Mumbai (Bombay) | India

August 28, 2018 Off By mumbaiabout
the skyline of mumbai city

Mumbai (or Bombay) is a metro city in India. It is the economic capital of India. It lies in the state of Maharashtra, which is one of the 29 states of the country.

1. Introduction

Mumbai is the capital of Maharashtra State in India. It is the most popular and famous city of the country. The reason for its popularity can be attributed to a lot of things – Bollywood, Financial Capital, Underworld, Fashion Capital, Metropolitan Culture, City of Dreams, Spirit of the City  etc. Perhaps because of the above reasons, it is the most populous city in the country with a population of approximately 12 million( 2011 consensus)

2. History

Mumbai was predominantly a fishing region in historic times. Later, the Portuguese and subsequently the Britishers contributed to its growth as a trade hub. After India’s Independence, the city continued to grow with the support of MNC’s like Tata, Reliance and Birla.

mumbai fisherman (Courtesy: www.thealternative.in) In the very early times, fishing was the main function of the original inhabitants of the island city. Over the years, successive indigenous dynasties ruled the place. The region was then handed over to the Portuguese empire in the year 1535. Down the line, The British East India Company took over the islands in the year 1668. The East India Company established its headquarters in Bombay and the city became a major trading town. Cotton and textiles were the main items of trade during the time here. Soon, in the year 1947, India achieved Independence, after which , Bombay was declared a State. However, later Bombay was made just a capital city with Maharashtra as the State. The city still continued to prosper and grow as a major economic hub. With the big multinational corporations like Tata, Reliance and Birla coming into the picture, Bombay had grown manifolds and became an important city in the global arena. Later in 1995, the city was renamed as ‘Mumbai’ to strengthen the local Marathi Identity.

3. Geography

Mumbai is basically an island city formed from 7 small islands in Arabian Sea during the early 1800s. Its location and structure helped it become one of the busiest sea ports in the country. The city is mostly a plain with hardly any hills and rivers. Even the forest cover is very less and is decreasing by each passing day.

7 islands of mumbai (Courtesy: www.thelallantop.com)

The 7 Islands

The city is actually formed from 7 small islands. This is actually unbelievable seeing the current land structure of the city. But the fact is, originally there were only 7 small islands namely : mahim, worli, mazgaon, parel, bombay, little colaba and colaba. A big scale engineering took place in the early 1800’s and the city swamps were completely filled up. And as a result, the big Island of Bombay was formed.

Port and Island City

Being a port city, current day Mumbai lies near the Arabian Ocean. It is located in the western part of the country. It is surrounded by water on 3 sides i.e south , west and east. Hence, it is also called an island city.

Land, Hills and Rivers

The city of Mumbai has an average elevation of 14m. As such, its more or less a plain. Also, The land of Mumbai is mostly of deccan basalt rock origin. Talking about Hills, it has got couple of small and very low altitude hilly places. Malabar Hill, Pali Hill, Cumbala Hill, Antop Hill and Gilbert Hill are some of the places located at a little height from the sea level. But, they should not be taken literally as a hilly place. The city of Bombay is located right where the Ulhas river meets the Arabian Sea. Though Ulhas flows near mumbai, it is not in Mumbai. However, we do have some rivers in Mumbai. The prominent rivers that flow in Mumbai are Mithi, Poisar, Dahisar and Oshiwari. But it seems that these rivers are unfortunately in a very bad shape and hence cannot be counted as rivers in true sense. Actually, they have become very polluted over the years.

Geographic Location

If we talk about Mumbai’s absolute coordinates on the map, its longitude and latitude are 72.8776559 and 19.0759837 respectively.

4. Climate

In Short, If I have to describe the climate or weather in Mumbai, I would say that – Mumbai has got mild warm and humid climate. And It receives good rains during the period of June to September. Also, due to its proximity to Arabian Sea, its climatic conditions are highly influenced  by the Sea.

mumbai during rains

Seasons

I would say that Mumbai has got one of the best climate type out of all the places I have seen in India. A monotonous life is something, not many people would like on a long run. You need some variety, some mixture and a little bit of spice. At least, that is how I prefer things to be. Mumbai offers you something similar in terms of seasons. In the local lingo, Mumbai is said to have 3 main seasons : Summer, Winter and Rainy Season. Almost each of these are evenly distributed throughout the year. No partiality there. The Summer season is said to last from February to May. Then we have the rains from June to September. And October to January belongs to the Rains. By Rains, its not just some light drizzle and showers. Mumbai receive Some Real Rains during the monsoon, which peaks at July and August months. Overall, All the three seasons are not very extreme. But during their peak time, you will experience some punch of the flavor the seasons have to offer.

Temperature

Just Like the Seasons, the temperatures too, in Mumbai are moderate in nature. The historical lowest and highest temperature ever recorded in Bombay are 7.4 °C and 42.2 °C respectively. The average temperature during summers range from 26 °C to 35 °C . The range for Rainy Season is around 26 °C to 32 °C . In winters the temperature decreases a bit and the average minimum and maximum temperature are 16 °C to 31 °C. Further, If you are not from India, you might have to get used to talking about temperatures in terms of Celsius and not Fahrenheit. The reason being, Celsius is the widely accepted metric used for temperature conversations in Mumbai(and in India).

