Name-Changing Anyone?
The different epithets that Mahim has had:
Bimbsthan – Prabhavati – Mahikawati – Maijim – Mahim

Map of Ancient Mahim

The former island of Mahim has a romantic and chequered history. It is one of the seven islands that originally made up Mumbai.

Mumbai, the commercial capital of India, and often called the city of dreams, is located on the west coast of India, in the state of Maharashtra. Mumbai is to India, what New York is to the U.S of A, or what London is to Great Britain.

The seven islands which together were called Bom Baia by the Portuguese meaning Good Bay were:

Colaba, Mazagaon, Old Woman’s Island, Worli, Mahim, Parel, and Matunga-Sion.

This group of islands, which have since been joined together by a series of reclamations, formed part of the kingdom of Ashoka, the Mighty Emperor of India who reigned from 273 B.C to 232 B.C. After him the island was ruled by several Hindu rulers till the 14th century (A.D).

Mahim, or Mahikawati as it was known, was the capital of Raja Bhimdev, who reigned over the region in the 13th century. Raja Bhimdev’s origins are not clearly known. He may have come from Anahilwada-Patan in Gujarat or from the dynasty of Yadavs in Deogiri. He built a palace and a court of justice in Prabhadevi, as well as the first Babulnath temple.

During his reign he brought various communities to these islands, such as the Pathare Prabhus (the first settlers), Palshis, Pachkalshis, Bhandaris, Vadvals, Brahmins, etc. The Bhandaris were originally toddy tappers; the Vadvals were gardeners. He also introduced many fruit-bearing trees, including coconut palms to the island. Today, we cannot think of Mumbai’s landscape without its swaying coconut palms.

In 1343, this island was possessed by the Mohammedans of Gujarat. It was in their reign that the old Mahim mosque was built. Dargah of Makhtum Fakir Ali Paru was built here in 1431.

In 1543, the Portuguese then took possession of the island of Bombay by force of arms. By then they were already in possession of other trading centres on the west coast such as Panjim (in Goa) and Daman & Diu. They built several churches; the St. Andrew’s Church in the suburb of Bandra has the distinctive Portuguese-style facade which is very much visible even today.

A hundred and twenty-eight years after the Portuguese captured the island, it passed into the hands of, who else, but the British. This tale too is not without its romance.

In 1662, these islands were given to the English King, Charles the II, as a part of the wedding dowry for the Portuguese princess, Catherine of Braganza.

In 1668, Bombay was acquired by the English East India Company, on lease from the crown, for the annual sum of 10 pounds in gold (!). The British built the Mahim Fort here in order to protect themselves from the Portuguese.

This heritage structure has perhaps not been given its due, for today it stands virtually in ruins – a sad testimony to our times.

Anyway, continuing with our historical journey, in the 1670s, a convent of Our Lady of Salvation was built, and a Franciscan church constructed in what is now Dadar.

The East India Company shifted its headquarters from Surat to “Bombay” (corrupted by the British from “Bom Baia”) in 1687. Thus Mumbai (from “Mumbadevi”-the goddess of the fisher-folk), acquired even more importance as a trading centre – it became the gateway to India, which of course was called the jewel in the crown of the British Empire. The Causeway connecting Mahim and Bandra (corrupted from “Bunder” meaning port) was completed in 1845 at a total cost of Rs.1,57,000 donated entirely by Lady Avabai Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy, wife of the first baronet Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy with a stipulation that no toll would be charged to citizens for its use by the government.

In 1847, a small group of Scottish missionaries decided to start a new school. Charitable, god-fearing and humble, they stayed in the background working unobtrusively and leaving no trace of their names. Nevertheless, they paved the way for a glorious future for Bombay Scottish School. On 28th February 1878, the construction of the Bombay Scottish Orphanage was completed at a cost of Rs 84,015 and opened by his Excellency, the Hon. Sir Richard Temple Bart, G.C.S.I, the then Governor and President in Council.

In 1913, the Bombay Municipal Corporation opened up Mahim for development as a suburb. This was done by building three major north-south access roads, now called the Western Express highway, N. M. Joshi Marg, and Tulsi Pipe Road. And so to now, circa 2000 A.D. For such a small area, Mahim houses several places of worship. It boasts of temples, churches, mosques, and a Gurudwara – in short, something for every person of every religion. It is also in close proximity to the remarkable Maharashtra Nature Park. This park has been created out of a garbage dump, and houses a bird sanctuary. It houses 12,500 varieties of plants and several rare birds including flamingos.

With several restaurants, businesses, stores and places of entertainment, Mahim can truly be likened to a buzzing beehive.

And today, Mahim is well connected with rest of Mumbai by Western railway, Harbour railway and Mahim Bus Depot, which has buses travelling to the far south Mumbai, Colaba and also to far north Mumbai, Dahisar.

Mahim Fort

For a large part of this last millennium, barring the last 55 years, India had many rulers. Be it the Mughals, Portuguese, or British, there has been no shortage of folks who wanted to rule this part of the world – after all, India was once called the land of milk and honey.

The city of Mumbai has several historic monuments and heritage sites, each telling its own tale. The Mahim Durgah, the Portuguese Church, or for that matter the Gateway of India, are all legacies of the ruler of that era.

Of these, the Mahim Fort is a relic from the British Raj. This fort is actually a fortress – a part of the larger “Bombay Castle” or St. George’s Castle. This castle was an important base during the time of the British Empire, but now all that remains are a few ramparts scattered about the city.

