'Because of its colonial past you can see some great examples of
classical revival architecture in the tradition that was
followed in Britain and Europe at the turn of the twentieth
(formerly Bombay) began as a conglomerate of seven small, marshy
islands and grew into the vast, overcrowded megalopolis we see
today. Like a magnet, the city draws thousands of hopeful
migrants seeking their fortune - as it has done over the past
three centuries. Its unique position as India's film city -
Mumbai is to the Indian cinema what Hollywood is to world cinema
- nurtures many a rags-to-riches dream.
finance capital of the country Mumbai has India's biggest and
busiest stock exchange and the city is home to representatives
of the largest business houses.
city's skyline comprises a melange of intriguing silhouettes -
high-rises, textiles mill chimney stacks, Gothic, Neo-classical
and Art Deco masterpieces, juxtaposed with contours of temple
Shikharas, church spires and mosque minarets. Luxury homes tower
over stretches of appalling shanties of the homeless.
Old and new jostle for your attention against a backdrop of
massed and ceaselessly moving humanity. Every structure in the
richly textured urbanscape bears silent testimony not only to
the city's fascinating and chequered history but also to its
vibrant cosmopolitan present. Most people maintain Mumbai is the
only truly metropolitan city of India.
Vibrant, pulsating Mumbai - the city that never sleeps - offers
the visitor a plethora of intriguing sights and titillating
sounds, choice entertainment and diverse cuisine, fascinating
glimpses into the colourful panorama that is India.
of Mumbai had been occupied by simple fisher folk for several
centuries before the pre-Christian era. Later, development of
important townships and ports took place on the mainland,
surrounding the islands. A tangible, physical transformation of
the archipelago began after the Portuguese take-over from the
Muslim rulers of Gujarat in 1534.
the 1660s, the islands were gifted by the Portugese to the ruling
English monarch as part of his marriage dower. The British East
India Company, which leased the islands from the Crown, foresaw
the potential of the protected harbour located on the eastern
seaboard of the largest of the seven islands. This can be seen
today from Apollo Bunder near the Gateway of India. The beautiful
natural bay on the west was named Marine Drive in the early 1940s.
with one island as fortified town and trading centre, the company
progressively undertook extensive reclamation projects over the
following decades to weld the seven islands into one large land
mass. A severe plague epidemic in the 1890s resulted in many
improvements to the city.
end of 19th century, Mumbai became the urbs prima in indis, the
most important commercial, financial, trading and industrial
centre and port on the sub-continent. This is the status it enjoys
even today. Then, with a number of industries set up in and
around, the pressure on land grew further and building activity
reached its peak in the 1930s, when all available plots of land in
the city were built over.
over-crowded but people came from all over the country continued
to pour in, attracted by its potential and enterprise. When
independence came in 1947, refugees Pakistan further added to the
population and Mumbai grew upwards (in the form of high-rises) and
outwards too, expanding northwards into the mainland.