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Template:Redirect Template:India capital infobox Mumbai (Marathi: मुंबई ) (pronounced /mumʋaːi/ in Marathi, and /mʊm'baɪ/ in English), formerly known as Bombay is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra and is the most populous Indian city with a 2005 estimated population of about 13 million.[1] Mumbai is located on Salsette Island off the west coast of India. Along with the neighbouring towns, it forms one of the world's most populous metropolitan areas, with an extended population of 17 million. The city, which has a deep natural harbour, is also the largest port in western India, handling over half of India's passenger traffic.

Mumbai is the commercial capital of India, and houses important financial institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India, the Bombay Stock Exchange, and the corporate headquarters of many Indian companies. Because of the immense business opportunities available in Mumbai and the relatively high standard of living, it has attracted migrants from all over India and South Asia, making the city a potpourri of various communities and cultures. Bollywood, the epicentre of the country's Hindi film and television industry is located in Mumbai. Mumbai is also one of the rare cities to accommodate a national park, Borivali National Park, which is the biggest 'national park within city limits' in the world.

The appellation Mumbai is an eponym, etymologically derived from Mumba — the name of the Hindu goddess Mumbadevi, and Aai — meaning mother in Marathi. In the 16th century, the Portuguese named the area Bom Bahia, which means Good Bay. This was later corrupted to Bomaím or Bombaim, by which name it is still known in Portuguese; and after the British gained possession, it was anglicised to Bombay. The name was officially changed from Bombay to Mumbai in 1995, but the former name is still popularly used in the West and by many of the city's inhabitants and famous institutions.


Main article: History of Mumbai

Present-day Mumbai was originally made up of seven isles. Artefacts found near Kandivali in northern Mumbai indicate that these islands had been inhabited since the Stone Age. In the 3rd century BCE, they were part of the Maurya empire, ruled by the Buddhist emperor Ashoka. The Hindu rulers of the Silhara dynasty later governed the islands until 1343, when it was annexed by the kingdom of Gujarat. Some of the oldest edifices of the archipelago–the Elephanta Caves and the Walkeshwar temple complex date to this era.

In 1534, the Portuguese appropriated the islands from Bahadur Shah of Gujarat. They were ceded to Charles II of England in 1661 as dowry or, more appropriately, wedding gifts of Catherine de Braganza. They in turn were leased to the British East India Company in 1668 for a sum of £10 per annum. The company found the deep harbour at Bombay eminently apposite, and the population rose from 10,000 in 1661 to 60,000 by 1675. In 1687, the East India Company transferred their headquarters from Surat to Bombay.

From 1817 the city was reshaped, with large civil engineering projects aimed at merging the islands into a single amalgamated mass. This project, the Hornby Vellard, was completed by 1845 and resulted in the area swelling to 438 km². Eight years later, in 1853, India's first railway line was established, connecting Bombay to Thana. During the American Civil War, (18611865) the city became the world's chief cotton market, resulting in a boom in the economy and subsequently in the city's stature. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 transformed Bombay into one of the largest Arabian Sea ports.

A glimpse of the city circa 1890.

The city grew into a major urban centre over the next thirty years, spurred by an improvement in the infrastructure and the construction of many of the city's institutions. The population of the city swelled to one million by 1906, making it the second largest in India, after Calcutta. It later became a major base for the Indian independence movement, with the Quit India Movement called by Mahatma Gandhi in 1942 being its most rubric event. After independence, the city incorporated parts of the island of Salsette, expanding to its present day limits in 1957. It became the capital of the new linguistic state of Maharashtra in 1960.

In the late 1970s Bombay witnessed a construction boom, with a significant increase in population owing to the influx of migrants. By 1986 it had overtaken Calcutta as the most populated Indian city. The city's secular fabric was torn in 1992, after large-scale Hindu-Muslim riots caused extensive losses to life and property. A few months later, on March 12, simultaneous bombings of the city's establishments by the underworld killed around three hundred. In 1995, the city was renamed Mumbai after the right wing Shiv Sena party came into power in Maharashtra, in keeping with their policy of renaming colonial institutions after historic local appellations.


Main article: Geography of Mumbai
The metropolis consists of the city and its suburbs.

Mumbai is located on Salsette Island which lies at the mouth of Ulhas River off the western coast of India in the coastal region known as the Konkan. Most of Mumbai is at sea level and the average elevation ranges from 10 to 15 metres. The northern part of Mumbai is hilly and the highest point of the city is at 450 metres (1,450 feet)[2]. Mumbai spans a total area of 468 km² (169 square miles).