The Mahim Fort has cousins in Sion, Worli, Shivri and Mazgaon. The fort was built by the then Governor of Bombay, Gerald Aungier, in the year 1669, in order to strengthen British defences. He also made Bombay more populous by attracting Gujarati traders, Parsi shipbuilders, and Muslim and Hindu manufacturers from the mainland.

A man named Thomas Grantham then strengthened the fort’s ramparts in 1684. In the year 1772, 111 years after Bombay was taken from them, the Portuguese attempted to attack this fort. The British replied with cannonballs and thunder. In fact, the Bandra church also bore the brunt of their fire. By all historical accounts, there were apparently 100 soldiers and 30 cannons in the Mahim Fort at that time.

It is therefore anti-climactic that today, in all probability, all one can find are encroachers and hutments in the area. It is sad that a heritage site with such a glorious past, has been allowed to run to seed. The fort which was once visible from the Mahim Causeway and Bandra Reclamation, is barely visible now. The Mahim Fort needs to be restored and given the status of heritage structure.

A case of Mahim Fort, Mahim, Mumbai, submitted by Swetal Kanwelau of the Kamala Raheja Institute of Architecture & Environmental Studies, Mumbai, won the second prize at the Second IAHH International Student Design Competition. The results were announced in February 2004. The competition was aimed at investigating the issue of urban decay and degradation to evolve a more enlightened approach to planning, design and management of revitalisation, restructuring, redesign, conservation and redevelopment of such urban areas.

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, in its budget proposal for 2005-2006 has intended to pay special attention to Mahim Fort.

This is Bombay

Mumbai Map 

Timeline of Mumbai events

up to 18th century

  • 600 BC — First known permanent settlement.
  • 300 BC — Part of Ashokas Empire.
  • 900 to 1300 — part of Hindu Silhara dynasty.
  • 1343 — Part of the Gujarat sultanate.
  • 1508 — Francisco de Almeida sailed into the deep natural harbour.
  • 1534 — Mumbai ceded to the Portuguese.
  • 1661 — Portuguese Princess Catherine of Braganza brings Bom Bahia to King Charles II of England as part of her marriage dowry.
  • 1668/1669 — East India Company takes over Bombay
  • 1670 — First printing press imported to Bombay by Parsi businessman Bhimji Parikh
  • 1675 — Population estimated to have risen to 60,000 from 10,000 in 1661.
  • 1675 — The Mumba Devi temple built by an immigrant Hindu woman, Mumba, near the main landing site on the former Bori Bunder creek or inlet, against the north wall of the English Fort Saint George.
  • 1708 — The first agiary is built (Banaji Limji agiary)
  • 1733 — City gets another agiary (Manekji Sett agiary)
  • 1735 — Start of ship-building industry.
  • 1777 — First newspaper published in Bombay by Rustomji.

19th century

  • 1822 — First vernacular language newspaper in Bombay, Mumbai Samachar published by Fardoonjee. India’s oldest newspaper still being published.
  • 1838 — First edition of Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce launched
  • 1845 — Grant Medical College founded.
  • April 16, 1853 — First railway line in India between Bombay and Thane.
  • 1854 — First cotton mill started.
  • 1857 — University of Bombay established.
  • 1858 — The Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China opens its Bombay branch.
  • 1864 — The Bombay, Baroda, and Central India Railway (later merged with other railways to form Western Railway) is extended to Bombay.
  • 1870 — Bombay Port Trust formed.
  • 1872 — Bombay Municipal Corporation founded.
  • 1885 — Indian National Congress formed at Gowalia Tank Maidan.
  • 1887 — Victoria Jubilee Technological Institute (VJTI) established. First and only institute offering degree in engineering until 1960.
  • 1890 — Robert Harris, 4th Baron Harris arrives to take over as Governor of the Presidency of Bombay.
  • 1893 — Sectarian rioting between Hindus and Muslims.

20th century

  • 1900 — By this year, 45 trains of Western Railway in each direction were carrying over one million passengers annually.
  • 1911 — King George V and Queen Mary visit Bombay. Gateway of India is built to commemorate their arrival.
  • January 12, 1915 — Gandhi returns to India from South Africa at Mumbai.
  • January 22, 1926 — King Edward Memorial Hospital inaugurated.
  • July 15, 1926 — First motorised bus ran between Afghan church and Crawford Market.
  • 1928 — The first electric train runs between Churchgate and Borivali.
  • 1930 — Mumbai Cricket Association established.
  • October 15, 1932 — J. R. D. Tata flew from Karachi to Bombay via Ahmedabad landing on a grass strip at Juhu paving the way for civil aviation in India.
  • 1934 — UDCT established. First institute dedicated to research in Chemical Engineering in India.
  • August 8, 1942 — Quit India Movement declaration passed at Gowalia Tank Maidan.
  • April 14, 1944 — Massive explosion rocks Bombay Harbour killing scores of people, and debris falling more than 3 km away.
  • 1958 — IIT Bombay established in Powai.
  • 31 March 1964 — Last tram made its journey from Bori Bundar to Dadar.
  • December 1992 – January 1993 — Over 2000 people killed in Hindu-Muslim communal riots following the Babri Masjid destruction.
  • 1993 — Serial bomb blasts across Mumbai, masterminded by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, kill 300 and injure hundreds more.
  • 1995 — Bombay renamed to Mumbai. Subsequently University of Bombay renamed to University of Mumbai. [1]

21st century

  • August 25, 2003 — Two bombings by Islamist terrorists, allegedly connected to the Pakistani Lashkar-e-Toiba, kill 48 and injure 150.
  • 2004 — The fourth World Social Forum held in Mumbai, from 16–21 January.
  • July 26—August 1, 2005 — Torrential July rains and flooding – the worst in 120 years – push the death toll to nearly 450. See 2005 Maharashtra floods.
  • July 11, 2006 — At least seven bombs exploded on trains in Mumbai, killing at least 207. See 11 July 2006 Mumbai train bombings.
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Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

Victoria Terminus, Bombay (CST, Mumbai)

Victoria Terminus, Bombay (CST, Mumbai)

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus), better known by its acronym VT (Veetee), is a historic railway station of the Mumbai suburban railway, as well as for some long-distance trains. It serves as the headquarters of the Central Railways in India and is one of the busiest railway stations in India. On July 2, 2004 the station was nominated a World Heritage Site by the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO. //

The structure

Victoria Station, Bombay, circa 1903


Victoria Station, Bombay, circa 1903

View of the GPO end of CST.


