Mumbai (Bombay)


The city Mumbai, know as Bombay until 1995, is a great port city, situated on the west coast of the Indian peninsula. It is one of India's dominant urban centers and, indeed, is one of the largest and most densely populated cities in the world. Deriving its name from Mumba Devi, a goddess of the local Koli fishing peoples, Mumbai grew up around a fort established by the British in the mid-seventeenth century to protect their trading interests along India's western coast. The city's superb natural harbor provided a focal point for sea routes crossing the Arabian Sea, and Mumbai soon became the main western gateway to Britain's expanding Indian empire. The city emerged as a center of manufacturing and industry during the eighteenth century. Today, Mumbai is India's commercial and financial capital, as well as the capital city of Maharashtra State.