Known as India's commercial and financial capital, Mumbai is an amalgam of Persian, Western and Bharatiya lifestyle and as the most populous city in the country boasts of a vibrant, colourful mix of people with diverse cultures.
The capital city of Maharashtra has an urban population of 18.4 million, while its greater metro (Mumbai Metropolitan Region) area has 20.7 million people as per 2011 census.
While the MMR consisting of Mumbai city and nearby satellite townships is spread over a vast area of 4,355 sq. km, the Mumbai city area is 603.4 sq. km consisting of two distinct regions - city district region (known as island city or South Mumbai) of 67.8 sq. km and the suburban district spans 370 sq. km.
Both the city and suburban districts fall under the jurisdiction of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM).
The remaining areas belong to various defence establishments, theMumbai Port Trust, the Atomic Energy Commission and the Borivali National Park, which are out of the jurisdiction of the MCGM.
Mumbai is the ninth most populous agglomeration in the world and along with the urban clusters like Navi Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan-Dombivali and Bhiwandi, the city is one of the most hyperactiveregions reputed for global trade and commerce.
Mumbai lies on the west coast of India and has a deep natural harbour.
In 2009, Mumbai was named an alpha world city. It is also the wealthiest city in India, and has the highest GDP of any city in South, West, or Central Asia.
Mumbai has the highest number of billionaires and millionaires among all cities in India. The seven islands that now form the present-day Mumbai were once home to fishing communities.
For centuries, the islands were under the control of successive indigenous empires before being ceded to the Portuguese and subsequently to the British East India Company.
In 1661 King Charles II married the Portuguese Catherine ofBraganza, and as part of her dowry Charles received the ports of Tangier and seven islands of Bombay.
During the mid-18th century, Bombay was reshaped by the Hornby Vellard project, which undertook the reclamation of the areabetween the seven islands from the sea.
Following the construction of major roads and railways and thereclamation project, completed in 1845, transformed Bombay into a major seaport on the Arabian Sea.....» Read More
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In 19th century, Bombay witnessed a rapid growth in economy under the British Empire even as modern education began to take strong roots in the Marathi society.
During the early 20th century it became a fountainhead for the Independence movement.
After India's independence in 1947, the city was incorporatedinto Bombay State. In 1960, following the Samyukta Maharashtra movement, a new state of Maharashtra was created with Bombay as the capital.
The city was renamed Mumbai in 1996.Mumbai is the financial, commercial and entertainment capital of India.
It is also one of the world's top ten centres of commerce in terms of global financial flow,generating 6.16% of India's GDPand accounting for 25% of industrial output, 70% of maritime trade in India, and 70% of capital transactions to India's economy.
The city houses key financial institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India, the Bombay Stock Exchange, the National Stock Exchange of India, the SEBI and the corporate headquarters of numerous Indian companies and multinational corporations.
It is also home to some of India's premier scientific and nuclear institutes like BARC, NPCL, IREL, TIFR, AERB, AECI, and the Department of Atomic Energy.
Bollywood, the heart of Hindi cinema, is headquartered in Mumbai and has the envious record of producing largest number of motion pictures in the world.
An explosion of business opportunities and the ability to offer a high and luxurious standard of daily living entice thousands of migrants from all over India as they make Mumbai their permanent home.
Verily, Mumbai is a melting pot of cultures and communities as people of myriad stocks get along well with single purpose of excelling their trade and profession.
"Mumbai" is derived from "Mumba" or "Maha-Amba" - the name of the patron goddess (Kuladevi) Mumbadevi of the native Aagri, Koli and Somvanshi Kshatriya communities - and "ā'ī" meaning "mother" in the language of Marathi, the official language of Maharashtra.
The oldest known names for the city are "Kakamuchee" and "Galajunkja"; these are sometimes still used.
Ali Muhammad Khan, in the "Mirat-i-Ahmedi" (1507) referred to the city as Manbai.
In 1508, Portuguese writer Gaspar Correia used the name Bombaim, in his "Lendas da India" ("Legends of India").
This name possibly originated as the Old Portuguese phrase "bom baim", meaning "good little bay", and Bombaim is still commonly used in Portuguese.
In 1516, Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa used the name "Tana-Maiambu": Tana appears to refer to the adjoining town of Thane and Maiambu to Mumbadevi.
By the late 20th century, the city was referred to as Mumbai or Mambai in the Indian state-wise official languages of Marathi, Konkani, Gujarati, Kannada and Sindhi, and as Bambai in Hindi.
The English name was officially changed to Mumbai in November 1995. This came at the insistence of the Marathi nationalist Shiv Sena party that had just won the Maharashtra state elections and mirrored similar name changes across the country.
Mumbai lies at the mouth of the Ulhas River on the western coast of India, in the coastal region known as the Konkan.
It sits on Salsette Island, partially shared with the Thane district.
Mumbai is bounded by the Arabian Sea to the west.
Many parts of the city lie just above sea level, with elevations ranging from 10 m to 15 m; the city has an average elevation of 14 m.
The cooler season from December to February is followed by the summer season from March to June.
The period from June to about the end of September constitutes the south-west monsoon season, and October and November form the post-monsoon season.
The average total annual rainfall is 214.6 cm for the Island City, and 245.7 cm for the suburbs.