The city of Mumbai (formerly called Bombay) is located on the west coast of India. It is the most populated city in the country, with over 12 million inhabitants. In terms of population density, Mumbai is the second in the world, the local metropolitan area is one of the largest in the world. It numbers over 21 million people. People settled here a long time ago, but in its present form the city was founded by the Portuguese in 1672.
The British did not see any special paths for the development of Bombay, having leased it to the East India Company. The city received an impulse for development during the American Civil War, becoming an important trade center. And with the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, Bombay became the main port on the coast of the Arabian Sea. At first, the city was located on seven islands, but soon this territory became a single whole, merging with the continent.
In the 19th century, Mumbai was considered a classic example of the Victorian era, showcasing the wealth of colonial powers. Here are both the largest slums and the most expensive real estate in Asia.
Unfortunately, few of our compatriots can visit this city. This is how numerous myths about this city are born.
Solo travel to Mumbai is not safe. This myth is especially often used in relation to girls. In fact, traveling alone is not safe anywhere if you are not careful about your own safety. And it doesn't matter what gender the person is. Developing countries such as India are considered the most interesting and safe to explore. Here you will be guaranteed to get in touch with the great heritage, interesting food, and the cultural world. However, travelers should not create illusions and remain realistic. India is a second or even third world country. There is a high level of poverty, poor quality education, which gives rise to high crime rates. Mumbai is not as safe as the Scandinavian countries of Europe. Tourists are amazed that they suddenly turn out to be rich given the low prices. But the higher the state, the higher the risks of losing it. Girls should also be careful when choosing their clothing style. Do not focus on sheer T-shirts and short skirts. In any case, the media exaggerate the danger of the metropolis. Poverty and overcrowding are present, but rapists and thieves do not wait for tourists at every corner, pickpockets do not operate on every bus and in every market.
Mumbai is a slum city. Mumbai has the Dharavi area, one of the largest slums in the world. Here, on an area of 215 hectares, about a million people live. It was here that the movie "Slumdog Millionaire" was filmed. In fact, Mumbai is not only a shabby primitive housing. About 54% of the population lives in slums. Dirty streets, poverty and disease are the general rule for most metropolitan areas in India. However, there is also a modern business center in Mumbai, where financial institutions and offices of international organizations are located. There are also rich neighborhoods, located along the western coast. In 2016, Mumbai is set to have the second tallest building in the world. Truly - a city of contrasts. Mumbai is considered the financial center of the country, which also influences the architecture. In general, British rule strongly affected her. This is a city that has managed to preserve both traditions and create its modern look. Mumbai's architecture combines Gothic, Victorian, Art Deco and Indo-Saracenic styles. Here many historical monuments and monumental buildings have been preserved from the colonial era. The international airport is also striking, forming the first impression of the city, and the landscape of skyscrapers will debunk the myth of the city of slums.
It is impossible to survive in the city without knowing Hindi. This myth is similar to the fact that without knowledge of Chinese, there is nothing to do in Singapore. In fact, Mumbai is a melting pot where cultures mix. As a rule, every resident in the city speaks at least a little English. More and more Indians know this international language more than any other (with the exception of Hindi). Especially tourists should not worry if they adhere to traditional routes, then there are no difficulties with communication. And learning a few simple words in Hindi will not be difficult.
There is nothing interesting in Mumbai. It turns out that there are many people who consider Mumbai as a gateway to Goa or a boring financial center. In fact, the city has everything a tourist needs and is interested in. Mumbai is a perfect blend of ancient tradition and modernity. You can easily walk into the slums, and around the corner will be an elite residential area. Of course, it is not as clean and safe as in most of the world's megacities, but the presence of interesting and unique sights compensates for these troubles. Mumbai is a vibrant, pulsating organism, it is hard not to find something that suits the tastes of the guest. Some will like beaches or bazaars, others - elite shopping centers and Bollywood, there will not be enough vacation time to inspect the buildings of colonial architecture. The most famous monument is the Gateway of India, from where tourists begin their acquaintance with Mumbai. The Chattrapati Shivaji Station, which has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site, looks unusual. The Haji Al Mosque has almost six centuries of history. It is connected to the mainland by a narrow dam, along which numerous pilgrims walk at low tide. You can get acquainted with the ancient history of the country in the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum. This building combined the Indo-Saracen style with elements of the architecture of the Great Mughals and Marathas. And 10 kilometers east of the city, the artificial Elephanta caves were created, also a UNESCO heritage site.
