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Mumbai (India)
(18 ° 58 ′ 0 ″ N, 72 ° 50 ′ 0 ″ E)
State : IndiaIndia India
State : Maharashtra
District : Mumbai City
Mumbai Suburban
Location : 18 ° 58 ′  N , 72 ° 50 ′  E Coordinates: 18 ° 58 ′  N , 72 ° 50 ′  E
Height : 11 m
Area : 603.4 km²
Inhabitants :
Agglomeration :
15,414,288 (2018)
28,860,000 (2018)
Population density : 25,546 inhabitants / km²
Postal code : 400001-400203
Website :


Mumbai ( Marathi : मुंबई , Mumbai [ mumbəi ]), until 1996 officially English Bombay , is the capital of the state of Maharashtra in India and the most important port of the subcontinent . It is located on the island of Salsette off the west coast of Maharashtra. The city center is located on a narrow strip of land that protrudes from the swampy coast into the Arabian Sea . The city is the economic center of India. It is a transport hub and cultural center with universities, theaters, museums and galleries.

Mumbai skyline

With 12.5 million inhabitants in the actual city ( i.e. without the suburbs ), Mumbai is the largest city in India and one of the most populous cities in the world . With 28.4 million inhabitants in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), which also includes the northern areas with the city of Thane , Mumbai is also one of the largest metropolitan regions in the world (2011 census figures).

Numerous buildings in the center of Mumbai have been built in a regional variation of historicism , which is partly British-inspired and partly a British interpretation of the Mughal architectural style. Several monuments of the city, including the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus , the cave of Elephanta and the Victorian Gothic and Art Deco building complex in the city center are on the UNESCO the list World Heritage Site .

The name of the city

Satellite image of Mumbai

Since the beginning of colonization in the early 16th century, the city has been known as Bombay . The name Bombay is said to be derived from the Portuguese name bom baía (sic; grammatically correct would be boa baía “good bay”) or bom baim (“good little book”). The name Mumbai has been used by the local population for just as long (1507: Manbai ) and is said to be a combination of Mumba or Maha-Amba , the name of the regional Hindu goddess Mumbadevi, and Aai , which means "mother" in Marathi .

On August 12, 1996, the city council resolved in the "Corporation Resolution No. 512 “(Maharashtra Act No. XXV of 1996) to change the English name of Bombay to Mumbai. The Restoration of name “Mumbai” for “Bombay” Act received the approval of the Governor of Maharashtra on September 1, 1996 and was first published on September 4, 1996 in the Maharashtra Government Gazette " released. The name change was confirmed by the Indian Parliament in New Delhi in 1997. The countries of the European Union use Mumbai as the official name of the city.

Indians of different mother tongues in Mumbai, who often communicate in English anyway, use Mumbai and Bombay side by side. Some public institutions such as the Stock Exchange , the Court of Justice and the Technical University IIT continue to carry Bombay in their name, while others, such as the largest university in the city , have given up the old name.


Geographical location

The administrative city of Mumbai

Mumbai is located on the coast of the Arabian Sea in the west of India at 18.56 degrees north and 72.49 degrees east and an average of eleven meters above sea ​​level .

The administrative urban area has an area of ​​603.40 square kilometers and extends on the west coast of the Maharashtra island of Salsette . Mumbai's city center is located on an elongated peninsula in the south of the 619 square kilometer island. The outskirts of Mumbai and the city of Thane are in the northern part of Salsette Island.

Apart from a few steep elevations of up to 496 meters, Salsette is very flat, parts in the south of the island are below sea level. There are three major lakes in the metropolitan area: Tulsi Lake, Vihar Lake, and Powai Lake. The first two lakes are in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (formerly Borivili National Park). The two small rivers, the Oshiwara River in the northern part and the Mithi River in the southern part of the urban area, flow into the Arabian Sea.

To the east extends the Konkan , a flat stretch of coast up to 80 kilometers long, behind it is the high plateau of Western Ghats (also Sahyadri) located 1,600 meters above the lowland . The connection to the east is made difficult by the very steep inclines of the plateau.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) has an area of ​​4,355 square kilometers and extends to the Tansa River in the north, the Patalganga River in the south, the Arabian Sea in the west and the Western Ghats in the east. In addition to Mumbai, the metropolitan region includes other large cities: Thane, Kalyan-Dombivli , Navi Mumbai , Mira-Bhayandar , Bhiwandi-Nizampur and Ulhasnagar .

City structure

Mumbai is divided into six zones. These are divided into 24 districts (wards). Numbers were assigned to the zones and letters to the districts. The city districts are still divided into 227 electoral wards. The following table shows the individual zones with the associated city districts.

Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5 Zone 6
Was there Ward F / North Ward H / East Ward P / North Ward L Ward N
Ward B Ward F / South Ward H / West Ward P / South Ward M / East Ward S.
Ward C Ward G / North Ward K / East Ward R / North Ward M / West Ward T
Ward D Ward G / South Ward K / West Ward R / South    
Ward E     Ward R / Central    

The city consists of the two city ​​districts Mumbai City and Mumbai Suburban .


The city of Mumbai is located in the tropical climate zone. The average annual temperature is 26.7 degrees Celsius. The temperatures are balanced due to the proximity to the sea and are not subject to major fluctuations. The coolest month is January with an average of 23.9 degrees Celsius, the hottest the month of May with a monthly average of 29.7 degrees Celsius.

The heavy rain of the summer monsoon affects the climate more than the temperature. It usually lasts from the beginning of June to the end of September. An average of 1,700 millimeters, that is 95 percent of the annual rainfall, rains down during this time. In July 2005, Mumbai suffered from heavy monsoons, the worst flooding in around 100 years. A daily rainfall record for the state of Maharashtra was measured on July 26, 2005 at 944 millimeters. 447 people drowned or died in other related accidents (electric shocks, landslides). The infrastructure, including the road and drinking water system, was damaged. The airport as well as schools and universities had to be closed for several days. Many companies stopped working and sent their employees home. The city was temporarily cut off from the outside world.

The months of October and November are as hot as those during the summer monsoon, but mostly free of rain. With daily maximums of around 28 degrees Celsius, the months from December to February are dry and slightly less hot than the months from March to May, in which daily maximums of 33 degrees Celsius and more are reached with increasing humidity .

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: WMO ;
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Mumbai
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 30.6 31.3 32.7 33.1 33.3 31.9 29.8 29.3 30.1 32.9 33.4 32.0 O 31.7
Min. Temperature (° C) 16.4 17.3 20.6 23.7 26.1 25.8 24.8 24.5 24.0 23.1 20.5 18.2 O 22.1
Precipitation ( mm ) 0.6 1.5 0.1 0.6 13.2 574.1 868.3 553.0 306.4 62.9 14.9 5.6 Σ 2,401.2
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 8.7 9.1 8.8 9.5 9.6 5.0 2.4 2.4 5.5 7.7 8.2 8.2 O 7.1
Rainy days ( d ) 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.1 1.0 14.9 24.0 22.0 13.7 3.2 1.1 0.4 Σ 80.6
Water temperature (° C) 25th 26th 26th 27 28 29 28 27 27 27 27 26th O 26.9
Humidity ( % ) 69 67 69 71 70 80 86 86 83 78 71 69 O 75
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Source: WMO ;

environmental issues

The increasing traffic leads to increasing air pollution

One of the city's greatest environmental problems is the inadequate disposal and purification capacities for sewage, exhaust gases and waste. Although the water supply situation in households has improved since the early 1980s, only a few households have sewage disposal. More than half of Mumbai's residents live in slums with no water connection or sewerage. Polluted and contaminated water contribute significantly to the development and spread of infectious diseases .

The annual monsoons cause problems. After eight months of drought, flooding occurs regularly during the four-month monsoons. The rain repeatedly flushes rubbish into the drains and leads to their clogging. A partial collapse of the sewer system and a mixing of drinking water and wastewater are the result. Here too, infectious diseases break out.

The air pollution in the Indian metropolis is worrying. The high content of fine dust is the biggest problem. The causes lie in the numerous factories and power stations as well as in traffic and in private households. Mumbai has a well-developed railway network compared to other Indian cities. However, public buses, auto rickshaws and private cars still contribute to air pollution. The emission of carbon dioxide is increasing rapidly as a result of advancing industrialization and a steadily growing volume of traffic and energy consumption. The consequences of air pollution are respiratory and skin diseases among the population of Mumbai. The inadequate technical systems in the factories repeatedly lead to impairments.

The largest leopard population in India now lives in Mumbai. The big cats feed mainly on the livestock of the slum dwellers and the street dogs. There have also been attacks on people.



