Mumbai (also known as Bombay, the official name until 1995) is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India and the ninth most populous agglomeration in the world, with an estimated city population of 18.4 million. Along with the neighbouring regions of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, it is one of the most populous urban regions in the world and the seсond most populous metropolitan area in India, with a population of 20.7 million as of 2011. Mumbai lies on the west coast of India and has a deep natural harbour. In 2009, Mumbai was named an alpha world city. It is also the wealthiest city in India, and has the highest GDP of any city in South, West, or Central Asia. Mumbai has the highest number of billionaires and millionaires among all cities in India.
The seven islands that came to constitute Mumbai were home to communities of fishing colonies. For centuries, the islands were under the control of successive indigenous empires before being ceded to the Portuguese and subsequently to the British East India Company when in 1661 King Charles II married the Portuguese Catherine of Braganza, and as part of her dowry Charles received the ports of Tangier and seven islands of Bombay. During the mid-18th century, Bombay was reshaped by the Hornby Vellard project,which undertook reclamation of the area between the seven islands from the sea. Along with construction of major roads and railways, the reclamation project, completed in 1845, transformed Bombay into a major seaport on the Arabian Sea. Bombay in the 19th century was characterised by economic and educational development. During the early 20th century it became a strong base for the Indian independence movement. Upon India's independence in 1947 the city was incorporated into Bombay State. In 1960, following the Samyukta Maharashtra movement, a new state of Maharashtra was created with Bombay as the capital.
Mumbai is the financial, commercial and entertainment capital of India. It is also one of the world's top ten centres of commerce in terms of global financial flow,generating 6.16% of India's GDP and accounting for 25% of industrial output, 70% of maritime trade in India (Mumbai Port Trust and JNPT), and 70% of capital transactions to India's economy. The city houses important financial institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India, the Bombay Stock Exchange, the National Stock Exchange of India, the SEBI and the corporate headquarters of numerous Indian companies and multinational corporations. It is also home to some of India's premier scientific and nuclear institutes like BARC,NPCL, IREL, TIFR, AERB, AECI, and the Department of Atomic Energy. The city also houses India's Hindi (Bollywood) and Marathi film and television industry. Mumbai's business opportunities, as well as its potential to offer a higher standard of living, attract migrants from all over India, making the city a melting pot of many communities and cultures.
|POPULATION :||• Megacity 12,442,373 |
• Metro 18,414,288
|TIME ZONE :||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|LANGUAGE :||Hindi 41%, Bengali 8.1%, Telugu 7.2%, Marathi 7%, Tamil 5.9%, Urdu 5%, Gujarati 4.5%, Kannada 3.7%, Malayalam 3.2%, Oriya 3.2%, Punjabi 2.8%, Assamese 1.3%, Maithili 1.2%, other 5.9%; - English enjoys associate status but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; Hindi is the national language and primary tongue of 41% of the people; there are 14 other official languages: Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, and Sanskrit; Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India but is not an official language|
|RELIGION :||Hinduism 65.99% |
|AREA :||• Megacity 603 km2 (233 sq mi) |
• Metro 4,355 km2 (1,681.5 sq mi)
|ELEVATION :||14 m (46 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||18°58′30″N 72°49′33″E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 51.70 |
• Female: 48.30
|ETHNIC :||Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid and other 3%|
|AREA CODE :||22|
|POSTAL CODE :||400 001 to 400 107|
|DIALING CODE :||+91-22|
There is a lot to see in Mumbai, but the typical "tourist" sights are concentrated in South Mumbai.
By Indian standards, Mumbai is a young city and much of the land comprising the city did not exist until it was claimed from the sea over three centuries ago. It is therefore, a pleasant surprise to find rock cut caves such as the Elephanta, Kanheri, and Mahakali within city limits.
The British built a magnificent city within the walls of Fort St. George, which lies at the southern extremity of the city. Some fine examples of the Gothic revival, Neo-classical style and Indo-Saracenic style are seen within this area. To get the best [South Mumbai] experience, stroll around the wide streets of the area right from Churchgate to Colaba. These areas are all beautifully planned and have wide and clean pavements unlike the rest of the city. Famous monuments to be seen in this area are the Gateway of India, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Victoria Terminus) building, the Municipal Corporation and Police Headquarters and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Vastu Sanghralaya (formerly, the Prince Of Wales museum). The famous Taj Mahal hotel is located just opposite the Gateway of India. The Mumbai University buildings and the High Court are also excellent examples of colonial architecture in the city.
