The capital of India is New Delhi, but Mumbai is the heart of the country. It is a commercial and financial hub that connects India with other nations through trade routes. As one of the megacities in the world, there are many fun facts about Mumbai to know about.
Historical Facts About Mumbai
The city is filled with historical sites, which is a clear indication of how significant it has been throughout history. Here are some interesting facts about Mumbai across time.
Mumbai Wasn’t Always One Large Landmass
Mumbai was once an archipelago that consisted of seven islands which were separated mostly by marshlands. Over time, the islands were connected through roads and rail routes to create the modern city of Mumbai.
It Was Originally Called Bombay
An interesting fact about Mumbai is that it was originally called Bombay. The name Bombay was first used during Portuguese rule.
In 1995, the city’s name was changed to Mumbai, derived from the local goddess Mumba Devi. This was done to strip the city of its colonial name.
First Airport In India
The Juhu Aerodrome was Mumbai’s first airport, commissioned in 1928 by aviation pioneer JRD Tata. It was India’s first civil aviation airport and the arrival point for the city’s first commercial flight from Karachi flown by Tata Aviation Service.
The City Was Once Given Away As Dowry
The concept of dowry is still quite prevalent in India, even though it is officially illegal to ask for a dowry.
However, in the old days, it was a custom to give dowry, even in the Western world. The richer you were, the more luxurious your dowry.
Things got to a whole new level during royal weddings. One interesting fact about Mumbai is that in the 17th century, the Portuguese gave away the seven islands constituting modern Mumbai as dowry to the British when Princess Catherine of Braganza married King Charles II of England.
First Bus Service In India
The Bombay Presidency introduced India’s first-ever bus service in 1926 between the Afghan Church and Crawford Market. This pioneering public transport initiative laid the foundation for further development of road transport in India.
The route was serviced by single-decker buses imported from England.
The First Indian Man To Ever Own A Car Was From Mumbai
This Mumbai fact is for the car lovers out there! The first Indian to ever own a car was an eminent businessman from Mumbai named Jamshedji Tata.
Tata bought a car in 1897, which was regarded as a major milestone and status symbol at the time. Today, his family name, Tata, is synonymous with India’s automobile industry.
Cultural Facts About Mumbai
No place in India highlights the local heritage better than Mumbai. It is the cultural hub of India, and here are some interesting facts about Mumbai and its cultural scene.
Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Center In Mumbai
Nita Ambani Cultural Centre is Mumbai’s premier art and cultural destination, with a museum, theater, and educational institute to showcase local talent. Funded by Reliance Industries, it aims to augment Mumbai’s art scene by providing world-class facilities for performances and exhibitions.
Its opening ceremony was attended by celebrities from all over the world, including Hollywood celebrities like Tom Holland, Gigi Hadid, Zendaya, and many other local celebrities as well.
The Largest Gathering Of Hindu Festival
This festival is called Ganesh Chaturthi, and it is celebrated to mark the birth of the Hindu Lord Ganesh.
The festival is famous in India and happens in different parts of the country. However, it is a well-known fact about Mumbai that the largest gathering takes place in the city.
A total of around 10 million Hindus gather in Mumbai every year for the ceremony, and the attendees usually carry huge Ganesh idols with them.
Entertainment Capital Of India
One of the most exciting facts about Mumbai is that it is considered the entertainment capital of India. The city is home to a prolific film industry that produces hundreds of Bollywood movies every year. It has many film studios and production houses.
The city also has a thriving theater culture, especially Marathi language theater, which is very popular. In addition, Mumbai is famous for its lively nightlife scene, with many bars, pubs, nightclubs, and lounges that are open until late at night.
Vada Pav Is Mumbai’s Most Popular Dish
When it comes to Indian food, you will find a lot of tasty dishes, but Vada pav is a staple dish in Mumbai. The dish consists of spicy deep-fried potato patties served in a bun with several chutneys and is Mumbai’s favorite fast food snack.
It originated in 1966 in the city and is now popular street food all over India as a delicious, inexpensive, and filling snack.
Mumbai Has A Lot Of Slums
An estimated 6 million people in Mumbai live in slums. Dharavi in central Mumbai is considered Asia’s largest slum, where over 1 million people live in poverty, crammed in small shanties in narrow lanes with poor sanitation.
However, one of the interesting facts about Mumbai slums is that it also has a booming informal economy with several small-scale businesses like pottery, leather, recycling services, and bakeries operating from here.
These are challenging areas to visit yourself but you can take a local guided tour to visit the slums. It’s definitely an eye-opening experience.
Simple Facts About Mumbai For Kids
Here are some fun facts about Mumbai that kids will enjoy, and pique their interest in the city..
The Author Of Jungle Book Was Born In Mumbai
Rudyard Kipling, the renowned author of the famous novel, “The Jungle Book,” was born in Mumbai in 1865.
He spent his early childhood in the city, deriving inspiration for his works from the culture and neighborhoods he observed. Many of his stories are based on the experiences and people he encountered in Mumbai as a child.
