73 Impressive Mumbai Facts: Explore India's Commercial Capital | Kidadl


73 Impressive Mumbai Facts: Explore India's Commercial Capital

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Mumbai is the City of Dreams where millions of people travel back and forth across the city to turn their dreams into reality.

Mumbai is a patchwork of cultures that come together to relish its iconic history and create its bright future. While on one side, Mumbai city is driven by success, progress, and development, on the other, it is also the city where thousands of people live in slums or what Mumbai residents call 'chawls.'

In addition to being the City of Dreams, Mumbai is the wealthiest city, financial capital, and entertainment capital of India. This Indian city is also filled with several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Learn about the history and culture of this city by reading some fascinating facts about Mumbai.

Geographic Location Of Mumbai

The reason why Mumbai is such a major trading town may be attributed to its geographic location that has attracted traders from all over the world since ancient times.

  • Mumbai is the capital of the state of Maharashtra, which is located in western India.
  • Mumbai is an important port city in India, located on the west coast of the country.
  • The port of Mumbai is situated on a prominent shipping route that travels via the Mediterranean Sea through the Suez Canal.
  • Mumbai is an archipelago of seven islands- the Isle of Bombay, Colaba, Old Woman's Island (Little Colaba), Mahim, Mazagaon, Parel, and Worli.
  • The megacity is located on an island with a river estuary to the east that shields ships parked at the dock from waves in the Indian Ocean.
  • Mumbai features over 93.2 mi (150 km) of shoreline, including the Marine Drive, widely known as the Queen's Necklace.
  • Mumbai is located between the Arabian Sea to the west, Vasai Creek to the north, and Thane Creek to the east.
  • Mumbai's rail network is extensive and connects all major Indian cities and towns. It is the headquarters of the western railway zones in India.
  • It is also a global city or an Alpha World City, serving as a primary link in the global economic network. Mumbai international airport is among the busiest airports in the world.

History Of Mumbai

While growth and development are vital aspects of Mumbai, the city's long history is preserved in the buildings and monuments belonging to different eras.

