- Mumbai City
- Mumbai Suburban
- 8 m
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
- Agglomeration (2006)
- 19,944,372 (1st)
|Municipal commissioner||Johny Joseph|
- 400 xxx
In 1534 AD, the Portuguese rulers took
In 1662 AD the
Later, in 1668 these islands were acquired by the English East India Company on lease from the crown for an annual sum of 10 pounds in gold. This was because larger vessels and ships could easily dock, and found the islands of
Mumbaī (Marathi: मुंबई, IPA: ), formerly known as Bombay, is the capital of the state of Maharashtra, and the most populous city of India, with an estimated population of about 13 million (as of 2006). Mumbai is located on the west coast of Maharashtra. Along with its neighbouring suburbs, it forms the world’s sixth most populous metropolitan area with a population of 18.4 million. It is the world’s most populous city. The city has a deep natural harbour and the port handles over half of India’s passenger traffic and a significant amount of cargo.
Mumbai is the commercial and entertainment capital of India, and houses important financial institutions, such as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) and the corporate headquarters of many Indian companies. Mumbai has attracted migrants from all over India because of the immense business opportunities, and the relatively high standard of living, making the city a potpourri of various communities and cultures. The city is home to India’s Hindi film and television industry, known as Bollywood. Mumbai is also one of the rare cities to accommodate a national park, the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, within its city limits.
The Metropolis of Mumbai as seen from above. Mumbai is one of the most modern and cosmopolitan cities in India
The appellation Mumbai is an eponym, etymologically derived from Mumba or Maha-Amba— the name of the Hindu goddess Mumbadevi, and Aai — mother in Marathi. In the 16th century, the Portuguese named the area Bom Baia (Good Bay), later corrupted to Bomaím or Bombaim, by which it is still known in Portuguese. After the British gained possession, it was anglicised to Bombay, although it was known as Mumbai or Mambai to Marathi and Gujarati-speakers, and as Bambai in Hindi, Urdu, and Persian. The name was officially changed to Mumbai in 1995 (see Indian renaming controversy).
Kalbadevi Road – Glimpse of Mumbai circa 1890.
A night time view of Mumbai.
An aerial view of modern Navi Mumbai.
Hanging Gardens, the lung space of Mumbai.
Present-day Mumbai was originally an archipelago of seven islands. Artefacts found near Kandivali, in northern Mumbai indicate that these islands had been inhabited since the Stone Age. Documented evidence of human habitation dates back to 250 BC, when it was known as Heptanesia (Ptolemy) (Ancient Greek: A Cluster of Seven Islands). In the 3rd century BCE, the islands formed part of the Maurya Empire, ruled by the Buddhist emperor, Aşoka. The Hindu rulers of the Silhara Dynasty later governed the islands until 1343, when the kingdom of Gujarat annexed them. Some of the oldest edifices of the archipelago – the Elephanta Caves and the Walkeshwar temple complex date from this era.
In 1534, the Portuguese appropriated the islands from Bahadur Shah of Gujarat, naming them Bom Baia, Portuguese for “good bay”. They were ceded to Charles II of England in 1661, as dowry for Catherine de Braganza. These islands, were in turn leased to the British East India Company in 1668 for a sum of £10 per annum. The company found the deep harbour on the east coast of the islands to be ideal for setting up their first port in the sub-continent. The population quickly rose from 10,000 in 1661, to 60,000 in 1675; In 1687, the British East India Company transferred its headquarters from Surat to Bombay. The city eventually became the headquarters of the Bombay Presidency.
From 1817 onwards, the city was reshaped with large civil engineering projects aimed at merging all the islands in the archipelago into a single amalgamated mass. This project, known as the Hornby Vellard, was completed by 1845, and resulted in the total area swelling to 438 km².In 1853, India’s first passenger railway line was established, connecting Bombay to the town of 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 and subsequently enhancing the city’s stature. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 transformed Bombay into one of the largest seaports on the Arabian Sea.
Over the next thirty years, the city grew into a major urban centre, spurred by an improvement in 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. As capital of the Bombay Presidency, it was 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 India’s independence in 1947, it became the capital of Bombay State. In 1950 the city expanded to its present limits by incorporating parts of Salsette Island which lay to the north.