Today's peninsula in the southern part of the island of Salsette with the city center of Mumbai is the result of intensive land reclamation measures that continue to the present day. Before the arrival of the Europeans and well into the 17th century, the area consisted of seven separate islands, five of which ( Bombay , Mahim, Mazagaon, Parel and Worli) were grouped in a circle around a lagoon , while the two smallest (Colaba and Old Woman's Island) formed the southern extension. The larger land reclamation projects had been completed by 1862 and a large island was created out of seven smaller ones. This was then connected to the northern islands of Salsette and Trombay to form an island in the 20th century, also through land reclamation measures.

Archaeological finds of hand axes and other stone tools suggest an early settlement of the archipelago . Dravidian fishermen (Kolis) lived there even before the Aryan immigration around 1500 BC. The region. Aryan settlers left their first traces in the 8th century BC. Chr.

During the two millennia that followed until the arrival of the Europeans, today's Mumbai region belonged to various empires, including the Maurya Empire (until 185 BC), the Shatavahana Empire (until 220 AD) and the Kshatrapa - Empire (until about 300 AD). At the beginning of the 7th century, the country was conquered by the Chalukyas , who, after a centuries-long Buddhist period, brought Hinduism back to the fore.

The former 7 islands of Mumbai

From the 8th century onwards, Jews from Yemen and followers of the religion of Zarathustra from Persia , who had fled there before the onslaught of the Islamic conquerors , settled on the west coast of India . Various dynasties ruled this rather insignificant and remote area until the end of the 13th century. The village of Puri on Elephanta Island was the largest settlement in the region until then.

In the 13th century, the legendary independent kingdom under King Raja Bhimdev existed in the area. He is considered the founder of Bombay, since he moved his seat of government to the city of Mahikavati on the island of Mahim and built fortifications there. In 1348 the city was occupied by the Muslim Shah Mubarak I and later incorporated as a military outpost into the Sultanate of Gujarat , founded in 1407 .

Portuguese colonial times

In 1508 the Portuguese explorer and trader Francisco de Almeida sailed his ship into the deep natural harbor of the island of Bombay. Pleasantly impressed by the geography and conditions, he named it Bom Bahia (good bay). In 1533 the Portuguese conquered the Bassein fortress just north of Bombay. At the same time, the ruling Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat in the north was attacked by the Mughals. The Sultan recognized the military strength of the Portuguese and allied with them. On December 23, 1534, the Treaty of Bassein was signed, according to which the Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat handed over and bequeathed the islands of Bassein, Bombay, Karanja and Salsette to the King of Portugal.

With the establishment of a fort and a trading post by the colonists on the island of Bombay, the era of European rule began, which lasted for over 400 years until August 14, 1947, India's independence day. The Portuguese built further forts, fortifications, such as the Madh Fort (also Versova Fort) and factories on the other islands of the archipelago in the following years. The lands were given to traders and Catholic religious orders, mainly Franciscans and Jesuits , according to a feudal lease system . Many local residents converted to the Christian faith, not always voluntarily, during the Portuguese rule.

In 1585 the Franciscans and Jesuits owned the islands of Salsette, Bombay, Mahim, Parel and Worli. The income of the religious orders from the trade in spices was considerable. They ruled over the locals with violence and ignorance, which was expressed in the destruction of numerous Hindu temples and Islamic mosques. In 1629 the Archbishop of Goa Sebastião de São Pedro wrote to the King of Portugal Philip IV : “The greatest enemies of Portugal's interests are the Jesuits. They care neither about the orders of the archbishop nor those of the viceroy ”. The Catholic orders thus damaged Portuguese rule and were not least responsible for the change of power in favor of Great Britain.

British colonial times

High Court erected by the British
Kalbadevie Road around 1890

In 1583 the first English merchants came to the west coast of India. In 1612 an English fleet defeated the Portuguese in the naval battle of Suvali (Swally) north of Surat . The British East India Company then set up the first permanent trading post in the port city of Surat. In 1626 the British attacked Bombay and burned the Portuguese mansion. On June 23, 1661, the port and the island of Bombay were handed over to the King of England through a marriage contract between the English King Charles II and the Portuguese Infanta Catherine of Braganza .

The city kept the anglicized name Bombay, derived from the Portuguese "Bom Bahia". This was the first piece of land in India that can really be called a colony. Everywhere else on the subcontinent the British were only given the right to set up trading posts, that is, trading posts. Due to its protected natural harbor and the strategically favorable trading position, the British East India Company stationed in Surat tried to acquire this land. In 1668 the deal was perfect and Charles II left Bombay to her for the sum of ten pounds sterling a year . In the following years the British also took possession of the islands of Mahim, Mazagaon, Parel and Worli. The English tried to consolidate their outpost. They settled in an area now known as the fort, where they established the fortified Bombay Castle as their headquarters. But they also had numerous problems: The city was exposed to constant external threats from the Portuguese, French, Marathas , Mughals and pirates . Governors changed frequently, and malaria and cholera killed many of the early settlers. In the late 17th century, a British East India Company chaplain , Reverend John Ovington, wrote:

"One of the most beautiful places in India seemed nothing more than a church cemetery, a morgue ... The common fate has coined a proverb among the English there, which says that the life of a man is two monsoons."

Gerald Aungier, the sixth governor (1669–1677), set himself the task of "planning the city that is to be built with God's help". At the beginning of the 18th century, the branch had actually become the administrative headquarters of the British East India Company. Aungier's initiative is the origin of the ethnic diversity that still contributes to the city's success, as he encouraged the influx of Hindu traders from Gujarat, Goans (fleeing persecution by the Jesuits), Islamic weavers and enterprising Parsees.

Bombay around 1888

In 1803 a conflagration destroyed much of the British settlement in the old fort, and the proportion of the European population remained comparatively small until well into the 19th century. However, a growing number of Jews from Muslim countries settled. Their numbers grew from 1270 in 1828 to 5021 in 1891. The arrival of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway in the 1850s brought improved communications and even more immigrants from all over India. In the middle of the century, the first of numerous land reclamation projects was completed and linked the seven islands together. On November 18, 1852, the first railway line in Asia to Thane was opened and in 1864 the line to Ahmedabad , the second most important textile city in India.

The completion of the railway line to the cotton fields of the Deccan coincided exactly with the American cotton crisis after the end of the Civil War in 1865, so that a powerful cotton boom broke out that made the city an important industrial and commercial city. After the opening of the Suez Canal on November 16, 1869 and the construction of huge harbor docks, Bombay's influence on European markets increased even further.

In the decades that followed, the British, wealthy Jains and Parsis left their mark on the city center with huge buildings. As the nation's wealthiest city, Bombay was at the forefront of the struggle for independence. Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948), who migrated from the South African Union and was already politically active for residents of Indian origin, used a house there to organize the resistance for three decades; today this is a museum. Fittingly, the era of British rule ended in Bombay: In February 1948, the last contingent of British troops marched through the Gateway of India .

After independence

Bombay developed into the commercial and cultural capital of India after India gained independence from Great Britain in 1947. With the establishment of the state of Maharashtra on May 1, 1960, it became its capital. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the population has increased tenfold from 813,000 (1901) to 8.2 million (1981), and Bombay's infrastructure began to fail under the pressure of overpopulation.

A year and a half strikes by textile workers in 1982 and 1983 drove tens of thousands of factory workers into poverty. The reason was the closure of numerous obsolete factories planned by the owners. The strike failed, the factories were shut down and the workers made redundant. The influx of rural refugees continued, the number of unemployed and the crime rate rose. The regional Hindu Maharashtra party " Shiv Sena " was one of the few who benefited from the aggravation of the situation.

The uncompromising attitude of the “Shiv Sena” towards immigration and work was particularly well received by the disappointed Hindus of the lower middle class who lived in the poorer suburbs, mainly Marathi-speaking. The party, which initially directed its verbal attacks against the numerously strong South Indian community in the city, soon attacked the Muslim minority of Bombay in particular. In 1984 urban riots killed 90 people, and in 1985 when the Shiv Sena defeated the Congress Party in the city elections , the fighting flared up again.

Terrorist attacks in Mumbai

As the economic center of West India, Mumbai has been repeatedly targeted by terrorist attacks since the 1990s. Between December 1992 and the end of January 1993, two waves of rioting rocked Bombay. They were not limited to the Muslim ghettos and the poor industrial suburbs, but were also held for the first time in large parts of the city center. According to official statistics, 900 people were killed and around 5,000 injured, 70 percent of them Muslims. Just as Bombay was about to return to normal, ten bomb explosions shook the center of the city on March 12, 1993 (balance: 257 dead and 713 injured). No one acknowledged the attacks, but Islamist groups with links to Pakistan were officially accused of authorship.