Three lakes are located within the metropolitan limits — the Tulsi Lake, Vihar Lake and the Powai Lake. The first two are located within the Borivali National Park and supply part of the city's drinking water. Mumbai also has three small rivers within the city limits originating in the National Park. The coastline of the city is indented with numerous creeks and bays. On the eastern seaboard, large mangrove swamps rich in biodiversity occupy most of the region.

Soil cover in the city region is predominantly sandy due to its proximity to the sea. In the suburbs the soil cover is largely alluvial and loamy. The underlying rock of the region is composed of black Deccan basalt flows and their acid and basic variants dating back to the late Cretaceous and early Eocene geological eras. Mumbai sits on a seismically active zone[3] owing to the presence of three fault lines in the vicinity. The area is classified as a Zone III region, which means an earthquake of magnitude of up to 6.5 can be expected.

Mumbai is classified as a metropolis of India, under the jurisdiction of the Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation. It consists of two discrete regions — the City and the Suburbs, which also form two districts of Maharashtra. The city region is also commonly referred to as the Island City by most media publications[4].


Main article: Weather of Mumbai
Mumbai as seen from space with Salsette Island clearly visible.

The city, being in the tropical zone and near the Arabian Sea, does not experience distinct seasons, but the climate can broadly be classified into two main seasons — the humid season and the dry season. The humid season, between March to October, is characterised by high humidity and temperatures of over 30 °C (86 °F). The monsoon rains lash the city during June to September and supply most of the city's annual rainfall of 2,200 mm (85 in). The maximum annual rainfall ever recorded was 3,452 mm (135.89 in) in 1954[5]. The highest rainfall recorded in a single day was 944 mm (37.16 inches) on 2005-07-26.

The dry season, between November and February, is characterised by moderate levels of humidity and warm to cool weather. Cold northerly winds are responsible for a high wind chill factor during January and February. The annual temperatures range from a high of 38 °C (100 °F) to a low of 11 °C (52 °F). The record high is 43 °C (108 °F) and record low is 7.4 °C (45 °F) on 1962-01-22.


Main article: Economy of Mumbai
The Bombay Stock Exchange index reflects the investor confidence in the economy of India.

Mumbai contributes 10% of factory employment, 33% of income tax collections, 60% of customs duty collections, 20% of central excise tax collections, 40% of India's foreign trade and rupees 40,000 crore (US $9 billion) in corporate taxes[6]. Headquarters of a number of Indian financial institutions such as the Bombay Stock Exchange, Reserve Bank of India, National Stock Exchange, the Mint, as well as numerous Indian conglomerates such as the Tata Group, Godrej and Reliance are located in Mumbai. Most of these offices are located in downtown South Mumbai which is the nerve centre of the Indian economy, leading its Dalal Street to become known as "the Indian Wall Street". Many foreign establishments also have their branches in this area.

Mumbai has traditionally owed its prosperity largely to its textile mills and its seaport till the 1980s. This has now been replaced by industries employing more skilled labour such as engineering, diamond polishing, healthcare and information technology. As Mumbai is the state capital, government employees make up a large percentage of the city's workforce. Mumbai also has a large unskilled and semi-skilled labour population, who primarily earn their livelihood as hawkers, taxi drivers, mechanics and other such proletarian professions. The port and shipping industry too employs many residents directly and indirectly.

The entertainment industry is the other major employer in Mumbai. Most of India's television and satellite networks are located in Mumbai, as well as the major publishing houses. The epicentre of the Hindi movie industry, Bollywood, is also located in Mumbai, along with the largest studios and production houses.

Civic administration

Template:Mumbai city officials

Mumbai is divided into twenty-three administrative wards.

The city is administered by a municipal corporation (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)), whose titular head is the Mayor who has few executive powers. The real executive power of the corporation is vested in the Municipal Commissioner, an IAS officer appointed by the state government. The BMC is in charge of the civic needs and infrastructure of the metropolis. Mumbai is divided into twenty-three municipal wards, each overseen by an Assistant Municipal Commissioner for administrative purposes. The corporators of the administration are voted through a popular vote and almost all the state political parties field their candidates.