There are a lot of other modern structures to look at in this area. The area known as Marine Drive (right from Chowpatty beach to NCPA) is home to a large number of buildings built in the Art Deco style. Mumbai is second only to Miami in the number of Art Deco buildings. some famous buildings in this style are the Eros and Regal cinemas.
Museums and galleries
Some of the most famous museums and art galleries in India are found here. The Kala Ghoda area in South Mumbai teems with them, particularly the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (Prince of Wales Museum), and the National Gallery of Modern Art. Once again, most of them are concentrated in South Mumbai. Also worth planning a visit is Jehangir Art Gallery, also at Kala Ghoda, displays changing exhibits by notable artists. The plaza next to the gallery also regularly displays exhibits of various artists.
Situated in Nehru Complex in Worli is Nehru Centre Art Gallery at Worli, a gallery dedicated to young and promising talent along with established artists. Also within the complex is located a permanent exposition, Discovery of India, which attempts to cover every aspect of artistic, intellectual and philosophical attainment of India through ages. The exposition spreads across 14 galleries and reflects true identity of the country. On the other end of the complex, Nehru Science Centre - which has a separate entrance from Mahalaxmi race course road, has a permanent exhibition on 'interactive and exciting' science related exhibits highlighting science principles in fun yet educational way.
Mumbai isn't known for beaches because they have immensely filthy water! Mumbai has a few beaches, including one in the downtown area. But they aren't that great and the water off Mumbai's coast is extraordinarily dirty. The relatively better ones are in the Northwest Mumbai area. However, they are a great place to see how the locals spend their Sunday evenings, with various food and game stalls.
There are other beaches to be found such as the Girgaon Chowpaty(the cleanest one) in South Mumbai, Juhu beach in the western suburbs and Aksa Beach in Malad. The currents don't seem strong, but particularly in the rains, lots of people die from drowning, so avoid getting in the water (especially at Aksa Beach). A word of advice to women: Bombay beaches are not the kind you can wear swimsuits to, particularly two-pieces.
Zoos, parks and gardens
Mumbai has a justified reputation as a concrete jungle, but there are some nice pockets of greenery within the city. It is also one of the rare metropolises to have an entire national park within its borders. (Borivali national park also known as Sanjay Gandhi National Park). You will not visit Mumbai for them, but if you are already here, they make a nice escape from the din and bustle. It also houses the ancient Kanheri Caves crafted out of rocky cliffs, which dates back to 2,400 years. Entrance fee: Indians/Foreigns 30/30
The city zoo (Veermata Jijabai Udyan) is in Byculla and is a colonial relic which is surprisingly well-preserved. The animals may look rather emaciated, but the sheer diversity of trees on this lush zoo is worth a trip.
Some city parks are very well-maintained and combine history as well. The "Hanging Gardens" on Malabar Hill offers stunning vistas of the Marine Drive. Opposite the Hanging Gardens, there is another park which is known as Kamla Nehru Park, famous for the striking shoe-shaped structure which has been filmed in various Bollywood movies
Further in South Mumbai, the Mumbai Port Trust Garden, is another hidden gem. This is set off a small side street off the Colaba Causeway 2–3 km south of the main section. Once again, lovely views of the port, the naval yards, and sunset.
In central Mumbai, there are the Five Gardens. Mainly used by walkers in the morning, it is a mess in the evenings. But the gardens encircle some historic, art deco residences.
Markets and crowds
Mumbai is probably worth visiting just for its street markets, the hustle of vendors, and the madness of the crowds. Good places are Bandra, Khar and Andheri. If you came to Mumbai and didn't give visit to the highly dense and crowded markets, it means you didn't meet the real Mumbai.
Hawkers and street shoppers don't ask for any legal permission and then set their stalls at the places where they see maximum footfall. From electronics items to fresh food, you can get everything at railway platforms, subway and mains streets.
Modern buildings and malls
Once the British left, the zeal to wipe away the traces of colonial rule was, unfortunately, not matched by the enthusiasm to build a new city that matched the grandeur of the British-era buildings. Now, while the shabbiness of the socialist era is thankfully being replaced by architecture with an eye on aesthetics, the new malls, multiplexes, and office buildings that are coming up are indistinguishable from those anywhere else in the world. Still, they are worth a look, especially if you want to have a look at India's success story. Skyscrapers exceeding 60 stories now dominate the skyline.