The city recovered very quickly from the bombings. In order to regain the pride and hustle and bustle with which India's metropolis used to go about its business, partitions ("Bombay Bounces Back!", "It's My Bombay", "Bombay, I Love You") and to some extent the citizens of Mumbai felt a sense of peace and security for several years. But on February 27, 1998, nine people died in a bomb attack in the Virar district , and between December 2002 and August 2003 a whole series of bomb explosions rocked Mumbai:

  • December 2, 2002 - Ghatkopar (three dead, 31 injured)
  • Jan 27, 2003 - Vile Parle (one dead, 25 injured)
  • March 13, 2003 - Mulund Railway Station (11 dead, 80 injured)
  • April 14, 2003 - Bandra (one dead, no injured)
  • July 29, 2003 - Ghatkopar (three dead, 34 injured)
  • August 25, 2003 - Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar (50 dead, 150 injured)

Bomb attacks on local trains on July 11, 2006 left 181 dead and 890 injured. Security authorities assume that the Islamist terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba , which operates from Pakistan , is responsible for the attack.

During the terrorist attacks in the city on November 26, 2008 , terrorists attacked passers-by at several targets with hand grenades and automatic weapons . Places visited by foreigners such as the main train station and several luxury hotels as well as a Jewish facility were affected. More than 195 people were killed in the attacks and at least 295 people were injured. A man involved in the preparations was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment in the United States on January 24, 2013, among other things for conspiracy to aid the Pakistani group Lashkar-e-Toiba.

On July 13, 2011, Mumbai was again the scene of an act of terrorism. At least 23 people were killed and more than 130 injured in three bomb attacks. The explosions occurred almost simultaneously in various residential and business districts of the city.


Population development

Skyscrapers at Nariman Point
City center at night
Mumbai monorail
Mumbai Metro
The skyline with a view of Worli

Since the beginning of British colonization, the former Bombay has seen rapid population growth . From 10,000 in 1661, the population increased tenfold by 1764 to 100,000. In 1845 the city already had half a million inhabitants. In the first census in 1864, it was 817,000. In the 1860s and 1890s, the population decreased somewhat due to epidemics . In 1911, Bombay's population exceeded the million mark.

In 1950 the nearby and in 1957 the more distant suburbs were incorporated. As a result, the number of inhabitants increased further. From 1911 to 1991 this increased tenfold; 9.9 million people lived in the actual city without a suburban belt, in 2011 it was 12.5 million. The metropolitan area of Mumbai with 18.4 million (2011) has a higher population than the densely populated North Rhine-Westphalia (17.8 million). Various estimates even assume that there are more than 20 million people.

The population density in Mumbai reaches values ​​that are hardly achieved in any other agglomeration in Europe. In the city, 28,508 people live on one square kilometer (2011), in Berlin the figure is 3,893 for comparison. In Europe, Paris comes closest to Mumbai with 20,980 inhabitants per square kilometer. With 114,001 inhabitants per square kilometer (2001 census), the Marine Lines district has the top value and thus one of the highest residential densities in the world. The United Nations estimates that the Mumbai metropolitan area will have 28.5 million people in 2020. In 2050, a population of 42 to 54 million people is expected. One unsolved problem is the formation of slums, which still exist in many neighborhoods.

A significant part of the population growth in the former Bombay has been caused by immigration since the beginning of colonial development . The immigrants come, according to the international and supraregional importance of the city, not only from the neighboring hinterland, but from all over India and the neighboring countries. The result is a conglomerate of people from different ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. The native Marathas and the neighboring Gujaratis to the north - Gujarat belonged to the former state of Bombay until 1960 - form the largest population groups. The Bengalis , Marwaris , Punjabis and Tamils represent significant minorities. The Sindhi from Pakistan as well as Afghans , Chinese and Nepalese are mainly of foreign descent .

At the 2001 census, Mumbai lived 11,978,450 people. Of these, 6,619,966 people (55.3 percent) were male and 5,358,484 people (44.7 percent) were female. The illiteracy rate is still very high, especially among women, but is below the average for the state of Maharashtra. It was 13.1 percent in the entire city (men: 8.4 percent, women: 18.9 percent). By comparison, in Maharashtra it was 23 percent (men: 14 percent, women: 33 percent).

The following overview shows the number of inhabitants according to the respective territorial status. Up to 1845 these are mostly estimates, from 1864 to 2011 they are census results.

        year         resident
1661 10,000
1675 60,000
1764 100,000
1780 114,000
1806 200,000
1814 240,000
1830 229,000
1845 500,000
1864 816,562
1872 644.605
1881 773.196
1891 821.764
Year / date resident
1901 812.912
1911 1,018,388
1921 1,244,934
1931 1,268,936
1941 1,686,127
March 1, 1951 2,966,902
March 1, 1961 4,152,056
April 1, 1971 5,970,575
March 1, 1981 8,227,382
March 1, 1991 9,925,891
March 1, 2001 11,978,450
February 9, 2011 12,478,447


People in the traffic of Mumbai

There is a great linguistic diversity in cosmopolitan Mumbai. The most widely spoken language in the city is Marathi , the main language of Maharashtra State and the official language of Mumbai. According to the 2001 census, however, the Marathi speakers make up only a relative majority of 37.8 percent of the inhabitants of Mumbai. The second largest language is Hindi , which is spoken as the mother tongue of 21.6 percent of the city's residents. Not least thanks to the Hindi films (“Bollywood”) produced in Mumbai , Hindi is widely understood and serves as the lingua franca between speakers of different languages. The majority of Mumbai's Muslims speak Urdu , which is closely related to Hindi . With a share of 13.3 percent, Urdu is the third largest language in Mumbai. This is followed by Gujarati , the language of the northern neighboring state of Gujarat, which traditionally has a strong presence in Mumbai, with a share of 12.0 percent . A variety of other languages ​​are spoken among immigrants from other parts of India. These include Tamil (2.7 percent), Telugu , Konkani (2.0 percent each), Sindhi , Kannada (1.8 percent each), Malayalam (1.3 percent) and Panjabi (1.0 percent). Other languages ​​account for 2.7 percent.

The English spoken by only 0.5 percent of the population as a first language, but plays an important role as an educational and language of communication and is used mainly in the upper class as a kind of second language. All official documents and publications in the city are published not only in Marathi but also in English. The two most important daily newspapers in Mumbai appear in English. The disproportion between the high importance as an administrative and written language and the low importance in everyday language use by the population can be explained by the fact that English is recognized as a neutral basis of communication by all language parties, while Hindi is generally rejected by the people in southern India.


Jama Masjid ( Friday Mosque )

As with languages, a similarly complex pattern can be found in the religious composition of the population in Mumbai. According to the 2011 census, 66.0 percent of Mumbai's population are Hindu , 20.6 percent Muslim , 4.9 percent Buddhist , 4.1 percent Jain , 2.3 percent Christian and 0.5 percent Sikhs . Other religions (including Parsis and Jews ) account for 0.4 percent . 0.3 percent stated no religion.

The disproportionate share of religious minorities compared to other metropolises in India is the most striking feature. The numerical strength of the religious minorities is at the expense of Hinduism. The Hindus are by far the dominant religious community. In Mumbai, the Jainas and the Parsees play an important economic role, although they are small religious communities. The Muslims are represented in large numbers. Due to their dominance in individual industries and their partially closed appearance in individual districts of Mumbai, such as in Mahim and Dongri, they are more significant.

The region's Roman Catholic Church is organized in the Archdiocese of Bombay . The Apostolic Vicariate of Bombay was established in 1820 and on September 1, 1886 by Pope Leo XIII. raised to the archbishopric . It is one of the typical cardinal seats of the Catholic Church, the archbishop of which has four auxiliary bishops available to carry out his pastoral duties . The ecclesiastical province includes the suffragan dioceses of Kalyan , Nashik , Poona and Vasai . Oswald Gracias has been Archbishop of Bombay since 2006 .

Living situation

Apartments in Colaba
The Dharavi slum in Mumbai

Demands and lifestyles of Mumbai's elite are particularly evident in the residential areas of the wealthy upper class, Malabar and Cumballa Hills, on the west side of the city center (Mumbai City District) and Hiranandani Gardens on Powai Lake on the north side. The old villas in the spacious parks of these areas were demolished and high-rise apartment buildings built in their place. Since the 1960s, their own generator sets, water tanks and security personnel have enabled the elite to largely decouple from the world of the vast majority of the population and to pursue their own lifestyle concepts. The growing urban middle class moved mainly to the outskirts (Mumbai Suburban District) due to the commercialization of many areas of the inner city.