View of the GPO end of CST.

Inside Mumbai CST station

Inside Mumbai CST station

The station building, built in 1888, is a magnificent and ethereal building designed in the Gothic style of architecture. The building exhibits a fusion of influences from Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival architecture and traditional Indian architecture. Internally, the wood carving, tiles, ornamental iron and brass railings, grills for the ticket offices, the balustrades for the grand staircases and other ornaments were the work of students at the Bombay School of Art. The station stands as an example of 19th century railway architectural marvels for its advanced structural and technical solutions.


The station was designed by Frederick William Stevens, a consulting architect in 1887-1888 for a princely sum of 16.14 lakhs in those days. Stevens earned the commission to construct the station after a masterpiece watercolour sketch by draughtsman Axel Herman. After earning the commission, Stevens went on a ten-month trip to Europe to make a detailed study of the stations there. St Pancras station in London bears some resemblance to Victoria Terminus.

It took 10 years to complete and was originally named “Victoria Terminus” in honour of the reigning Queen Victoria. In 1996, in response to demands by the Shiv Sena and in keeping with the policy of renaming locations with Indian names, the station was renamed by the state government after Chhatrapati Shivaji, a famed 17th century Maratha king. Since the moniker Victoria Terminus, or VT, has been long-standing, its use among the city inhabitants is still widespread.

Suburban Network

The network of suburban trains (locally known as locals, short for local trains) radiating out from this station is instrumental in keeping Mumbai running. The station operates long distance trains as well as two of the suburban lines-the main line and the harbour line. It is the westernmost endpoint of Central Railway.

Cinema of India

The Indian film industry is the second in the world in terms of number of films (877 feature films and 1177 short films made in India were released in the year 2003 alone) (Central Board of Film Certification of India); compared with over 2,000 Nigerian videos[1]; and 473 films released in the US in 2003 (MPAA U.S. Theatrical Market: 2005 Statistics).(dubious assertion—see talk page) Movie tickets in India are among the cheapest in the world (the average ticket costs US$0.20; in comparison, the average ticket in the US in 2005 cost US$6.41). India accounts for 73 per cent of the Asia / Pacific admissions currently estimated at $2870 million. The Indian cinema industry is also home to the biggest film studio in the world, Ramoji Film City [1]. The industry is mainly supported by the vast cinema-going Indian public. The Central Board of Film Certification of India cites on its website that every three months an audience as large as India’s billion-strong population visit cinema halls). Indian films are gaining increasing popularity in the rest of the world, especially in countries with large numbers of expatriate Indians.


1896 – 1910

Cinema was introduced to India on July 7, 1896. It began with the Lumiere Brothers’ Cinematography, unveiling six silent short films at the Watson Hotel in Bombay, namely Entry of Cinematographe, The Sea Bath, Arrival of a Train, A Demolition, Ladies & Soldiers on Wheels and Leaving the Factory[2]. The Times of India carried details of the “Living Photographic Pictures in Life-Size Reproductions by Mssrs. Lumiere Brotheres”. In the same year, the Madras Photographic Store advertised “animated photographs”. Daily screenings of films commenced in Bombay in 1897 by Clifton and Co.’s Meadows Street Photography Studio.

A dancing scene from The Flower of Persia


A dancing scene from The Flower of Persia

In 1898, Hiralal Sen started filming scenes of theatre productions at the Classic Theatre in Calcutta, inspired by Professor Stevenson (who had brought to India the country’s first bioscope)’s, film presentation alongside the stage production of The Flower Of Persia; his debut was a contribution to this presentation. He continued making similar films to complement theatrical productions, which were shown as added attractions during intermission, in private screenings for high society households or taken to distant venues where the stage performers could not reach.

Lord and Lady Curzon on Elephant, Coronation Durbar, Delhi, 1903


Lord and Lady Curzon on Elephant, Coronation Durbar, Delhi, 1903

Harishchandra Bhatvadekar


Harishchandra Bhatvadekar

Harischandra Sakharam Bhatvadekar alias Save Dada, who had attended the show, imported a cine-camera from London at a price of 21 guineas and filmed the first Indian documentary, a wrestling match in Hanging Gardens, Bombay, in 1897. In 1901, he recorded the return from Cambridge of ‘Wrangler’ Ragunath P. Paranjpye, who had secured a distinction in mathematics from Cambridge University, and M M Bhownuggree, considered the first Indian news film. [3][4]. He also filmed Lord Curzon (the Viceroy of India)’s Delhi Darbar that marked the enthronement of Edward VII in 1903.

The commercial potential of cinema was also tested during the time. F.B. Thanewala’s “Grand Kinetoscope Newsreels” is one successful case. J.F. Madan was another highly successful film producer, who released hit films like Satyavadi Raja Harishchandra and Bilwamangal; also, he launched Madan Theatres Limited, which became India’s largest film production-distribution-exhibition company and the biggest importer of American films after World War I. His films were marked by a high degree of technical sophistication, facilitated by his employment of experienced foreign directors like Eugenio De Liguoro and Camille Legrand. This expertise was complemented by grand sets and popular mythological storylines which ensured good returns.