  • The Kolis, an aboriginal tribe of fishermen, were the first known occupants of Mumbai.
  • Paleolithic stone artifacts discovered at Kandivli, Greater Mumbai, indicate that humans had lived in the area for thousands of years.
  • In 1000 BCE, Mumbai port was a hub of marine trade between Persia and Egypt.
  • In the works of Ptolemy, the ancient Egyptian geographer and historian, dating back to the 2nd century BCE, Mumbai is referred to as Heptanesia.
  • When the Portuguese Empire acquired Mumbai port, they dubbed it 'Bom Bhaia,' which translates to 'good bay.'
  • In 1661, King Charles II of England married the Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza and received the ports of the Seven Islands of Bombay as dowry.
  • It took six decades to unite the seven islands of Bombay into one mainland, beginning in 1784 and ending in 1845.
  • The first passenger railway in India operated from Bombay to Thane on April 16, 1853.
  • The first spinning and weaving factory in India was founded in Mumbai in 1857.
  • By the 1860s, Mumbai had grown to become India's largest cotton market.
  • For over 300 years, Mumbai was known as Bombay until 1995, when the leading regional political party changed the name to Mumbai to honor the Maratha legacy and the local deity Mumbadevi.
  • Mumbai Central, one of the major railway stations in Mumbai was built in 1930 in just 21 months.
  • In 1863, a woman named Alice Tredwell built the railway line that connected Mumbai and Pune.
  • In Marathi, a Mumbaikar is someone who lives in Mumbai. The suffix 'kar' indicates 'a resident of.'
  • The Mumbai urban railway system is the world's busiest railway network, carrying two billion people every year.
  • This city was the site of India's first bus service. BEST (Bombay Electric Supply and Transport) buses have carried nearly five million passengers per day since then.
  • The Juhu Aerodrome, India's first airport, was established in Mumbai in 1928.
  • In terms of passenger volume, Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport is currently the second busiest international airport in India.
  • Gilbert Hill, a geological wonder, is also located in Mumbai. Also known as Gilbert's Toe, Gilbert Hill is a 200 ft (61 m) high hill of black basalt rock formed roughly 66 million years ago.
  • Rudyard Kipling, the author of 'The Jungle Book,' was born in Mumbai.
  • Mumbai is well-known as the center of Bollywood, the Hindi cinema industry.
  • Jamsetji Tata, an Indian industrialist and businessman, built the magnificent Taj hotel, the first five-star Indian hotel, in 1903. 
  • Both Zubin Mehta, the world's most renowned orchestra director, and Freddie Mercury, the charismatic leader of one of the greatest rock bands of all time, 'Queen,' were born in Mumbai.
  • In the late 18th century, the British colonizers dug a secret underground tunnel to reach Bombay Fort in the event of a French invasion. The tunnel was recently discovered below Mumbai General Post Office (GPO).
  • The city was part of the 'Bombay Presidency' during British rule until 1947 when it became a part of India.
  • On May 1, 1960, Bombay State was dissolved, and separate states of Maharashtra and Gujarat were formed.
  • The Asiatic Library in Mumbai houses one of two original manuscripts of Dante's Divine Comedy. In 1930, the Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini, tried to return the manuscript to Italy by offering a million pounds, but his proposal was not accepted. 
  • Elephanta Caves, one of the city's most popular tourist attractions, were constructed in the 6th century AD. The architecture and sculpting of the caves is a notable artistic development in the history of art.
  • Victoria Terminus, now called Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, was established by British imperialists in the late 19th century and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The terminus is one of the largest stations in Mumbai and is still in operation today.
  • The Prince of Wales Museum, which was officially opened in 1922, was used as a hospital during World War I. This building was later renamed as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya in 1998.
  • The Gateway of India, located at the tip of Mumbai, was built to commemorate King George V and Queen Mary's official visit to Bombay. George Wittet designed the monument in 1914, and it opened to the public in 1924. The structure is 83 ft (25 m) tall.
  • The Portuguese built the Bandra Fort in the 1640s and was known as Castella de Aguada, which translates roughly as Water Castle in Portuguese.
  • The British erected the Worli Fort in 1675 to defend the coast of Mahim Bay and Worli. Today, the fort commands a splendid view of the Bandra-Worli sea link and the Arabian Sea.
  • Mumbai is India's most populous city, with a population of over 22 million people. 
  • Mumbai is home to several UNESCO world heritage sites in India such as the Elephanta Caves and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.
  • The Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai is India's largest national park within the limits of a city. This National park also includes the ancient Buddhist Kanheri Caves.
  • The Bandra Worli sea link, formally known as the Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link, is approximately 3.47 mi (5.6 km) long made with 100,800 US tons (90,000 tons) of cement and steel wire equivalent to Earth's girth.
  • Mumbai houses some of the most prestigious scientific institutions in the world, including the Department of Atomic Energy, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.
  • As the financial capital of India, Mumbai has ten of the country's most prominent financial institutions, including the Reserve Bank of India, the National Stock Exchange of India, the Bombay Stock Exchange, and others.
  • Mumbai has the largest number of billionaires and millionaires in India, making it the wealthiest city in the country.
  • While Mumbai is the wealthiest metropolis in India, it also has Asia's largest slum, Dharavi.
  • The most expensive house in the world is also in Mumbai. It is known as Antilia and is owned by Mukesh Ambani, one of Asia's richest men.
  • The Dabbawalas system, which has operated since 1890, is among the most distinctive features of the city. Dabbawalas pick up tiffins from people's houses and bring them on time to everyone in Mumbai city. Every day, 5,000 Dabbawalas deliver around 200,000 tiffins).
  • The first railway station in India was in Bori Bunder, Mumbai. It was rebuilt in 1888 and named Victoria Terminus.
Bandra Worli sea link in Mumbai is also known as Rajiv Gandhi Seaink.