This contrasts with the impoverishment of large parts of the urban population. According to the 2001 census data, 6.5 million people (54.1 percent) lived in slums in Mumbai. Many job seekers cannot afford the daily commute by public transport, which means that their place of residence has to be within walking distance of their place of work. The profitable provision of fallow land by influential groups often prevents social housing from being built, even if financial means are available for it. The problems of the metropolis of Mumbai are particularly evident in the slums: malnutrition , hunger, inadequate disposal and inadequate water supply lead to increased infant mortality and the outbreak of tuberculosis , leprosy and malaria ; social impacts - crime, prostitution , alcoholism - also grow under such framework conditions .

Many slum dwellers live under constant threat of being driven away. An example of this is the 2.23 square kilometer Dharavi , one of the largest slums in Asia. Information on the population of the area varies greatly. The Indian activist Sheela Patel estimated the number of residents in 2007 at 350,000 to 600,000. The Economist put the population at "approximately 600,000" in 2007, and Time in 2006 at 600,000 to one million. According to a study by the Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute of Architecture (KRVIA), the population density in the central area of ​​Dharavi, Chambda Baazar, was 336,643 inhabitants per square kilometer in 2006. The district, which was originally located on the outskirts of Mumbai, was overgrown by the city, so that today - unusual for a slum - it is in the middle of the city. There are plans of the city administration to demolish the slum huts of Dharavi and to replace (partly) with social housing, but also with commercial construction projects. Critics fear that the plans to evict residents will primarily serve to make the slum's attractive downtown area usable for economic purposes.

In a ranking of cities according to their quality of life, Mumbai ranked 154th out of 231 cities worldwide in 2018.


City government

City Hall ( Municipal Corporation Building )

Since November 2019, Kishori Pednekar from the Shiv Sena party has been the mayor elected by the city council for two and a half years. As chairman of the city council, she exercises the legislature (legislative power) with it. Administration Manager (Municipal Commissioner) and appointed by the government representatives of the executive power (executive power) is IS Chahal.

The establishment of the city administration (Municipal Corporation) took place in 1872 with 64 members (Bombay Act No. III). The first meeting took place on September 4, 1873. In 1931 the official title "President" was changed to "Mayor" (Bombay Act No. XXI). In 1963 the city council had 140 members. In 1982 the number of council members was increased to 170 and in 1991 to 221 (30 percent of the seats were reserved for women). The city council has had 227 members since 2002 and represents the 24 city districts (wards). Five seats are reserved for women in certain castes and another 50 seats are reserved for women who are not specific to the cast . The city council is elected by the people of Mumbai. One of his main tasks is to make proposals for the budget of nine permanent authorities to the head of administration. The latter then alone decides whether to accept the proposed measures.

The Shiv Sena is by far the largest party in the metropolis of Mumbai. While the Communist Party ( Calcutta ) or the Congress Party ( Delhi ) rule in the other large cities of India , Mumbai is ruled by the Hindu nationalist "Shiv Sena" (Shiva's army). The party of Hitler's admirer Bal Thackeray appears in Mumbai predominantly with promarathic and anti-Islamic propaganda. It provided Mumbai's mayor between 1985 and 1992 and again since 1995. One of their most important goals is to stop the immigration of South Indian and Muslim migrants or to drive illegal immigrants (mostly Muslims from Bangladesh) out of the city in general. The Shiv Sena is also held responsible for the violent clashes that flare up again and again against the Muslim residents of Mumbai. Since 2008, the Maharashtra Navirman Sena (MNS) of Thackeray's nephew Raj Thackeray has been drawing attention to itself with polemics and riots against North Indians. Raj founded the MNS after he had to give up the position of party chairman at the Shiv Sena in favor of Uddhav Thackeray.

Town twinning

Mumbai has partnerships with the following cities:

United KingdomUnited Kingdom London , UK
United StatesUnited States Los Angeles , USA , since 1972
RussiaRussia Saint Petersburg , Russia
GermanyGermany Stuttgart , Germany , since 1968
JapanJapan Yokohama , Japan

Culture and sights

Music and theater

Bandra-Kurla Complex

Mumbai is a cultural center and attracts the most gifted artists of classical and modern Indian music as well as dance and theater arts from all over the country. The city has numerous bars and clubs, jazz bars compete with salsa , tabla , dance music and funk bars. Well-known local and western rock stars perform in Mumbai's stadiums and concert halls.

Numerous concerts and performances take place in the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, the headquarters of the international Hindu cultural organization, but also in the Cowasjee Jehangir Hall opposite the "Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum", in the Birlaushi Mati in Marine Lines, in the Tejpal Auditorium in Nayak Marg, in the Shanmukhananda Hall in Yagnik Marg or in the MMRDA Ground, a large concert hall in the Bandra-Kurla Complex. The National Center for Performing Arts (NCPA) also offers modern Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, and English-language theater performances, as well as Western chamber music . The Symphony Orchestra of India, founded in 2006, has its seat in the NCPA.

One of the most famous theaters in Mumbai is the Prithvi Theater . It was founded in 1944 by the film and theater actor Prithviraj Kapoor . It has been part of the Shri Prithviraj Kapoor Memorial Trust and Research Foundation since 1975. This artistic establishment pursues exclusively non-commercial goals. In addition to the normal theater operations, it organizes outdoor events, theater festivals and special events for children. Pieces in various languages, including English, Hindi, and Gujarati, are shown.


Mumbai offers its residents and guests a large number of museums on a wide variety of topics. Some of them, such as the Chhatrapali Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, enjoy a worldwide reputation.

Chhatrapali Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangtahalaya

The former Prince of Wales Museum

In a green area to the north is the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly Prince of Wales Museum). The building from the British colonial era, crowned by a white Mughal- style dome , houses a collection of paintings and sculptures. King George V, then Prince of Wales , laid the foundation stone in 1905.

Mani Bhavan

The building is considered an "enlightened" (European) interpretation of the Gujarati architecture of the 15th and 16th centuries and combines Islamic subtleties with the typical English brick construction. One speaks of the Anglo- Saracen style . In the central hall there is a small selection of the extensive collection, such as some Mughal paintings, weapons, jade work and miniature figures made of clay and terracotta from the Maurya period from the 3rd century BC. And the Kushana period from the 1st to 2nd centuries AD.

Jehangir Art Gallery

Close to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum is the Jehangir Art Gallery , Mumbai's most famous contemporary art gallery, consisting of five small exhibition rooms dedicated to arts and crafts from around the world. The exhibitions usually only last a week, and the pieces are often available for purchase. The gallery was founded in 1952 by the Parish celebrity Sir Cowasji Jehangir, 2nd Baronet , at the suggestion of the painter Kattingeri Krishna Hebbar and the physicist Homi Jehangir Bhabha .

National Gallery of Modern Art

Opposite the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum is the National Gallery of Modern Art. It opened in 1996 and has an extensive collection of modern art from India and around the world. Numerous top-class temporary exhibitions show contemporary art at a high level.

Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum

The "Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum" (formerly "Victoria and Albert Museum") in the Byculla district was founded in 1855 and is the oldest museum in Mumbai. Initially dedicated exclusively to the arts and crafts of India, it now also takes on the functions of a city history museum.

Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sagrahalaya

"Mani Bhavan" was Mohandas Gandhi's base in Bombay between 1917 and 1934 . The house, located in a middle-class street, is now a memorial for the politician known as Mahatma and, in addition to the Mahatma Gandhi Museum, houses an extensive scientific library. The walls inside, equipped with wooden furniture, are adorned with photos of historical events and objects from the life of this unusual man. Behind glass is Gandhi's simple living room and bedroom.



The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel

At the end of the 17th century, Colaba was one of several islands that extended to the lighthouse at the southernmost point of Mumbai. Today, the original contours of the promontory (whose name was derived from the earliest settlers, the Koli) are barely recognizable among the numerous colonial houses, hotels, bars, restaurants and craft shops.

Colaba is home to one of Mumbai's landmarks, the Gateway of India , built in 1924 according to plans by George Wittet (1878–1926). The building, built to commemorate the visit of King George V and his wife Maria von Teck in 1911, was originally intended as a ceremonial landing point for passengers arriving on P&O steamers. On February 28, 1948, the last remaining troops on Indian soil - the First Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry - left the independent country on board the Empress of Australia .

