Monday, 6 February 2017


Mumbai also known as Bombay, the official name until 1995) is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India and the ninth most populous agglomeration in the world, with an estimated city population of 18.4 million. Along with the neighbouring regions of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, it is one of the most populous urban regions in the world and the second most populous metropolitan area in India, with a population of 20.7 million as of 2011.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 came to constitute Mumbai were home to communities of fishing colonies.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 when in 1661 King Charles II married the Portuguese Catherine of Braganza, 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 reclamation of the area between the seven islands from the sea. Along with construction of major roads and railways, the reclamation project, completed in 1845, transformed Bombay into a major seaport on the Arabian Sea. Bombay in the 19th century was characterised by economic and educational development. During the early 20th century it became a strong base for the Indian independence movement. Upon India's independence in 1947 the city was incorporated into Bombay State. In 1960, following the Samyukta Maharashtra movement, a new state of Maharashtra was created with Bombay as the capital.

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 GDP and accounting for 25% of industrial output, 70% of maritime trade in India (Mumbai Port Trust and JNPT), and 70% of capital transactions to India's economy. The city houses important 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. The city also houses India's Hindi (Bollywood) and Marathi film and television industry. Mumbai's business opportunities, as well as its potential to offer a higher standard of living, attract migrants from all over India, making the city a melting pot of many communities and cultures.


Mumbai is built on what was once an archipelago of seven islands: Bombay Island, Parel, Mazagaon, Mahim, Colaba, Worli, and Old Woman's Island (also known as Little Colaba). It is not exactly known when these islands were first inhabited. Pleistocene sediments found along the coastal areas around Kandivali in northern Mumbai suggest that the islands were inhabited since the Stone Age. Perhaps at the beginning of the Common era (2,000 years ago), or possibly earlier, they came to be occupied by the Koli fishing community.

In the third century BCE, the islands formed part of the Maurya Empire, during its expansion in the south, ruled by the Buddhist emperor, Ashoka of Magadha. The Kanheri Caves in Borivali were excavated in the mid-third century BCE, and served as an important centre of Buddhism in Western India during ancient Times. The city then was known as Heptanesia (Ancient Greek: A Cluster of Seven Islands) to the Greek geographer Ptolemy in 150 CE. The Mahakali Caves in Andheri were built between the 1st century BCE and the 6th century CE.

Between the second century BCE and ninth century CE, the islands came under the control of successive indigenous dynasties: Satavahanas, Western Kshatrapas, Abhiras, Vakatakas, Kalachuris, Konkan Mauryas, Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas, before being ruled by the Silhara dynasty from 810 to 1260. Some of the oldest edifices in the city built during this period are, Jogeshwar Caves (between 520 and 525), Elephanta Caves (between the sixth to seventh century), Walkeshwar Temple (10th century),  and Banganga Tank (12th century).

The Haji Ali Dargah was built in 1431, when Mumbai was under the rule of the Gujarat Sultanate
King Bhimdev founded his kingdom in the region in the late 13th century and established his capital in Mahikawati (present day Mahim). The Pathare Prabhus, among the earliest known settlers of the city, were brought to Mahikawati from Saurashtra in Gujarat around 1298 by Bhimdev. The Delhi Sultanate annexed the islands in 1347–48 and controlled it until 1407. During this time, the islands were administered by the Muslim Governors of Gujarat, who were appointed by the Delhi Sultanate.

The islands were later governed by the independent Gujarat Sultanate, which was established in 1407. The Sultanate's patronage led to the construction of many mosques, prominent being the Haji Ali Dargah in Worli, built in honour of the Muslim saint Haji Ali in 1431. From 1429 to 1431, the islands were a source of contention between the Gujarat Sultanate and the Bahamani Sultanate of Deccan. In 1493, Bahadur Khan Gilani of the Bahamani Sultanate attempted to conquer the islands but was defeated.


