Mumbai (Bombay)

Mumbai, Maharashtra State, Republic of India, Asia

Founded: 1668
Location: Arabian Seacoast of Maharashtra, India, South Asia
Motto: Urbs Prima in Indis ("First City in India")
Time Zone: 5:30 PM Indian Standard Time (IST) = noon Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Ethnic Composition: Maratha, more than 50%; Gujarati,18%; Marwari, Sindhi, Punjabi, Bohra, Khoja, Koli, and others, 32%
Elevation: Sea-level
Latitude and Longitude: 18°58'N, 72°50E
Coastline: 36 km (23 mi), Bombay Island
Climate: Tropical monsoonal; warm temperatures all year, with heavy rainfall concentrated in the summer months
Annual Mean Temperature: 27°C (81°F); January 24°C (76°F); May 30°C (86°F)
Average Annual Precipitation: 180 cm (71 in)
Government: Municipal corporation
Weights and Measures: Metric; imperial measures also used; common numbers are one lakh (100,000) and one crore (10 million)
Monetary Units: Indian Rupee (Re)
Telephone Area Codes: 022
Postal Codes: 400001–400104

2. Getting There

The city lies on Mumbai Island, located off the Konkan coast of western India.


Mumbai is approachable by land only from the north (National Highway 8) and east, where National Highways 3 and 4 converge and cross over from the mainland to Thane on Salsette Island. This route then continues southward into the city, where a single main road continues to Colaba Point, the southernmost tip of Mumbai Island. Bridges, such as the Thana Creek Bridge, link Mumbai to the suburbs of Greater Mumbai on the mainland.

Bus and Railroad Service

Mumbai is an important rail center. Trains with colorful names, such as the Frontier Mail and Deccan Queen, set out from the city's two main stations, Victoria Terminus (now called Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) and Mumbai Central, carrying passengers to distant parts of the country. The headquarters of India's Western Railway and Central Railway are located in the city. The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation and other State and private companies provide bus service to and from the city.


Mumbai's Sahar International Airport (recently renamed the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport), on Salsette Island, handles almost two-thirds of India's international air traffic. The airport is served by most major international carriers. Domestic flights use Santa Cruz Airport (also renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Airport), which shares the same runways but operates from separate terminals.


Mumbai's deepwater harbor and harbor facilities make it the largest port in western India, handling some 40 percent of India's total maritime trade. Catamaran and hovercraft services carry passengers from Mumbai to Goa, a major tourist destination.

Mumbai (Bombay) Population Profile

City Proper

Population: Approximately 10 million
Area: Mumbai Island: 65 sq km (25 sq mi)
Nicknames: City of Gold; City of Dreams; Bollywood

Metropolitan Area

Population: 18,042,000
Description: Area administered by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation or BMC)
Area: 437 sq km (170 sq mi)
World population rank1: 3
Percentage of national population2: 1.8%
Average yearly growth rate: 3.5%
Ethnic composition: Maratha, Gujarati, Marwari, Sindhi, Punjabi, Bohra, Khoja, Koli, and others


  1. The Mumbai (Bombay) metropolitan area's rank among the world's urban areas.
  2. The percent of India's total population living in the Mumbai (Bombay) metropolitan area.

Bus and Commuter Rail Service

The most heavily used form of transport is the surburban electric rail system, with local trains—overflowing with passengers during peak commute hours—linking Mumbai's suburbs to the city. It is common during the rush hour to see commuters hanging on for dear life to the outside of trains as they travel to the work place. The municipally-owned BEST corporation operates a fleet of buses over an extensive route system covering Mumbai and its environs. Recent improvements in this service include the introduction of luxury and air-conditioned buses. Black-and-yellow painted taxis ply the streets of Mumbai; however, unlike in most Indian cities, three-wheeled auto rickshaws are banned from the city center.

Land transportation in Mumbai is supplemented by a ferry system, which carries passengers across Mumbai Harbor to the eastern suburbs of Greater Mumbai on the mainland. Traditional watercraft plying these routes have recently been augmented by speedboats and hovercraft.


