"Exploring the World" - Mumbai - India
Today I am going to write about the City where I was born and brought up. Well I lived in multiple cities in India in my growing up, but I will focus on Mumbai City where I was born and spent a major part of my life.
Let me give you a glimpse of Mumbai city today
How was Mumbai City formed
Mumbai what we see now never ever existed till the 18th century. There were several small islands, which were reclaimed and the city was formed. There was this core island and then there were other 7 major islands surrounding it which were gradually reclaimed and that's how the Mumbai city what we see today came into existence in the 18th century.
But the name then was Bombay and not Mumbai. The Britishers had named it Bombay meaning the "Good Little Bay"
Later in the year 1995, the city was renamed to Mumbai by the ruling party then after the Hindu goddess Mumbadevi, the city's patron deity. The party thought that Bombay, was an unwanted relic of British colonial rule in India and had to be ended.
Likewise, in the past many streets of Mumbai city were named after Britishers which were gradually all changed to Indian names behind their leaders.
Since a child I have also seen Mumbai city extension happening with the city limits expanding outwards and also by reclamations.
The City is all along the Coast line of Arabian Sea and hence it is also called as the Straight-Line City.
Mumbai City in today's time
Mumbai is also known as one of the most glamorous city in India. Not to forget the whole of Bollywood (Movie) Industry is based in Mumbai and it is a dream of many Indians to come and settle in this city, not only for it's glamour but also people believe that there are ample opportunities out here for one to scale up in their career and profession. But that only leaves the city getting crowded day by day. Mumbai city is one of the most crowded city in India.
Mumbai city is also the Financial capital of India. The National Stock Exchange is based in Mumbai. So not only is the glamour here, but you will find the India's richest also based here. Like the Reliance - Ambanis and the Tatas.
Where there is extreme glamour and richness, this city also has a lot of poverty. The biggest slum area of India is in Mumbai. Dharavi the most famous one. People from other countries are so fascinated with it that they have also made movies in this place, which is crazy and that is where most of the people think India is a poor backward Country. Whereas the reality is something different. No matter what, everyone finds something to do in this City.
Mumbai city is famous for its night life. The whole city is filled with Pubs and Clubs which go on for almost whole night. In the recent years there have been restrictions on the timings and most of the Clubs have to shut by 01:30 A.M.
The Ariel view of Mumbai City
The Slum area of the city
As I mentioned all Indians find this city very attractive and lucrative and wants to come here and because of that this city becomes a very multilingual and multicultural one. But the very local people of the city are known as Maharashtrians and they talk Marathi language. It's not a very difficult language, if you know Hindi, it is easy to pick up.
India has many festivals all throughout the year, and almost every religion in India have their own New Year as per their traditional calendars. Likewise, the New Year for Marathis is Gudi Padwa. It is a Harvest festival celebrated in Spring time. Also, Ganesh Chathurthi is a big time festival celebration in Mumbai city. All across the city there are grand celebrations for a period of 11 days, but the sad part is that this festival pollutes the Sea a lot. On the last day of the11-days festival, all the Ganesha idols are submerged in the Sea, which leaves the Sea completely dirty and polluted and along with that high level of noise pollution.
Again, Mumbai being filled with all different culture you get all variety of food here and sometimes it is confusing to even know what exactly is the traditional food of the Maharashtrians as it is a mix of Cultures.
Basically, Mumbai being a Coastal region the staple food of the Maharashtrians is Fish, normally prepared in Coconut curry and served with Steam Rice. But the other famous delicacies are Wada Pav which is also the Mumbai version of Mac Donalds but veg made of Potatoes. Then there is Puran Poli like a sweet indian bread and Misal Pav.
Mumbai is very famous for its street food and at every corner of the street you see these vendors preparing quick bites like pani puri, bhel puri, sanwiches and all.
The local Fish vendors in the city
Commuting in Mumbai City
Mumbai has the best transport connectivity. Considering the number of people that travel by the local trains the network is just amazing. Sadly, the quality of trains is still very poor but in the last few years they have been making efforts to upgrade which is a good sign. Otherwise the Taxis are also available easily and are considerably very cheap in comparison to what we pay taxi fares in other countries. The Uber service is also easily available.
Attractive Sights of Mumbai City
Another attractive thing you see in Mumbai city is its old Heritage buildings. In the British time a lot of construction happened here in that fashion and you will see the richness of the city reflecting in these Heritage buildings. The famous ones are;
The Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus which was initially known as the Victoria Terminus (named after the Queen Victoria) It is a Railways station which was built in the British time to serve the increasing transport needs of the city.
Gateway of India, It's an arch monument almost similar to Champs Elysées in Paris. The main reason for this construction was to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Bombay (Mumbai) and then later it served as a ceremonial entrance to important colonial personnel.
One of the finest Hotel in India the famous Taj Mahal Hotel is just opposite the Gateway of India.
The Haji Ali Dargah, which is a Mosque and a Tomb built in middle of the Sea with a walk way to it.
The Mount Mary Church is another one beautiful structure of Mumbai.
The South Mumbai area is full of these Architectural marvels made in British time, which are not either used as Government buildings, Libraries, Court buildings, and they all have a charm of their own.
Then there is the Rajabai Clock Tower which was modelled on Big Ben in London by an English Architect.
Marine drive is another one attractive place to visit if you are in Mumbai. It is one of my favorite also for evening walks, also known as the Queen's Necklace, because, when viewed at night from an elevated point anywhere along the drive, the street lights resemble a string of pearls in a necklace.
A little away from the City there are a lot of Hiking and Trekking sites which can be enjoyed over the weekend. There are mini Hill stations like Lonavala, Karjat at a distance of 2.5 hrs drive from Mumbai city and a good weekend getaway. Then there is Elephanta caves which one needs to take a Ferry and go and is just an hour boat ride.
There is ample that one can do here in this city. It is said Mumbai City never Sleeps and also that it is the New York of India.
Even at 03:00 A.M. you will feel like it's day time since there is good amount of traffic and people that you will see on the road.
Hope this Blog of mine on Mumbai city gives you a good insight of my City.
Thank you for visiting my blog. 👼🏻👼🏻💖💖🌹🌺🌸