For long, Inorbit Mall was the only mall offering a lot of variety for shoppers. Palladium, built within the High Street Phoenix, broke the monopoly of Inorbit Mall. From state of the art interiors to international brands, the Palladium has everything. The new Infiniti Mall (Infinity 2) in Malad also has lots of foreign brands and is one of the biggest malls in the suburbs. Nirmal Lifestyles Mall in Mulund and Metro Junction Mall in Kalyan are two of the largest malls in Mumbai. Located in the central suburbs, they are quite popular in the city.
Powai is a modern central Mumbai suburb with European looks. Powai houses the Indian Institute of Technology and is built around fabulous lake. Most of the construction is in a township format and is privately built. It houses twenty top of the line restaurants, two large convenience stores, a handful of coffee shops and entertainment areas. Initially built as an upmarket self-contained township, Powai has now grown into a business process outsourcing hub in Mumbai. The township reflects both characteristics; you will often find families shopping and twenty somethings hanging out in tables next to each other.
Mumbai is built on what was once an archipelago of seven islands: Bombay Island, Parel, Mazagaon, Mahim, Colaba,Worli, and Old Woman's Island (also known as Little Colaba). It is not exactly known when these islands were first inhabited. Pleistocene sediments found along the coastal areas around Kandivali in northern Mumbai suggest that the islands were inhabited since the Stone Age.Perhaps at the beginning of the Common era (2,000 years ago), or possibly earlier, they came to be occupied by the Koli fishing community.
In the third century BCE, the islands formed part of the Maurya Empire, during its expansion in the south, ruled by the Buddhist emperor, Ashoka of Magadha. The Kanheri Caves in Borivali were excavated in the mid-third century BCE, and served as an important centre of Buddhism in Western India during ancient Times. The city then was known as Heptanesia (Ancient Greek: A Cluster of Seven Islands) to the Greek geographer Ptolemy in 150 CE. The Mahakali Caves in Andheri were built between the 1st century BCE and the 6th century CE.
Between the second century BCE and ninth century CE, the islands came under the control of successive indigenous dynasties: Satavahanas, Western Kshatrapas, Abhiras, Vakatakas,Kalachuris, Konkan Mauryas, Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas, before being ruled by the Silhara dynasty from 810 to 1260. Some of the oldest edifices in the city built during this period are, Jogeshwari Caves (between 520 and 525), Elephanta Caves (between the sixth to seventh century), Walkeshwar Temple (10th century), and Banganga Tank(12th century).
King Bhimdev founded his kingdom in the region in the late 13th century and established his capital inMahikawati (present day Mahim). The Pathare Prabhus, among the earliest known settlers of the city, were brought to Mahikawati from Saurashtra in Gujarat around 1298 by Bhimdev. The Delhi Sultanate annexed the islands in 1347–48 and controlled it until 1407. During this time, the islands were administered by the Muslim Governors of Gujarat, who were appointed by the Delhi Sultanate.
The islands were later governed by the independent Gujarat Sultanate, which was established in 1407. The Sultanate's patronage led to the construction of many mosques, prominent being the Haji Ali Dargah in Worli, built in honour of the Muslim saint Haji Ali in 1431. From 1429 to 1431, the islands were a source of contention between the Gujarat Sultanate and the Bahamani Sultanate of Deccan. In 1493, Bahadur Khan Gilani of the Bahamani Sultanate attempted to conquer the islands but was defeated.
Portuguese and British rule
The Mughal Empire, founded in 1526, was the dominant power in the Indian subcontinent during the mid-16th century. Growing apprehensive of the power of the Mughal emperor Humayun, Sultan Bahadur Shah of the Gujarat Sultanate was obliged to sign the Treaty of Bassein with the Portuguese Empire on 23 December 1534. According to the treaty, the seven islands of Bombay, the nearby strategic town of Bassein and its dependencies were offered to the Portuguese. The territories were later surrendered on 25 October 1535.
