Up until 1995, Mumbai’s official name was Bombay. Mumbai is the capital of the state of Maharashtra and is one of the key financial areas of India along with being the home of media, TV and Bollywood.
Over the past four decades, Mumbai has undergone rapid growth which has caused many urbanization problems, such as a cramped and over-crowded public transportation and a very high population density – around 20,400 per km2.
Despite the urbanization problems of Mumbai, traditional festivities, foods and music still thrive all throughout the city.
The economy of Mumbai is strong, continually growing and providing a large proportion of GDP to the country of India. It is estimated that the economy of Mumbai generates between $150-$350 billion annually.
Located on the west coast of India, Mumbai is the 2nd largest city in the country and the 4th largest worldwide, in terms of total population.
As per the 2011 census, the population of Mumbai was 12.5 million, however some estimate the population to be currently around 18 million. Of this population, there are a higher number of males to females, which is generally attributed to the fact that more male migrants enter the city to work.
It has been estimated that the literacy rate of Mumbai stands at ~95%, which is around 9% higher than the national average.
There are 16 main languages spoken in Mumbai, however of these, Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati and English are the most commonly used dialects.
The vibrant and bustling city of Mumbai is always active, night and day. Numerous streets are lined with traditional shops and eateries and street food stalls. Whether you’re a foodie, theatre lover, shopaholic or traveler, the lifestyle and atmosphere of Mumbai will take you in.
Although on first impressions, one might believe that every area of Mumbai is the same, once there for a prolonged period of time, you’ll soon see the distinctions between each region and district. For this reason, it may be preferable to rent a house in Mumbai before committing to purchasing a property in the city, as you’ll gauge a feel for which area will suit you the most.
Due to its westerly location in India, Mumbai boasts a number of beaches which attract hordes of tourists and locals, with the most popular being Girgaum Chowpatty Beach.
The city of Mumbai also boasts the largest urban tropical forest in the world, which covers a total area of around 37 acres.
Mumbai is the financial powerhouse of India, generating a substantial $150+billion per year and compromises of a diverse range of industries; IT, engineering, finance, textiles and jewelry are the largest sectors in Mumbai.
IT has a prominent placement in the city of Mumbai due to the outsourcing boom, however since then, numerous companies have cropped up and developed themselves in the industry.
There are a wealth of companies located in Mumbai, including 5 Fortune 500 companies, Tata Group, Godrej and Larsen & Toubro.
Within Mumbai, there are estimated to be around 46000 millionaires and 28 billionaires, which ranks the city as the 6th in billionaire count. Mumbai is also home to the most expensive house in the world.
Mumbai showcases some of the iconic domed roofs which are postcard perfect among many of its large monuments and buildings.
Gothic Revival, Indo-Saracenic and Art Deco are the most common architectural styles found in Mumbai, with the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus being a prime example of these styles.
While India is not renowned for skyscrapers, Mumbai in fact has the largest number of high-rise buildings in the whole country.
Due to the rapid growth of the city, there is a fairly high proportion of sub-par buildings. However during recent years, there have been a large number of new, modern buildings erected in the city, with many more planned.
As Mumbai is well known for being the financial hub of India, properties in the city can prove an excellent investment; Prices do fluctuate, while the general trend is gradually upwards.
However, the most notable element of an investment property in Mumbai is the constant high demand for affordable, comfortable and high quality accommodation.
It is likely that demand will continue to rise in the city of Mumbai, with a continued industrial growth and numerous infrastructural and transportation projects in the pipeline.
The climate in Mumbai is a tropical climate, with average temperatures of above 20 degrees Celsius all year round accompanied by a wet season from May through to October. The months of November through to late April are largely dry, hot and humid.
Due to the rapid growth and heavy population density of Mumbai, pollution has become a fairly major problem, with the WHO reporting that the city has a pollution level 6.3 times higher than recommended quality guidelines.
There is an abundance of traditional festivals which take place throughout the city of Mumbai. Similarly, the food scene in Mumbai caters for all tastes; many streets contain mini food stands, cafes and restaurants which are influenced by a diverse range of cultures and religions that date back to the British period.
Along with being the hub for Indian Cinema, Mumbai has numerous cinemas and theatres which show Bollywood, Marathi and Hollywood films. Similarly, the Mumbai International Film Festival and Filmfare Awards are both held in the city of Mumbai.
Each February, on the Elephanta Islands (a World Heritage Site), the Elephanta Festival is celebrated. This festival is a traditional Indian music and dance festival which attracts hundreds of people, although the caves on the islands have a capacity for only around 400 individuals at one time.
The nightlife, daytime activities and overall atmosphere of Mumbai is comparable to some of the leading major cities over the globe. Visiting, or even moving to, this vibrant and quickly developing city should be on the to-do list of many.