Formerly known as Bombay and capital of Maharashtra on the west coast on India. The name Mumbai is derived from Mumba Devi, the patron goddess of the Kolis. The Kolis called her ‘Mumba Aai’ (Mother Mumba). From this word came Mumbai. The British, however, preferred to call the islands as Bombay.
The name remained in practice till recent years. The temple of goddess Mumba Devi is still exists in Mumbai and the area around the temple is popularly known as Mumba Devi area.
The city boasts of a natural harbor developed under the imperial rule. Home to people of diverse castes, creeds, colors and cultures, the whole area is an amalgamation of seven islands namely, Colaba, Mahim, Mazgaon, Parel , Worli, Girgaun and Dongri. Further reclamation of land from the sea has brought areas like the Churchgate and Nariman Point into existence.
Often regarded as a cross between America’s Wall Street and Hollywood, Mumbai is also home to large businesses and India’s version of Hollywood, Bollywood. People from various places come here to dream. Whether its to start their businesses, embark on a show business career or simply try and fulfill ambitions of success in life.
Originally built as a triumphal arch to commemorate the visit of King George the V and Queen Mary in 1911, this colonial symbol ironically became a sort of epitaph at the end of the Raj in 1947. Today, the arch has become one of the leading points of interest for any visit to Mumbai with tourists using it as a marker in beginning their adventure in Mumbai. The monument itself is pretty impressive with some detailing resembling the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and architectural markings of a Moorish Palace.
The former Mumbai residence of Mahatma Gandhi, Mani Bhawan now functions as a memorial to the great man revered by Indians and people the world over. The site of Gandhi’s arrest in 1932, Mani Bhawan now houses a reference library with over 2,000 books, a photo exhibit of Mahatma’s life, some memorabilia, an old Gandhiji charkha, and an archive for films and recordings
Once called the “Queen’s Necklace” owing to its curved shape and many street lights, Marine Drive on Chowpatty Beach is one of the best places to go for a stroll and discover the Mumbai flavor. Besides being a popular sea front, it is also the main thoroughfare linking Malabar Hills to the southernmost points of Colaba, Cuff, parade, Nariman point, and Fort. This is also the spot where images of the Lord Ganesha are immersed in the surf at the conclusion of the Ganesha Chaturthi Festival.
One of the most famous tourist sites in Mumbai, the Hanging Gardens was built in the early 1880’s over Mumbai’s main reservoir at the top of the Malabar Hills. It was so positioned as to protect the water from possible contamination from the activities held at the nearby Towers of Silence. Situated just opposite the Kamala Nehru Park, this garden which is locally known as the Ferozeshah Mehta Garden, is a favorite spot for both tourists and locals alike who would like to watch the sunset over the Arabian Sea.
Kamla Nehru Park
Another popular place of visit in Mumbai, the Kamla Nehru Park offers superb views of Marine Drive, roomy walkways, and the popular attraction “Old Woman’s Shoe,” which is reminiscent of the fairytale of the old shoe house. Moreover, the park also provides you a spectacular view of the city and the sunset. The Kamla Nehru Park also makes a favorite gateway for the locals here.
Also located on Malabar Hill, the Jain Temple houses frescoes depicting various events in the lives of the 24 Jain Tirthankaras. There is also a black marble shrine adorned with celestial personifications of the planets painted onto the ceiling. Each day sees a large number of devotees and tourists alike trekking to the temple to discover, meditate, or take in the serene atmosphere.