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Know more about Mumbai
Till 1995, this city was better known as Bombay. The official name of the city is Mumbai. It is an eponym derived from Mumba, the name of the local Hindu goddess Mumbadevi, and Aai, meaning "mother" in Marathi.
By Indian standards, Mumbai is a young city as much of the city did not exist until it was claimed from the sea over three centuries ago and 7 islands were formed to make the island city of Mumbai. One of the colonial powers, the Portuguese took over the islands from the Sultan of Gujarat in 1448. These explorers named the area "Bom Bahia" in the 16th century, which translates as "Good Bay" (reference to the deep water harbour). This island city was in turn joined with the neighbouring island of Salsette to form Greater Bombay. The next colonial power, Britain i.e. the British East India Company leased these islands from King Charles II of England in 1668 and the company built the docks, the trading posts, and the fort that would form the nerve centre of the city, at that point of time. The name of the city was gradually corrupted to "Bomaim" and, after the British gained possession, the name was anglicised to Bombay.
Now in the modern era, Mumbai is the largest and most cosmopolitan city in India. It has a population of 18,950,000 million. It is the world's fifth most populous metropolitan area. It is one of the largest port cities and is well known as the financial hub of India. Nariman Point and Fort are the commercial centers’ of the city and the most sought after destinations for doing business. Here, the pace of life is fast and time is money.
Mumbai is also the home of Bollywood, the epicentre of the Hindi film and television industries.
Mumbai is different from the rest of India and has been built upon by successive waves of migration. The city is made of the following districts: South Mumbai, South Central Mumbai, North Central Mumbai, Western Suburbs, Central Suburbs, Harbour Suburbs and Northwest Mumbai.
South Mumbai consists of places like Fort, Colaba, Malabar Hill, Nariman Point, Marine Lines, and Tardeo. This is the oldest area of Mumbai. It is made of Mumbai's downtown area and is considered the commercial capital of India. One of the wealthiest neighborhoods’ in the country is located here. In fact, quite a lot of the real estate in South Mumbai has been known to be far more expensive than even Manhattan/New York. South Mumbai is also the main tourist area of Mumbai. It is home to Mumbai's museums, art galleries, bars, upscale restaurants, and the Gateway of India.
South Central Mumbai is made of Byculla, Dadar, Parel, Prabhadevi and Worli. It was known to be Mumbai's industrial heartland, but went the industries went into decline so did this area. Nevertheless, this part of the city has now been revamped into a white-collar office location. It is the location of the city’s only zoo, the Worli sea face, and the temple to what people consider the city's guardian deity – Shri Ganesh.
North Central Mumbai consists of Dharavi, Mahim, Matunga, Vadala and Sion. It is now an upper middle-class area, though Dharavi is considered to be Asia's largest slum area. This area had developed after India's independence in 1947, because of a wave of immigration.
The Western Suburbs is made Andheri, Bandra, Khar, Juhu, Santa Cruz and Vile Parle. These are some of the oldest suburbs of the city and are known as Mumbai's other downtown area and is home to the wealthy, who want to have a more peaceful environment. It also has some beaches and is the home to a large Christian community and the city's most famous church, ‘’Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount’’ (or Mount Mary's Basilica). The city's airport Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is located in the Western Suburbs, with 2 terminals – the Domestic Terminal (Terminal 1, Santacruz) and the International Terminal (Terminal 2, Sahar).
The Central Suburbs are made of Bhandup, Ghatkopar, Kanjur Marg, Kurla, Mulund, Powai, Vidyavihar and Vikhroli. This is a proper middle class bastion. In fact, Ghatkopar and Mulund are home to a predominantly middle and upper middle class populace, which is mainly from the entrepreneurial Gujarati community.
The Harbour Suburbs are Chembur, Govandi, Mankhurd and Trombay. Before the development of Navi Mumbai as a satellite town of Bombay, this area used to be known only for the existence of an atomic research centre, the Bhaba Atomic Centre. Now this is known for being on the way to Navi Mumbai.
Northwest Mumbai is made of Jogeshwari and Manori. It has the cleanest beaches. It contains the Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Mumbai's oldest heritage sites: the Kanheri, Mahakali, Jogeshwari, and Mandapeshwar rock-cut temples, dating from the 1st century B.C to the 5th century A.D.
And Northwest Mumbai is made of Bhyander, Mira Road, Naigaon, Vasai, Nala Sopara & Virar.
Mumbai has a lot to offer to the discerning visitor. From visits to colonial era buildings, historical monuments, museums and galleries, beaches; to a thriving night life, specialty restaurants, stay at luxury hotels, parks and gardens and worship at religious places.
A majority of the international airlines have their offices in Mumbai. The national airlines have their head or branch offices in the city as well.
The embassy or consulates of many countries are based in Mumbai.
All major categories (luxury, 5 star, 4 star, 3 star and budget) of hotels have rooms available in Mumbai. The peak season for visiting Mumbai is generally from October to March.
International and Indian banks provide a good number of 24-hour ATMs in most parts of the city. Currency exchange services are readily available with banks, travel agencies and hotels.
Mumbai's public transport is made of Public Bus Service (BEST), Suburban Electric Trains, Public Taxi/Auto rickshaw Services (tuk tuks), Radio Taxis and Waterway Services.