Some call it the City of Dreams, others know it as Maximum City. Whatever you call it, once your flight to Mumbai lands, you’ll know exactly why you came – this is India’s economic dynamo, the home of Bollywood, a wealthy cosmopolitan metropolis where fortunes can be made and lives transformed.
It’s also a city packed with people striving for a better life. Mumbai is home to more than 21 million people. The city is crowded and chaotic, full of energy and hope, and always expanding. It’s come a long way since its early days as a group of seven islands inhabited by fisherfolk. Since then it’s been ruled by Hindu and Muslim dynasties. The Portuguese and the British have also left their mark.
Today, many visitors are drawn by Mumbai’s colonial architecture, while others come for its eclectic food scene, which features vibrant cheap eats from street vendors and high-end cuisines.
Colaba is the lively backpackers’ haven that’s home to the Gateway of India and the iconic Taj Mahal Palace hotel. But further afield there’s fashionable Bandra, the Queen of Suburbs, with its trendy lounges and restaurants; plus Juhu to the north, the Beverly Hills of Bollywood, where celebrities live in luxury beachfront apartments.
Rich or poor, the allure of Mumbai’s seafront is always strong. From Marine Drive to Chowpatty Beach and beyond, couples and families flock to admire the views of the bay at night. As they might tell you: there aren’t many better ways to end a day in Mumbai.