One end of the square around the gateway is lined with the life-size statue of Shivaji , the most important leader of the Marathas in the 17th century. The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower rises right behind the gateway . It was opened on December 16, 1903 on behalf of the Parish industrialist Jamshedji Tata . Famous personalities such as Mick Jagger , Marianne Faithfull , Prince Charles , The Beatles , Bill Clinton and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis stayed at the hotel .

Buildings at the Oval Maidan

Rajabai Tower

At the southern ends of Bhaurao Patil Marg is a statue of Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (1891–1956), an “untouchable” by birth who converted to Buddhism. A considerable number of members of his caste followed his example; many of them are now organized in a military movement called Dalits (pariah, casteless).

Some of Mumbai's most important Victorian buildings line the eastern edge of the sprawling green Oval Maidan, behind the statue, where cricket matches are played almost daily. The Old Secretariat (Old Customs House), completed in 1874, now serves as the city's courthouse.

On the other side of AS D'Mello Road, across from the Old Secretariat, are two large buildings belonging to Mumbai University (inaugurated in 1857) and designed by George Gilbert Scott in a neo-Gothic style inspired by Oxford . The Convocation Hall, founded by the Parish philanthropist Sir Cowasji Jehangir, 1st Baronet , resembles a church. A round stained glass window is let into the front door, depicting a wheel, the spokes of which form Greek pilasters , which in turn form the dividing lines between the signs of the zodiac .

The library on campus is located below the 85 meter high Rajabai Clock Tower. The bell tower was built between 1869 and 1878. During the colonial days he played sounds like Rule, Britannia! , God Save the King , Auld Lang Syne and Home! Sweet home! , after independence only the bell rang every quarter of an hour. The reading room has a wooden vaulted ceiling, high Gothic windows and glass mosaics.

Between 1871 and 1878, the Bombay High Court was designed by the architect John Augustus Fuller . With a length of 170 meters and a height of 60 meters, it is one of the largest Victorian-Gothic buildings in the city. The Watson's Hotel, completed in 1869, contrasts with the Gothic-style buildings in the area. It is the only remaining cast iron skeleton building in Mumbai. John Watson, a wealthy cloth merchant, had the entire structure imported from London. On July 7, 1896, the Lumière brothers' first cinematograph performance in India took place at Watson's Hotel . A plaque on the building commemorates the historic event.

Fort district

Flora Fountain

South Mumbai is home to the Fort district , where all the banks and large businesses are located and where numerous buildings from the Raj era are located. The ornate sandstone building Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), the former Victoria Terminus , occupies the northern edge and is one of the most popular train stations in the world.

Above the main entrance of the station there is an approximately 100 meter high, accessible, octagonal dome, which is supported by a rib construction. The interior is equipped with open colonnades. The building is richly decorated with stone sculptures and reliefs. The Lady of Progress sculpture sits enthroned on the dome . The station building, constructed from 1878 to 1888, is an example of the merging of Victorian neo-Gothic with traditional Indian architecture. It has been under UNESCO protection since 2004 and is a World Heritage Site . The junction of the inner-city railway network, the "Churchgate Station" is four kilometers to the west.

The Hutatma Chowk with the Flora Fountain in the middle of the fort area is a busy five-street intersection, a roundabout. It was renamed Hutatma Chowk ("Martyrs' Square") to commemorate the freedom fighters who lost their lives in the struggle for the state of Maharashtra to join the Indian Union. At the center of the intersection is a statue of the goddess Flora , erected in 1869 in honor of Governor Sir Henry Bartle Frere (1815-1884).

The oldest English structure in Mumbai is the small St. Thomas' Cathedral . The church, consecrated in 1718, combines classical and Gothic styles. The nearby Horniman Circle , formerly Elphinstone Circle, was named after a newspaper publisher who campaigned for India's independence . The square was built in 1860 at the instigation of the former Municipal Commissioner Charles Forjett on the site of the "Bombay Green".

Old town

To the north of Fort is the old town with its numerous bazaars , and even further north are the central districts of Byculla, Parel and Dadar, as well as the residential districts of Bandra and Juhu. In the “Victoria Gardens” in Byculla, next to the zoo, is the “Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum” (formerly “Victoria and Albert Museum”), which houses exhibits on the city's history. A memorial to the memory of the "Bombay Explosion" of 1944 stands at the headquarters of the Mumbai fire department. It is intended to commemorate the 66 firefighters who died while fighting the fire. On April 14, 1944, the cargo steamer Fort Stikine caused a devastating explosion in the port. The fire lasted three days and, according to official figures, killed 740 people and injured around 1,800 (unofficial estimates assumed far higher numbers). 27 ships were sunk or badly damaged in Victoria Dock and the neighboring Prince's Dock. Until the 1970s, gold bars were repeatedly found in the port basin area in which the Fort Stikine exploded.

Banganga Pond with Walkeshvar Temple in Malabar Hills, Mumbai


Banganga is a small neighborhood in the south of the Malabar Hills near the Governor's Palace. Banganga actually refers to a large water basin to which steps lead down. The basin belongs to the Walkeshwar temple. Numerous other Hindu temples have settled around the basin. Today the quarter is in the middle of a booming high-rise area. Nevertheless, Banganga has retained an almost small-town-village atmosphere.

Haji Ali Dargah

Haji Ali Dargah

Haji Ali Dargah is a mosque and dargah (shrine of Sufism ) and is located on a small island off the coast of the Worli district. The building was erected in 1431 at the request of the Muslim saint and Afghan mystic Haji Ali, who renounced his worldly possessions and devoted himself to meditation . The tomb with its white minarets and Mughal domes is connected to the mainland by a narrow, cemented causeway that is accessible at low tide.

Islamic tradition knows of two different founding stories, which however agree that the saint died on a sailing ship on the way from Mecca , where he was on a pilgrimage ( Hajj ) to India. One version says that his coffin stranded at the site of the mausoleum after it was thrown into the sea off what is now Pakistan, as requested by Haji Ali. The other is that when Haji Ali realized he would not reach India alive, he asked his disciples, the Fazla brothers, to erect a tomb for him on the spot where he would die. It took the brothers a year to complete the building.

Elephanta Caves

The caves are located on Elephanta Island , an hour's boat ride from Colaba. The small wooded island is only inhabited by a few people. It was originally called Gharapuri , the "city of the Ghara priests", but was renamed by the Portuguese in the 16th century after the stone elephant they found in the port. The statue of the elephant can be seen in the “Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum” (formerly “Victoria and Albert Museum”) in the “Victoria Gardens” in Byculla. The temple caves were built in the 8th century. The large Elephanta Cave can be reached via steps that are flanked with numerous elephant figures. The temple hall in the rear is surrounded by side courtyards and some chapels. In the cave temple exploiting Dende trimurti (three-faced) Shiva -Skulptur is an example Hindu sculpture. The Elephanta Caves have been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1987.

Towers of Silence

On Malabar Hill , surrounded by a large wall and a thick curtain of green plants, stand the seven Parsees Towers of Silence , the Dokhmas . The Parsees buried their dead by placing the corpses on tall, cylindrical containers so that vultures can clean the bones from the flesh. This ancient burial ritual, believed to have originated before the 2,500 year old belief, was advocated by the prophet Zarathustra to prevent pollution of the four sacred elements (air, water, earth and - most sacred of all - fire) . Recently, the question of whether the more hygienic and more practical alternative of electrical combustion should be discussed has been discussed among the Parsis. Parts of human flesh dropped by vultures are repeatedly found on balconies, house roofs and in gardens near the towers.


Hanging gardens

The 104 square kilometer Sanjay Gandhi National Park (until 1981 Borivili National Park) is located in the north of Mumbai. The 109 Kanheri caves that line a rocky gorge in the park are well known. Buddhist monks used the caves from the 2nd to the 9th centuries as a place to live, study and meditate. In the Great Chaitya Cave there is a long colonnade and in the back a five meter high stupa . A stone fence and numerous gatekeeper and Buddha figures as well as the stupa illustrate the Buddhist architectural style.

Opened in 1969, the park is rich in flora and fauna , including more than 1,000 kinds of plants, 274 kinds of birds, 5,000 kinds of insects, 40 kinds of mammals, 38 kinds of reptiles and 150 kinds of butterflies. The Atlas moth , one of the largest butterflies in the world, lives here. You can see numerous Karvi plants (Strobilanthes callosus), which only bloom every seven years.

A small population of leopards also live in the park. Their number was given as 21 to 35 in 2014. There is also a mini zoo and a lion safari park in the area. Only a small part of the park is open to the public. The leopards prey to a considerable extent (proportionally around 43%) also domestic animals - especially stray dogs - at the borders of the park. There are also occasional attacks on people, often affecting children. 176 attacks on people were counted between 1991 and 2013. 84 occurred between 2002 and 2004, with 22 deaths. The accumulation of attacks between 2002 and 2004 was explained by the then common practice of capturing unwanted leopards and releasing them elsewhere, which led to the animals becoming disoriented and becoming more aggressive. This practice has now ended, leading to a drastic drop in the number of fatal attacks. Park officials also put the number of illegal settlers in the park at around 200,000, affecting the leopard's habitat.