The Mughal Empire, founded in 1526, was the dominant power in the Indian subcontinent during the mid-16th century. Growing apprehensive of the power of the Mughal emperor Humayun, Sultan Bahadur Shah of the Gujarat Sultanate was obliged to sign the Treaty of Bassein with the Portuguese Empire on 23 December 1534. According to the treaty, the seven islands of Bombay, the nearby strategic town of Bassein and its dependencies were offered to the Portuguese. The territories were later surrendered on 25 October 1535.

The Portuguese were actively involved in the foundation and growth of their Roman Catholic religious orders in Bombay. They called the islands by various names, which finally took the written form Bombaim. The islands were leased to several Portuguese officers during their regime. The Portuguese Franciscans and Jesuits built several churches in the city, prominent being the St. Michael's Church at Mahim (1534), St. John the Baptist Church at Andheri (1579), St. Andrew's Church at Bandra (1580), and Gloria Church at Byculla (1632). The Portuguese also built several fortifications around the city like the Bombay Castle, Castella de Aguada (Castelo da Aguada or Bandra Fort), and Madh Fort. The English were in constant struggle with the Portuguese vying for hegemony over Bombay, as they recognised its strategic natural harbour and its natural isolation from land-attacks. By the middle of the 17th century the growing power of the Dutch Empire forced the English to acquire a station in western India. On 11 May 1661, the marriage treaty of Charles II of England and Catherine of Braganza, daughter of King John IV of Portugal, placed the islands in possession of the English Empire, as part of Catherine's dowry to Charles. However, Salsette, Bassein, Mazagaon, Parel, Worli, Sion, Dharavi, and Wadala still remained under Portuguese possession. From 1665 to 1666, the English managed to acquire Mahim, Sion, Dharavi, and Wadala.

Two views of the English fort in Bombay, c. 1665
In accordance with the Royal Charter of 27 March 1668, England leased these islands to the English East India Company in 1668 for a sum of £10 per annum. The population quickly rose from 10,000 in 1661, to 60,000 in 1675. The islands were subsequently attacked by Yakut Khan, the Siddi admiral of the Mughal Empire, in October 1672, Rickloffe van Goen, the Governor-General of Dutch India on 20 February 1673, and Siddi admiral Sambal on 10 October 1673.

In 1687, the English East India Company transferred its headquarters from Surat to Bombay. The city eventually became the headquarters of the Bombay Presidency. Following the transfer, Bombay was placed at the head of all the company's establishments in India. Towards the end of the 17th century, the islands again suffered incursions from Yakut Khan in 1689–90. The Portuguese presence ended in Bombay when the Marathas under Peshwa Baji Rao I captured Salsette in 1737, and Bassein in 1739. By the middle of the 18th century, Bombay began to grow into a major trading town, and received a huge influx of migrants from across India. Later, the British occupied Salsette on 28 December 1774. With the Treaty of Surat (1775), the British formally gained control of Salsette and Bassein, resulting in the First Anglo-Maratha War. The British were able to secure Salsette from the Marathas without violence through the Treaty of Purandar (1776), and later through the Treaty of Salbai (1782), signed to settle the outcome of the First Anglo-Maratha War.

By 1845, the seven islands coalesced into a single landmass by the Hornby Vellard project via large scale land reclamation. On 16 April 1853, India's first passenger railway line was established, connecting Bombay to the neighbouring town of Thana (now Thane). During the American Civil War (1861–1865), the city became the world's chief cotton-trading market, resulting in a boom in the economy that subsequently enhanced the city's stature.
The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 transformed Bombay into one of the largest seaports on the Arabian Sea. In September 1896, Bombay was hit by a bubonic plague epidemic where the death toll was estimated at 1,900 people per week. About 850,000 people fled Bombay and the textile industry was adversely affected. As the capital of the Bombay Presidency, the city witnessed the Indian independence movement, with the Quit India Movement in 1942 and The Royal Indian Navy Mutiny in 1946 being its most notable events.