Cinema houses were set up in major Indian cities in this period, like one in Madras (in 1900 by Major Warrick), the Novelty Cinema in Bombay (where newsreels from the Boer Wars were shown) and the Elphinstone Picture Palace in Calcutta (set up by J.F. Madan in 1907). Apart from these, a number of film shows were arranged in tents; examples are: shows arranged by two Italians, Colorello and Cornaglia, in tents at the Azad Maidan Bombay, J.F. Madan’s tent cinema at the Calcutta Maidan. Another popular mode of broadcasting films was the touring cinema. In 1904, Manek Sethna started the Touring Cinema Co. in Bombay and a year later, Swamikannu Vincent, a draughtsman for the railways set up a touring cinema going around small towns and villages in the South of India. Pathe, the famous film production company set up an Indian Office in 1907.


A scene from Raja Harishchandra


A scene from Raja Harishchandra

The first feature film made in India was a narrative named Pundalik, by N.G. Chitre and R.G. Torney. The first full-length Indian feature film was Raja Harishchandra (3700 feet as compared to 1500 for Pundalik), made in 1913 and released commercially in May that year, by Dadasaheb Phalke. Phalke had attended a screening of The Life of Christ at P.B. Mehta’s American-Indian Cinema and was inspired to make films himself. He was convinced of the possibility of establishing an indigenous film industry by focussing on Indian themes. In this regard, he said Like the life of Christ, we shall make pictures on Rama and Krishna. The film was about an honest king who for the sake of his principles sacrifices his kingdom and family before the gods, who are impressed with his honesty and restore him to his former glory. The film was a success, and Phalke went on to make more mythological films till the advent of talkies, and commercialisation of Indian films lessened his popularity.[5].

In 1916, Universal Pictures set up Hollywood’s first Indian agency (see Hollywood meets India, below). The first South Indian feature was Rangaswamy Nataraja Mudaliar’s Keechaka Vadham, released in 1916. The following year, he made the film Draupadi Vastrapaharanam, featuring Anglo-Indian actress Marian Hill who played the role of Draupadi.[6]

Regional film industries

Official statistics categorise Indian films according to the languages in which they are distributed. This system has some relevance, since states in India are divided according to languages (after reorganisation of states between 1952 and 1970). However, while this system is followed by Indian historians as well[2], it does not necessarily indicate the geographical origins of the films or its directors. For example, the Bengali director Mrinal Sen made films in Oriya (spoken in the State Orissa), Telugu (spoken in Andhra Pradesh) and Hindi (believed by many to be the national language of India), spoken in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan).

A cinema hall in Delhi


A cinema hall in Delhi

India is a large country where many languages are spoken. According to the 1991 Census of India there are about 10,400 ‘raw mother tongues’ in India. By general linguistic methods, the number of ‘rationalised’ mother tongues was 1576, and on further grouping, the total number of Indian languages was concluded to be 114.[7] Of these, films are produced in about 30 languages. Each of the larger languages supports its own film industry: Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam. Indian cinema became more regional and vernacular with the advent of sound cinema in 1931.[2]According to some, sound in cinema compensated “through [its] languages, songs and music for the massive illiteracy of Indians.”

  • The Hindi film industry, based in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), is called ‘Bollywood’ (a melding of Hollywood and Bombay).
  • A still from Bhakta Prahlad (1931)


    A still from Bhakta Prahlad (1931)

    The Telugu film industry (sometimes called Tollywood) is based in Andhra Pradesh’s capital city, Hyderabad. Telugu is the second largest spoken language in India. After Bollywood, more movies are produced every year in Telugu than any other language. The state also has the largest film studio in the world, Ramoji Film City. The first studio for telugu talkies was Vel Pictures, constructed in 1934 by PV Das, located at Madras. The first film made here was Sita Kalyanam. The first film made by a telugu person, R.S. Prakash, was Bhishma Pratigna (The Pledge of Bhishma, 1922). Another important telugu personality of this era was YV Rao (Yaragudipati Varada Rao ,1903-1973), an actor and director, whose silent film (directing) credits include Pandava Nirvana (1930), Pandava Agnathavaas (1930) and Hari Maya (1932). The first big movies in Telugu were made by the Surabhi Theatres troupes.[3] They produced the first telugu talkie, Bhakta Prahlad, directed by Hanumappa Munioappa Reddy in 1931. In the first few years of telugu talkies, films were all mythological stories, taken from the stage. In 1936, Krittiventi Nageswara Rao made the first telugu film not based on myhtology, Premavijayam; The film influenced other telugu film-makers into making such films. Some popular themes of these films (often called ‘social’ films) were the feudal zamindari system (Raitu Bidda, 1939), untouchability (Mallapilla, 1938), and widow remarriage[8]. Since then, there have been both ‘social’ (contemporary) and mythological or folk stories in Telugu cinema. Telugu cinema has had many ‘superstars’ throughout its history. The earliest superstars were popular stage actors who migrated to films[9]. The first notable ‘legend’ of Telugu cinema was Chittoor V. Nagaiah. The most popular stars who made a permanent mark on Telugu film industry are Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao (NTR) followed by his rival Akkineni Nageswara Rao (ANR).

