City Spotlight: Mumbai

Mumbai, known as Bombay until 1995, is the capital city of Maharashtra, a central Indian state. It is the most populous city in India with an estimated population (city proper) of 14 million; the greater metropolitan area houses more than 21 million people. In 2008, Mumbai was named an alpha world city, pointing up its developed connectivity and financial status. Furthermore, Mumbai is the financial, commercial, and entertainment capital of India—it deserves your visit.

Mumbai’s culture blends traditional festivals, food, and music with their modern counterparts. The city has always been a major trading center, leading to the development of a diverse range of culture, religion, and cuisine. Visitors enjoy the cosmopolitan lifestyle of this truly global city. However, beaches are also a major attraction; Girgaum Chowpatty, Juhu Beach, Dadaw Chowpatty, Forai Beach, Marve Beach, and Manori Beach are popular among both locals and tourists.

Mumbai is also the birthplace of Indian cinema, and the oldest film broadcast took place in the ealry 20th century. Dadasaheb Phalke began making silent movies, which were followed closely by Marathi talkies. The city has several movie theaters that feature Bollywood, Marathi, and Hollywood movies, but many cinemas host screenings during the Mumbai International Film Festival. In addition to film, the city is well-known for contemporary art, public sculpture, and their world-renowned zoo.

Traveling to Mumbai is very easy. The city offers several forms of transportation, including the Mumbai Monorail (opened 2014). Suburban railway and BEST bus services account for around 88% of the passenger traffic, but rickshaws and taxis are also popular.