The Portuguese were actively involved in the foundation and growth of their Roman Catholic religious orders in Bombay. They called the islands by various names, which finally took the written form Bombaim. The islands were leased to several Portuguese officers during their regime. The Portuguese Franciscans andJesuits built several churches in the city, prominent being the St. Michael's Church at Mahim(1534), St. John the Baptist Church at Andheri (1579), St. Andrew's Church at Bandra(1580), and Gloria Church at Byculla (1632). The Portuguese also built several fortifications around the city like the Bombay Castle, Castella de Aguada (Castelo da Aguada or Bandra Fort), and Madh Fort. The English were in constant struggle with the Portuguese vying for hegemony over Bombay, as they recognised its strategic natural harbour and its natural isolation from land-attacks. By the middle of the 17th century the growing power of the Dutch Empire forced the English to acquire a station in western India. On 11 May 1661, the marriage treaty of Charles II of England and Catherine of Braganza, daughter of King John IV of Portugal, placed the islands in possession of the English Empire, as part of Catherine's dowry to Charles. However, Salsette, Bassein, Mazagaon, Parel, Worli, Sion,Dharavi, and Wadala still remained under Portuguese possession. From 1665 to 1666, the English managed to acquire Mahim, Sion, Dharavi, and Wadala.
In accordance with the Royal Charter of 27 March 1668, England leased these islands to the English East India Company in 1668 for a sum of £10 per annum. The population quickly rose from 10,000 in 1661, to 60,000 in 1675. The islands were subsequently attacked by Yakut Khan, the Siddiadmiral of the Mughal Empire, in October 1672,Rickloffe van Goen, the Governor-General of Dutch India on 20 February 1673, and Siddi admiral Sambal on 10 October 1673.
In 1687, the English East India Company transferred its headquarters from Surat to Bombay. The city eventually became the headquarters of the Bombay Presidency. Following the transfer, Bombay was placed at the head of all the Company's establishments in India. Towards the end of the 17th century, the islands again suffered incursions from Yakut Khan in 1689–90. The Portuguese presence ended in Bombay when the Marathas under Peshwa Baji Rao I captured Salsette in 1737, and Bassein in 1739. By the middle of the 18th century, Bombay began to grow into a major trading town, and received a huge influx of migrants from across India. Later, the British occupied Salsette on 28 December 1774. With the Treaty of Surat (1775), the British formally gained control of Salsette and Bassein, resulting in the First Anglo-Maratha War. The British were able to secure Salsette from the Marathas without violence through the Treaty of Purandar(1776), and later through the Treaty of Salbai (1782), signed to settle the outcome of the First Anglo-Maratha War.
From 1782 onwards, the city was reshaped with large-scale civil engineering projects aimed at merging all the seven islands into a single amalgamated mass. This project, known as Hornby Vellard, was completed by 1784. In 1817, the British East India Company under Mountstuart Elphinstone defeated Baji Rao II, the last of the Maratha Peshwa in the Battle of Khadki. Following his defeat, almost the whole of the Deccan came under British suzerainty, and was incorporated into the Bombay Presidency. The success of the British campaign in the Deccan marked the liberation of Bombay from all attacks by native powers.
By 1845, the seven islands coalesced into a single landmass by the Hornby Vellard project via large scale land reclamation. On 16 April 1853, India's first passenger railway line was established, connecting Bombay to the neighbouring town of Thana (now Thane).During the American Civil War (1861–1865), the city became the world's chief cotton-trading market, resulting in a boom in the economy that subsequently enhanced the city's stature.
The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 transformed Bombay into one of the largest seaports on the Arabian Sea. In September 1896, Bombay was hit by a bubonic plague epidemicwhere the death toll was estimated at 1,900 people per week. About 850,000 people fled Bombay and the textile industry was adversely affected. As the capital of the Bombay Presidency, the city witnessed the Indian independence movement, with the Quit India Movement in 1942 and The Royal Indian Navy Mutiny in 1946 being its most notable events.
After India's independence in 1947, the territory of the Bombay Presidency retained by India was restructured into Bombay State. The area of Bombay State increased, after several erstwhile princely states that joined the Indian union were integrated into the state. Subsequently, the city became the capital of Bombay State. On April 1950, Municipal limits of Bombay were expanded by merging the Bombay Suburban District and Bombay City to form the Greater Bombay Municipal Corporation.
The Samyukta Maharashtra movement to create a separate Maharashtra state including Bombay was at its height in the 1950s. In the Lok Sabha discussions in 1955, the Congress party demanded that the city be constituted as an autonomous city-state. The States Reorganisation Committee recommended a bilingual state for Maharashtra–Gujarat with Bombay as its capital in its 1955 report. Bombay Citizens' Committee, an advocacy group of leading Gujarati industrialists lobbied for Bombay's independent status.