After 1955, when the State of Bombay was being reorganised along linguistic lines into the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, there was a demand that the city be constituted as an autonomous city-state. However, the Samyukta Maharashtra movement opposed this, and insisted that Mumbai be declared the capital of Maharashtra. Following a successful protests in which 105 people were killed by police firing, Maharashtra state was formed with Mumbai as its capital on May 1, 1960
The late 1970s witnessed a construction boom and a significant influx of migrants, which saw Bombay overtake Calcutta as India’s most populous city. This gave rise to unrest in Marathi speaking people in Mumbai and consequently Shiv Sena, a political outfit safeguarding the rights of ‘sons of soil’ was formed in 1966.The city’s secular fabric was torn apart in 1992, after large scale sectarian violence caused extensive loss of life and property. A few months later, on March 12, simultaneous bombings at several city landmarks by the Mumbai underworld killed around three hundred people. In 1995, the city was renamed Mumbai by the Shiv Sena party government of Maharashtra, in keeping with their policy of renaming colonial institutions after historic local appellations. In 2006, Mumbai was also the site of a major terrorist incident in which over two hundred people were killed when several bombs exploded almost simultaneously on the Mumbai Suburban Railway.
A Panoramic shot of Marine Drive in Mumbai
The metropolis comprises the city and suburbs.
Satellite image of Mumbai with Sashti (Salsette) Island clearly visible.
Mumbai is located on Shasti Island, which lies at the mouth of Ulhas River off the western coast of India, in the coastal region known as the Konkan. Much 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). Mumbai spans a total area of 468 km² (169 mi²).
Three lakes are located within the metropolitan limits — the Tulsi Lake, Vihar Lake and 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. The eastern seaboard of Shasti(साष्टी) Island is covered with large mangrove swamps, rich in biodiversity.
The yellow part shown in the map alongside is the original old Mumbai city. It starts from the southernmost tip to Sion on the Central Line and Mahim on the Western Line. Here, the green part i.e. the suburbs start. They end at Mulund on the Central Line and Dahisar on the Western Line. Suburbs are included in Greater Mumbai. Contrary to popular belief, Mira Road and Thane lie outside the physical boundaries of Mumbai.
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 eras. Mumbai sits on a seismically active zone 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 up to magnitude 6.5 on the Richter scale may be expected.
Mumbai is classified as a metropolis of India, under the jurisdiction of the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation. It consists of three distinct regions — the city , the western suburbs and the Central suburbs, which also form two separate districts of Maharashtra. The city region is also commonly referred to as the Island City.
The climate of the city, being in the tropical zone, and near the Arabian Sea, may be broadly classified into two main seasons — the humid season, and the dry season. The humid season, between March and October, is characterised by high humidity and temperatures of over 30 °C (86 °F). The monsoon rains lash the city between June and 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. The highest rainfall recorded in a single day was 944 mm (37.16 in) 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 mild chill during January and February. 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.
The Taj hotel in Mumbai.
Mumbai contributes 10% of India’s factory employment, 40% of income tax collections, 60% of customs duty collections, 20% of central excise tax collections, 40% of foreign trade and Rupees 40 billion (US$ 9 billion) in corporate taxes. A number of Indian financial institutions have headquarters in downtown Mumbai, including the Bombay Stock Exchange, the Reserve Bank of India, the National Stock Exchange of India, the Mint, and numerous conglomerates (the Tata Group, Godrej and Reliance etc). A large number of banks including HSBC, Standard Chartered, Bank Of India, BNP Paribas and American Express have their regional headquarters in the nearby Fort area.
Up until the 1980s, Mumbai owed its prosperity largely to textile mills and the seaport, but the local economy has since been diversified to include financial services, engineering, diamond polishing, healthcare and information technology. Mumbai’s status as the state capital means that state and federal 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 blue collar professions. The port and shipping industry too employs many residents, directly or indirectly.
The entertainment industry is the other major employer in Mumbai. Most of India’s major television and satellite networks are headquartered in Mumbai, as well as its major publishing houses. The centre of the Hindi movie industry, Bollywood, is also located in Mumbai, along with its largest studios and movie production houses. Gujarati , Marwari and Parsi (Zorastrian) people have made major contributions in establishing the economic foundation of Mumbai.
