The contrasts of Mumbai strike. More than any other metropolis of the world - except, perhaps, Sao Paulo - it is a world of contrasts. It adjoins the antiquity and modernity, poverty to luxury. The city has many night clubs and churches, lay people and religious fanatics. In Mumbai, is the biggest slum and the most expensive real estate in Asia. Dressed in a sari (traditional clothes), women wear expensive clothes sported by young designers Western indiykami. This is the most populous metropolis in the world is in the heart of the national park. It even has two names: Mumbai and Bombay.
Mumbai: General Information
The Colonial History of Mumbai began with the capture and the formation of a Portuguese colony in 1509. In 1661 the town was granted to Britain as part of the dowry of Portuguese Princess Catherine Bragansskoy when she was getting married to Charles II. The British Crown was presented with the city, but did not know what to do with it and loaned to the East India Company for ten pounds a year. The city began to develop rapidly during the U.S. Civil War, when stopped the export of cotton from the American South. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 transformed it into a major seaport on the Arabian Sea coast. Mumbai was originally located on seven islands, over time the area was wrested from the sea and the island became a single entity, connected to mainland India. Bombay became the center of the movement for Indian independence in the early 20th century. Hence, Mahatma Gandhi started the movement for the independence of the state. When India gained independence in 1947, the city became the capital of Bombay State. With the departure of the British began a rapid growth of the population of the city, thanks to the vast business opportunities that are not available in other parts of the country. At the time, Mumbai was considered the best example of Victorian Gothic architecture in the world and was reminded as the thriving industrial English town of the nineteenth century. The style of architecture of the colonial buildings reflect the passion of the English Gothic style and demonstrated the wealth of British Bombay. The wet tropical climate and time have not passed unnoticed for the city: masonry buildings gradually fell into decay, the rich facades, plants grew. Many buildings do not just look decrepit, they are. Each year, many houses were destroyed, people were dying. Twenty-one million people live in Mumbai, one in the high skyscrapers and luxury villas, some in appalling slums.
Mumbai is home to Mukesh Ambani, India's richest man (after Lakshmi Mittal), who built twenty-seven-story mansions worth a billion dollars with a staff of about six hundred men to serve six members of his family. At the same time, the city has one of the biggest slum of Asia. Here reside the largest number of millionaires than any other city in the Indian subcontinent, but among the wealth and luxury lifestyle, nearly half the population lives in slums in abject poverty. In the Marathi the language was always called the city of Mumbai and the name of Bombay city owes the Portuguese. From the old colonial name finally decided to abandon in 1995, although many people inside and outside of India, Mumbai is still called Bombay.
Mumbai in India is a dream for many people in the country, a fabulous city of wealth and idleness, the place of opportunities. There is more than six per cent of India's GDP, it accounts for 25% of industrial production, 70% of maritime trade, 40% of foreign trade. The city has major financial institutions: The Reserve Bank of India, The Bombay Stock Exchange, The National Stock Exchange of India, the main offices of many Indian companies and multinationals. In 2009 Mumbai was in the list of Alpha cities (the city, which is considered an important element of the global economic system). It is the richest city in India and has the highest GDP, compared to any other metropolis in the South, West or Central Asia. Business opportunities in Mumbai and the relatively high standard of living attracts migrants from all over India. Over ten major ethnic communities in the city speak their native languages, adding color and originality of Mumbai. Mumbai is the best option for many migrants than any other city in India. Immigrants who come here from other parts of India will always find people speaking their native language and find a way to earn some money to send home. As for the poor infrastructure and other things that make life in this city a living hell, the poor Indians just do not even notice, because the situation in their home town or village, much worse. Mumbai for the Indians is a city of opportunities. The first impression of Mumbai is a huge crowd of people. It's amazing how such a huge mass of people could squeeze into a relatively small space. With a population of almost 21 million inhabitants, it is the most populous city in India and the sixth in the world. By 2015, according to forecasts, it will become the most populous metropolis in the world. All major cities in India are noisy, but none of them can compare to Mumbai. An endless sea of people can be seen immediately on arrival at the airport, waiting for a family of relatives, taxi drivers looking for passengers, vendors and beggars of their clients. This is always a crowded city, it is difficult to avoid the noise, congestion and traffic congestion. The crowds of people jostling and chaos can perplex even seasoned travelers. Huge crowds of people everywhere: in streets, shops, markets, public transport and the giant slum. Their number does not give account. This endless stream of people constantly replenished with visitors from other parts of the country are often trying to find a job here. For all its dilapidation and poverty, Mumbai is the engine of economic development of India. Some of this wealth goes to those who are at the bottom of the social ladder. This is the best place in India to be a beggar, names of historical monuments Mumbai demonstrate the change of the political situation in the country. In the late 19th century, the British gave a lot of names in honor of the British Queen, here and Victoria Station, Victoria Gardens, Victoria Technical Institute (built in 1887 in honor of the 50th anniversary of the coronation of Her Majesty). In the early 20th century, many objects in the town was named in honor of the Prince of Wales. After independence, the colonial names were not likely to exist, so naturally, they were renamed. Many buildings, avenues and streets are named either in honor of Jawaharlal Nehru (first Prime Minister of India) and Shivaji (Indian national hero who founded the Maratha empire in the 18th century).