5. Administration

Most of the Administration of the City is under the jurisdiction of BMC(Bombay Municipal Corporation). And the BMC is headed by the Mayor and Municipal Commissioner. Apart from them, the Chief Minister, Police Commissioner and Collectors are some of the key people in the City Operations.

Regional Structure

mumbai city districts (Courtesy: By [2] Nichalp – [1], en:Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1402215) The Main Mumbai Metropolis also called Greater Mumbai, consists of two districts – the Mumbai city district and the Mumbai suburban district. Now, this is also subdivided into wards. Totally, there are around 227 wards in Greater Mumbai. Each ward gets a corporator. The corporator is the one, who wins the BMC election from his ward. Finally, All these corporators come together to form the BMC i.e BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation or Bombay Municipal Corporation.

Key People

The Mayor and Municipal Commissioner are like the heads of the BMC. The Mayor- first citizen of Mumbai, has limited powers and generally heads and direct important meetings. On the Contrary, the Municipal Commissioner is the one with most of the executive power. Municipal Commissioners are IAS Officers and are selected by the State Government. A city like Mumbai plays a key role in the complete economic and social development of region, state and country; and hence its policies and decisions are very much tracked and influenced by State Government(Headed By the Chief Minister) and Central Government. The Police Department is headed by the Police Commissioner. The Police Commissioners are IPS officers from the Civil Services.

6. Economy

Mumbai is a key driver in the country’s Economy with a percentage share of 6% to the overall GDP. Large Business and Government Headquarters, Financial Institutions and Bollywood Industry makes it an interesting place and a leading global financial hub.

rbi office in mumbai Mumbai is the economic capital of the country with a contribution of around 350 Billion Dollars to the Country’s GDP. Its percentage share is almost 6 % of total GDP of the country. If someone has to highlight just two very big and global industries in Mumbai, it would be Finance and Bollywood. Some of the biggest financial institutions of the country like Reserve Bank of India(RBI), NSE(National Stock Exchange), BSE(Bombay Stock Exchange) and SEBI (Securities and Exchange Booard of India) are located in Mumbai. And, Organizations need to raise capital and gain access to the capital markets. As Such, You would find the headquarters of some largest conglomerates situated in Bombay. Some of the biggest groups are Tata Group, Essar Group and Reliance. All of them are big multi billion dollar organizations. The Bollywood Industry is home to Mumbai and makes it the film capital of India. Not only is it one of the richest film industry in the world, it makes the most number of films annually in the world. Apart from Finance and Bollywood, Manufacturing and Services Industry are some of the other big industries in Bombay. IT services from the services industry is one of the growing sector of the city. The reason can be attributed to the development of IT parks in the city. Textile and Diamond used to be a major part of the economy earlier; but now the percentage has decreased.

7. Infrastructure

Mumbai has got a good infrastructure  – energy, transport and communications, to meet the necessities of the population and the organizations. However, it needs a better and more smart infrastructure to meet the requirements of the growing population. The real estate also needs to be made more affordable to the people.

bandra worli sea link (Courtesy: www.mumbaimylove.com)

Energy

The Electric Supply division of BEST(Brihanmumbai Electric Supply & Transport) Undertaking provides the Electricity to the main island city. Adani Electricity(Previously Reliance Energy) and Tata Power are the major electricity providers to the rest of the region and the suburbs. The main city and suburbs receives uninterrupted electricity throughout the year. The prominent automotive fuel providers in the city are HPCL, Reliance Petroleum Limited and Bharat Petroleum. Petrol and Diesel have been the primary source of fuel in the city. However, the city is now seeing increasing number of CNG gas pumps also in the city. The electric vehicles are still not a hit in the city as there are only handful number of charging points for electric motors. Piped Cooking gas and LPG cylinders forms the main source of fuel for cooking purposes in the city. The main city has good infrastructure for the piped gas. The suburbs, which rely mostly on the LPG cylinders, are now seeing some development of piped domestic gas in their area also. Bharat Gas and Mahanagar Gas are the top suppliers in the cooking gas space.

Transportation

Mumbai has got a very good public transportation. The Local Trains and the B.E.S.T Buses forms the main form of public transportation. The Suburban Local trains are also called as the lifeline of Bombay as majority of the commuters rely on it for their day to day travel. Having said that, with the ever increasing population and almost 80% of the travelers relying on the public transport, travel in trains and buses have become increasingly difficult and hectic. Apart from the government run transportation services, there are private arrangements in the form of Auto-rickshaws, Taxi and Cab. Ola and Uber are the biggest Cab Service Providers in the city. The city is also well connected to other parts of the country and to the rest of the world. There are number of long distance trains from Mumbai to different parts of the country. And the flight services from the City Airport is also available for domestic and international travel. In fact, the city airport – called as Sahar Airport – is one of the busiest airport in the world.

