Mumbai is the capital city of Maharashtra state and a natural harbour on the west coast of India. It is famous for many things, for instance, its old-world charm and architecture that starkly contrasts with modern, soaring skyscrapers. It is also famous for being one of the most populated cities in the world as well one of the most wealthy. However, despite this great wealth, the city is also home to one of the world’s largest slums. Ready to delve deeper into this fascinating city? Here are some of the most interesting facts about Mumbai.
7 Interesting Facts About Mumbai
1. Mumbai was once called Bombay
Mumbai is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra. Until 1955, the official name was Bombay. The name came from the Portuguese writer Gaspar Correia who called the place “Bom Baim” which meant “good little bay”. The Government of India officially changed the English name to Mumbai in November 1995. The name Mumbai is derived from the local deity ‘Mumba Devi’.
2. Mumbai is one of the most populated cities in the world
With a population of 20,185,064 (as of February 2022) Mumbai is the eight-most populous city in the world. It is the second most populated city in India. The most populous Indian city is Delhi, which has a population of 29,399,141.
3. Mumbai was once an archipelago
Mumbai was once seven different islands – the Isle of Bombay, Colaba, Old Woman’s Island (Little Colaba), Mahim, Mazagaon, Parel and Worli. However, during the mid-18th-century, Bombay was reshaped and the area between the seven islands was reclaimed from the sea. This eventually lead to the creation of the city which in the 1800s was a major seaport on the Arabian Sea.
4. Mumbai is home to the world’s most expensive house
Mumbai houses the highest number of billionaires and millionaires in the country – as many as 217 (26 per cent) of individuals in the list of 828 Indian billionaires are from Mumbai. This makes the city the wealthiest in the country. So, it is no surprise that Mumbai is home to the most expensive house in India, but what might surprise you is that it is the most expensive house in the whole world! Antilia is a 568-foot skyscraper in the heart of Mumbai and is not only the world’s most expensive private home, but it’s also the world’s biggest. Antilia is owned by Mukesh Ambani. He is the chairman of Reliance Industries and the richest person in India. His home to valued at between $1 and $2 billion, which is second in price to London’s Buckingham Palace. However, as Buckingham Palace is government property, Antilia in Mumbai wears the crown as the world’s most expensive private residence.
5. Mumbai has three World Heritage Sites
Mumbai is home to three UNESCO World Heritage sites – the Elephanta Caves on the Elephanta Island, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or the Victoria Terminus, and the different Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of the city.
6. Mumbai is home to one of the world’s largest slums
Despite being a city of great wealth, Mumbai is home to one of the largest slums in the world. The slum of Dharavi is where some 700,00o to 1,000,000 people live. It is the biggest slum in Asia and the fourth-biggest slum in the world.
7. Bombay was gifted to the British
In 1661, the King of Portugal, King John IV, gave Bombay to Charles II of England as a dowry gift – Charles was marrying his daughter, Catherine of Braganza. The Portuguese ruled the seven islands of Bombay from 1534 to 1665.