Following protests during the movement in which 105 people lost their lives in clashes with the police, Bombay State was reorganised on linguistic lines on 1 May 1960. Gujarati-speaking areas of Bombay State were partitioned into the state of Gujarat. Maharashtra State with Bombay as its capital was formed with the merger of Marathi-speaking areas of Bombay State, eight districts from Central Provinces and Berar, five districts from Hyderabad State, and numerous princely states enclosed between them. As a memorial to the martyrs of the Samyukta Maharashtra movement, Flora Fountain was renamed as Hutatma Chowk (Martyr's Square), and a memorial was erected.
The following decades saw massive expansion of the city and its suburbs. In the late 1960s, Nariman Point and Cuffe Parade were reclaimed and developed. The Bombay Metropolitan Region Development Authority (BMRDA) was established on 26 January 1975 by the Government of Maharashtra as an apex body for planning and co-ordination of development activities in the Bombay metropolitan region. In August 1979, a sister township of New Bombaywas founded by the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) across the Thane and Raigad districts to help the dispersal and control of Bombay's population. The textile industry in Bombay largely disappeared after the widespread 1982 Great Bombay Textile Strike, in which nearly 250,000 workers in more than 50 textile mills went on strike. Mumbai's defunct cotton mills have since become the focus of intense redevelopment.
The Jawaharlal Nehru Port, which currently handles 55–60% of India's containerised cargo, was commissioned on 26 May 1989 across the creek at Nhava Sheva with a view to de-congest Bombay Harbour and to serve as a hub port for the city. The geographical limits of Greater Bombay were coextensive with municipal limits of Greater Bombay. On 1 October 1990, the Greater Bombay district was bifurcated to form two revenue districts namely, Bombay City and Bombay Suburban, though they continued to be administered by same Municipal Administration.
From 1990 to 2010, there has been an increase in violence in the hitherto largely peaceful city. Following the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, the city was rocked by theHindu-Muslim riots of 1992–93 in which more than 1,000 people were killed. On 12 March 1993, a series of 13 co-ordinated bombings at several city landmarks by Islamic extremists and the Bombay underworld resulted in 257 deaths and over 700 injuries. In 2006, 209 people were killed and over 700 injured when seven bombs exploded on the city's commuter trains. In 2008, a series of ten coordinated attacks by armed terrorists for three days resulted in 173 deaths, 308 injuries, and severe damage to several heritage landmarks and prestigious hotels. The blasts that occurred at the Opera House, Zaveri Bazaar, and Dadar on 13 July 2011 were the latest in the series of terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
Mumbai is the commercial capital of India and has evolved into a global financial hub. For several decades it has been the home of India's main financial services, and a focus for both infrastructure development and private investment. From being an ancient fishing community and a colonial centre of trade, Mumbai has become South Asia's largest city and home of the world's most prolific film industry.
Mumbai has three main seasons — Summer, Monsoon, and Winter (milder summer). The best time to visit is during the winter between November and February. Humidity is also less during the winter, when the climate is pleasant; the minimum temperature is 17 degrees centigrade and the maximum is 30-31 degrees. Summer is from March to May with highs in the low to mid 30s (roughly 80-90°F). It is hot and humid during this time. June to September is the monsoon season when the city is lashed by heavy rains. The city gets flooded two or three times and normal life gets disrupted during this season. Climate is humid pretty much throughout the year because the city rests on the coast.
|Daily highs (°C)||31||31||33||33||33||32||30||29||30||33||33||32|
|Nightly lows (°C)||16||17||21||24||26||26||25||25||24||23||21||18|
|source Indian Meteorological Department|
Mumbai consists of two distinct regions: Mumbai City district and Mumbai Suburban district, which form two separate revenue districts of Maharashtra. The city district region is also commonly referred to as the Island City or South Mumbai. The total area of Mumbai is 603.4 km2 (233 sq mi). Of this, the island city spans 67.79 km2 (26 sq mi), while the suburban district spans 370 km2 (143 sq mi), together accounting for 437.71 km2 (169 sq mi) under the administration of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai(MCGM). The remaining areas belong to various Defence establishments, the Mumbai Port Trust, the Atomic Energy Commission and the Borivali National Park, which are out of the jurisdiction of the MCGM.