On Malabar Hill are the Hanging Gardens of Mumbai (Ferozeshah Mehta Gardens), a work of art of horticulture. You can see bushes and shrubs shaped like monkeys, elephants, giraffes and other animal species. Numerous people constantly take care of the maintenance of the ornamental gardens. There are other parks and gardens, both large and small, in Mumbai, including Kamala Nehru Park, Joggers Park, green and lush Mahim Nature Park, and the well-known Oval Maidan. Also worth mentioning are Priyadarshini Park and Veermata Jeejabai Udyan.

The second largest green space in Mumbai is the 1200 hectare Aarey Milk Colony .

freetime and recreation

Beach in Mumbai

Not far from Churchgate Station is the "Netaji Subash Chandra Marg", also known as the "Marine Drive". The locals call it the "Queen's Necklace". It is Mumbai's seaside promenade, which was built on raised land in the 1920s, consisting of an eight-lane city motorway and a wide walkway. The Marine Drive describes an arc from the skyscrapers of "Nariman Point" to the foot of "Malabar Hill" and "Chowpatty Beach". There are various sports facilities and the "Taraporevala Aquarium" with stocks of tropical fish. Chowpatty Beach is also the center of political rallies: Mahatma Gandhi spoke here often.

Juhu Beach is 30 kilometers north of the city center . Mumbai's secluded beaches are at Versova, Madh Island, Marwe, Manori, and Gorai.


Wankhede Stadium in February 2011

In the vicinity of Marine Drive there are two large cricket stadiums, the Brabourne Stadium , which opened in 1937 (capacity: 30,000 spectators) and the Wankhede Stadium, which was completed in 1975 (capacity: 45,000 spectators), as well as a number of cricket grounds, so-called gymkhanas , where games are played almost every weekend will be held, including the Bombay Gymkhana Ground . All three named are test cricket stadiums . Some are reserved for certain religious groups or serve as the setting for Parsees weddings ; others are for Catholics, Muslims or Hindus, a gymkhana has a pavilion in the classic colonial style. In the Wankhede Stadium, games were held at the Cricket World Cups 1987 , 1996 and 2011 , the ICC Champions Trophy 2006 , ICC World Twenty20 2016 and the ICC Women's World Twenty20 2016 . Cricket is a national sport in India and arouses as much interest there as football in Germany and Europe. The Mumbai Indians cricket club plays in the Indian Premier League .

The best known and most successful football club in Mumbai is Mahindra United . The club plays in the highest class in the country, the National Football League . Mahindra United became national champions in 2006 and in the same year won the Federation Cup , a soccer cup competition that is similar to the DFB Cup . The team's venue is the 12,000-seat Cooperage Ground Mumbai .

India's other national sport, hockey, is also very popular . Numerous athletes from Mumbai's clubs play in the Indian national hockey team. Other sports are practiced in the clubs and gymkhanas, including tennis, squash , billiards, badminton, table tennis and golf. Mumbai is one of the few cities in the country where rugby is also played. Equestrian sports, volleyball and basketball are also popular with the population.

Regular events

The Banganga Basin during the Banganga Music Festival

Since 1992 the "Banganga Music Festival" has been held annually on two days in January. On both days, well-known Indian musicians and dancers perform at the “Banganga Tank” at eight historical temples built in a circle around the basin. The Banganga Tank is part of the "Walkeshwar Temple Complex" and was built in the 12th century during the Silhara dynasty. According to legend, the water in the basin comes from the river Ganges, which is sacred to Hindus . The festival reaches its climax on the evening of the second day, when all the temple bells sound at the same time.

The Mumbai Marathon has been held every January since 2004 . The event is part of the series The Greatest Race on Earth. The other three runs are the Singapore Marathon, the Nairobi Marathon, and the Hong Kong Marathon. The competitions are sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank .

Other important events include the presentation of the Indian Star Screen Award (in January at the Andheri Sports Complex) and the Mumbai International Film Festival (in February in the Auditorium of the Films Division ). The Mumbai Festival, the Kala Godha Arts Festival, the “Mumbai Motor Show” in the Grand Hyatt Exhibition Ground, the “Mumbai International Boat Show” in the Bandra-Kurla Complex and the “Elephanta Festival” also take place in January / February. The Indian classical dance festival takes place in the caves on Elephanta Island . On May 1st, Mumbai celebrates Maharashtra Day on the occasion of the founding of the state of Maharashtra in 1960.

Every year in June the festival Ganesh Chaturthi is held in honor of the god Ganesh with the elephant 's head, which attracts numerous people. Hindus all over India celebrate this day, but it has a very special meaning in Mumbai. For many Hindus in other parts of India Ganesha means only a subordinate manifestation, here on the other hand he is the most important representation of God for most, here he is the main deity. Ganesh Chaturthi is therefore the most important feast day of the whole year for them.

On August 9th every year the city celebrates the "Day of the Revolution" (Kranti Divas). It is the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's speech in 1942 when he called for India's independence from British colonial rule in the Gowalia Tank Maidan (now August Kranti Maidan), a park in the center of Mumbai. In August or September, the "Art Access Week" is held in the Birla Academy of Art and Culture and the homosexuals of the metropolis celebrate "Gay Mumbai's Tribute to Ganesh".

The horse racing season runs from November to April. The venue is the "Mahalaxmi Racecourse", one of the most important horse racing tracks in the world. The “Indian Derby” is traditionally held on the first Sunday in February, the highlight of the horse racing season in Mumbai. It is referred to as the "Crown Jewel of the Triple Crown". The Triple Crown consists of three races for three year old racehorses. Winning all three races is the greatest challenge for both rider and racehorse. Another important race on the Mahalaxmi Racecourse is the "Gool S Poonawalla Million Race" in April.


Mumbai Beach Bar

Mumbai's cuisine reflects both the ethnic diversity and the different historical and religious influences of the city. There is therefore no uniform cooking culture; rather, ingredients and eating habits differ greatly from one another.

There are purely vegetarian restaurants in which guests are served Gujarati and South Indian dishes, and right next to them there are Muslim cafés with meat dishes. The city is home to Chinese restaurants, but also Iranian restaurants, whose specialty is lamb and mutton in peppermint sauce. Non-vegetarians can order stewed meat portions in a lentil stew called “Dhansak” in the Parsen restaurants, and try pork vindaloo or spicy fish curry in the Goan and Mangalorian “lunch homes” . In addition to rice, various types of white bread (roti) are used as staple food, the most common variant of which is chapati , an unleavened flatbread made from whole wheat flour.

The dabbawala are responsible for lunch for office workers in Mumbai . They transport the food from the employee's home or a Dabba kitchen in special multi-part boxes, so-called "Tiffins", to the workplace.


Crawford Market

The "Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Market", better known as Crawford Market, is a British-style market hall completed in 1869. The hall with its Norman-Gothic tower is located on Lokmanya Tilak (formerly Carnac Road), corner of Dr DN Marg. The friezes around the outer facade are a Victorian depiction of Indian farmers working in the fields, designed in 1865 by Rudyard Kipling's father Lockwood, then rector the Bombay School of Art. The main hall is divided into different sectors, in which, among other things, fruits and vegetables, herbs, spices, pets and poultry and tobacco are sold.

The streets immediately north of Crawford Market and west of Mohammed Ali Road form a large bazaar. The clothes bazaar is on either side of Mangaldas Lane. From here, low doorsteps lead to a covered market area with numerous stalls. Memon Street, which goes north from Jami Masjid (built around 1800), is occupied by the "Zaveri Bazaar", the jewelry market.

Important shopping centers are the Phoenix Mills in Parel and numerous centers in the suburbs (Inorbit Mall, Center One, Orchid).

Economy and Infrastructure



Phiroze Jeejeebhoy Towers, seat of the Bombay Stock Exchange since 1980

The city is home to a diverse industry, it is the center of financial industry, economy, trade and fashion in India. In terms of the number of films produced annually, Mumbai is one of the largest film industries in the world. Machines, metal, metal products, chemicals, fertilizers and textiles are made from cotton and petroleum products are processed. Manugraph , the country's most important sheet-fed offset printing press manufacturer, is based in the city, and information technology, arts and crafts, publishing, shipbuilding and ship repair, and fishing are also of great importance. A nuclear power plant, which was completed in 1957, is located in the Trombay district .