Mumbai consists of two distinct regions: Mumbai City district and Mumbai Suburban district, which form two separate revenue districts of Maharashtra. The city district region is also commonly referred to as the Island City or South Mumbai. The total area of Mumbai is 603.4 km2 (233 sq mi). Of this, the island city spans 67.79 km2 (26 sq mi), while the suburban district spans 370 km2 (143 sq mi), together accounting for 437.71 km2 (169 sq mi) under the administration of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM). The remaining areas belong to various Defence establishments, the Mumbai Port Trust, the Atomic Energy Commission and the Borivali National Park, which are out of the jurisdiction of the MCGM. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region which includes portions of Thane, Palghar and Raigad districts in addition to Greater Mumbai, covers an area of 4,355 km2 (1681.5 sq mi).

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 (Sashti Island), which it partially shares 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 (33 ft) to 15 m (49 ft); the city has an average elevation of 14 m (46 ft). Northern Mumbai (Salsette) is hilly, and the highest point in the city is 450 m (1,476 ft) at Salsette in the Powai–Kanheri ranges. The Sanjay Gandhi National Park (Borivali National Park) is located partly in the Mumbai suburban district, and partly in the Thane district, and it extends over an area of 103.09 km2 (39.80 sq mi).

Apart from the Bhatsa Dam, there are six major lakes that supply water to the city: Vihar, Lower Vaitarna, Upper Vaitarna, Tulsi, Tansa and Powai. Tulsi Lake and Vihar Lake are located in Borivili National Park, within the city's limits. The supply from Powailake, also within the city limits, is used only for agricultural and industrial purposes. Three small rivers, the Dahisar River, Poinsar (or Poisar) and Ohiwara (or Oshiwara) originate within the park, while the polluted Mithi River originates from Tulsi Lake and gathers water overflowing from Vihar and Powai Lakes. The coastline of the city is indented with numerous creeks and bays, stretching from the Thane creek on the eastern to Madh Marve on the western front. The eastern coast of Salsette Island is covered with large mangrove swamps, rich in biodiversity, while the western coast is mostly sandy and rocky.

Soil cover in the city region is predominantly sandy due to its proximity to the sea. In the suburbs, the soil cover is largely alluvial and loamy. The underlying rock of the region is composed of black Deccan basalt flows, and their acidic and basic variants dating back to the late Cretaceous and early Eocene eras. Mumbai sits on a seismically active zone owing to the presence of 23 fault lines in the vicinity. The area is classified as a Seismic Zone III region, which means an earthquake of up to magnitude 6.5 on the Richter magnitude scale may be expected.


Mumbai has a tropical climate, specifically a tropical wet and dry climate (Aw) under the Köppen climate classification, with seven months of dryness and peak of rains in July. 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.

Between June and September, the south west monsoon rains lash the city. Pre-monsoon showers are received in May. Occasionally, north-east monsoon showers occur in October and November. The maximum annual rainfall ever recorded was 3,452 mm (136 in) for 1954. The highest rainfall recorded in a single day was 944 mm (37 in) on 26 July 2005. The average total annual rainfall is 2,146.6 mm (85 in) for the Island City, and 2,457 mm (97 in) for the suburbs.

The average annual temperature is 27.2 °C (81 °F), and the average annual precipitation is 2,167 mm (85 in). In the Island City, the average maximum temperature is 31.2 °C (88 °F), while the average minimum temperature is 23.7 °C (75 °F). In the suburbs, the daily mean maximum temperature range from 29.1 °C (84 °F) to 33.3 °C (92 °F), while the daily mean minimum temperature ranges from 16.3 °C (61 °F) to 26.2 °C (79 °F). The record high is 42.2 °C (108 °F) set on 14 April 1952, and the record low is 7.4 °C (45 °F) set on 27 January 1962.


 For further details about the city and if you guys are interested in visiting Mumbai, you can use the link below.
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