Mumbai (Bombay) is a city in West India, a center of the state Maharashtra. It is built on а former archipelago, which consists of seven islands in Arabian sea, which have connected gradually in order Mumbai to turn into the financial capital of India and one of the big ports of South Asia.
In the megapolis Mumbai with population 18 million people, there exists an enormous gap between wealth and luxury of one stratum of population on the one hand and the poverty – on the other hand. But this does not impede people to come here in order to live with dreams in the city of the unlimited opportunities.
The name Bombay comes from the Portugueses from Bom Bahia, which means „a beautiful bay“ in Portuguese. It was renamed to Mumbai in 1995, when the name was formed as a combination of the name of the Hindu goddess Mumbadevi and „aai“, meaning „ mother” in Indian.
The city became possession of Portugal in year 1534, then they remised it to the English king Charles II, as marriage portion of his fiancé Catherine de Braganza. But both countries leave their mark on the economic and cultural development of the city. In 1947, after announcement of the independence of India, Mumbai became a part of it. As a financial and commercial capital of India, here are accommodated institutions like the National reserve of India, the National stock exchange, the National bank of India, State insurance company and many others. A wide spectrum of cultures, religions and different cuisines cohabit in Mumbai. Here is located and Bollywood – the most prolific film studio in the world.
One of the emblematic landmarks of Mumbai is the luxurious Taj Mahal hotel, built by Jamsetji Tata. It was opened in 1903, with its fantastic architecture and perfect servicing, it attracts crowned heads, stars from the show business and cinema and millionaires. The hotel is built near the coast of the sea, so the visitors may enjoy the sunsets from the elegant balconies of the hotel, and also of the other emblematic building for the city – the Gateway of India.
The Gateway of India is a monument near the shore of Arabian sea, built in honour of the visit of the English king George V in 1911. It is built in Indian-Arabian style and it is the first thing, which the tourists visit. Such was the intention for the building of this impressive arch – the guests and the crowned heads to astonish to this beautiful “Door” and the hospitality of the hosts. In 1948 the last English soldiers walked through this gate with regret and pride, that they possessed this great city, which was the heart of their empire.
Victoria railway station is a magnificent Gothic building, which resembles more a cathedral. The railway station was finished in 1887 in honour of the 50th anniversary of the British queen Victoria. Built more than 10 years, the railway station is one jewel, which contains skillful colonnades, towers and stained glasses on the windows. It is included in the list of UNESCO for world cultural heritage in 1994. In 1996 it was renamed to Chhatrapati station – an Indian national hero.
The royal necklace is called the beautiful coastal arch, where according to the legend the young men have formed a long sea wall, while expecting their sweethearts.
The near beach Juhu is a place for an evening walk for many people from Mumbai. At this time here also appear many traders, sellers of food, even masseurs.
Saint Tomas cathedral is the oldest building, built in 1718 from the Englishmen.
Mani Bhavan is the building, in which was located the headquarters of Mahatma Gandi. The rooms here are preserved as they were in that distant time.
The Borivari National park, occupying area of 104 sq.m. is one of the few parks in the world, situated within the boundaries of the city. It attracts 2 million visitors annually. An attraction of the Borivari park are the caves Kanheri, cut in the rocks, towering in the park.
The hanging gardens of Mumbai are one fabulous place, which is visited with joy by children and adults. Situated on the slope of the hill Malabar, and the view towards the sea compliments the pleasant atmosphere there. The most remarkable parts here are skillfully cut hedges with the shape of different animals – elephants, camels, giraffes and etc. The huge clock of flowers is impressive.
The Kamala Nehru park is situated against the Hanging gardens and is a favourite place for a walk not only for the parents, but for the children, too. Here is built a fabulous small house with the shape of a shoe. The shoe-laces is the small ladder, on which children climb, and inside the shoe there is a small pastry shop, where a glass of juice or a cup of coffee can be drunk.
The Haji Ali mosque was built in 1431 on a small rock in the sea and is connected by a narrow isthmus with the South part of Mumbai – Worli. At the base of the mosque is put the tomb of the saint. Its minaret is 26 m high, and inside on marble pylons are written the 99 names of Allah. Every week on Thursday and Friday the mosque is visited by thousands of Muslims.
The Si Link bridge is one of the new landmarks of Mumbai. The bridge is 5,6 km long and it connects the North and South part of the city. It is the longest above-water bridge in India and it reduces the time for travelling from the one to the other part of the city by around 1,5 hours. Every day on it pass 25 thousand automobiles.
If a person wants to feel the real life of Mumbai, then he/she should visit Crawford Market, the largest municipal market in Mumbai.
And the walk on the coastal alley, where there are many small restaurants and cafes is a pleasant adventure.