thorner. Bombay: Mosaic of Modern Culture. Bombay: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Rohatgi, Pauline, Pheroza Godrej and Rahul Mehrotra, eds. Bombay to Mumbai: Changing Perspectives. Mumbai: Marg Publications, 1997.

Rohinton, Mistry. Swimming Lessons, and Other Stories from Firozsha Baag. New York: Vintage, 1997.

Rohinton, Mistry. Such a Long Journey. New York: Vintage, 1992.

Rushdie, Salman. Midnight's Children. New York: Knopf, 1995.

Rushdie, Salman. The Moor's Last Sigh. New York: Pantheon, 1995.

Tindall, Gillian. City of Gold: the Biography of Bombay. Harmondsworth, England: Penguin, 1992.

Virani, Pinki. Once Was Bombay. New Delhi: Penguin Books India, 1999.

English-Language Movies Set In Bombay

Bombay 2000. Mira Nair, 1999.
Bombay Boys. Mani Ratnam, 1994.
Perfect Murder. Zafar Hai, 1988.
Salaam Bombay. Mira Nair, 1988.


views updated May 18 2018


Mumbai (Bombay) has a population of 15.7 million (2004) and, like Manhattan, is located on a rocky peninsula. Together with adjacent municipalities, the Mumbai urban agglomeration exceeds 20 million and is thus India's largest metropolis; it is also India's most important port. "Bombay" is a corrupted form of the Marathi name Mumbai, derived from the name of a local goddess, Mumba Ai (Mother Mumba). After several other Indian cities had assumed their precolonial names, Bombay was also officially renamed as Mumbai by an act of the Indian Parliament in 1997.

Originally it consisted of seven small islands inhabited by fishermen. Its large natural harbor attracted the Portuguese, who established a trading post at Mahim in 1534. When the Portuguese princess Catherine Braganza married King Charles II in 1661, he was given Mumbai as a wedding present; he then transferred it to the East India Company in 1668.

As Mumbai could be more easily defended than Surat, it eclipsed that port in the eighteenth century. But unlike Surat, Mumbai had no good connections with its hinterland, from which it was cut off by a steep mountain range (Western Ghats). Only when the railway crossed the Ghats and reached as far as Solapur in 1860 did this change, with Mumbai emerging as the export outlet for raw cotton, which was in great demand during the U.S. Civil War. After that war, cotton was once more cheap, and a cotton textile industry that was built up in Mumbai by Indian entrepreneurs expanded rapidly. The port also experienced a rapid expansion when steamships reached it via the Suez Canal after 1869. British coal was then cheaper in Mumbai than Indian coal mined in Eastern India.

By 1900 Mumbai had a population of about one million and was thus twice as large as Madras (Chennai). In addition to being a center of trade and industry, it was also the capital of the Bombay Presidency, which at that time included Sindh in the north and a large part of present Karnataka in the south, in addition to Gujarat and Maharashtra. Sindh became a separate province in 1936, but the rest of the state retained its old structure. When India became independent in 1947, there was not much of a change in this respect. Even the reorganization of states in 1956 did not change the contours of the Bombay state, mainly because Mumbai as a multilingual metropolis (dominated by Gujarati capitalists and inhabited by Marathi workers) remained a bone of contention. Finally in 1960 Gujarat was separated from Maharashtra, which secured Mumbai as its capital. This did not lead to an exodus of the Gujaratis, who continue to dominate trade and industry in the city.

The current problems of the Mumbai Port Authority are just the same as those of Madras (Chennai). A new container port has been constructed on the other side of the harbor, but being managed by the state-owned Indian Railways, its efficiency is also not up to the mark. Similarly the airport, the busiest in the country, could probably be much improved under private management.

SEE ALSO Agriculture; Cargoes, Freight; Cargoes, Passenger; Chambers of Commerce; Containerization; Cotton; East India Company, British; Empire, British; Empire, Mughal; EntrepÔt System; Ethnic Groups, Gujarati; Factories; Free Ports; Gujarat; Harbors; India;Indian Ocean;Madras;Port Cities;Shipbuilding;Tata Family Enterprises;Textiles.


Patel, Sujata, and Thorner, Alice, eds. Bombay: Metaphor for Modern India. Mumbai: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Rohatgi, Pauline; Godrej, Pheroza; and Mehotra, Rahul, eds. Bombay to Mumbai: Changing Perspectives. Mumbai: Marg, 1997.

Tindal, Gilliam. City of Gold: The Biography of Bombay. London: Templesmith,

Dietmar Rothermund


views updated Jun 27 2018

Mumbai (Bombay) Situated on an island off the w coast; capital of Maharashtra state. In 1534 it was ceded to the Portuguese. In 1661 the British gained control of Mumbai as part of Catherine of Braganza's dowry to Charles II. It was the headquarters of the British East India Company until 1858. Mumbai's ‘Gateway to India’ was the first sight many colonists had of India. After 1941 a population boom occurred as a result of immigration, rural migration, and an increasing birthrate. Mumbai has the largest population of Parsis in India. The city has some fine Victorian public architecture. Mumbai is a cultural, educational, trade, and financial centre, and the site of the world's largest film industry. It is India's second-largest port (after Calcutta). Educational establishments include the University of Mumbai (1857) and the Indian Institute of Technology (1958). Industries: chemicals, textiles, oil refining, motor vehicles. Exports: cotton, manganese. Pop. (2001) 3,326,837; 11.914.398 (metropolitan).