Mumbai is home to Bollywood , an informal term commonly used to name the movie companies, located in Mumbai. Named by analogy with the American Hollywood, Bollywood is the term often incorrectly used to name the entire Indian film industry. Bollywood represents only part of the Indian film industry, which produces films primarily in Hindi. Bollywood is the largest film producer in India and one of the largest film production centers in the world. Every year there are about 800 films removed, the vast majority of which are of low quality, but quite satisfying for the Indian audience. Despite the many religious communities living there Christians and Jains, Muslims and Parsis Mumbai, in the first place, is the city of the Hindus. The Hindu culture is the best to know at the time of festivals. One of the most popular festivals is the festival of Ganesha, the god of wisdom and prosperity in Hindu mythology. The festival falls in August-September and is considered one of the most important and colorful festivals of Hindus. Within 10 days of the festival the people pray to a statue of Ganesha. On the eleventh day of celebrating crowds of people gather on the beach, make donations, lit the lamps and sent a statue of the deity in the muddy waters of the Arabian Sea. In Mumbai the celebration of Ganesh festival attracts thousands of pilgrims from other regions. Mumbai is well justified reputation as the concrete jungle, but the city has many parks. There is even a national park. No one visits Mumbai for a visit to this national park, but it is a good place for a break from the hustle and the bustle of the big cities.
Kamla Nehru Park (Kamla Nehru Park), a well-known building in the form of an amazing shoe, is embodied in many films in Bollywood. Like many other Indian cities, Mumbai streets are filled with cars, carts and cows and the air is filled with smog and the sound of road transport. Mumbai cannot boast a wealth of historical attractions, such as Calcutta and Delhi . Rather, the characteristic feature of this metropolis of India is its focus on the development of commerce and the rapid pace of life of millions of people living here, the carriers of different cultures, religions and languages. This is a wonderful city to explore the lifestyle of Indians, not the historical sights. Tourists tend to visit the most famous attractions and the next day with a relief left behind dirt and noise of the crowded city streets. Mumbai often serves as a stopover on the way to the beaches of Goa and other tourist destinations. Most visitors find that it is hardly the time spent here can be called pleasant. However, in the city, which is called the engine of Indian business, industry and commerce and associated with Bollywood, you can spend your time. It all depends on how well you tolerate heat, humidity, crush, smog and the appalling poverty of slums of one of the most dynamic cities in India. The oldest part of the city is South Mumbai. Here there are a lot of museums, art galleries, bars, restaurants and tourist attractions.
Gateway of India
The most famous monument of Mumbai serves as a starting point to explore the city for most travelers. Built in 1920 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary, it served as a vivid symbol of the era of British rule. Ironically, when the era of British India ended in 1947, the last British soldier left the country through the Gateway of India. Today this symbol of colonialism has attracted crowds of tourists and residents. Over the archway, steps lead down to the water. Here you can make an excursion by boat along the harbor of Bombay.
Chattrapati Shivaji Station
Chhatrapati Shivaji is the most crowded train station, not only in Mumbai, but in whole India. The design of the Station has some similarities with the vocals of St. Pancras in central London. Untitled "Victoria Terminus" in honor of the British Queen Victoria, it received its current name in 1996. The building took 10 years, the station was opened on the day of the golden jubilee of the Queen in 1887. Worth £ 260,000, it became the most expensive building at the time in Mumbai. In 2004, the Chhatrapati Shivaji was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. In 2008 it was captured in the famous film "Slumdog Millionaire" became the winner of eight awards "Oscar" awards and four "Golden Globe".
Haji Ali Mosque
Haji Ali Mosque was built in 1431 in memory of a rich Muslim merchant Haji Ali, who sacrificed all his fortune and then made a pilgrimage to Mecca. According to the legend, during a trip to Mecca, he fell ill and commanded his followers to leave the coffin with his body in the Arabian Sea. Strangely enough, the coffin landed on a rocky island near Mumbai. Haji Ali was buried on this island and in memory of the holy place of his grave was erected a mosque, which in our day for a week visiting some 80,000 pilgrims. Regardless of faith and religion, people visit the grave of the saint to receive blessings. The mosque was built on a tiny island connected to shore up the narrow causeway almost a kilometer. Accessibility to the mosque is totally dependent on the tides. During the tide, the dam is immersed in water and the island is completely isolated from the land. Walk along the causeway is one of the highlights of visiting the shrine.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum
Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum (formerly Prince of Wales Museum) was founded in the early 20th century with the help of the government and the wealthy citizens of Mumbai to commemorate the visit of the Prince of Wales. In 1990 the museum was renamed in honor of Chhatrapati Shivaji, the founder of Maratha empire. The museum was built in the Indo-Saracenic style, with elements of the architecture of the Marathas and the Mughals. The museum building is located, surrounded by palm trees and flower beds. The museum has about 50,000 artifacts, mostly of ancient Indian history.
Elephanta Caves is a series of artificial caves located on Elephanta Island, 10 km east of Mumbai. The island consists of two groups of caves: the five Indian and two Buddhist. The Hindu caves have stone sculptures dedicated to Lord Shiva. The caves are carved in hard basalt rock. The island was a place of worship of Hindu and Buddhist deities before the Portuguese rule in 1534. The Portuguese called the island of Elephanta, seeing the giant statue of an elephant head at the entrance to a cave. The statue is now in the Museum of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai. The caves were restored in 1970 and included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
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