Anniyan(Tamil)(2005) the biggest ever Indian blockbuster


Anniyan(Tamil)(2005) the biggest ever Indian blockbuster

  • The Tamil film industry, based in the Kodambakkam area of Chennai, is sometimes called ‘Kollywood’ is the second biggest film industry in India. Kollywood is one of the most successful film industries in India. It is popular not only in India but also worldwide. Tamil films are especially popular in countries like Sri Lanka, Japan, Malaysia, United Kingdom,Canada, South Africa and United States. They also get dubbed into other languages, thus reaching a much wider audience. Examples of those dubbed into other languages include such hits as Minsaara Kanavu, Roja and Bombay. Anniyan, a recent Tamil film became the first Indian film to be dubbed into French.
  • The Bengali film industry, long centred in the Tollygunge district of Kolkata (Calcutta), is sometimes called ‘Tollywood’.
  • Dr.Rajkumar in a movie


    Dr.Rajkumar in a movie

    The Kannada film industry, based in Karnataka, is sometimes called ‘Sandalwood’, as Karnataka is known for its sandalwood; however, this term does not seem to be in widespread use. The Gubbi Veerana Company, or Veeranna’s Sri Chennabasaveshwara Krupa Poshita Nataka Sangha[10] and other groups established themselves first as theatre troupes, and later went on to dominate kannada cinema into the 1960s. “They provided all its key directors like H.L.N . Simha, B. R. Panthulu and G. V. Iyer, its stars led by Rajkumar and Leelavathi and most of its early commercial hits: Bedara Kannappa (1953), for instance. The first big success in Kannada cinema, adapted a Gubbi Company stage play written by G. V. Iyer to introduce the mythological adventure movie into that language.”[3]

  • The Malayalam film industry, based in Kerala, is sometimes called ‘Mollywood’.
  • The Marathi film industry is based in Mumbai & Pune.
  • The Kashmiri film industry, which had been lying dormant since the release of Habba Khatoon in 1967, was revived after a 39-year hiatus with the release of Akh Daleel Loolech in 2006. Cinema halls had been shut down for a long time in Kashmir, by militants protesting against the New Delhi based Government. There are few cinema halls and a handful of directors have been returning to shoot in the region. Though the region was favoured by many producers as a scenic locale in pre-militancy era Bollywood movies as a romantic backdrop [11], the regional industry was not very strong, due to lack of finances and infrastructure.[12]

Language-wise break-up of Indian Feature Films produced from 1990 to 1999


Language-wise break-up of Indian Feature Films produced from 1990 to 1999

The Bollywood industry is usually the largest in terms of films produced and box office receipts. Many workers in other regional industries, once their talent and popularity is established, move on to work in other film industries, nationally as well as internationally. For example, A. R. Rahman, one of the best known film music composers in Indian cinema, started his career in Tamil cinema in Chennai but has since undertaken ventures in other spheres, including international film and theatre. Similarly, films that succeed in one language are often remade or dubbed in others. Films like Padosan and Roja, for example, were re-made or dubbed from their original Bengali and Tamil versions respectively, into Hindi. The trend of simultaneously making a film in multiple languages was started in South Indian cinema because of the high cost and poor result of dubbing films into other languages. For example, the Tamil-dubbed version of the Telugu film Keelugurram, called Maya Kuthirai did not do as well as the original, due to poor dubbing. Since then producers started to remake films rather than to dub them, as it cost little money (since most actors then were bound by contracts to work under a single banner) and solved the problem of proper lip-synchronisation etc. encountered by the dubbing process.[13]

Conventions of commercial films

  • The principal difference between American and Indian commercial cinema is that Indian films usually feature periodic song-and-dance routines (thus they can be considered musical films) which, in a good movie, are expected to move the story forward (in mediocre movies, they are poorly integrated into the story). Songs are sung by professional play-back singers and lip-synched by dancing actors and actresses.

Indian commercial films, in whatever regional centre they are made, tend to be long; they are usually two to three hours long, often with an intermission. They tend to be melodramatic and sentimental, but may also feature romance, comedy, action, suspense, and other generic elements. Unlike commercial Western films, there is almost no nudity at all in Indian films. Such scenes are classified as obscene in the Constitution of India and are usually removed by the Indian Censor Board. film industry

Art cinema

In addition to commercial cinema, there is also Indian cinema that aspires to seriousness or art. This is known to film critics as “New Indian Cinema” or sometimes “the Indian New Wave” (see the Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema), but most people in India simply call such films “art films”.

From the 1960s through the 1980s, the art film was usually government-subsidised: aspiring directors could get federal or state government grants to produce non-commercial films on Indian themes. Many of these directors were graduates of the government-supported Film and Television Institute of India. Their films were showcased at government film festivals and on the government-run TV station, Doordarshan. These films also had limited runs in art house theatres in India and overseas. Since the 1980s, Indian art cinema has to a great extent lost its government patronage. Today, it must be made as independent films on a shoestring budget by aspiring auteurs, much as in today’s Western film industry.

The art directors of this period owed more to foreign influences, such as Italian neorealism or the French New Wave, than they did to the genre conventions of commercial Indian cinema. The best known New Cinema directors were Bengali: Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, and Bimal Roy. Some well-known films of this movement include the Apu Trilogy by Ray (Bengali), Meghe Dhaka Tara by Ghatak (Bengali) and Do Bigha Zameen by Roy (Hindi).

Art cinema was also well-supported in the state of Kerala. Malayalam movie makers like Adoor Gopalakrishnan, G. Aravindan, T. V. Chandran, Shaji N Karun, and M. T. Vasudevan Nair were fairly successful. Blessy made success in his first two film Kazhcha and Thanmathra. Starting in the 1970s, Kannada film makers from Karnataka state produced a string of serious, low-budget films. Girish Kasaravalli is one of the few directors from that period who continues to make non-commercial films.He is the only Indian director after Satyajit Ray to win Golden Lotus Awards four times.