- The city is administered by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) (formerly the Bombay Municipal Corporation), with executive power vested in the Municipal Commissioner, who is an IAS officer appointed by the state government. The Corporation comprises 227 directly elected Councillors representing the twenty four municipal wards , five nominated Councillors, and a titular Mayor. The BMC is in charge of the civic and infrastructure needs of the metropolis. An Assistant Municipal Commissioner oversees each ward for administrative purposes. Almost all the state political parties field candidates in the elections for Councillors.
|Mayor||Datta Dalvi||February 20, 2005|
|Municipal Commissioner||Johny Joseph||February 29, 2004|
|Police Commissioner||Anami Narayan Roy||February 5, 2004|
|Sheriff||Vijaypat Singhania||December 19, 2005|
The metropolitan area forms two districts of Maharashtra, with each district under the jurisdiction of a District Collector. The Collectors are in charge of property records and revenue collection for the Federal Government, and oversee the national elections held in the city.
The Mumbai Police is headed by a Police Commissioner, who is an IPS officer. The Mumbai Police comes under the state Home Ministry. The city 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 exercises jurisdiction over the states of Maharashtra and Goa, and the Union Territories of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. Mumbai also has two lower courts, the Small Causes Court for civil matters, and the Sessions Court for criminal cases.
The next generation model of BEST buses launched.
Most of Mumbai’s inhabitants rely on public transport to travel to and from their workplace due to the lack of car parking spaces, traffic bottlenecks, and generally poor road conditions. The city is 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 near Churchgate). The backbone of the city’s transport, the Mumbai Suburban Railway, is composed of three separate networks running the length of the city, in a north-south direction. 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 lines extend into the exurbs, 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 south-eastern section of the city, near the docks, and extending into Navi Mumbai (New Bombay). Harbour Line now stands extended from Panvel to Karjat. Mumbai is well connected by the Indian Railways to most parts of India.
Public buses run by the BEST (an autonomous body under the BMC) cover almost all parts of the metropolis, as well as parts of Navi Mumbai and Thane. Buses are used for commuting short to medium distances, while train fares are more economical for long distance commutes. The BEST fleet consists of single-decker, double-decker and air-conditioned.
Black and yellow-metered taxis, accommodating up to four passengers, cover most of the metropolis. Auto rickshaws, allowed to operate only in the suburban areas, are the main form of hired transport here. These semi-open three-wheeled vehicles, which can accommodate up to three passengers, are a peculiar experience, the feeling of riding a mechanized horse; jerky, speedy and breezy. (A fourth person sitting alongside the driver on the auto is not an uncommon sight)
Mumbai’s Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport (formerly, Sahar International Airport) is the busiest airport in India, and caters to cargo and international flights while Santacruz Airport caters to domestic flights. The nearby Juhu aerodrome was India’s first airport, and now hosts a flying club and a heliport.
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 for the Indian Navy.
The BMC supplies potable water to the city, most of which comes from the Tulsi and Vihar lakes, as well as a few lakes further north. The water is 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 of Mumbai’s daily refuse of 7,800 metric tonnes 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 and Mahavitaran (Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd) in the suburbs. Most of the city’s electricity is hydroelectric and nuclear based. The largest telephone service provider is the state-owned MTNL, which held a monopoly over fixed line and cellular services up until 2000, and provides fixed line as well as Cell phone mobile & WLL services. Cell phone coverage is extensive, and the main service providers are Hutch, 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 TRIBAND and Tata, also Known as VSNL being the leading service providers.
The Siddhivinayak temple is one of the most visited religious places in Mumbai.
Hiranandani Complex in Powai is an upmarket area in the northern suburbs.
The population of Mumbai is about 13 million, with a density of about 29,000 persons per square kilometre. There are 811 females to every 1,000 males – which is lower than the national average, because many working males come from rural areas, where they leave behind their families. The overall literacy rate of the city is above 86%, which is higher than the national average. The religions represented in Mumbai include Hindus (68% of the population), Muslims (17% of the population), and Buddhist (4%). The remainder are Parsis, Jains, Sikhs, Jews, Atheists and Free Thinkers.
Mumbai has a large polyglot population and Marathi is widely spoken, as Marathi is the official language of the state of Maharashtra. But the most common language spoken on the city streets is a colloquial form of Hindi, known as Bambaiya – a blend of Hindi, Marathi, Indian English and some invented colloquial words. English is extensively spoken, and is the principal language of the city’s white collar workforce. Most languages spoken in India have some degree of representation in the demographic fabric of Mumbai; the most widely spoken of these are Konkani, Gujarati and Urdu.