The city alone generated around 26 percent of the gross domestic product of the state of Maharashtra in 2004 , the metropolitan region around 40 percent. Ten percent of India's industrial jobs are in the city and 40 percent of Indian foreign trade is carried out in Mumbai. Its eight square kilometer port, one of the largest natural harbors in the world, has developed into one of the most important transshipment points on the Arabian Sea. Mumbai is also the financial capital of India as it contributes the largest amount of income tax in the country. 33 percent of India's total income tax revenue comes from Mumbai, as well as 60 percent of total customs revenue and 20 percent of total consumption tax revenue. Mumbai's banks account for more than 27 percent of India's bank lending.

Founded in 1875, the Bombay Stock Exchange , the oldest stock exchange in Asia and the second largest in India after the National Stock Exchange of India , are based in the city. The latter was founded in 1992 on the initiative of Indian politicians and differs from other stock exchanges in the country in that it separates trading and management .

Social situation


Symbols of prosperity in this constantly wealth-producing metropolis can be found in many places in Mumbai, from the phalanx of high-rise office buildings at Nariman Point to the expensive luxury cars on the streets of the city that only the wealthy upper class can afford. Property prices in these areas of Mumbai are among the highest in the world. The downside of the success story is the prevailing poverty. Every day hundreds of people from the back country of Maharashtra state flock to the city to escape the misery of their villages. Some find work and shelter, but most, more than half of the city's population, end up on the crowded streets or live in indescribable misery in the largest slums in all of Asia. Many collect rags or beg on the streets. Some also manage to get into a wage employment relationship in which they can at least ensure their bare survival under miserable conditions.

One example of this is the “Open Laundry” (“Dhobi Ghat”) wash district in Mahalakshmi, which is carved into a huge stone. There, around 10,000 people wash laundry from the city's restaurants, hotels, hospitals and private households. In hundreds of concrete basins next to each other, a man stands in soapy water and hits items of laundry on a stone. The women iron the laundry with irons that run on glowing coal. The workers live in the nearby settlement. Around 15 to 20 people live in a hut. Work is 14 hours a day, seven days a week for 150 rupees (2.40 euros) per day. Due to the lack of rubber gloves, illnesses and injuries to hands and feet caused by the chemicals used are the order of the day. There is no state health insurance in India and the pension is also a matter for self-provision, which none of the workers there can afford.

Although the slum dwellers make up the majority of Mumbai's working population - industrial workers, construction workers, domestic workers - they are denied the urban infrastructure: electricity, drinking water, sewage disposal. The annual floods due to the monsoon rains hit the slum dwellers particularly hard. Many of them also live under constant threat of being chased away because the city council is campaigning to "beautify" Bombay. In the documentary Bombay: Our City , directed by Anand Patwardhan , India 1985, the story of the daily struggle for survival of over four million slum dwellers in what was then Bombay was vividly illustrated.


World Trade Towers

The development opportunities in Mumbai are expected primarily in the service sector. The computer industry also has favorable opportunities. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India's largest IT company , is headquartered in Mumbai. Such companies in the city have taken on labor-intensive areas of data acquisition and processing for European customers. Due to the increasing demand from the Indian middle class and as a potential supplier to the global automotive industry, vehicle construction offers opportunities that have not yet been used in the industrial sector. The car cluster of the city of Pune, 190 km away, is of particular importance for this.

Mumbai also has opportunities to expand as a research and development location and to develop into a trading and distribution center. Due to the lower real estate prices, the north of Mumbai ( Brihan Mumbai , formerly Greater Bombay ) is becoming increasingly interesting for companies. Due to the geographical conditions (peninsular location), the expansion of the city takes place increasingly in the northern areas and along the highway to Pune and Nashik .

Compared to other cities in the emerging Asian countries , however, Mumbai has a lot of catching up to do. Concentrated state aid is necessary to rectify this. If this does not happen, the favorable conditions, such as those offered by modern port and airport infrastructure, are wiped out by the poor road traffic conditions. The prerequisite, however, is a modern administration that encourages the economy to develop its own dynamism and combats corruption. Then the metropolis of Mumbai has the chance to develop into a global center.


Tourism plays an important role in Mumbai's economy. With 4.9 million foreign visitors, Mumbai was the 27th most visited city in the world in 2016. Tourists brought in $ 3.6 billion in revenue that same year.


Long-distance transport

Chhatrapati Shivaji terminus
Mumbai Airport Domestic Terminal
Mumbai Airport Terminal T2

Mumbai is an important transport hub with highways, overland bus terminals, ports, air and rail connections as well as two seaports, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) and the container terminal Nhava Sheva Port (NSICT), which is around 20 minutes away by ship . The city is the main hub for traffic towards South India. The most popular routes are those on the Gujarat coast to the north, to Rajasthan and Delhi ; to the northwest into the Deccan , via Aurangabad and the caves of Ellora and Ajanta , and to the south, through Pune and the hilly terrain of the Western Ghats towards Goa and the Malabar coast .

Most Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) intercity buses depart from the State Transport Terminal on JB Behram Marg , across from Mumbai Central Railway Station . From here the company operates routes to Ahmedabad , Bengaluru , Goa, Indore , Pune and Surat , among others . The MSRTC, which was founded in 1996 by a resolution of the government of the state of Maharashtra and is based in Mumbai, is one of the largest bus companies in India. With a bus fleet of around 16,000 vehicles on 17,000 lines, it transports 5.8 million passengers per day.

Two main lines of the railway converge in Mumbai : The Western Railway runs to the north and west of India and the Central Railway runs to the regions in the east, south and the center of the country . Most trains from the central, southern and eastern regions of India stop at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), which was completed in 1888, the trains from the north at Mumbai Central station and the trains from the south at Dadar Station . The Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) near Kurla has connections to Calcutta and Bengaluru.

In 1920 the first airport in India opened in the former Bombay . Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport , which opened in 1971, is the busiest airport in the country. It is located approximately 15 kilometers north of the immediate city center. The airport was formerly named Sahar International Airport , but was renamed after the 17th century Hindu Marathi king ( Chhatrapati ) Shivaji . On domestic flights, passengers land at Santacruz Domestic Airport . Indian Airlines and other local airlines fly from Santacruz to destinations across India.

Local transport

Public transport card
Crowds in Mumbai
S-Bahn traffic

On May 7, 1907, the first electric tram ran in Mumbai . It replaced the horse-drawn tram that had been in operation since May 9, 1874 . From 1920 the network was gradually converted to double-decker trams. In 1935, 433 trams operated on a 47-kilometer route network. It shared the fate of all Indian tram networks with the exception of Calcutta (now the only tram network in the country): it was perceived as obsolete and a nuisance to car traffic. On March 31, 1964, the last line was discontinued.

On July 15, 1926, motorized bus services began in Mumbai . Electrically operated trolleybuses ran between June 11, 1962 and March 24, 1971. The largest urban bus company is Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST). The company's 3,400 buses and coaches carry 4.5 million passengers per day on 340 routes. The state-owned organization, which was founded in 1873, operates a complex bus network that extends to the most remote parts of the city and sometimes even beyond the city limits. All buses are marked with a line number. The numbers are written in Marathi on the front and in Arabic numerals on the sides. In addition to the buses, BEST also operates ferry services.

The electric S-Bahn (Mumbai Suburban Railway), which went into operation on January 5, 1928, is much faster than the omnibuses, but the wagons are overcrowded even outside of rush hour. Trains run every few minutes and stop at dozens of small stations. They carry eight million commuters between central Mumbai and the suburbs to the north every day . Since the doors on both sides of the car are not closed while driving, there are fatal accidents almost every day. Every year the authorities register more than 3,000 deaths on the routes in Mumbai. A railway line begins at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and runs along the eastern edge of the city to Thane and Kalyan-Dombivali . The other line follows Churchgate from the curve of Back Bay to Chowpatty Beach and turns there north to Mumbai Central, Dadar, Santacruz and Vasai-Virar , outside the city limits. Western Railways and Central Railways are the operators of the 302-kilometer-long S-Bahn network.

The Mumbai Metro has been under construction since 2008; the first line went into operation in June 2014. The line is around 12 km long and serves 12 stations. The operator is Metro One Operation Pvt. Ltd. (MOOPL) , a joint venture in which the French company RATP has a 70% stake through its subsidiary RATP Dev .

Ferry ships leave the port of Mumbai at regular intervals . They connect the city with the bank on the other side and some islands in between. The ferry to Elephanta Island departs from the Gateway of India and is the most widely used. Boats to Mandve, from where there is a connection to Alibag in the Konkan region , the transport hub for the rarely used coastal stretch to the south, also depart from the Gateway of India.