Mumbai lies at the mouth of the Ulhas River on the western coast of India, in the coastal region known as the Konkan. It sits on Salsette Island (Sashti Island), which it partially shares with the Thane district. Mumbai is bounded by the Arabian Sea to the west. Many parts of the city lie just above sea level, with elevations ranging from 10 m (33 ft) to 15 m (49 ft); the city has an average elevation of 14 m (46 ft). Northern Mumbai (Salsette) is hilly, and the highest point in the city is 450 m (1,476 ft) at Salsette in the Powai–Kanheri ranges. The Sanjay Gandhi National Park(Borivali National Park) is located partly in the Mumbai suburban district, and partly in the Thane district, and it extends over an area of 103.09 km2 (39.80 sq mi).
Apart from the Bhatsa Dam, there are six major lakes that supply water to the city: Vihar,Lower Vaitarna, Upper Vaitarna, Tulsi, Tansa and Powai. Tulsi Lake and Vihar Lake are located in Borivili National Park, within the city's limits. The supply from Powai lake, also within the city limits, is used only for agricultural and industrial purposes. Three small rivers, the Dahisar River, Poinsar (or Poisar) and Ohiwara (or Oshiwara) originate within the park, while the polluted Mithi River originates from Tulsi Lake and gathers water overflowing from Vihar and Powai Lakes. The coastline of the city is indented with numerous creeks and bays, stretching from the Thane creek on the eastern to Madh Marve on the western front. The eastern coast of Salsette Island is covered with large mangrove swamps, rich in biodiversity, while the western coast is mostly sandy and rocky.
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 acidic and basic variants dating back to the late Cretaceous and early Eocene eras. Mumbai sits on a seismically active zone owing to the presence of 23 fault lines in the vicinity.The area is classified as a Seismic Zone III region, which means an earthquake of up to magnitude 6.5 on the Richter scale may be expected.
Mumbai is India's largest city (by population) and is the financial and commercial capital of the country as it generates 6.16% of the total GDP. It serves as an economic hub of India, contributing 10% of factory employment, 25% of industrial output, 33% of income tax collections, 60% of customs duty collections, 20% of central excise tax collections, 40% of India's foreign trade and ₹4,000 crore(US$590 million) in corporate taxes. Along with the rest of India, Mumbai has witnessed an economic boom since the liberalisation of 1991, the finance boom in the mid-nineties and the IT, export, services and outsourcing boom in 2000s. Although Mumbai had prominently figured as the hub of economic activity of India in the 1990s, theMumbai Metropolitan Region is presently witnessing a reduction in its contribution to India's GDP.
As of Oct 2015, Mumbai's GDP is $278 billion (from 2014).and its per-capita (PPP) income in 2009 was ₹486,000 (US$7,200), which is almost three times the national average. Its nominal per capita income is ₹125,000 (US$1,900), (US$2,094). Many of India's numerous conglomerates (including Larsen and Toubro, State Bank of India (SBI),Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), Tata Group, Godrej and Reliance), and five of the Fortune Global 500 companies are based in Mumbai. This is facilitated by the presence of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), theNational Stock Exchange of India (NSE), and financial sector regulators such as theSecurities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
Until the 1970s, Mumbai owed its prosperity largely to textile mills and the seaport, but the local economy has since then diversified to include finance, engineering, diamond-polishing,healthcare and information technology. The key sectors contributing to the city's economy are: finance, gems & jewellery, leather processing, IT and ITES, textiles, and entertainment. Nariman Point and Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) are Mumbai's major financial centres. Despite competition from Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune, Mumbai has carved a niche for itself in the information technology industry. The Santacruz Electronic Export Processing Zone (SEEPZ) and the International Infotech Park (Navi Mumbai) offer excellent facilities to IT companies.
State and central government employees make up a large percentage of the city's workforce. Mumbai also has a large unskilled and semi-skilled self-employed population, who primarily earn their livelihood as hawkers, taxi drivers, mechanics and other such blue collar professions. The port and shipping industry is well established, with Mumbai Portbeing one of the oldest and most significant ports in India. Dharavi, in central Mumbai, has an increasingly large recycling industry, processing recyclable waste from other parts of the city; the district has an estimated 15,000 single-room factories.
Mumbai has been ranked sixth among top ten global cities on the billionaire count, 48th on the Worldwide Centres of Commerce Index 2008, seventh in the list of "Top Ten Cities for Billionaires" by Forbes magazine (April 2008), and first in terms of those billionaires' average wealth. As of 2008, the Globalization and World Cities Study Group (GaWC) has ranked Mumbai as an "Alpha world city", third in its categories of Global cities. Mumbai is the third most expensive office market in the world, and was ranked among the fastest cities in the country for business startup in 2009.
