Apr
19
2009

What is Bombay / Mumbai city profile?

Bombay Skyline - courtesy Quellijn - CC-BY

Bombay Skyline - courtesy Quellijn - CC-BY

Bombay / Mumbai is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra and the largest city in India. For this article it will be called Bombay. The Portuguese named it as ‘Bom Bahia’, the ‘Good Bay’, in appreciation of the deep harbor that it possessed. The English developed Bom Bahia into Bombay. The name Mumbai is derived from the temple of Mumbadevi, the Goddess Mumba. It is alleged that ‘Mumba’ is a shortening of ‘Maha-Amba,’ the Great Amba, Amba being one of the more famous Hindu goddesses. There is no historical evidence available, or offered, for the claim that the name Mumbai in any form was ever attached to the territory before the arrival of the English.

While evidence of human habitation dates back to 250 BC, the city of Bombay did not exist before the English built it, moving from the Mughal concession of their Surat ‘factory’ compound to the isles of Bombay which the Portuguese ceded to them as dowry for the marriage of a Portuguese princess with an English prince. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 transformed Bombay into one of the largest seaports on the Arabian Sea. The city then grew into a major urban center with improving infrastructure and establishing of many of its institutions. Skyscrapers and malls sprout amid slums and grinding poverty, and Bombay slowly marches toward a more progressive society. But, more than half of the population still lives in slums, and religious based social unrest tugs at the skirt of Bombay’s success.

For shoppers, there is everything from internationally known haute couture to dirt-cheap one-season wonders, intricate jewelry and unique antiques to tawdry gifts and fabulous textiles, Bombay is a shopper’s paradise.You’ll find pretty much everything India has to offer in the city’s stores and shops. Indian food is as varied as India, every region and state having its own traditional dishes, and you can get them all in Bombay. Western restaurants are common too, if you wish a taste of home, but being in India demands dining on Indian food.  Why settle for less?

The humid season, between March and October, has temperatures of over 30 C (86 F). Between June and September, the monsoon rains lash the city. The dry season, between November and February, has cooler weather.Northerly winds are responsible for a mild chill during January and February.

Bombay is served by Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.  Public transportation is Mumbai Suburban Railway, buses, taxis, auto rickshaws and ferries.

Bombay population is 13,922,125 (2008)  Metropolitan population is 20,870,764.

+91 is the international calling code for India
22 is the area code for Bombay

For more information about Bombay / Mumbai

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