Mumbai is the largest city of India and a commercial capital where people from villages and towns come here to earn their livelihood. However, there is more of just being a commercial capital. Mumbai has a great public transport accessibility in which few cities in India would dream of.
Named after the famous goddess deity Mumba Devi, Mumbai has lot of things to offer more than just Dharavi and Marine Drive. Despite the frequent terror attacks happened in Mumbai a decade ago, Mumbai boasts of being resilient and an epitome of unity. Today, we will explore the city of Mumbai and its culture.
History of Mumbai
Mumbai, previously known as Bombay was named by the Portuguese rulers after finding out that Bombay has a natural water bay. Bombay is roughly translated to “Bom Bhaia” which means good bay.
Moreover, Mumbai got into the hands of the British raj when the Portuguese princess gave dowry as Mumbai city when she married to an English prince.
As we said before, Bombay was later changed to Mumbai 2 decades ago, where the name is taken from the goddess of the local fishing community “Mumba Devi” and later suffixed with “Ai” which means mother. Hence, this is how Mumbai got its new name.
Another fascinating history about Mumbai is that before becoming the city of India, it was an archipelago of seven islands. The islands are :
- Isle of Bombay
- Old Woman’s Island
It is believed that, it took 6 centuries to merge all the islands in to one city to form as Mumbai.
The official language of Mumbai is Marathi. The Marathi language is taken from Sanskrit and Prakrit languages. In the olden days, the language of Marathi was common in the Indigenous community. Later, the rulers of Yadava clan popularized the Marathi language in Maharashtra.
Another interesting fact about the Marathi language is that most of the vocabulary are a combination of Telugu, Sanskrit and Kannada. About 40% of the citizens in Mumbai speaks Marathi. In addition, there are some people who migrated to Mumbai speaks Mumbai version of Hindi.
Since Mumbai is a cosmopolitan city, many people move to Mumbai for work. Which means Mumbai can tolerate any languages that are coming outside the states. Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Bhojpuri are some of the popular languages spoken in Mumbai.
Mumbai, which has a lot of English speaking and educated citizens, have organized many literature festivals. Literature festivals like Tata Literature Live and Times litfest has made people gain and share knowledge from all over India.
Celebrated in the months of November and December, one of the unique literature festival Queensline literature fest, conducts the festival on a ship. 100+ speakers from all around the world visit these literature festivals conducted in Mumbai and share their experience and learnings with the audiences.
The literature festivals in India award its literature enthusiasts for their outstanding work in the literature field. Amenities like Library, Workshop, Music and café are organized in the literature festivals.
- India’s first train was introduced in Mumbai covering Mumbai to Thane in 1853.
- Mumbai boasts of being the first city in India to start a public transport service in 1926.
- The business tycoon Mukesh Ambani stays in 27 storeyed skyrapper called Antilla. Which is said to be the most expensive house in the world, costing around 1 billion rupees.
- Alice Tredwell is proud of being a woman, who built the Mumbai-Pune Railway line in 1863.
- Mumbai is the birthplace of the Jungle book’s author Rudiyard Kipling.
Mumbai is a city with lots of people from different parts of the country. Religious diversity of India can be clearly viewed in this city. Even though, Hinduism in the most prominent religion in this place, Muslim community and Christian community is not less here.
Ganesh Chaturthi is the one of the most popular festival that is celebrated in and around Mumbai. Apart from that all the religious festivals like Ramzan, Bakrid, Christmas, Easter etc too are celebrated in full swing.
On the whole, Mumbai becomes one of the secular cities in India where the residents worship and celebrate their festivals united.
Not only literature is a famous fest in Mumbai, but also Arts festival has gained much fan base in the city of Mumbai. Art enthusiasts and winners from all around the world visit Mumbai to display their portfolio and get mentorship from the award-winning artists.
Generally open during November to January, the leaders of the art field visit here to organize workshops and give a motivational speech to their budding artists. Not only the festival focuses only on arts, but also its exhibitionsdisplays sculptures, photographs and ceramics.
And Before we forget, the multicultural festival of Kala Ghoda is also one of the top art festivals celebrated every February. The Kala Goda festival is celebrated to preserve the art and heritage of South Mumbai.Popular artists and art enthusiasts from other states and countries visit the Kala Goda festival to participate in Music, Art, film workshops to gain exposure in art field.