South Mumbai (Fort, Colaba, Malabar Hill, Nariman Point, Marine Lines, Tardeo)
South Central Mumbai (Byculla, Parel, Worli, Prabhadevi, Dadar)
North Central Mumbai (Dharavi, Matunga, Vadala, Sion, Mahim)
West Mumbai (Bandra, Khar, Santa Cruz, Juhu, Vile Parle, Andheri,Versova)
East Mumbai (Central Suburbs) (Kurla, Vidyavihar, Ghatkopar, Vikhroli, Kanjur Marg, Bhandup, Mulund, Powai, Thane, Bhiwandi, Dombivli, Kalyan)
Harbour Suburbs (Chembur, Mankhurd, Govandi, Trombay)
North Mumbai (Manori, Jogeshwari, Borivali, Gorai, Dahisar)
- The Western and Central suburbs are named after the local railway lines that serve the respective areas. The Western and Central Railways are rail lines that serve the western and central parts ofIndia. Both have their headquarters in Mumbai. The Harbour Line is a feeder line that connects the harbour areas to the Central and Western lines. It also provides connectivity to the Northeastern suburbs of Mumbai and onwards to Navi Mumbai. Most of these areas do not lie anywhere close to an harbour.
- Almost all localities in Mumbai have a "West" side and an "East" side. "West" means west of the railway line and "East" means east of the railway line. For example, Mulund (West) means that the area is to the west of the Mulund railway station. In addresses, West and East are abbreviated, i.e. Mulund(W) and Mulund(E).
Mumbai is a city built in successive waves of migrations. The neighborhoods acquired their character from the communities that settled there first. These neighborhoods are too numerous to list and there is no commonly accepted way to group these neighborhoods into larger districts. But roughly, from the south to the north, this is how the city developed.
The area code for Mumbai is "22" (prefix "+91", if you are calling from outside India). Phone numbers are eight digits long, but on occasion you will find a seven digit number listed. That is probably an old listing. They made the changeover from seven to eight digits a few years back, when they allowed private service providers to offer telephone. Just prefix a "2" to the number and it should work just fine.
Phone booths can be found all over the city. Though they are coin operated, there is usually someone to run the place. (Typically the phones are attached to a roadside shop). You need to keep putting ₹1 coins into the slot to extend the talk time, so keep a change of ₹1 coins handy with you. The person running the booth will usually have them. If you find a booth marked STD/ISD, you can call internationally or anywhere within the country. Fees will be charged according to the time spent and a meter runs to keep track of your time. You pay when you have finished your call. Often it is difficult to find one that is open early in the morning or late at night.
Cell phone coverage in the city is excellent. There are many service providers offering a wide variety of plans. Among them are The MTNL, Vodafone, Loop Mobile , Airtel,Dolphin, Reliance, and Tata Indicom. It might be a good idea to buy a cell phone and use one of those prepaid plans to get yourself connected while you are in the city.
All mobile numbers, are 10 digits long and begin with a "9", "8" or "7". Do not dial the city prefix for mobile numbers. If you don't get through to a mobile number, try adding a "0" before you dial it.
Due to security threats, in order to purchase a SIM card you will need to provide formal identification.
Cybercafes are located at virtually on every street corner and the rates are quite low. Do note that they have probably not kept pace with advances in hardware or software, so if you find yourself in one of them, don't be surprised if you are stuck with a really small monitor, Windows XP, and Internet Explorer 5.0. Also data security could be an issue. As a caution, change your password after you use it at a cybercafe or do private/incognito browsing.
Finding WiFi in Mumbai is very difficult due to security concerns. A few coffeeshops such as Barista may offer access. You should start your search with Chembur, Pamposh, Phoenix Mills, Santa Cruz, and Sterling Baristas. Three Starbucks stores were opened in Mumbai in late 2012, and they have free WiFi. You can also find free WiFi at the airport, provided by YOU Broadband.
Postal & courier services
- Private courier companies
The Indian Postal service's head office is housed at GPO, a magnificent colonial architecture on its own; next to the C.S.T. railway station. The other main branch office can be found at Dadar (E) on Ambedkar Rd.
FLIGHTS & HOTELS
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