"Gateway to India" Mumbai by lynnehamman
Mumbai Travel Guide: 1,971 reviews and 3,890 photos
'Sunrise, burning heat
Nothing is as traveled as a Bombay street
Contradictions, city of extremes
Anything is possible in Bombay dreams-- (from Bombay Dreams)
Mumbai must surely be the most frantic city in the world. It is without a doubt the most crowded. It is also one of the most exciting cities in India.
Our first impression of Mumbai was quite daunting-the noise, pollution, traffic was so different and such and assault on the senses, that it frightened me. This fear soon subsided, and as we spent day after day exploring Mumbai, we came to love the surprises that lay around each corner.
Mumbai has it all- the good, the bad and the ugly. The rich, the poor and beyond poor. It has excess- the rich are very rich, and the poor are pitiful.
It has many beautiful buildings- the architecture is mostly colonial, and quite stunning. It also, sadly, has slum areas that are heartbreaking. But with a population of over 16 million people- these are facts of life, and one has to accept them as such.
Mumbaikers are proud of their city- and rightly so. It is the Financial Capital of India. It has Restuarants & Bars, modern shopping, a thriving nightlife, and wide beaches. The people of this city love being out in the many parks and open spaces. Colaba always has crowds around the Gateway. The Taj Hotel is still proudly standing, despite the tragic recent terror attacks.
Mumbai means Bollywood- which provides entertainment and escapism for millions of people who have few other means of eluding the sometimes desperate hardship of everyday life.
There have been riots in Mumbai- mostly religious, which have cripples the city. Bomb blasts have taken place. Mumbaikers just pick up the pieces, and get on with their lives- millions still use the transport system to get to their jobs every day. People still hang off the trains. The traffic is still grid-locked. The pavements still crowded. The bars and restuarants are crowded every night. Cricket games, by the dozen, are still played on the Maidan. It is a city- it lives and breaths. It screams, laughs and cries. It pulsates with life. Its Mumbai.
THE DARK SIDE
Infamous for its "culture of the underworld". Mumbai has ruthless overlords that control gangs of enforcers, who prey on the weak and less fortunate.Many beggers are on their payroll. Bribery and corruption are endemic, and Mumbaikers have in the past accepted this scourge. It is changing- the people are standing up, and excersising their democratic rights. Witness what happened after the Taj Hotel was invaded by murdering terrorists.
The former name of the city, Bombay was derived from a Portuguese name meaning "good bay"This is based on the fact that bom is Portuguese for "good" whereas the English word "bay" is similar to the Portuguese baía. .
In 1534, the Portuguese took possesion of this group of islands from Bahadur Shah of Gujarat. They were presented to Charles II of England in 1661, as dowry in marriage to Catherine of Braganza. The islands, were in turn leased to the British East India Company in 1668 for a sum of £10 per year. 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 increased dramatically; In 1687, the British East India Company transferred its headquarters from Surat to Mumbai. The city eventually became the headquarters of the Bombay Presidency.
From 1817 onwards, the city underwent extensive expansion, and increase in population. In 1853, India's first passenger railway line was established, connecting Mumbai to the town of Thane. During the American Civil War the city became the world's chief cotton trading market, resulting in a boom in the economy and world recognition.
The Suez Canal opened in 1869 and transformed Bombay into the largest seaport on the Arabian Sea. Infrastructure was improved and the population of the city swelled to one million by 1906, making it the second largest in India after Calcutta. .After becoming the presendential capital, it was a major base for the Indian independence movement, with the Quit India Movement introduced by Mahatma Gandhi in 1942 being its most momentuous event. After India's independence in 1947, it became the capital of Bombay State. After Independence, it expanded to include areas to the north and beyond.
Massive construction is underway- a whole new city is taking shape.
New Bombay lies to the north east of Bombay and covers an area of 345 sq km. It has been developed as a planned city, a satellite link to Mumbai, to decongest it As of now the Navi Mumbai network comprises of six corridor commuter system, 30 state of the art railway stations, road transport and hovercraft services Navi Mumbai is connected to the Gateway of India by fast ferry & hovercraft services.
- Pros:wonderful colonial architecture, vibrant atmosphere
- Cons:traffic gridlock and air pollution
- In a nutshell:Loved Bombay-never a dull moment
I make this tip now because have just found out that my other hotel, Shelleys, is closed for renovations. We spent 2... more travel advice
I think that Mumbai is one of the best cities in India for walking. Wear comfortable shoes! There is so much beautiful... more travel advice
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