Weather Of Mumbai

Mumbai residents experience a moderate temperature throughout the year. However, the monsoon season is characterized by heavy rainfall.

  • As per the Köppen climate classification, Mumbai falls in the tropical climate category and has a wet and dry climate.
  • The month of October to May the weather is usually dry.
  • There is intense rainfall during the monsoon season, especially in the month of June. It often leads to a flooding situation every year.
  • The average annual temperature of Mumbai is 81 F (27 C), while the average annual precipitation is 85 in (2,167 mm).
  • Tropical cyclones are infrequent in the city. The most destructive cyclone that ever hit Mumbai was the Mumbai Cyclone in 1948. 

Famous Festivals And Food Of Mumbai

Since Mumbai is a multicultural city with people of different faiths and traditions, several festivals are celebrated every year. Mumbai is also well-known for its delectable street cuisine.

  • Every year throughout the months of August and September, Mumbai hosts the largest celebration of the Hindu festival, Ganesh Chathurthi. Lord Ganesh is Maharashtra's patron saint, and over 6000 idols are commissioned in Mumbai solely during this festival. Devotees later immerse the Lord Ganesha idols in the Arabian sea.
  • Every year, the Elephanta Festival is held to promote Mumbai's tourism and culture. This festival takes place on Elephanta Island, near the Elephanta Caves.
  • Every January, the Banganga Musical Festival is organized in Malabar Hills, Mumbai. The main goal of this two-day festival is to exhibit and preserve the cultural heritage of India.
  • Since Mumbai is the hub of the Hindi film industry, it organizes the Mumbai International Film Festival every two years. Film producers and directors from all corners of the world throng to Mumbai for this prestigious film festival and participate in film sessions, conferences, and other activities.
  • The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival lasts for nine days and is among the most prominent cultural festivals in India. This annual festival always begins on the first Saturday of February and ends on the second Sunday. It is organized in the Kala Ghoda area of South Mumbai.
  • Mumbai is home to a large population of Parsis. Hence, the Parsi New Year, also known as Jamshedi Navroz or Navroz, is a state holiday in Maharashtra. 
  • The Bandra Fair is held every year in the month of September. It is a week-long festival that starts on the feast day of the Virgin Mary. It is held at Mount Mary Church in Bandra.
  • Gudi Padwa is the New Year celebration of Marathi and Konkani Hindus in Maharashtra.
  • The Queer Azaadi Mumbai Pride March, often known as the Mumbai Pride March, is an annual LGBTQIA pride parade conducted in Mumbai.
  • The most well-known street dish in Mumbai is vada pav. It's made of a bun containing a fried spicy potato and topped with tamarind, chutneys, and spices.
  • Another popular Mumbai street food is the Bombay Sandwich, which consists of white bread, boiled potatoes, onion rings, tomatoes, cucumbers, and mint chutney.
  • Zhunka bhaka is known as the common man's dish. Traditionally, zhunka is made with chopped onions tempered with mustard seeds and dry chickpea flour. It's served with chapatti.
  • Sabudana vada is the traditional fasting food of Mumbai residents.
  • Modak is a Maharashtrian sweet prepared during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival around August as it is believed to be the favorite sweet of Hindu Lord Ganesha. It is shaped like a teardrop and is steamed or fried.
  • Pao Bhaji is the specialty of Mumbai. It is made of mashed steamed mixed vegetables cooked in spices and butter. It is eaten with bread bun and served with chopped onions.
Written By
Akshita Rana

<p>With a Master's in Management from the University of Manchester and a degree in Business Management from St. Xavier's, Jaipur, India, Akshita has worked as a content writer in the education sector. She previously collaborated with a school and an education company to improve their content, showcasing her skills in writing and education. Akshita is multilingual and enjoys photography, poetry, and art in her free time, which allows her to bring a creative touch to her work as a writer at Kidadl.</p>

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