Like other large cities in the developing world, Mumbai suffers from the same major urbanisation problems seen in many fast growing cities in developing countries — widespread poverty and poor public health, employment, civic and educational standards for a large section of the population. With available space at a premium, Mumbai residents often reside in cramped, relatively expensive housing, usually far from workplaces, and therefore requiring long commutes on crowded mass transit, or clogged roadways. According to the Business Week, around 45-48% of the population lives in shantytowns and slums.
People and culture
Mumbai is always in a state of flux as depicted here outside the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus station.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Bombay
Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum (Formerly Prince of Wales Museum)
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 social activities. Bombay residents celebrate festivals with great fanfare. Ganesh Chaturthi is the most popular festival of Mumbai followed closely by Navratri
The metropolis has its own local roadside fast food flavour, comprising vada pav (leavened wheat bread split in half, with fried dumplings as filling), panipuri (deep fried crêpe with tamarind and lentil sauce), pav bhaji (leavened wheat bread accompanied with fried vegetables) and bhelpuri (puffed rice mixture), while South Indian and Indian Chinese food are also very popular. The cosmopolitan residents have 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 the birthplace of Indian cinema, with the oldest film broadcast here in the early 20th century. Mumbai also boasts of large number of cinemas, including one of Asia‘s largest IMAX dome theatre, which feature mainstream Bollywood and Hollywood films. Many film festivals are avidly attended throughout the year. Besides catering to cinephiles, the city has a thriving theatrical tradition both in the regional languages and in English. Contemporary art is well represented in both government funded art spaces and private commercial galleries. The government funded art galleries include The Jehangir Art Gallery and The National Gallery of Modern Art. Built in 1833, the Asiatic Society of Bombay is the oldest public library in the city. The city also contains most of India’s tallest buildings.
Mumbai has numerous newspaper publications and television and radio stations – English newspapers published and sold in Mumbai include Times of India, Mid-day, Indian Express, The Asian Age, DNA, The Free Press Journal, Mumbai Mirror and Hindustan Times. Popular Marathi newspapers include Loksatta, Maharashtra Times, Sakal, Lokmat and Saamana. In addition to these papers, newspapers are also printed in other Indian languages.
The national television broadcaster Doordarshan provides two free terrestrial channels, while three main cable networks serve most households. DD-Sahyadri, Zee_Marathi and ETV-Marathi along with other Hindi channels are popular in Mumbai. Satellite television (DTH) has yet to gain mass acceptance, due to high installation costs. Mumbai households receive over a hundred television channels via cable, 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.
Schools in Mumbai are either “municipal schools” (run by the BMC) or private schools (run by trusts and individuals). A majority of residents prefer private schools because of better infrastructure and the 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 Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) boards. Few Schools now follow the international curriculum if CIE or IB. The government run public schools lack many facilities, but are the only option for poorer residents who cannot afford the more expensive private schools. But there are some school run by the central government which have a good infrastructure and quality of education, known as Kendriya Vidyalayas(Kendriya meaning central and Vidyalaya school).
Under the 10+2+3 plan, students complete ten years of schooling, and then enroll for two years in Junior College, where they choose from one of three streams: Arts, Commerce or Science. This is followed by either a general degree course in a chosen field of study, or a professional degree course, such as law, engineering, medicine etc. Most professional colleges in Mumbai are affiliated to the University of Mumbai, one of the largest universities in the world in terms of graduation rate. The Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, one of India’s premier engineering schools, and the SNDT Women’s University are the other universities in Mumbai.
Sports and recreation
The Brabourne Stadium is one of the elite sports clubs in the city.Estd 1937
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 by-lanes of the city, especially on Sundays. Mumbai has produced several famous international cricketers, and is home to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). International cricket is widely watched, and the city almost comes to a virtual 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 among the strongest competitors in the Ranji Trophy, the nation’s top domestic cricketing circuit.
Football is the second most popular sport with the city clubs playing 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. India’s national sport, field hockey, has gone into a sharp decline in the recent years, losing out in terms of popularity to cricket, though many Mumbai players play in the national team.
Other sports are mostly played in the numerous clubs and gymkhanas, and include tennis, squash, billiards, badminton, table tennis and golf. Mumbai also plays Rugby, one of the few cities to do so in the country. Every February, Mumbai holds the Derby 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.