Mumbai hosts a variety of major attractions for Indian natives, as well as visitors from overseas. The most popular of these attractions is the rock-cut temples on Elephanta Island in Mumbai Harbor. Many sightseers travel to the island by boat from Apollo Bunder, the location of another famous attraction, the Gateway of India arch. Other sites of interest include the Crawford Market, the bazaars of Kalbadevi and Bhuleshwar, the Parsi Towers of Silence, and Haji Ali's Mosque.

22. For Further Study


Bombay Net. [Online] Available (accessed February 5, 2000).

Mumbai Central. [Online] Available (accessed February 5, 2000).

Mumbai Net. [Online] Available (accessed February 5, 2000).

The Mumbai Pages. [Online] Available (accessed February 5, 2000).

Rediff on the Net. [Online] Available (accessed February 5, 2000).

Government Offices

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation
(BMC) BMC Building
Dr. D. Naoroji Rd.
Nagar Chowk
Mumbai 400002

Mantrayala (Maharashtra State Civil Service)
Madame Cama Road
Nariman Point
Mumbai 400021

Tourist and Convention Bureaus

Bombay Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Mackinnon Mackenzie Building
Ballard Estate, Shoorji Vallabhdas Marg
Mumbai 400001
Tel: 2614681
Fax: 2621213

Government of India Tourist Office
123 Maharshi Karve Rd.
Mumbai 400021
Tel: 2033144
Fax: 2014496

Maharashtra Tourism Development Office (Tours Division and Reservations Office)
CDO Hutments, Madame Cama Rd.
Nariman Point
Mumbai 400021
Tel: 2026713
Fax: 2852812


Indian Express (Bombay) Inc.
Express Towers
Nariman Point
Mumbai 400021
Tel: 2022627
Fax: 2022139

The Times of India
Times of India Building
Dr. D. Naoroji Road
Mumbai 400001
Tel: 2620271
Fax: 2620144


Bhojani, Namas and Arun Katiyar. Bombay: A Contemporary Account of Mumbai. New Delhi: Harper Collins, 1996.

Collins, David. Mumbai (Bombay). Melbourne: Lonely Planet Publications, 1999.

Contractor, Behram. From Bombay to Mumbai. Mumbai: Oriana Books, 1998.

Desai, Anita. Baumgartner's Bombay. New York: Penguin, 1998.

Dwivedi, Sharada and Rahul Mehrotra. Bombay: The Cities Within. Bombay: India Book House, 1995.

Edwardes, S. M. The Gazetteer of Bombay City and Island. 3 vols. Bombay: Times Press, 1909–10 [reprinted 1977–78].

Mehta, Rina. Mumbai Mum's Guide. Bombay: Oxford and India Book House, 1999.

Moraes, Dom. Bombay. Amsterdam: Time-Life Books, 1979.

Patel, Sujata and Alice Thorner. Bombay: Metaphor for Modern India. Bombay: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Patel, Sujata and Alice Thorner. Bombay: Mosaic of Modern Culture. Bombay: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Rohatgi, Pauline, Pheroza Godrej and Rahul Mehrotra, eds. Bombay to Mumbai: Changing Perspectives. Mumbai: Marg Publications, 1997.

Rohinton, Mistry. Swimming Lessons, and Other Stories from Firozsha Baag. New York: Vintage, 1997.

Rohinton, Mistry. Such a Long Journey. New York: Vintage, 1992.

Rushdie, Salman. Midnight's Children. New York: Knopf, 1995.

Rushdie, Salman. The Moor's Last Sigh. New York: Pantheon, 1995.

Tindall, Gillian. City of Gold: the Biography of Bombay. Harmondsworth, England: Penguin, 1992.

Virani, Pinki. Once Was Bombay. New Delhi: Penguin Books India, 1999.

English-Language Movies Set In Bombay

Bombay 2000. Mira Nair, 1999.
Bombay Boys. Mani Ratnam, 1994.
Perfect Murder. Zafar Hai, 1988.
Salaam Bombay. Mira Nair, 1988.