In the film markets of South India, particularly the Tamil film directors such as K. Balachander, Bharathiraja, Balu Mahendra, Santhana Bharathi, Cheran, Mani Ratnam, Bapu and Ramana, have achieved box-office hits whilst producing films that balanced art, parralel and popular elements. Such films include Nayagan, Mouna Raagam, Kannathil Muthamittal, Sindhu Bhairavi, Gunaa and Autograph.

Satyajit Ray was the most successful of the “art” directors. Many Indians knew his name and took pride in his numerous foreign awards. Prestige, however, did not translate to large-scale commercial success. His films played primarily to art-house audiences (students and intelligentsia) in the larger Indian cities, or to film buffs on the international art-house circuit.

From the 1970s onwards Hindi cinema produced a wave of ‘art films’. The foremost among the directors who produced such films is Shyam Benegal. Others in this genre include Govind Nihalani, Mani Kaul, Kumar Shahani, M.S. Sathyu.

Many cinematographers, technicians and actors began in art cinema and moved to commercial cinema. The actor Naseeruddin Shah is one notable example; he has never achieved matinee idol status, but has turned out a solid body of work as a supporting actor and a star in independent films such as Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding.

Indian cinema meets Hollywood

Contact between Indian and Western cinemas was established in the early days of film in India itself. Dadasaheb Phalke was moved to make Raja Harishchandra after watching Life of Christ at P.B. Mehta’s American-Indian Cinema. Similarly, some other early film directors were inspired by Western movies.

In India at least 80 percent of films shown in the late 1920s were American, even though twenty-one studios manufactured local films, eight or nine of them in regular production. American serials such as Perils of Pauline and Exploits of Elaine, and the spectacular sets of films like Quo Vadis and Cabira were popular and inspiring during the World War I era. Universal Pictures set up an Indian agency in 1916, which went on to dominate the Indian distribution system[4]. J. F. Madan’s Elphinstone Bioscope Company at first focussed on distribution of foreign films and organization of their regular screenings Additionally, J.P. Madan, the prolific producer, employed Western directors for many of his films.

A number of Indian films have been accused of plagiarising from Hollywood Movies.[14] Due to the long time taken by courts to decide a case, few cases relating to copyright violations are brought up. One of the reasons Bollywood hesitates in purchasing rights is the assumption that these would run into millions of dollars, though according to some like screenwriter-director Anurag Kashyap, this is incorrect; He argues that while the films may cost millions of dollars in the west, the rights would be less expensive for Hindi remakes because the price would be based on the audience’s buying power, the economy and the number of bidders.[15]In 2003, best-selling fiction writer Barbara Taylor Bradford brought a copyright infringement suit against Sahara Television for allegedly making a television series (Karishma: A miracle of destiny) out of her book, A Woman of Substance, without acquiring the legal rights to do so.

Today, Indian cinema is becoming increasingly westernised. This trend is most strongly apparent in Bollywood. Newer Bollywood movies sometimes include Western actors (such as Rachel Shelley in Lagaan), try to meet Western production standards, conduct filming overseas, adopt some English in their scripts or incorporate some elements of Western-style plots. Bollywood also produces box-office hit like the films Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Kal Ho Naa Ho, both of which deal with the overseas Indian’s experience.

However, the meeting between Hollywood and India is a two-way process: Western audiences are becoming more interested in India [citation needed], as evidenced by the mild success of Lagaan and Bride and Prejudice. As Western audiences for Indian cinema grow, Western producers are funding maverick Indian filmmakers like Gurinder Chadha (Bride and Prejudice) and Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding). Both Chadha and Nair are of Indian origin but do not live in India, and who made their names in Western independent films; they have now been funded to create films that “interpret” the Indian cinematic tradition for Westerners. A similar filmmaker is Deepa Mehta of Canada, whose films include the trilogy Fire, Earth and Water.

Indian cinema is also influencing the English and American musical; Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! (2001) incorporates a Bollywood-style dance sequence; The Guru and The 40-Year-Old Virgin feature Indian-style song-and-dance sequences; A. R. Rahman, a film composer, was recruited for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Bombay Dreams; and a musical version of Hum Aapke Hain Koun has played in London’s West End.

Some Indians have succeeded in the Western film industry purely on their own terms without showing any Bollywood influence, such as filmmakers Manoj Night Shyamalan and Jay Chandrasekhar.


The National Film Awards, commonly known as the National Awards, are arguably the most prestigious and prominent film awards in India. The Awards are presented annually, in a ceremony, by the President of India. Declared for films produced in the previous year across the country, they hold the distinction of awarding merit to the best of Indian cinema overall, as well as presenting awards for the best films in each region and language of the country. The National Awards are very prestigious in Indian cinema, and compared favourably to many other awards.

Indian films bring export income and foreign prestige to India. In turn, the Indian government gives the Dadasaheb Phalke Award annually as recognition of a lifetime contribution to Indian cinema. The award is in memory of Dadasaheb Phalke, considered the father of Indian cinema.

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Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport

{Airport codes|BOM|VABB}}, formerly Sahar International Airport, is an airport in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India.