Dance and Music
This one is for fine arts students, there are many places in Mumbai to perform or watch the dance and music shows. Many popular musicians like Justin Bieber has performed in a stage 2 years ago.
With Mumbai slowly becoming the favorite destination for the foreign musicians, these musicians mentor the budding dancers and singers and help them gain exposure in their passionate field. The National Centre for performing arts is the country’s largest place to watch the dance and music performance.
The Mudra dance festival, which is organized in April at the national center of performing arts, displays traditional dance and music to conserve their tradition. There Is an another place called Ravindra Natya Mandir where you can get the opportunity to watch the folk dance like Odisi, Bharatanatyam and Kathak and promote awareness about their folk dance.
Other dance and music centers are happy to help the future musicians and dancers. Right from the age 5 to 30, you can see many academies in Mumbai where you can see the artists perform.
Mumbai is one of the best cities to celebrate both Indian and Foreign festivals. The Hindu festivals are celebrated with a great pomp and Enthusiasm. The festivals of Ganesh Chaturthi and Janmastami are popular festivals celebrated in Mumbai.
The Parsi New year, which is one of the underrated festivals to watch out for, is a famous festival for the Parsis and Zoroastrians community.
For Christians, Bandra Feast, is organized at the Basilica of Mount Mary in the month of September. It is celebrated by organizing a big fair and exhibition.
Also Read : Famous Festivals in Mumbai
Bhelpuri and VadaPav are one of the popular dishes to be tried in Mumbai. You can find a Vada Pav shop every two kms of radius and the cuisines of Mumbai is enjoyed with great taste and interesting flavours.
For non-vegetarians, most of the dishes are in any form of Seafood and chicken .like Dry Bombay Duck, anda bhurji, kebabs, chicken tikkaand butter chicken.
Seafood dishes like Fish Pickles, Grilled fish dishes, Koliwada, tisriya masala, Prawn curry, Fish thali, surmai, fish curry and Bombli fish fry. Arediversely available as Mumbai being a coastal city and had a long history of fish trade.
Coming to the sweets section, Mumbai has lot of sweet desserts to offer its people with sweet tooth. Sweets like modak,sheera, purani poli, dry fruit kulfi, aamras and chitrola. Do not forget to try Shirkand, which is a yogurt dessert having the ingredients of cardamom, nuts and saffron.
In terms of Snacks, every food lover does not miss trying chaats ofMumbai, as it tastes delicious. Chaat items like Vada Pav, Aloo Chaat, Dabeli, Pani Puri, and Pav Bhaji are some of the fast food dishes that are readily available in Mumbai.
Also Read : What to Eat in Mumbai
This one is for the handicraft enthusiasts; the handicrafts in Mumbai are unique and renowned amongst the people. From Brass décor items, pottery to carved wood and silver jewelery, Mumbai hosts all type of handicrafts to its guests.
Craft shops like Avanthi Cottage crafts, Colaba Causeway, and Bombay store have been in this field for decades and know well about their customer and displays pottery, silver jewelery, tribal crafts and embroidery items. The prices here are fixed, but you can buy at a cheaper cost if you have bargaining skills. Their crafts promises excellent quality and long lasting.
Most of the handicrafts shop are not only attracted by the foreign tourists, but also to promote Indian Handicrafts to the world. Handicrafts stores like the Museum Shop make handicraft items through charitable trusts and donations.
Overall, the craft stores in Mumbai not only sell their handmade stuff to its customers, but also it plays a role of perfect gifting items to your loved ones.
If you think Mumbai is all about all work and no play, then you might be thinking wrong. The Mumbaikars work hard and party harder by visiting the largest theme parks of India, i.e. Esselworld. Visiting Esselworld and engaging in water sports is a best thing to do there.
Another adventure activity you can undertake is the go karting in the area of Hakone. The go karting adventures attracts many teenagers and their friends and they become an alternate adventure sport if you do not have enough cash to spend the adventure activities outside Mumbai.
Lastly, do not forget to visit the Smaash indoor activities, which is endorsed by Sachin Tendulkar. You can undertake bowling,arcading, indoor cricket and other adventures to make you have a field day. The Smaash is the most sought location for company outing. Though the prices are little expensive but trust me, you will enjoy the activities so much that you will forget using your phone for Facebook and WhatsApp.
