"Bombay" Top 5 Page for this destination Mumbai by MM212
Mumbai Travel Guide: 1,989 reviews and 3,961 photos
Chaotic, cosmopolitan Bombay - now officially called Mumbai - is India's financial powerhouse, cultural centre and its most dynamic city. Rightly described as the Manhattan of India, Bombay is unlike the rest of the subcontinent. Its 14 million inhabitants, more than half of whom live in slums, are all crammed into a narrow peninsula that reaches out to the Arabian Sea. The peninsula was once seven different islands but were adjoined through land reclamation projects conducted over the past 200 years. The city's colourful mix of cultures, ethnicities, religions and languages has cultivated exemplary coexistence - despite certain spells of tension - among its different people, all of whom are driven and united by the hope of a better life while living side-by-side. Bombay's extreme contrasts of wealth and poverty, modernity and tradition leave the visitor with much to contemplate.
A bit of history...
By Indian standards, Bombay is a new city; barely 350 years old. Yet, it is unmistakably entrenched in old world traditions, while preserving magnificent Gothic, Indo-Saracenic and Art Déco architecture that rivals many older European cities. These traditions and the old architecture are well established in the shadows of countless new towers lifted by the boom and wealth of recent years. Our first historic account of the area comes from Ancient Greek records, specifically by Ptolemy, who named the seven islands of Bombay Heptanesia, meaning "Seven Isles". The Kolis, a tribe of fishermen - the islands' first inhabitants - worshipped the Hindu goddess Mumba-Devi, who is eternalised in the city's new name, Mumbai. But is it really a new name? Read the "local customs" tips on this page to challenge your views! What we do know is that the Portuguese occupied the area in the 16th century and used it as a stopping point along its important shipping routes from Goa to Oman and beyond. After a few iterations of the name, they eventually produced Bombaim, only to cede it to the British as part of the dowry when England's Charles II married Portugal's Catarina de Bragança. A Portuguese stronghold, however, remained further north in Bandra (formerly Bandora), a suburb in today's sprawling city, until they were driven out in the 18th century. The British anglicised Bombaim to Bombay and went on to build one of the most important cities in the Indian subcontinent. Today's city plan and architecture, though unique to itself, have an unmistakable British imprint, despite the current right-wing local government's excessive efforts of recent years to erase British-era names.
Located in the suburb of Bandra, Saint Andrew's Church is the oldest surviving church in Bombay. It was built in 1575 by... more travel advice
Although Bombay has one of the largest concentration of followers of the Jain religion in India, this community... more travel advice
MM212's Related Pages
Mumbai Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Keeweechic's Mumbai (Bombay)"
- "My Second Home"
- "Mumbai – A Magnificent Mix"
- "Aadil's Mumbai (Bombay) City of Gold!!!"
- ""my" Gateway of India..."
- "Mumbai, Bombay....its all the same..."
- See All...
- Things to Do in Mumbai
- Hotels in Mumbai
- Transportation in Mumbai
- Nightlife in Mumbai
- Restaurants in Mumbai
- Shopping in Mumbai
- Warnings and Dangers in Mumbai
- See All...
Badges & Stats in Mumbai
- 67 Reviews
- 267 Photos
- 0 Forum posts
- 9 Comments
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (46)
Have you been to Mumbai?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Mumbai
- created a Mumbai Travelogue "Bandra's architecture - Jan 2014"
- Uploaded a Photo to "Bandra's architecture - Jan 2014"
- Wrote a Review Bandra - Saint Andrew's Church about MISCELLANEOUS in Mumbai Off The Beaten Path
- Commented on one of MM212's Mumbai tips
- Uploaded a Video to Mumbai
- Posted in Travel Madrid Forum "El Rastro on Easter Sunday"
Photos in MumbaiSee All Photos (267)
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Rome Intro, 142 reviews, 502 photos, 4 travelogues
- Paris Intro, 117 reviews, 475 photos, 9 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Cairo Intro, 130 reviews, 443 photos, 8 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Damascus Intro, 110 reviews, 411 photos, 8 travelogues
- New York City Intro, 102 reviews, 388 photos, 5 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Aleppo Intro, 84 reviews, 332 photos, 8 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Beirut Intro, 95 reviews, 316 photos, 7 travelogues
- Istanbul Intro, 79 reviews, 322 photos, 10 travelogues
- Barcelona Intro, 76 reviews, 304 photos, 8 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Bologna Intro, 74 reviews, 303 photos, 6 travelogues