The airport, spread over an operational area of 1450 acres (5.9 km²), is India’s biggest international and domestic aviation hub. It serves the Mumbai metropolitan area since the terminals are located in the suburbs of Santacruz and Andheri. The airport was formerly known as Sahar International Airport & Santacruz Domestic Airport. It was recently renamed after the 17th century Maratha Emperor, Chhatrapati Shivaji Raje Bhonsle, to Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.The Royal Indian Air Force Santacruz was a defence airfield of the Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF) during World War 2 and was entrusted in the 1950s (after India gained independence from Britain) to the Public Works Department, and subsequently the Ministry of Civil Aviation of the Government of India. It was named after the suburb of Santacruz where the airfield was located. Santacruz Airport remained the name well into the 1980s until the new international terminal went into operation at nearby Andheri. Even today, the domestic terminals 1-A and 1-B are commonly known as Santacruz airport

Mumbai airport is the busiest in India and South Asia. Recently the Mumbai-Delhi route has been ranked by Official Airline Guide (OAG) as the seventh busiest domestic route in the world based on the number of flights per week. The airport is the primary international gateway to the subcontinent and served by 46 international airlines and is also the base for international and domestic operators Air India and Jet Airways. It also serves as a hub for others domestic operators Indian Airlines, Jet Lite, GoAir, Deccan, SpiceJet, IndiGo Airlines and Kingfisher Airlines. Peak international traffic occurs at night while peak domestic traffic is before 10:00. Nevertheless, at least 45% of traffic flows between 10:00 and 18:30 daily.

In the 11 months between April 2006-February 2007, Mumbai airport handled 180,000 landings and takeoffs and over 20 million passengers, with a total of 13.56 million domestic air passengers and 6.73 million international passengers. It registered a 21.28% growth in passenger traffic over the previous year 2005-06, when the figure was 17.6 million passengers.


The international terminal

The international terminal

The Domestic arrivals terminal

The Domestic arrivals terminal
Terminal 1B

Terminal 1B

The airport consists of the International Terminal (Terminal 2 aka Sahar) and the Domestic Terminal (Terminal 1 aka SantaCruz). These terminals use the same airside facilities but are physically separated on the landside, requiring a 10-15 minute drive between them. The Airport Authorities of India provide shuttle services between the domestic and international terminals for connecting passengers. Terminal 1 is further divided into Terminal 1-A, opened in April 1992, and serves Indian Airlines, its subsidiary Alliance Air, Kingfisher Airlines, and GoAir. The older Terminal 1-B serves Jet Airways, Jet Lite, SpiceJet, Deccan and other private domestic carriers. Terminal 2, designed by Aéroports de Paris and opened in January 1981, is now Terminal 2-A–the original complex consisting of parking bays 41-46, namely, gates 3 to 8, the first aerobridges ever installed in South Asia–which serves most airlines whereas Terminal 2-C, inaugurated in October 1999, is exclusively for Air India, Air-India Express and those carriers whose ground operations are handled by Air India. Terminal 2-B, which is not in use, functioned as an extension wing between September 1986 and October 1999 for Air India and handled airlines.

Mumbai airport has two cross runways designated 09/27 and 14/32. Runway 14/32, 2,925 meters (9,596 ft)[1], runs between terminals 1 and 2, while the main runway 09/27 is 3,445 meters (11,302 ft)[1] (previously designated as 3,489 meters (11,447 ft)) intersects it south of the terminal buildings. Instrument landing system (ILS) approaches are available on the 27 (CAT II) and 09, 14 and 32 ends (CAT I). ILS at 27 end starts at 3,700 feet (1,100 m) and is 10.5 nautical miles (19.4 kilometres) long with a glide slope path of 3.3 degrees. With regard to (truncated) use of both runways, only 11,303 feet (3,445 m) is designated usable at 09/27 and 9,596 feet (2,925 m) at 14/32, especially for landings. Runway 14 approach requires aircraft to backtrack and exit upon landing as the turning pad at 32 end is unusable. Due to maintenance runway 09/27 is unavailable for landing or takeoff between 0715-0915Z on Monday and Saturday, and between 0715-0845Z on Wednesday.A parallel taxiway has been installed on runway 14/32 for aircraft landing and taxing which saves time as well as runway occupancy.

From January 1, 2006, both runways were operated simultaneously for three hours in the morning from 0530 to 0830. On average, about 50 flights of smaller aircraft have taken off daily from 14/32 in this time period. Since the experiment was deemed successful it has recently been decided to carry out simultaneous use in the evenings too. It is not clear if this will be for two hours or three hours. A rate of 25 departures per hour is being targeted in the evening slot. The problems with utilising 14/32 are: (i) Mumbai’s controversial new control tower erected in 1996 and some 72 meters (236 ft) tall penetrates transitional obstacle limitation surfaces by over 50 meters (164 ft) for instrument approaches, and in excess of 40 meters (131 ft) for visuals. Approach minima at both 14 and 32 ends are higher (based on best approach aid) and are as follows: RW 14 (DA 580 feet (180 m)), RW 32 (MDA 1,440 feet (440 m)) compared to RW 09 (DA 270 feet (82 m)) or RW 27 (DA 230 feet (70 m)), meaning that there is a higher probability of missed approaches and diversions in inclement weather (ii) a hillock, Trombay Hill, lies 4.5 NM (8.3 km) away from the 32 end, an approach also questioned recently by security agencies because the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) nuclear complex at Trombay (Anushakti Nagar) lies within its flight path.

Now expansion of Domestic Terminal and the construction of the International Terminal of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport has been awarded to L&T ECCD. The brand new International Terminal T2 is being designed by one of the largest Architectural-Engineering firm in the world, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM).


