Previously known as Bombay, Mumbai is the commercial capital of India and the most eclectic and cosmopolitan city in the region. Over the years, Mumbai has transformed itself into a thriving, diverse metropolis capturing the many faces that make up today’s India. The old coupled with the dynamic new are reflected throughout the city, yet, the heart of Mumbai remains immersed in Indian customs, values, and traditions.
Mumbai, Maharashtra (India)
As the seat of the Hindu film industry, known throughout the world as “Bollywood“, the city produces the largest number of films in the world. Hindi films are not only a part of the lives of many Mumbaikars, but they are also valued throughout much of the Indian culture.
Filming for a Bollywood flick
Mumbai is the capital of the Maharashtra state, and is the largest city in India with a metropolitan population of 21 million.
Mumbai has a long, rich history that spans over centuries and between various rulers. The city is India’s melting pot with people originating from various parts of the region. Marathi is the state official and local language spoken, with most people in the city being trilingual in Marathi, Hindi, and English.
Mumbai has various historical landmarks situated throughout the city. Built by the British in 1888, Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Victoria Terminus) is a magnificent building and considered to be architecturally one of the finest stations in the world. Another spectacular display of Indian culture is the Global Vipassana Pagoda. The world’s largest pillar-less dome is enshrined with Buddha’s genuine relics, radiating peace and harmony throughout the pagoda. Other places to check out are the Sanyas Ashram, the Crawford Market, the Prince of Wales Museum, and the Mahalxmi Temple.
When you’re not spending time educating yourself on Mumbai culture or watching a screening of the next hit Bollywood film, there are several festivals that take place to experience throughout the year. One such festival is the Kala Ghoda Festival, where every Sunday from November to January the Kala Ghoda area is transformed into a street bazaar of arts and crafts.
After sightseeing, walk down beautiful Juhu Beach or take a dip at Water World. Pub hop around the various bars throughout the city or watch a cricket match for free; there’s almost always one taking place in the streets.
Every type of cuisine is represented in the city of Mumbai, from Chinese and Japanese to Italian and Lebanese. You can even find American-owned enterprises, such as Chili’s, Subway, and Ruby Tuesday. If you’re wanting to experience the taste of traditional Mumbai food, try a par bhaji at Sardars or a skewered kebab at Sarvi’. Be like the locals and “grab-and-go” a vada pav at Anand on your way to the next tourist stop. Mumbai will satisfy all of your food cravings.
Mumbai is a colorful city filled with exciting opportunities to immerse oneself in the Indian culture.
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