Overview – Mumbai
An Overview of Mumbai
Mumbai – The City that Never Sleeps
Mumbai is located on India’s central-western coast along the Arabian Sea. The city developed for 150 years in isolation from its hinterland and still seems to belong in a different world to the huge, predominantly Hindu state of Maharashtra which encompasses a 500km (310mi) coastal strip, a portion of the Western Ghats and a significant part of the Deccan plateau. The Western Ghats (literally, steps) start to rise just north of Mumbai and run parallel to the coast. They have an average elevation of 915m (3001ft) and are covered with tropical and temperate evergreen forests and mixed deciduous forest and harbour a rich array of plant and animal life, including 27% of India’s flowering plants.
Mumbai, covering an area of about 450 sq. km, is the biggest metropolis of India and its financial capital. Mumbai is located in the state of Maharashtra, and is the capital of the state. About fifteen million people live in Mumbai – a city that never sleeps. Mumbai is a conglomeration of seven archipelagos and is populated by people of diverse ethnicities. Originally populated by the fisherman community, the city is now a potpourri of industrialists, film-stars, artists, workers, teachers and clerks. It is not uncommon in Mumbai to find shanties in juxtaposition to a modern skyscraper – both coexisting in harmony.
The people of Mumbai are called Mumbaikars. The main languages spoken in Mumbai are Marathi, Gujarathi, Hindi and English.
Mumbai, being the financial capital of India, is host to a large number of corporate houses, the country’s premier stock exchange, and a plethora of 5 star hotels. The film making industry is one of the most thriving activities in Mumbai and Bollywood is as famous as Hollywood. From esoteric restaurants, pubs and the like, to spiritual centres like the Hare Rama Hare Krishna temples, from sophisticated multiplexes and malls to roadside tapris that offer hot chai, Mumbai offers it all.
Mumbai lies between Latitude – 18º 53′ North, Longitude – 72º 50′ East and is located at sea level. It lies at the mouth of the Ulhas River on the western coast of India, in the coastal region of Konkan. It sits on Salsette Island and shares some boundary with the adjoining Thane district. Mumbai has a Warm and humid Climate throughout the year and the Average Temperature being Day – 35º C, Night – 25º C. Because of its proximity to the Arabian Sea, Mumbai enjoys heavy monsoon showers from June to September.
Mumbai is surrounded by the Arabian Sea to the west and is covered by two ridges of low hills on Colaba’s east and west forming a barrier of sorts from the open sea .The other ridge ends up at Malabar Hill 180 ft above sea level, which is also Mumbai’s highest point. The Fort area of Mumbai lies between these two ridges.
Being the economic hub of India and as one of the most populous cities of the world, Mumbai is well connected with the rest of India. The Mumbai – Pune Expressway, the Mumbai – Agra highway, the Mumbai – Ahmedabad highway are extremely busy roadways, with thousands of vehicles plying them daily.
Mumbai has a deep natural port. In fact, the erstwhile English name of the city (Bombay) is said to come from the Portugese ‘bom baim’ which means ‘good little bay’. The international airport at Mumbai is the busiest airport in the country.
One of the most salient aspects of Mumbai is the system of ‘local’ trains. These locals are the heart of efficient transport in Mumbai.
Mumbai is a well-planned city. A large number of flyovers ensure that the relentless traffic of the city is very smooth. Though there are traffic snarls due to the sheer volume of vehicles, the roads of Mumbai are quite capable to handle large volume of vehicular traffic.
Being blessed with heavy monsoon showers, Mumbai has an adequate water supply throughout the year. There are two electricity generating companies in Mumbai, and power outages are very rare.
There are a number of good international schools in Mumbai, i.e. American, German, French and Japanese. There is also a good choice of reputable English-language private schools, and a number of professional colleges and Management Institutes.
Without a doubt, Mumbai is the business & financial capital of India. All the major financial institutions and business houses have a presence in Mumbai. The country’s premier stock exchange, the Bombay Stock Exchange has a history of more than 135 years.
The mills in Lower Parel have slowly given way to ultra-modern hotels and malls. The IT sector in Mumbai is mainly located near Andheri, and other northern parts of the city.
Realty in Mumbai
Housing is a major problem in Mumbai. Apartments are the only form of accommodation available and these are extremely expensive due to the high demand. Plots in Mumbai are virtually unheard of, unless someone wants to sell their old bungalow / apartment complex. The most prestigious residential areas are Worli Sea Face, Cuffe Parade, Colaba, B. Desai Road, Nairman Point, Malabar Hill and Napean Sea Road.
Being one of the most populous cities in the world comes with a price. The rates of realty in Mumbai have already sky rocketed. If apartments are costly, plots in Mumbai are prohibitively expensive. That is the reason most of the people in Mumbai choose locations like Karjat and other nearby places for their second home or for a farm house. They are very affordable.