 Communications

The biggest players in telecom in Mumbai are Vodafone, Airtel, Jio, Idea and MTNL. Earlier, MTNL used to be the primary voice and data service provider in the city. The telecom service were very costly at that time. However, the telecom industry in the city has seen a lot of change in the recent time. The locals in Bombay now enjoy voice and data at 4G speeds at very nominal prices. A 400 INR monthly postpaid plan can fetch you around 40Gb of data along with free local and national calls. The competitions among the telecom players have resulted into advantage for the consumers. Overall, the network quality is also good, if not best. Apart from the paid company networks, RailTel Corporation has installed free WiFi spots at most of the important railway stations in Mumbai. And this initiative has been very well received by the people of the city.

Real Estate

Mumbai has got a real estate market, which is one of the costliest in the world. Both the commercial and residential property rates in the center of the city are very high. The neighboring suburbs and the navi mumbai belt has got somewhat affordable properties. Having said that, there are plenty of options around the city to suit most of the business and residential requirements.

8. Demographics

Mumbai has a very large population of around 12 million people. The population is a mix of different religions and speak various different languages. The majority of the people use Hindi or English as their communication language, and follow Hinduism or Islam. Most of the Population is Educated with city literacy rate close to 90%.

major religions in mumbai

Population

As per the latest census statistics of 2011, the main Mumbai city has a population of about 12.5 million. However, close to 42% of this population live in slums. This shows how scarce the land is, in Mumbai. Out of the total city population males constitute around 54% and rest 46% are females. The average literacy rate in Mumbai is close to 90%, which is greater than the national average of 74%. If we were to consider Mumbai city and the nearby regions together, then the total population is around 18.5 million.  This figure is for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

Religion

Mumbai has a population with diverse religions. But, Hindus and Muslims forms the majority in the city. 66% of population are Hindus and  20% are Muslims. Buddhist, Jain, Christian and Sikh form the majority of the remaining 14% of the population.

Language

Mumbai is a Polyglot city. Just like the religion, you would find a lot of variety in the languages being spoken in the city. However, Hindi, English and Marathi are the most dominant languages used in the city. Marathi is the regional language and is used mostly in government offices. Hindi is more like a public language, which is known and used by almost everyone. English, though known by a large section of the society, is used mostly in offices and in the town area. Some of the other less spoken languages are Gujrati, Marwari, Bengali, Bhojpuri, Tamil, Kannada etc.

9. People

People in Mumbai are of average built and height with a fair to dusky skin tone. They generally wear Shirts and Pants, Saree or Salwar(in case of women). Their lifestyle is considerably simple with long working hrs in a week. Roti, Rice, Fish and Curry forms the staple food of the city.

people of mumbai (Courtesy: english.tupaki.com)

Appearance & Dressing Style

Most of the people in Mumbai are of average built, with height range from 5 feet to 6 feet.  Generally, their skin tone varies from fair, to wheatish, to dusky completion. Men wear Shirts and Pants in Office and also outside. They also wear Jeans and T-shirts. Women in Mumbai generally wear Saree. Jeans, T-Shirts and Skirts are also worn by women to some extent. Salwar is another famous dress type used by females in the city.

LifeStyle

The majority of the population stay away from the office and works 5 days a week. Some of them work for 6 days a week also. Hence, they generally work during the weekdays and take a day or two off on Saturday/Sunday. Weekends are a leisure day for most of the people. Overall, Mumbaikars are known to be very hardworking with one of the longest working hours in a week. But, they also party hard on weekends.

Food

Since, the city has got people from all over the country, there is a wide range of food eaten by the population. However, Roti(Wheat bread), Curry and Rice is the most famous dish in Mumbai. Apart from that, People also enjoy other dishes like South Indian Dishes(Idli and Dosa), Non-Veg Items, Chinese Dishes and Street Food. In beverages, tea followed by coffee are the most consumed liquid food in the city.

10. Emergency Numbers

Ambulance 102, 108
Police 100
Rescue and Relief 1070

11. Important Links

  1. City Government Website
  2. Suburban Government Website
  3. Municipal Corporation of City Website
  4. Government Tourism Website
  5. City Airport Website

Related Articles

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_state_and_union_territory_capitals_in_India
  2. http://www.citypopulation.de/php/india-maharashtra.php
  3. http://www.bl.uk/learning/histcitizen/trading/bombay/history.html
  4. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/mumbais-stinking-rivers/article18723255.ece
  5. https://geographyalevelslc.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/gf696_mumbai_megacity.pdf
  6. http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/33348/1/Burdett_Urban_India_2007.pdf
  7. http://www.bmcelections.com/wards-in-mumbai/
  8. http://www.mcgm.gov.in/irj/go/km/docs/documents/MCGM%20Department%20List/City%20Engineer/Deputy%20City%20Engineer%20(Planning%20and%20Design)/City%20Development%20Plan/Regional%20Setting.pdf
  9. https://mahades.maharashtra.gov.in/files/publication/ESM_Eng2016_17.pdf
  10. https://www.brookings.edu/research/global-metro-monitor/
  11. https://www.census2011.co.in/census/city/365-mumbai.html

Like and Share this Article!!