Admit it, when it comes to sport, we can see the image of Cricket and Sachin Tendulkar. Cricket is the most popular sport in Mumbai, followed by Football. For cricket, majority of the popular cricket legends are from Mumbai or in and around Maharashtra. The Mumbai city is proud of having Sachin Tendulkar as a parliament MP, who suggested to make sports mandatory in every school.
The stadium of Wankede and Brabourne are the ideal stadiums to watch and play cricket. Many academies in Mumbai train and groom the future star cricketers from the help of legends and coaches.
Mumbai is the home of BCCI and IPL, who are having a successful time in Ranji Trophy and IPL. We cannot forget the moment in 2011 world cup where India won the world cup after 28 years and the whole nation has gone crazy and celebrated victory until dawn.
Other than Cricket is football, where you find many passionate football fans support the premier league and la liga teams. Mumbai has its own team “Mumbai City FC” co-owned by the Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor and they are performing well in the Indian Super league.
Other sports like Kabaddi, Hockey and Badminton are some of the sports, which are growing their popularity in Mumbai and all over India.
Mumbai having a tropical climate expects its residents to wear warm and cotton clothes to beat the heat. Mumbai being a fashion capital and Bollywood capital of India is slowly following the western clothing style. The residents of Mumbai are inspired by the celebrity’s clothing style while going out for party, dinner or pub.
However, wearing black clothing is not recommended to wear due to the hot and humid climate of Mumbai.
If you want to shop for clothes in Mumbai, then places like Fashion street is a must visit. Theyhave a diverse variety of clothes available in both Indian and Western style at a bargain able price. Other than Fashion Street, Linking road is a popular destination for women shoppers to buy clothes like western classy wear, footwear at cheaper and bargain able rates.
Mumbai, which is called the “city of dreams” accepts migrants from all over India to make a mark in their career and achieve financial freedom. Most of the migrants come from UP, Bihar and Chattisgarh starts their life by doing odd jobs and climb ups the ladder of career to reach heights.
Mumbai was a hub for textile mills and EXIM trade. Through the textile industry Mumbai gained its prosperity. Later on it was replaced by industries like diamond polishing, information technology, engineering etc. Mumbaikars are typical people who are passionate about the films and who are ready to do anything for their living.
Now Mumbai is diversified with many sectors of the modern India. Majority of the employees in Mumbai are working in the Public Sectors.
For white collar professions, the Finance sector is the biggest employer in India followed by the film industry.
Mumbai, which is called “the city that never sleeps”,has some of the coolest places to hang out at night. Marine drive is one of the places where you get mesmerized with waves touching the rocks.it is more beautiful when you go for a long walk with your loved ones and stop by for a cup of tea and biscuits.
Juhu Chowpatty is another place to spend a nightlife. You can see many people relaxing and having street chats, even at the night.
For Non-vegetarians, Bademiya in Colaba is an ideal spot to munch tandoori tikkas and kababs. Situated near the hotel Taj palace in Colaba, the Bademiya in Colaba is open upto 3 am in the dawn to give its customers great nightlife experiences.
Coming to Pubs and Bars, they are the lifeline of Mumbai’s nightlife. Majority of the pub culture and nightlife happens in the elite areas like Bandra, Anderi and Lower Parel.
Places like WINK,XXO and Tryst is one of the happening pubs for the best nightlife experience. Despite being expensive, the pubs organizes DJ Music, Amazing lighting and swanky décor to the party animals to get their money’s worth.
Just as the saying goes” All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” does not refer to the residents of Mumbai. The city of Mumbai is in the list of top 50 places in the world to visit according to the foreigners, with majority of foreigners coming from UAE.
According to the data, the tourism generated 3.9 billion of the city’s GDP and supported seven lakh jobs in the tourism sector.
The best time to visit Mumbai is during the months of October to February where the weather is calm and pleasant. It is recommended to not to visit Mumbai during the summer and monsoon season.
In Mumbai, the film city is the major attraction for the visitors in Mumbai, as it is situated in Goregaon and Borivali national park. The film city is the home of at least 20+ film studios.
The Siddivinayak temple is another popular spot for pilgrimage and spirituality, where many celebrities and VIPs often visit this temple for success and prosperity. The celebrities of the film industry to get blessings from the lord for success and prosperity in their film venture fondly visit it.