It Is The Financial Capital Of India
As home to the Bombay Stock Exchange, Reserve Bank of India and headquarters of major banks and corporations like Reliance, Tata, and L&T, Mumbai is the financial capital of India.
It contributes a lot to the country’s overall economy.
Imagicaa India’s Biggest Theme Park
One of the impressive facts about Mumbai is that it is home to the largest and the second-largest theme parks in India.
Imagicaa and EsselWorld are two of India’s biggest and most visited theme parks located in Mumbai. The parks have several rollercoasters, water rides, and other thrilling attractions that provide entertainment to thousands of people daily.
Thousands Of Flamingos Migrate To Mumbai Every Year
During winter every year, thousands of flamingos migrate from different regions to Mumbai.
The muddy wetlands and mudflats of Mumbai’s bay provide an ideal feeding ground and temporary habitat for these migratory birds to escape the harsh cold. It is estimated that over 100,000 greater and lesser flamingos arrive here annually.
Useful Mumbai Facts For Travelers
If you are traveling to India and want to immerse yourself in the local Indian culture, then Mumbai should be part of your travel itinerary. Here are some fun facts about Mumbai that can be helpful when making your travel plans.
The Gateway Of India
The iconic Gateway of India is one of the most well-known landmarks in India. It was built in 1924 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary.
Overlooking the Arabian Sea, it is a top tourist attraction today. The picture of the Gateway of India was also imprinted on the now-defunct 5000 rupee currency notes.
This is a regular stop for many of the award-winning sightseeing tours covering city highlights.
There Are Several UNESCO World Heritage Sites In Mumbai
The UNESCO World Heritage sites of Elephanta Caves and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus are both located in Mumbai.
The Elephanta Caves have ancient rock-cut Hindu and Buddhist sculptures that are just impressive. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is a historic railway station designed in the Victorian Gothic style. They are both a sight to behold.
The Hanging Gardens Of Mumbai
The Hanging Gardens, located on Malabar Hill, offer breathtaking views of the city’s skyline and the Queen’s Necklace coastline.
The park has numerous hedges shaped like animals and mythological figures, flower beds, ponds, and a fountain. It offers a scenic and relaxing experience away from the bustling city.
National Park In The Center Of The City
If you are looking to learn more facts about Mumbai’s wildlife, be sure to check out the national park! The park is located near the center of the city, so it is pretty accessible.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park within Mumbai has dense forests, lakes, and mangrove belts that are home to thriving wildlife, including monkeys, snakes, leopards, and other animals, right in the middle of the bustling urban city.
It Is One Of The Most Crowded Cities In The World
One of the better-known facts of Mumbai is its high population density. With over 26,000 people per square kilometer, Mumbai is one of the most crowded and populated cities in the world.
The total population of Mumbai City and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region is around a whopping 25 million.
Common Facts About Mumbai
These are some of the general facts about Mumbai to know about.
The Largest Open Air Laundromat In The World
Dhobi Ghat in Mumbai is a massive open-air laundromat where hundreds of people work manually to wash clothes daily. Located by the Mahalaxmi railway station, it is an iconic 140-year-old Mumbai landmark reflecting the spirit of the city.
Bandra-Worli Sea Link In Mumbai
Out of all the amazing Mumbai landmarks, the Bandra-Worli Sea Link is one of the most prominent. This is a beautiful 5.6 km long cable-stayed bridge that connects Mumbai’s western suburbs to the island city across Mahim Bay.
Most Expensive Residential Property After The Buckingham Palace
After Buckingham Palace, Antilia in Mumbai is considered the most expensive private residential property in the world. It is estimated to have cost over $1 billion to construct!
The tower has 27 floors, nine elevators, indoor gardens, a temple, helipads and more. It was custom-built as the primary residence for industrialist Mukesh Ambani and his family.
Two American architecture companies, Perkins & Will and Hirsch Bedner Associates, designed the property.
Other Interesting Facts About Mumbai
Here are some other fascinating facts about Mumbai that make it such a magnificent and interesting city.
Sachin Tendulkar Is From Mumbai
Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar was born and raised in Mumbai. He played domestic cricket for the Mumbai team and also represented India in international matches. Sanchin holds numerous batting records and is considered an icon in the cricketing world.
However, Sachin Tendulkar isn’t the only famous person from Mumbai. Another known fact about Mumbai is that the American Journalist Fareed Zakaria was born in the city as well.
The Queen’s Necklace Coastline
Mumbai’s stunning Queen’s Necklace refers to the crescent-shaped Marine Drive coastline that glitters beautifully at night with the lights from the buildings and streetlights.
When viewed from a high vantage point, the lights resemble a dazzling diamond necklace. You can also find a lot of restaurants here along the coastline.
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Discovering More Fun Facts About Mumbai
Mumbai is known as the city of dreams, and for good reasons. With so much to see and do in Mumbai, the city offers an unforgettable experience for anyone visiting India.
These interesting facts about Mumbai show why it is so dynamic and captivating. Mumbai may be crowded, but it is a city that truly embodies the culture of modern India.