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Overview

Mumbai (Bombay) is a microcosm of India. This historic, chaotic and incredibly vibrant city packed onto a claw-like peninsula jutting into the Arabian Sea, is both charismatic and repellent but never less than fascinating. As the nation's economic powerhouse and movie capital it's a place of extreme wealth, with stylish restaurants serving delicious food, a buzzing nightlife and excellent shopping opportunities, particularly in its teeming bazaars - Crawford Market for food, Mangaldas Market for fabric and Chor Bazaar for antiques and nick-nack souvenirs. It also has great poverty as witnessed in Dharavi, one of Asia's largest slums and ...

Mumbai (Bombay) is a microcosm of India. This historic, chaotic and incredibly vibrant city packed onto a claw-like peninsula jutting into the Arabian Sea, is both charismatic and repellent but never less than fascinating. As the nation's economic powerhouse and movie capital it's a place of extreme wealth, with stylish restaurants serving delicious food, a buzzing nightlife and excellent shopping opportunities, particularly in its teeming bazaars - Crawford Market for food, Mangaldas Market for fabric and Chor Bazaar for antiques and nick-nack souvenirs. It also has great poverty as witnessed in Dharavi, one of Asia's largest slums and location of the Oscar-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire, in the city's heart. Home to the triumphal arch the Gateway of India, Mumbai's British colonial history has bequeathed it many magnificent buildings including the grand edifices of Bombay University, the High Court and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, a Gothic extravaganza through which millions of commuters pass daily. There are temples, mosques, cathedrals and synagogues, as well as the ancient Hindu sculptures on Elephanta Island. More unexpected are the crumbling but attractive art deco apartment blocks of Colaba and Marine Drive.

Simon Richmond
About the Expert

Simon Richmond has written Rough Guides to Malaysia and Japan; Lonely Planet guides to India and Russia; and adventure travel guides for Frommer's on Australia, India, South America, and Southeast Asia.

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Simon Richmond for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Mumbai, formerly Bombay, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra in western India.
  • Language: Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayala
  • Currency: Indian Rupee
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    October to mid-February is generally when the weather is at its coolest.