Despite the chaos and perplexity, Mumbai, also known as Bombay, one of the most crowded places in the world with over 20 million metropolitan population, gives you a unique experience of relaxing and vibrant atmosphere.
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As the largest commercial and financial center of India, Mumbai offers a smooth blend of modernity and rich traditions.
It is the very place where rich and poor, religious and non-religious, fashionable and traditional live together peacefully and respectfully.
About 6 million tourists per year travel to this city for various reasons, most importantly the historic landmarks, spectacular nature, rich culture, and exclusive festivals, not to mention the food.
Mumbai inhabited by Koli fishermen was seized by Portuguese in 1534 and handed to the English in the early 17th century until it gained independence in 1947. Portuguese called the city ‘Bom Bahia’ which means ‘the good bay’.
The booming of the cotton trade and opening of the Suez Canal made the city a key port and commercial hub of India.
Mumbai, as the principal port on the southwestern coast of India, is surrounded on three sides by the Arabian sea and one side by Ulhas river, which is the main cause of seasonal floods.
The metropolitan area consists of two main districts: Mumbai city district and a relatively larger one, Mumbai suburban district. Millions of people transit between these areas during the day for work and other purposes.
The extensive Suburban Rail Network, also famously known as “locals“, with three main lines takes you to every corner of the metropolitan area, especially the main international airport, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, as well as key tourist locations.
It is worth mentioning that there is a cheap second-class ticket and a slightly more expensive first-class one. However, the former is not advised due to the overwhelming congestion instigated by daily local commuters particularly during rush hours; 8:30 to 10:30 am and 5:30 to 8:30 pm.
Getting around the city, despite the heavy traffic, can not be easier by taking ubiquitous yellow-and-black taxis, which are small but cheap, as well as three-wheelers, called “rickshaw”, which are not as safe and also limited to enter certain areas including downtown. It is highly alerted to ask for a meter-based ride to avoid any scam.