About Mumbai

mumbai-picsThe city of Mumbai has grown from a group of small fishing villages scattered across seven islands into the financial, commercial, and entertainment of capital of India.  Today, Mumbai is the home of many of India’s financial institutions, the globally-influential Bollywood film industry, and over 18 million residents, making it the ninth most populated urban area in the world and a top-ten center of commerce based on global financial flow.

The city’s history is evident in its architecture.  For centuries, the area was under the control of successive indigenous empires before being ceded to the Portuguese and subsequently to the British East India Company. During the mid-18th century, the city (then known as Bombay) was reshaped by the Hornby Vellard project, which reclaimed land from the sea, constructed major roads and railways, and transformed Bombay into a major seaport on the Arabian Sea.  Today, the architecture of the city is a blend of Gothic Revival from the British colonial period, Indo-Saracenic buildings such as the Gateway of India, Art Deco, and other contemporary styles.

Mumbai Pics 3Mumbai’s culture is also a blend featuring traditional festivals, food, music, and theatres. The city offers a cosmopolitan and diverse lifestyle with a variety of food, entertainment, and night life, available in a form and abundance comparable to that in other world capitals. This diversity of cultures, religions, and cuisines coexisting in the city can be traced through the city’s history as a trading center and the migration of people from all over India to Mumbai since the British period.

Notable Sights

Gateway of India – The city’s most visited tourist attraction was constructed to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to India in 1911.  Situated on the harbor of the Arabian Sea, the Gateway served as the ceremonial point of entry for Viceroys of India and Governors of Bombay, as was often the first sight one would see when approaching the city by sea. Mumbai 1
Colaba Neighborhood – While you are visiting the Gateway to India, take some time to wander around the neighborhood of Colaba.  The area is filled with galleries, shops, and old-time restaurants that give you the feel of the pulse of this city. Colaba
Global Vipassana Pagoda – This meditation temple was inaugurated in 2009.  It was constructed in a Burmese style in appreciation of Burmese monks’ efforts to preserve the Vipassana Buddhist tradition.  This architectural marvel can accommodate 8,000 people meditating, and also offers 10-day meditation courses, as well as 1-day courses offered on Sundays. Exif_JPEG_PICTURE
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus – This architectural gem is both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a functioning rail station serving three million passengers per day. This property is an outstanding example of Victorian Gothic Architectural Revival in India, blended with the themes derived from Indian Traditional Architecture. Its remarkable stone dome, turrets, pointed arches and eccentric ground plan are close to traditional Indian palace architecture. It is an outstanding example of the fusion of two cultures, as British architects worked with Indian craftsmen to include Indian architectural tradition and idioms thus forging a new style unique to Mumbai. chhatrapati_shivaji_terminus
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum – A renowned museum in South Mumbai which houses rare archeological artifacts from the Indian subcontinent, as well as Japan, China, and Europe.  The museum is best known for its collection of Indian miniatures, Maratha textiles, and armour.  Additionally, the museum features natural history specimens in interactive exhibits that are great for families with children. CSMVS