The metropolis is composed of two districts in Maharashtra, and each district comes under the jurisprudence of the District Collector. The collectors are in charge of property records and revenue collection for the Central government. They also oversee the national elections held in the city.

Like other metropolises in India, the Mumbai Police is headed by a Police Commissioner, an IPS officer. The Mumbai Police comes under the state Home Ministry. Mumbai is divided into seven police zones and seventeen traffic police zones, each headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police. The Traffic Police is a semi-autonomous body under the Mumbai Police.

Mumbai is the seat of the Bombay High Court, which has under its jurisdiction the states of Maharashtra, Goa and the Union Territory of Daman and Diu. Mumbai also has two lower courts, the Small Causes Court, for civil matters, and the Sessions Court for criminal cases.

Mumbai contributes six seats to the Lok Sabha (India's Lower House of Parliament) and thirty-four seats to the Maharashtra state assembly.


Main article: Public transport in Mumbai
BEST buses form an integral part of the city's transport, ferrying millions of commuters daily.
File:Shivaji Terminus Bombay (Mumbai).jpg
Chatrapati Shivaji terminus, formerly Victoria Terminus.

Most of the city inhabitants rely on public transport to travel to and from their workplace, due to the paucity of parking spaces and traffic bottlenecks. The backbone of the city's transport, the Mumbai Suburban Railway, is composed of three rail networks and runs along the length of the city. The Western Railway runs along the western region of the city, while the Central Railway covers most of the central and northeast parts of the metropolis. Both these lines extend to the exurbs of the city, each covering a total one-way length of around 125 km. The Harbour Line is a sub-division of the Central Railway, covering a distance of 54 km along the extreme east areas of the city region near the docks and extending into New Bombay.

Public buses run by the BEST (an autonomous body under the BMC) cover almost all parts of the metropolis as well as parts of New Bombay and Thane. Buses are used for short to medium distance commuting as train fares are more economical for long distances. The BEST fleet consists of single-decker, double-decker, air-conditioned and vestibule buses. The BEST also operates ferries across creeks in northern Mumbai.

Black and yellow metered taxis, accommodating up to four passengers, cover most of the metropolis. Auto rickshaws, allowed to operate only in the suburban area, are the main form of hired transport there. These three-wheeled vehicles can accommodate up to three passengers.

Auto rickshaws are the main form of transport in the suburbs.

Mumbai's Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport is the busiest airport in India, and caters to cargo and international flights. Santacruz airport caters to domestic flights. The nearby Juhu aerodrome was India's first airport and now hosts a flying club and a heliport.

Mumbai is well connected by trains to all parts of India. The city is also the headquarters of two rail divisions, the Central Railway (CR) headquartered at Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly known as Victoria Terminus) and the Western Railway (WR) headquartered at Mumbai Central. With its unique topography, Mumbai has one of the best natural harbours in the world handling 50% of the country's passenger traffic and much of India's cargo. It is also an important base of the Indian Navy.

Utility services

File:Mumbai Skyline.jpg
Mumbai skyline looking at Malabar hill.

The BMC supplies potable water to the city most of which come the Tulsi and Vihar lakes, as well as a few lakes further north. The water is then filtered at Bhandup, which is also Asia's largest water filtration plant. The BMC is also responsible for the road maintenance and garbage collection in the city. Almost all the city daily refuse of 7,800 metric tonnes[7] is transported to dumping grounds in Gorai in the northwest, Mulund in the northeast and Deonar in the east. Sewage treatment is carried out in Worli and Bandra.

Electricity is provided by the BEST in the city and by Reliance Energy in the suburbs. Most of the city's electricity is hydroelectric and nuclear based. The government owned MTNL is the largest telephone service provider in the city, ascribed to the fact that it was a monopoly till 2000. It provides fixed line services as well as mobile WLL services. Cell phone coverage is extensive and the main service providers are Orange, Airtel, BPL group, Reliance Infocomm and Tata Indicom. Both GSM and CDMA services are available in the city. Broadband internet penetration is increasing in the city with MTNL and Tata being the leading service providers.


Main article: Demographics of Mumbai
Mumbai is a city of multiple faiths. The Jama Masjid is the city's oldest and largest mosque.
Afghan Church is a heritage monument in the city.