You cannot eat street food in Mumbai. It all depends on the human digestive system. In fact, food quality issues arise immediately after safety issues. Everyone loves to eat, many travel only for the sake of familiarizing themselves with new cuisines. There are corresponding tours in Mumbai. Indian cuisine is renowned for its pungency and aromas. Those who come here for the first time hear conflicting advice. Some recommend touching authentic street food, while others, on the contrary, do not advise doing this. For those whose body does not respond well to new or spicy foods, it is better to stay away from such foods. Street food is a unique culinary experience, but some are more into restaurants. And the dishes will not always be spicy, so do not be afraid of this. But street food is almost guaranteed to guarantee extreme flavors.
Mumbai has the largest number of migrants in India. According to this indicator, Delhi is ahead of Mumbai. In the former capital of India, 4 out of 10 residents are newcomers. And the myth appeared thanks to Bollywood.
Mumbai hates migrants. If there really was such a negative attitude towards migrants in the city, how can one explain the fact that 200 new families arrive in Mumbai every day for settlement? Just don't get in the way of visitors at the station during rush hour.
Most migrants to Mumbai come from North India. Most of the new residents come to the city from the state of Maharashtra itself. It supplies 37.5% of migrants, while the northern state of Uttar Pradesh only 24.3%.
Thain, Kalyan and Virar are not part of Mumbai. Administratively, these settlements do not fall under the jurisdiction of Mumbai, but this does not mean that they are separated from the city. People work in Mumbai and come here every day. Thain, Virar and Kalyan are part of a single agglomeration.
Schools and colleges in Mumbai are what Bollywood shows them. Not all young people have their own luxury car, most use public transport. Girls don't wear such short skirts, and boys don't wear shorts and T-shirts like actors. Most of the classrooms are not air-conditioned, so people have to use deodorants heavily. It is worth distinguishing a beautiful picture in a movie from reality.
It's easy to meet a Bollywood celebrity in Mumbai. Yes, from time to time people come across celebrities. But mostly they are busy filming, ordinary townspeople are busy with their own business. It even happens that the meeting goes unnoticed at all. And there are areas where the fact of meeting a movie star brings fame in the local community.
The most favorite dishes in Mumbai are wada pav and pav bhaji. The first course is vegetarian. This is a sandwich with potato cutlets inside. Pav bhaji - vegetable puree. However, the city has many other types of food loved by the residents. These are MakVada Pav (from McDonald's), and Pav Bhaji Dosa, kebabs, Pani Puri, chicken rolls.
Mumbai built the Marathi. In fact, the city was a metropolis created by the Portuguese and the British. There was once a fishermen's village on this place, not far from the Mumbadevi temple. That settlement was called Mumbai.
The original name of the city is Mumbai, not Bombay. As we know, under the Portuguese the settlement was called Mumbai, and already under the British it received the name Bombay. Initially, the Portuguese named the city in the XVI century in general Bombain, which meant "good bay", and the British eventually modified this word to suit their pronunciation.
The Marathi played a key role in the development of the city. The economic growth and development of Bombay is associated mainly with the Parsis and Gujarati.
Mumbai has always been part of the state of Maharashtra. Until 1960, Bombay was part of the province of the same name. And such a state entity as Maharashtra did not exist at all. The province together with the city was the western part of Gujarat. The state of Maharashtra itself appeared in 1960. Leading Gujarati industrialists championed the independent status of Bombay. The movement for a separate state of Marathi even led to armed clashes - on May 1, 1960, 105 people died. As a result, the expanded state of Bombay was divided along the language border into the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra.
Mumbai is the name of the Maharathas, so it is correct. The city of Bombay was part of the former province of the same name, which included western Gujarat. These people are also used to calling the city Mumbai, not Bombay.
Most of the city's inhabitants are Marathi. This statement is not far from the truth. Roughly half of Mumbai's residents are Marathi, but this is not the majority. About a quarter of the population are Gujarati.
Marathi are the indigenous people of Mumbai. The original inhabitants of these lands were koli fishermen. Then the Portuguese and the British settled here, then the Parsis, Gujarati and only then the Marathi came.
The slums of Mumbai are very dangerous. In fact, it is believed that the slums of Mumbai are the safest place not only in the city, but throughout the country. These settlements are completely controlled by the local community, outsiders simply cannot get here. A stranger runs the risk of not leaving here if he breaks the laws of the slums. Tourists are allowed there freely, but asked not to take pictures. Muslims and women are especially protesting against cameras.
Only beggars live in the slums. Men living in slums can earn up to $ 500 a month. Housing here can cost tens of thousands of dollars due to its proximity to the center and being in a fairly safe and well-maintained area.