Print media

Headquarters of Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd., one of the largest telecommunications companies in India

Despite a share of 13 percent illiterate (2001 census) in the city who have no access to publications, Mumbai's printed periodicals have a stable to growing readership. Newspapers and magazines are generally read more by men who are formally more educated and have a relatively high income.

The major daily newspapers in English are The Times of India , Mid-Day , Daily News and Analysis , Hindustan Times , The Asian Age , Mumbai Mirror and The Indian Express . Popular newspapers in Marathi are Loksatta , Sakaal and Maharashtra Times, and in Hindi Dainik Bhaskar and Dainik Jagran . The Marathi-language newspaper Saamna is the mouthpiece of the right-wing extremist "Shiv Sena". Additional newspapers are available for purchase in Gujarati , Malayalam , Bengali , Urdu , Telugu and Tamil . The larger daily newspapers have an online version on the Internet , which, however, is mainly read by the affluent population due to the low prevalence of the Internet.

In 1777, Rustomji Kashaspathi published the Bombay Courier, the first newspaper in English. The oldest continually appearing newspaper in Asia is Bombay Samachar . The first edition in Gujarati was published on July 1, 1822 by the Parsi scholar and priest Fardunjee Marzban, a pioneer of journalism in western India. Published as a weekly newspaper until 1832, then bimonthly until 1855, it then appeared as a daily newspaper and played an important role during the Indian struggle for independence. Bombay Durpan is the oldest bilingual newspaper and was first published in Marathi and English on January 6, 1832 by Balshastri Jambhekar. It is also the oldest continuous newspaper in Marathi.


Mumbai is the birthplace of Indian broadcasting. In June 1923, amateurs founded a radio club in the former Bombay and began broadcasting radio programs on a daily basis. On July 23, 1927, the "Indian Broadcasting Company" ( nationalized as All India Radio in 1936 ), the first commercial radio station in India , was founded in what was then Bombay . Today there are numerous state and private radio stations in Mumbai. The most popular radio stations are Radio Mirchi 98.3 , Radio City 91, RED FM 93.5, Radio One 92.5 and AIR FM2 100.7. The radio market in Mumbai and all of India is in a state of upheaval due to the hesitant introduction of private broadcasting in 1993, its ban in 1998 and reintroduction in 1999. The radio landscape is changing permanently, more stations are being added and the use of radio is increasing due to the broader offer.


In 1972, "All India Radio" (split from " Doordarshan " in 1976 ) began broadcasting regular television programs in the former Bombay . On the occasion of the Asian Games in New Delhi in 1982, color television was introduced and in the same year television programs were broadcast via satellite . Today around 80 percent of Mumbai's households have terrestrial television reception, in rural areas it is only around 30 percent. Satellite and cable television was initially reserved for the elite , but with increasing prosperity it reaches the growing urban middle class and thus a wider population. The national television company Doordarshan provides two free-to-air terrestrial programs, while three main cable networks serve most households. Overall, more than 100 channels can be received via cable television. The most popular TV channels are Zee Marathi, DD Sahyadri, Zee TV , Star plus and several news channels.

Film industry

Metro Cinema

The North Indian film industry based in Mumbai is known as Bollywood . She mainly produces films in Hindi and Urdu. With around 250 films a year, it accounts for around a fifth of all Indian film production and is comparable to Tamil films in Chennai in terms of production volume . However, only the Hindi film has succeeded in crossing the regional language borders in India and also successfully launching its products on the international market.

Mumbai is the home of the Hindi blockbuster, the "All-India Film". In order to overcome language and religious barriers, Bollywood films follow strict rules. The actions and fate of the protagonists are predictable , as in mythology . In contrast to the Hollywood scheme, which usually assigns every script to a genre, the Hindi film proceeds according to the so-called masala format , alluding to the Indian mixture of spices. For example, the masala films, which usually last three hours, contain various genres (love, violence, drama, comedy, music).

The successes of the movie actor and her extravagant lifestyle, which are in the clubs of the city and the millionaire quarter "Malabar Hill" manifests an inexhaustible subject of celebrity stories in fanzines like Stardust , Star and Style , Movie World and Cine Blitz millions Find sales, while the professional world rather sticks to the more reserved screen . Of the approximately 200 cinemas in the city, only a few regularly show films in English.

With its rising production costs, increasing filming locations abroad and more freedom of movement on the screen, Bollywood has not been that dissimilar to Hollywood in recent years. But in the face of decline by 30 per cent attendance and many illegal copies of playing some expensive films produced losses of many millions of rupees one. One of the main expenses of the film producers is the constantly increasing fees of the superstars, which often make up a disproportionately high share of the film budget.


Mumbai is home to a variety of excellent educational institutions, including two universities ( University of Mumbai and SNDT Woman's University) and a number of research institutes, academies and colleges . The University of Mumbai, founded in 1857, is affiliated with almost all of the city's colleges, as are leading teaching and research institutions in India such as the Mumbai University Institute of Chemical Technology, which opened in 1934, and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), which was established in 1945 . The renowned Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, founded in 1958 , is also based in Mumbai.

More than 1,000 state and a number of private schools provide general education for the population in Mumbai. The western influence can be seen in the school system. School uniforms are compulsory, and all subjects except Hindi are taught in English. The state schools are free of charge, but unattractive because of the overcrowded classrooms and poorly trained teachers. The private schools are chargeable and are therefore mostly reserved for the higher-income population. The latter can also be attended by obtaining a scholarship .

At the age of six, students in Mumbai and all over India attend the Primary School, which corresponds to the German elementary school . This is followed by the Secondary School and then the Senior Secondary School, which can be attended between the ages of 11 and 15 and 16 to 17, respectively. After successfully completing these schools, students can enter university or attend college. Depending on the type of school, the final phase of education lasts three to five years. While good schooling is standard for the rich population, the poorer residents often fail because the children have to earn money to ensure the survival of their families and they cannot afford the required uniforms and school supplies.


Mumbai was the birthplace of numerous prominent personalities. The best known are the physicist Homi Jehangir Bhabha , the former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi , the sculptor Anish Kapoor , the Nobel Prize winner for literature Rudyard Kipling , the conductor Zubin Mehta , the writer and poet Dom Moraes , the tennis player Karan Rastogi , the tennis player Sania Mirza and the writers Salman Rushdie , Manil Suri and Terence Hanbury White .

See also


Scientific and popular science works
  • Martin Heintel et al .: Megacities of the Third World in the globalization process. Mexico City, Jakarta, Bombay - Comparative case studies in selected cultures. University of Vienna, 2000, ISBN 3-900830-40-1
  • Rainer Krack: Kulturschock Mumbai , Reise-Know-How Verlag Peter Rump GmbH, Bielefeld, 2008, ISBN 978-3-8317-1698-2
  • Barbara Malchow, Keyumars Tayebi: People in Bombay. Life stories of a city. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1986, ISBN 3-499-15918-X
  • Suketu Mehta: Bombay - Maximum City . Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 2004, ISBN 0-375-40372-8
  • Ministry of Finance: Mumbai: An International Financial Center. SAGE Publications, 2007, ISBN 0-7619-3630-0
  • Sudha Mohan: Urban Development and New Localism: Politics in Mumbai. Rawat Publications, 2006, ISBN 81-7033-918-9
  • Heinz Nissel: Bombay. Investigations into the structure and dynamics of an Indian metropolis. Institute for Geography at the TU Berlin, 1977, ISBN 3-7983-0573-0
  • Heinz Nissel: Mumbai: a megacity caught between global, national and local interests. Geographische Rundschau 56 (4), pp. 55-61 (2004), ISSN  0016-7460
  • Derek O'Brien: The Mumbai Fact File. Penguin Books India, 2003, ISBN 0-14-302947-9
  • Sujata Patel (Ed.): Bombay and Mumbai: The City in Transition. Oxford University Press India, 2005, ISBN 0-19-567711-0 .
  • Pauline Rohatgi: Bombay to Mumbai: Changing Perspectives. Marg Publications India, 2002, ISBN 81-85026-37-8 .
  • Jeremy Seabrook: Life and Labor in a Bombay Slum . Quartet Books, London / New York 1987, ISBN 0-7043-0132-6 .
  • I. Suraiya: Bombay. The city neurotics. In: GEO-Special India , No. 4/1993. ISSN  0342-8311
Novels and short stories

Web links

Commons : Mumbai  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
 Wikinews: Mumbai  - on the news
Wikivoyage: Mumbai  Travel Guide

Individual evidence

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