Mumbai – The City of Dreams
A dreamland for many, especially budding actors and technicians with artistic skills, Mumbai offers something for everyone. People from every section of society find the city to be the best place to fulfill their dreams. For the labor class, it is the destination to earn their bread and butter. Business houses find the city to be the ideal place to start and roll their enterprises. For those bitten by the travel bug, it is a favorite destination with numerous places of interest. For nature lovers, it has the largest tropical forest in an urban area. Dharavi houses the largest slum dwellers in the country. Exotic nightlife in the city is a major attraction for many. From slum dwellers to the wealthiest and from gangsters to law-abiding citizens, career aspirants to upcoming industrialists, Mumbai is a heavenly abode providing the best for all.
Multiple Nicknames of Mumbai
Mumbai is not only the premier and most populous city in India but also the entire world. It is the capital city of the western Indian state of Maharashtra and has several nicknames.
- City of Seven Islands
- City of dreams
- Gateway of India
- Bollywood City
- Alfa World City
Originally it was known as Bombay but it was renamed as Mumbai in the year 1995.
Area and Population
The city has an area of 603 square kilometers. This includes metro as well as suburban areas. Its population, as per the 2011 census report, was 12, 478, 447. According to the United Nations, Mumbai is the most populous city in India and the 7th most populous city in the world.
Mumbai is located on the west coast of the Konkan Coast of the Arabian Sea. Mumbai seaport is a deep natural harbor. It is also the capital city of Maharashtra.
House of Leading Organizations
Mumbai houses numerous public and private enterprises including some multi-national companies. Some of the major public sector enterprises in scientific, nuclear energies, and the health sector are also located in the city. It is also the home of Bollywood as well as the Marathi cinema industries.
World Heritage Sites
Mumbai houses as many as three UNESCO World Heritage sites –
- Elephanta Caves
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and
- Victorian and Art Deco buildings.
Finance Capital of India
Mumbai is also known as the finance capital of India. It is also the commercial and entertainment capital of the country. Also the city is one of the top ten commercial hubs in the world. The city accounts for over 25% of the industrial outputs and 70% of the maritime trade in India. It was the opening of the Suez Canal that made the seaport in Mumbai one of the busiest in the world.
History of Mumbai
Mumbai is the combination of seven islands connected. Originally these islands were the home of the Marathi community named Koli. During the 16th century, it became a part of the Portuguese empire. Later in 1661, these seven islands became the part of a gift to King of England Charles II when he married Catherine of Braganza. It was then passed on to the East India Company. The erstwhile Bombay was reshaped by the Hornby Vellard project in the mid 18th century. The project was completed in 1845 and Bombay became a major seaport. After independence, the city was the capital of the erstwhile state Bombay. Later in 1960, a new state Maharashtra was formed with Bombay as its capital.
In independent India, the city became the capital of the state of Bombay. Later when Bombay was divided into Gujarat and Maharashtra, it became the capital of Maharashtra. The city experienced massive growth in the following decades after it was formed with the inclusion of Marathi speaking districts of erstwhile Bombay state and Hyderabad. Gradually the city became the financial and commercial capital of India. The film industry became one of the largest in the world that makes the city famous.
Mumbai has a tropical climate that varies with seasons. The climate is hot from March to May and cooler from December to February. The months from June to October is the rainy season when the South West Monsoon arrives. The average temperature is 27-31 degrees centigrade or 81-88 degrees Fahrenheit. Mumbai experiences high air pollution, mostly higher than the recommended pollution level.
Economy of Mumbai
Mumbai alone generates over 6% of the annual GDP of the entire country. It also provides 10% of factory employment and –
- 25% of industrial output
- 33% of Income-tax collections
- 40% of the foreign trade
- 60% of custom duty collections and
- 20% of central excise collections.
The city houses most of the top public and private commercial organizations in the country. These include several top fortune global 500 companies. Major contributors to the economy are financial organizations, leather processing, gems and jewelry, information technology, and the entertainment hub Bollywood. It is the 7th among the World Billionaires cities of the world, housing some of the millionaires and billionaires.
Mumbai is well connected by air, rail, and road transport with all important locations in the country.
The local transport facilities are excellent. About 88% of commuters in the city use public transport including metro rail, bus, auto, and boats. Tourists and travelers arriving in the city also have the facilities of using hired taxis and even self-driving car services for customized transport.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, previously known as Victoria Terminus, is one of the busiest railway terminuses in the country.
Ethnic Groups and Religions
66% of the people residing in Mumbai are Hindus and around 21% are Muslims. 13% of people are Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains. If one goes by the language spoken, then he or she would find over 16 different languages spoken in Mumbai. The Asiatic Society is the oldest public library where visitors can find all information about the culture of Mumbai.
The culture of Mumbai is an innovative blend of traditional and contemporary events. These include festivals, theatres, food and beverages, and music. The erstwhile domination by foreign powers has also left its impression on its culture.. It is also the creator of the Indian cinema that was started by Dadasaheb Phalke. Various award functions are also organized in Mumbai to promote its rich cultural heritage.
Mumbai offers something for everyone. It caters to the requirements of all and sundry. For a place where it is said that the streets are paved in gold, it is a paradise for those who dream of a bright future and are willing to slog for it.