Mumbai is the commercial and entertainment centre of India. Mumbai is one of the world's top ten centres of commerce by global financial flow, home to such important financial institutions as the Reserve Bank of India, the Bombay Stock Exchange, the National Stock Exchange of India and the corporate headquarters of many Indian companies and numerous multinational corporations. The city also houses India's Hindi film and television industry, known as Bollywood. Mumbai's business opportunities, as well as its high standard of living, attract migrants from all over India and, in turn, make the city a potpourri of many communities and cultures.
In the 3rd century BCE, the islands formed part of the Maurya Empire, ruled by the Buddhist emperor. During its first few centuries, control over Mumbai was disputed between the Indo-Scythian Western Satraps and the Satavahanas. The Hindu rulers of the Silhara Dynasty later governed the islands until 1343, when the kingdom of Gujarat annexed them. Some of the oldest edifices of the archipelago the Elephanta Caves and the Walkeshwar temple complex date from this era.
In 1534, the Portuguese appropriated the islands from Bahadur Shah of Gujarat. They were ceded to Charles II of England in 1661, as dowry for Catherine de Braganza. These islands, were in turn leased to the British East India Company in 1668 for a sum of 10 per annum. The company found the deep harbour on the east coast of the islands to be ideal for setting up their first port in the sub-continent. The population quickly rose from 10,000 in 1661, to 60,000 in 1675; In 1687, the British East India Company transferred its headquarters from Surat to Mumbai. The city eventually became the headquarters of the Bombay Presidency.
The Gateway of India was built to commemorate the arrival in India, on 2 December 1911, of King George V and Queen Mary and was completed on 4 December, 1924 From 1817 onwards, the city was reshaped with large civil engineering projects aimed at merging all the islands in the archipelago into a single amalgamated mass. This project, known as the Hornby Vellard, was completed by 1845, and resulted in the total area swelling to 438 km. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 transformed Bombay into one of the largest seaports on the Arabian Sea. Over the next thirty years, the city grew into a major urban centre, spurred by an improvement in infrastructure and the construction of many of the city's institutions. The population of the city swelled to one million by 1906, making it the second largest in India after Calcutta. As capital of the Bombay Presidency, it was a major base for the Indian independence movement, with the Quit India Movement called by Mahatma Gandhi in 1942 being its most rubric event. After India's independence in 1947, it became the capital of Bombay State. In the 1950 the city expanded to its present limits by incorporating parts of Salsette island which lay to the north.
After 1955, when the State of Bombay was being re-organised along linguistic lines into the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, there was a demand that the city be constituted as an autonomous city-state. However, the Samyukta Maharashtra movement opposed this, and insisted that Mumbai be declared the capital of Maharashtra. Following protests in which 105 people were killed by police firing, Maharashtra state was formed with Mumbai as its capital on May 1, 1960.
Flora Fountain was renamed Hutatma Chowk ("Martyr's Square") as a memorial to the Samyukta Maharashtra movementThe late 1970s witnessed a construction boom and a significant influx of migrants, which saw Mumbai overtake Kolkata as India's most populous city. This influx caused unrest among local Maharashtrians who worried about the loss of culture, jobs, and language. The Shiv Sena Party was formed by Bal Thackeray for the purpose of securing the interests of Maharashtrians. The city's secular fabric was torn apart in the riots of 199293, after large scale sectarian violence caused extensive loss of life and property. A few months later, on March 12, a series of co-ordinated bombings at several city landmarks by the Mumbai underworld killed around three hundred people. In 1995, the city was renamed Mumbai by the Shiv Sena government of Maharashtra, in keeping with their policy of renaming colonial institutions after historic local appellations. There have also been terrorist attacks, sponsored by Islamic extremists, on public transport buses in past years. In 2006, Mumbai was also the site of a major terrorist attack in which over two hundred people were killed when several bombs exploded almost simultaneously on the Mumbai Suburban Railway.[
Mumbai lies at the mouth of the Ulhas River off the western coast of India, in the coastal region known as the Konkan. It sits on Salsette Island, partially shared with the district of Thane. Much of the city lies just above sea level, with average elevations ranging from 10 m (33 ft) to 15 m (49 ft). Northern Mumbai is hilly, and the highest point in the city is 450 m (1,476 ft). The city spans a total area of 603 km (233 sq mi). Sanjay Gandhi National Park is located near to the city, and covers almost 1/6th of the city area. It is to be noted big cats such as panthers are still residing in this national park next to millions of people in an age of habitat shrinkage and species extinction.
A resident of Mumbai is called a Mumbaikar, Mumbaiite or Bombayite. Many residents live close to major railway stations for easy access to their workplaces, as a significant amount of time is spent on daily commuting. Mumbai's appetizing foods and cuisines have been influenced by the rich but not too spicy styles of cooking from Maharashtra and surrounding Gujarat state. Some of the unique and famous palatable specialties include Dhan Sak, Khicheri, Bombli Batata Bhaji, Kamag Kakri, Solachi Kadhi, Min Vela Curry and Curried Bombay Duck. Local roadside fast food includes vada pav, panipuri, paav bhaji, and bhelpuri.
Mumbai is the birthplace of Indian cinema Dadasaheb Phalke laid the foundations with silent movies followed by Marathi talkies and the oldest film broadcast here in the early 20th century. Mumbai also boasts of large number of cinemas, including the world's largest IMAX dome theatre, which feature mainstream Bollywood, Marathi and Hollywood movies. Many film festivals are avidly attended throughout the year. Besides catering to cinephiles, the city has a thriving theatrical tradition in Marathi, Hindi, Urdu, English and other regional languages.
The schools are affiliated either with the Maharashtra State Board (MSBSHSE), the all-India Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) and the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) boards. Marathi or English is the usual language of instruction. The government run public schools lack many facilities, but are the only option for poorer residents who cannot afford the more expensive private schools. A majority of residents prefer private schools because of better infrastructure.
The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay which is India's premier engineering schools, National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), VJTI (Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute), SNDT Women's University, Tata Institute of Social Sciences are the other universities in Mumbai. Mumbai is also home to Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS), the esteemed business and management school in Asia. The oldest law school in India, Government Law College, is also in Mumbai. The Sir J. J. School of Art, is affiliated with the University of Mumbai, and offers degrees in fine art and sculpture.