Mumbai (Bombay), India: Business and Cinema Powerhouse

by DavidPaulWagner

Formerly known as Bombay, Mumbai is the business, financial and film making capital of India. Mumbai has long been a crossroads and its streets show a wonderful mix of cultures.

Looking out across the Arabian Sea, Mumbai (formerly Bombay) is one of the world's great business and financial centers. This city has been the home to various Indian empires before coming under Portuguese and then British control. All of these cultures have left their fascinating mark on Mumbai. This article looks at some of Mumbai's memorable tourist attractions.

Tourist Attractions You Will Long Remember

Gateway of India: This gateway, built in the  Indo-Saracenic architectural style, marks the spot of the first port of call for King George V during his tour of India in 1911. The Gateway was built as a memorial to this. Over the years this was the place where many visitors and officials made landfall after their long journey from Europe. It is also the place where the final British soldiers departed from India after Indian independence in 1947.

Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum: This plain two storey house is the residence when Mahatma Gandhi used to live and work. The house remains much as it was when Gandhi lived here but it now also contains a library, a museum and a research center. It is located about five miles from Mumbai's city center.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus: This magnificent railway station (formerly known as Victoria Terminus) was built in 1887 during the British Raj. It is a wonderful and imaginative example of the Gothic Revival style of architecture and features a plethora of spires, arches and pillars. It is now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This terminus is the busiest railway station in India and is the terminal for long-distance trains to and from cities all over India. It is also a station on the Mumbai Suburban Railway.


Facade of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus)

Photo: Manjulkumar
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

More Great Places to See

Chowpatty Beach: This famous beach is located along the Marine Drive in South Mumbai. It is a colorful spot with lots of food vendors selling all sorts of Indian street foods in hundreds of stalls. A good time to see these is in the late evening. Chowpatty Beach is a nice place to catch a breeze and see the sun set. You can rent a mat and settle down to watch the view across the Arabian Sea.

The Tower of Silence: The Parsee religion, which has many adherents in Mumbai, believe that cremating or burying the dead pollutes and defiles the air and the earth. So, instead, they place corpses on platforms inside a tower (the Tower of Silence) where birds come to consume the bodies. Beside the Tower is a well-maintained and peaceful garden where the public is admitted. Peacocks wander around the garden.

Elephanta Caves: Located on Elephanta Island, a one hour boat ride from the Gate of India, the Elephanta Caves are beautiful 2nd century BC caves with the rock-cut temples and huge stone statues inside. Some of them are damaged (having been used by Portuguese soldiers for target practice), but many of them -- mostly of Lord Shiva and other Indian gods and goddesses -- are very beautiful. The celebrated Trimurti (three headed Shiva) statue is very serene. This World Heritage Site will be better understood if you have a good guidebook or if you hire a competent guide. The trip back to Mumbai will often give you stunning sunset views.

The Trimurti Statue in the Elephanta Caves

Photo: Christian Haugen
The Trimurti Statue in the Elephanta Caves
The Trimurti Statue in the Elephanta Caves

Mumbai Travel Guide

Mumbai on the Internet

Article on Bombay as it was in the 1870s.

More India travel articles

Chennai (formerly Madras) is the fourth largest city in India and the capital of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) has been long the largest city in India and of the historical region of Bengal. It is a commercial and cultural center that merits a visit.
Delhi is northern India's largest city. It comprises Old Delhi, the old Mughal capital of India, and New Delhi, a new area developed by the British and now modern India's capital.
Updated: 05/22/2015, DavidPaulWagner
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


John on 04/27/2012

Most people are unaware that Mumbai's film industry (Bollywood) makes more films than Hollywood.

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