Artwork at Mumbai airport

Artwork at Mumbai airport



Upgraded Baggage Claim area at the International terminal

Upgraded Baggage Claim area at the International terminal

Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL), a consortium of GVK Industries Ltd. (GVK) and Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), was appointed to carry out the modernization of Mumbai Airport in February 2006. MIAL improved areas of passenger convenience like kerbside, terminal entrances and improved cleanliness. Human resources initiatives were taken such as employee communication and training. Some of the changes that have taken place at CSIA over the last few months are:[3]

  • additional check-in counters
  • cleaner toilets
  • better housekeeping
  • improved signage
  • more F&B options
  • better curbside management
  • aesthetic changes
  • smoother traffic flow

 Master Plan

In October 2006, MIAL unveiled the masterplan[4] for CSIA. The master plan has been designed to expand and upgrade the infrastructure at CSIA to cater for 40 million passengers per year and one million metric tonnes of cargo per year by 2010. International and domestic terminals will be merged into one terminal building at the current international building and the current domestic terminal will be converted to a dedicated cargo terminal.

The implementation will be undertaken in two stages:

  • The Interim Phase is the implementation of several immediate measures. These are to be completed by 2008 and will include:
    • Refurbishment and construction at Terminal 2
    • Revamp of Terminal 1A to upgrade and expand facilities such as check-in counters and boarding bridges
    • Setting-up of temporary cargo facilities to add capacity
    • Upgrading of the airside runway facilities such as rapid exit taxiways to increase runway capacity to cater to traffic growth
    • Enhancing city-side facilities such as multi-level car parks
  • Phase One to be completed by 2010 includes:
    • Creation of a brand new terminal building (T2) at Sahar catering to both international and domestic passengers
    • Construction of a dedicated link from the Western Express Highway to T2 at Sahar
    • Enhancement of the airside facilities by shifting the Air Traffic Control tower and construction of a parallel taxiway
    • Development of infrastructure on the city-side
    • Building new cargo facilities
    • construction of Terminal 1C


Terminal 1A

Terminal 1A

Key facilities at the revamped CSIA:

Facilities Proposed Existing
Parking stands for aircraft 106 (67 in contact and 39 remote) 84 (18 in contact and 66 remote)
Boarding Bridges 51 18
Check-in counters 316 182
Car parking 12000 3600

New taxiways have been developed to reduce the runway occupancy time by aircraft after landing. MIAL is undertaking the installation of a centralised data system which will provide information about domestic as well as international flights to all display devices at both terminals instead of just one or the other as at present. There are plans to extend the scope of the system to the Air traffic control (ATC) and apron control areas, the airport website and even to leading hotel chains. A centralised call centre to provide flight details is also envisaged. While a parallel runway seems to have been ruled out, the ATC tower is now expected to be taken down and relocated to facilitate cross-runway operation.

Mumbai International Airport (MIAL) has launched a free wireless network, in association with Bharti Airtel, to provide wi-fi service throughout domestic and international terminals.[5] This means that passengers transiting through Mumbai’s airport terminals can access the internet for free.

Airlines and destinations

Operations and Statistics
Flight frequencies to the metros
By flight frequencies (weekly one-way)
1 Delhi 381
2 Bangalore 237
3 Chennai 168
4 Hyderabad 133
5 Kolkata 113

Terminal 1-A (Domestic)

  • Air India(Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Jamnagar, Jodhpur, Kochi, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Madurai,Mangalore, Nagpur, Patna, Pune, Raipur, Ranchi, Srinagar, Thiruvananthapuram,Udaipur, Vadodara, Varanasi, Visakhapatnam)
  • Kingfisher Airlines (Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhuj, Bhopal, Chennai, Delhi, Goa,Guwahati, Pune Hubli, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Mangalore, Nagpur, Srinagar, Varanasi]

Terminal 1-B (Domestic)

  • Jet Lite (Ahmedabad, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jammu, Kolkata, Lucknow,tarukha Patna, Varanasi, visakhapatnam)
  • Deccan (Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Bhavnagar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Jamnagar, Kochi, Kolkata, Mangalore, Nagpur, Raipur, Rajkot, Thiruvananthapuram, Vadodara, visakhapatnam)
  • Jet Airways (Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Bangalore, Bhavnagar, Bhuj, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Imphal, Indore, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kochi, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Mangalore, Nagpur, Pune, Raipur, Rajkot, Thiruvananthapuram,Udaipur, Vadodara)
  • IndiGo Airlines ( Agartala, Bangalore, Chennai, Guwhati, Goa, Hyderabad, Imphal, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, New Delhi, Nagpur, Pune, Vadodara)
  • SpiceJet (Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Pune)
  • GoAir (Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Goa, Indore, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jammu, Kochi, Srinagar)

 Terminal 2-A (International)

Terminal 2-C (International)


Fixed Base Operators (FBO)

There are several fixed base operators at the airport and they include:

  • Caterers: TAJ-SATS, Ambassador’s Sky Chef, Sky Gourmet, Oberoi Flight Services, Chef Air.
  • Fuelers: Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum, Bharat Petroleum.
  • Ground Handlers: Air India, Indian Airlines, GlobeGround India, Cambata Aviation, Air Works India.

David Sassoon Library

The David Sassoon Library is the name of a famous library and heritage structure in Mumbai, India. The idea of a library to be situated in the center of the city was the brainchild of Albert Sassoon, son of the famous Baghdadi Jew philanthropist, David Sassoon. The building was designed by architects J. Campbell and G. E. Gosling, for the Scott McClelland and Company, at a cost of Rs. 125000. David Sassoon donated Rs. 60000, while the rest was borne by the Government of Bombay Presidency.

The library is located on Rampart Row, looking across the Kala Ghoda. The building, completed in 1870, is built using yellow Malad stone, much like the abutting Elphinstone College, Army and Navy Buildings and Watson’s Hotel. Above the entrance portico is a white stone bust of David Sassoon.