Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is the capital of Maharashtra and gateway to this beguiling sub-continent. Of the four great cities of India, Mumbai is the most cosmopolitan, spearheading India's move into the 20th century. The word Mumbai is derived from Mumbadevi, the patron goddess of the Koli fisherfolk, the oldest inhabitants of Mumbai. The name Mumbai, in its final form dates back to the 18th century. Geologically, Mumbai forms a part of peninsular India, which is considered to be the oldest part of the country.

The unique feature of Mumbai is that the city has been built up mainly by the efforts and monetary contributions of its citizens. Having had a direct hand in guiding the growth of their city, it is no wonder that the citizens of Mumbai feel a glowing pride for their city and proudly call it the "Urb Prima in India". Mumbai is a cosmopolitan industrial city with colonial architecture, towering buildings, shopping centers and palatial hotels. It is the finest harbor on the west coast with secluded sunny beaches.


Chowpatty Beach: Chowpatty occupies a special place in the life of Mumbai, being the venue of mass political meetings during the freedom struggle. Spectacular immersion of Ganesh idols take place here on the 10th day of Ganesh Festival.

Elephanta Island: 9 km by sea, 7th century rock cut temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Regular conducted tours available from Gateway of India.

Gateway of India: Built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to India in 1911, designed in the 16th century Gujarat style.

Headquarters of Western Railway: An attractive building having a sculptured group representing engineering, commerce and agriculture as ornamentation.

High Court: An early English Gothic style of architecture completed in 1878.

Hutama Chowk: Business center of Mumbai, formerly known as Flora Fountain.

Jain Temple: Built in marble in 1904, dedicated to Adinath, the first apostle.

Kamla Nehru Park: Situated on the slopes of the Malabar Hills, it offers a panoramic view of Marine Drive.

Mani Bhavan (Gandhi Memorial): A memorial to Mahatma Gandhi who stayed here from time to time between 1917 to 1934.

Netaji Subhash Road (Marine Drive): A promenade along the waterfront.

Pherozeshah Mehta Gardens (Hanging Gardens): Laid out in 1881 on the top of the reservoir.

Prince of Wales, Museum: One of the most interesting museums of India, has three sections: Art, Archaeology and Natural History.

Taraporewala Aquarium: Opened in 9151, has interesting specimens of marine and fresh-water fish.

Victoria and Albert Museum: Archaeological finds, maps and photographs depicting the history of Mumbai are on display here.

Victoria Terminus: Designed in Italian Gothic style by F.W. Stevens. The 1st train to steam out of Mumbai was from here to Thane in 1853.

Other places of interest in the city are the University, Rajabai Clock Tower, Jehangir Art Gallery, Nehru Science Center, Mahalakshmi Temple, Afghan Church, Raudat Tahera and Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Market (Crawford Market), and in the suburbs are Kanheri Caves, National Park, Lion Safari Park, Esselworld and Juhu Beach.

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