The population of Mumbai is over 17 million residents at a density of 45,662 persons per square kilometre. There are 811 females to every 1,000 males. This relatively low ratio exists because many working males in the city leave their families in the rural areas where they hail from. The total literacy rate is 77%, which is higher than the national average. Out of this figure 82% of adult males and 71.6% of adult females are literate. Hindus comprise 68% of the population, Muslim 17%, Christian 4% and Buddhist 4%. The remaining are followers of Parsi, Jain, Sikh and Jewish religions and atheist ideology[8].

For a city of its size, Mumbai has a moderate crime rate. Mumbai recorded 27,577 incidents of crime in 2004, which is down 11% from 30,991 in 2001. The city's main jail is the Arthur Road Jail[9]. According to a report in the August 12 edition of BusinessWeek, around 45-48% of the population lives in shanty towns and slums.

Mumbai has a large polyglot population but the most common language spoken on the city streets is a colloquial form of Hindi, known as Bambaiya Hindi, which is a blend of Hindi, Marathi, Indian English and a few invented colloquial words. Marathi is the official language of the state of Maharashtra. English is also extensively spoken and is the principal language used by the city's white collar workforce. Other languages spoken in Mumbai include Gujarati, Bengali, Tamil, Urdu, Malayalam, Telugu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Konkani, Nepali and Kannada.

See also: Growth of Mumbai, Mumbai statistics

People and culture

Main article: Mumbai culture
Hawking is common on city footpaths.

A resident of Mumbai is called a Mumbaikar or Bombayite. Many residents prefer to stay close to major railway stations for easy access to their workplaces as a significant amount of time is spent on daily commuting. Thus many live a fast-paced life with very little time for other activities. Mumbai is known to be one of the most liberal and cosmopolitan cities of India, with the city embracing many concepts which would be taboo in other cities. Mumbai residents celebrate Western and Indian celebrations and festivals with great fanfare. Festivals and celebrations are observed by residents of all communities and religions.

The metropolis has its own local roadside fast food consisting of vada pavs, pav bhaji and bhelpuri. South Indian and Chinese food are also very popular in the city. A cosmopolitan city, residents have their unique tastes in cuisine, music, film and literature, both Indian and international. In 2004, Mumbai received three heritage conservation awards from the UNESCO.

Mumbai is always in a state of flux as depicted here outside the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus station.

Mumbai is the birthplace of Indian cinema, with the oldest film shot here in 1896. Mumbai also boasts of large number of cinemas, including Asia's largest IMAX dome theatre, which feature mainstream Bollywood and Hollywood films. Besides cinemas, the city also hosts various plays and cultural performances. There are also two art galleries: The Jehangir Art Gallery and The National Gallery of Modern Art and a museum, The Prince of Wales Museum in South Mumbai. Built in 1833, the Asiatic Society of Bombay is the oldest public library in the city.

Mumbai has six sister cities, the maximum permitted by the Indian government. Its sister cities are London, Los Angeles, Yokohama, Berlin, Saint Petersburg and Stuttgart.

See also:


Mumbai is served by numerous newspaper publications, television stations and radio. The Times of India, Midday, Afternoon, Asian Age, Economic Times, Mumbai Mirror, D N A - Daily News And Analysis, Hindustan Times and the Indian Express are the major English language newspapers sold in the city. Popular Marathi newspapers include Loksatta, Maharashtra Times, Nava Kaal, and Saamana. In addition to these papers, newspapers are printed in Hindi, Gujarati, Malayalam, Bengali, Urdu, Telugu and Tamil.

Most of the households in Mumbai are served by one of the three main cable networks serving the city. Doordarshan, the national television broadcaster, has two free terrestrial channels on air. Direct To Home, though present, has yet to gain mass acceptance due to its higher costs. Mumbai receives over a hundred television channels and a majority of them are produced to cater to the city's polyglot populace. The metropolis is also the hub of many international media corporations with many news channels and print publications having a major presence.

There are nine radio stations in Mumbai, with six broadcasting in the popular FM band and three All India Radio stations broadcasting in the AM band.

  • 558 kHz
  • 1044 kHz
  • 1188 kHz


Schools in Mumbai are either run by the BMC, in which case they are called public schools, or privately by trusts and individuals. Private schools have been preferred by a majority of city residents because of better facilities and use of English as a medium of instruction. All private schools are affiliated either to the Maharashtra state SSC board or the all-India Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) and CBSE boards. Demand is especially high for ICSE, CBSE affiliated schools and those run by convents or by the Jesuits. The government-run public schools lack many facilities, but are the only options for most of the poor who cannot afford the fees in private schools.

