Mumbai (or Bombay as it used to be known) is the largest city in India and one of the largest cities in the world. Located in the Indian state of Maharashtra and facing the Arabian Sea, the city has a population of nearly 21 million. Mumbai is the financial, economic, cultural and entertainment capital of India, with 40% of India's foreign trade originating from here, and the city forming the heart of India's Bollywood film industry.
Mumbai's history starts in the late 15th century, when the Portuguese took over the 7 islands that now form the city from the Sultan of Gujarat. Half a century later they were transfered to the British, who made it a base for the British East India Company. In later centuries this became the base and stronghold of the Indian National Congress, one of the main political parties in the country, which helds its first congregation here in 1885 and would be the main force behind Indian independence.
Mumbai is a city of contrasts - colonial buildings and temples, extreme poverty and extreme wealth. Most major tourist sights in Mumbai are located in the southern part of the city. For colonial buildings and museums, explore the areas around Churchgate and Colaba, where you will find the imposing Gateway of India and Victoria Terminus (pictured). Having seen these must-see attractions in the south, head a bit further up north to explore some religious sights. Famous are for instance the Haji Ali Dargah mosque and Siddhivinayak Hindu temple, equally colorful and impressive, and showing off the city's religious diversity.
Of course these are just *some* of the main ingredients of a trip to Mumbai, and it will be up to you to add flavour with some of the amazing bazaars (offering great insights into India's cultural diversity), beaches, monuments, rickshaw rides, parks, regional Indian cuisine...
The climate of Mumbai is hot year-round, with maximum temperatures averaging between 29 and 33 degrees Celsius (84-91 degrees Fahrenheit) throughout the year. Monsoon rains lash the city in June to September, so the best time to visit is anytime other than then. [Review by travelindicator]
You can find the best hotel deals in Mumbai here.
- Mumbai is a city in India's region of Maharashtra. It has a population of 20,748,395, is situated at an altitude of 16ft and the best airport to fly into is BOM (Chhatrapati Shivaji International (sahar International), Mumbai)
- Note: Mumbai is a good point of entry for trips to India as it is well internationally connected (by air)
- The currency used in India is the Indian rupee (INR)
Other cities in the region (Maharashtra, India)
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