Mumbai City

Mumbai area, previously known as Bombay, is the capital of Maharashtra state in southwestern India, located on Maharashtra coast. Mumbai is the financial and commercial center of India, besides being the major port on the Arabian Sea. The official language spoken in Mumbai is Marathi. Other languages are Hindi, English, Urdu and the local dialect, Bambaiya Hindi, reflecting the diversity of the city. Winter is the best time to visit Mumbai. Situated on the Arabian Ocean, the city is very humid. However, its location gives it the sea breeze. It is not preferred to visit India in the monsoon season, as the city gets flooded.

 

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Mumbai area owes its colorful present to its interesting past. The city was built on a site of ancient settlement. It gained its name from Mumba, the local goddess. Mumbai was known as Bombay during the period of the British colonial. The name Bombay was possibly an anglification for Mumbai. However, the name Mumbai was restored in 1995.

The modern city’s history is fading. Although many people around the world might not have the knowledge of Mumbai’s history, Mumbai people are very proud of their history and heritage. The history of Mumbai goes back to the formation of the seven islands of Colaba, Mazagaon, Mahim, Parel, Bombay Island, Worli and Old Woman's Island. These seven islands were part of the kingdom of Ashoka, the Buddhist emperor of India. After Ashoka’s death, a number of Silahara dynasty rulers took over the islands, until the kingdom of Gujarat annexed the islands in 1343.

Mumbai, known as “the city that never sleeps,” is a diverse city and one of the busiest cities in India. Festivals form an important part of Mumbai. First, there is Banganga festival, which is basically a musical show. The festival’s purpose is to promote Maharashtra’s culture. Different artists come from different parts of the country. Second, there is Elephants festival, organized in Elephanta caves. Musicians and dancers from all over India participate in the festival. Third, there is Gudhi Padwa festival, which marks the beginning of the Hindi year. This festival is celebrated throughout the state of Maharashtra,as it is considered like the New Year celebration. People hang bamboo stuff (gudhi) on the entrance of their houses, as it is believed that gudhi provide protection from evil forces.

Fourth, there is Ganesh Chaturthi, the most important festival of Maharashtra. It is a celebration of the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha, the Elephant-God. The people celebrate this festival by bringing an idol of the lord to their homes, decorated and worship it. The festival comes to an end by carrying the idol in a huge procession to the sea and immersing it in the water, amidst drum beats, songs and dancing. Last Diwali is one of the major festivals of Hindus. It presents the victory of good over bad. It is believed that Diwali festival is celebrated on the day that Lord Rama killed the demon king Ravana, completed his fourteen days of exile and returned to his kingdom. On this day, people worship Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi and seek their blessings. People clean their houses and decorate them with lights and flowers. People also burn crackers and fireworks and pray for a flourishing new year.

Mumbai has the most population of India and is one of the largest populated urban areas in the world. People of Mumbai are hard-working, witty and modern people. They are passionate about their lives. As Mumbai people are proud of their heritage, they prefer to dress in traditional attire, although western attire is very popular in the city of Mumbai.

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