After ten years of schooling, students enroll for two years in a Junior College where they choose from one of the four popular streams: Arts, Commerce, Science and Law. This is followed by a professional degree course in the corresponding stream. All professional colleges in Mumbai are affiliated to the University of Mumbai, one of the largest universities in the world in terms of matriculation. The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, one of world's premier engineering universities, and the SNDT Women's University, open to women only, are the other universities in Mumbai.

See also:


The Bombay Gymkhana is one of the elite sports club in the city.

Cricket is the most popular sport in the city and is usually played in the maidans (grounds) around the city. Gully cricket, a modified form of cricket, is played in the narrow gullies in the city especially on Sundays. International cricket is widely watched, and the city almost comes to a standstill on days when the Indian cricket team plays important matches. The city has two international cricket stadiums, the Wankhede Stadium and the Brabourne Stadium. The local Mumbai cricket team is one of the strongest domestic teams that compete in the national Ranji Trophy, the nation's top domestic cricketing event.

Football (soccer) is the second most popular sport. The city has its own clubs and the football season is played during the monsoons, when other outdoor sports cannot be played. The Football World Cup is one of the most widely watched television events in Mumbai. Hockey, India's national sport, has gone into a sharp decline in the recent years, losing out in terms of popularity to cricket, though many players who make up the national team are from Mumbai.

Other sports are mostly played in the numerous clubs and gymkhanas and include tennis, squash, billiards, badminton, table tennis and golf. Mumbai also has a rugby club, the only one in the country. Every February, Mumbai holds the Derby equestrian races in the Mahalaxmi Racecourse. The event sees many of the city's glitterati attending, arrayed in the latest fashions. In recent times Formula 1 racing has also caught the public's attention. Other sports such as volleyball and basketball are mostly popular in schools and colleges.

See also

Template:Mumbai topics

External links

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Further reading

  • Fox, Edmund A; Short History of Bombay Presidency (1887) — Thacker & Co — No ISBN
  • MacLean, James Mackenzie; A Guide to Bombay (1875 & 1902) — Various editions; No ISBN
  • Chaudhari, K.K; History of Bombay (1987) — Modern Period Gazetteers Dept., Govt. of Maharashtra
  • Tindall, Gillian; City of Gold (1992) — Penguin ISBN 0-14-009500-4
  • Mehta, Suketu ; Maximum City : Bombay Lost and Found (2004) — Knopf ISBN 0-37-540372-8
  • Patel, Sujata & Thorner, Alice; Bombay, Metaphor for Modern India (1995) — Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-563688-0
  • Katiyar, Arun & Bhojani, Namas; Bombay, A Contemporary Account (1996) — Harper Collins ISBN 81-7225-216-0
  • Contractor, Behram; From Bombay to Mumbai (1998) — Oriana Books
  • Virani, Pinki; Once was Bombay (1999) — Viking ISBN 0-670-88869-9
  • Mappls — Satellite based comprehensive maps of Mumbai (1999) — CE Info Systems Ltd. ISBN 81-901108-0-2


  1. ^  Mumbai, World Gazetteer
  2. ^  Kanheri, Lungs of Mumbai, Krishnadas Warrier, Bhramanti
  3. ^  The Seismic Environment of Mumbai, TIFR - Theoretical Physics
  4. ^  MMRDA Projects, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA)
  5. ^  Mumbai Plan, Department of Relief and Rehabilitation (Maharashtra)
  6. ^  Manorama Yearbook 2003, pg 678, ISBN 81-900461-8-7
  7. ^  The Times of India, Mumbai edition (print), 2004-09-24, pg 1
  8. ^  The Times of India, Mumbai edition (print), 2005-03-14, pg 5
  9. ^  The Times of India, Mumbai edition (print), 2005-04-19, pg 2
  10. Dwivedi, Sharada & Mehrotra, Rahul; Bombay, The Cities Within (1995) — India Book House Pvt. Ltd. ISBN 81-85028-80-X
  11. BMC information on the city — A complete reference on the city prepared by the BMC
  12. TIFR information — a vast collection of information on the city
  13. Our Greater Bombay (1990) — Maharashtra State Bureau of Textbook Production and Curriculum Research
  14. The Oxford School Atlas; 28th Revised Edition (1991) — Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-563316-4
  15. BusinessWeek; August 12, 2005; "China and India" special coverage

Template:Metropolitan Cities of India Template:India state and UT capitals

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