Mumbai, formally known as Bombay, is the financial centre and the most populous city of India. It is on the west coast of the country, and it is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. The city is also famous as the heart of the Indian film industry, Bollywood. If you plan to stopover in Mumbai, check out these exciting facts about the city and check out our interesting facts about India to make the most out of your stopover in Mumbai
- Mumbai to Bombay and back to Mumbai
The city was called Mumbai for the longest time. The name Mumbai comes from the temple of Khali goddess “Mumba” and “Aii," which is the word for mother in the "Marathi" language. Mumbai changed to Bombay during the Portuguese and English occupation of the city. "Bom" is the Portuguese word for good, and “Bay” means the bay. In 1995 the city's administration reverted to its original name Mumbai as the name Bombay name represents India's colonial past.
2. Mumbai is a street food heaven
Mumbai is always busy with over 20 million residents. However, it is safe to say that India has no better place to find a quick and delicious snack. You will have a chance to taste a wide range of street foods in Mumbai. Bahubali Sandwich (a four-layered sandwich with vegetables and cheese) and Extravaganza Puri (a reimagined traditional Puri dish) are some of the best street food. And Pizza Dosa (an Indian pancake served as a Pizza) and Bhaji Cone (a cone comes with a filling of crunchy noodles, onions and Indian spices) are few innovative street foods to try out.
3. Half of the city's residents live in slums
Arguably the most prominent problem Mumbai has is its slums. According to the reports, 40 to 50 percent of the city's population lives in these slums crammed into just 9% of the city's geographical area. The main reason behind this is the lack of affordable housing options due to the scarcity of inhabitable land in the city. But some blames the government for their lack of effort and solutions to overcome this situation.
4. Home to the most expensive house in the world
Mumbai showcases contrasting social status better than any other city. The best example is while half of the city residents live in slums, it is also the home to the most expensive house in the world. “Antilia" is the most expensive house in the world, with 27 stories stretching 568 feet high. This house is the residence of Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani and his family. Antilia has several helicopter pads, a ballroom, theatre and many other luxurious facilities.
5. Home to one of the busiest railways in the world
Facilitating transportation for 20 million people is no easy feat, especially for a city like Mumbai, where land and space is limited. As a result, congested roads are a common sight in Mumbai most of the time. There is no difference when it comes to the railway. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, the railway hub in Mumbai, is one of the busiest, serving 3.8 million daily passengers.
6. Mumbai has one of the biggest and most notorious red-light districts in Asia
Kamathipura, which is in Mumbai's centre, is one of the biggest and notorious red-light districts in Asia. There are at least twenty thousand girls working as prostitutes, and many of them are underage and trafficked from India's countryside. Most of them experience extreme violence daily, and reports suggest at least 70% of them have HIV or other sexual diseases.
7. Mumbai uses Dabbawalas Century-old food delivery system
Mumbai has a complex yet effective food delivery system, successfully delivering more than 200,000 meals per day. These delivery men are called “Dabbawalas." There are about 5000 such Dabbawalas collecting meals from houses to deliver to the intended recipients. Special coded lunch boxes are using to pack and deliver meals. And after lunch, they collect and return the empty lunch boxes to the houses.
8. One of the most significant religious festivals in the world
Mumbai and other western parts of India celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi, the birthday of "Ganesh." Ganesh is an elephant-headed Hindu god. Hindu families buy or make statues of Ganesh weeks and months before the festival. And these statues will be immersed in the sea, seeking a better life and wisdom.