Hotel Taj Mahal Palace, before Mumbai Bombings

Mumbai - Geography & Expanse

  • The capital of Maharashtra (formerly known as Maratha) – Mumbai – is situated in Salsette Island (Sashti Island) on a narrow peninsula.
  • Salsette Island is flanked by the Arabian Sea to its west, Thane Creek to its east, and Vasai Creek to its North.
  • In fact, Mumbai is located on what used to be a group of seven islands: the Isle of Bombay, Parel, Mazagaon, Mahim, Colaba, Worli, and Old Woman’s Island (also known as Little Colaba).
  • To mention in terms of the geography of rivers in India, Mumbai is located at the mouth of River Ulhas on the western coastal region of India known as ‘Konkan’.
  • Mumbai is broadly divided into two regions – City district and Suburban district. The Mumbai City District is what we commonly call South Mumbai.
  • With most of its cities lying just above sea level, the city has an average height of 14 meters (46 ft).
  • The soil cover in the city district is very sandy due to its proximity to the sea. In underground areas, the soil is heavily covered with alluvial and loamy soils.

From Bombay To Mumbai - Mumbai’s Etymology

  • Mumbai was originally and officially known as Bombay, up until 1995. 
  • After 1995, it is widely accepted that Bombay got renamed as Mumbai by Maharashtra’s oldest native community – the Koli community.
  • Pleistocene sedimentary findings found along with the coastal areas nearby Kandivali let us know that the islands have been found to be inhabited from around the Common Era by a growing fishing community. That fishing community was the Koli community of Maharashtra.
  • It is claimed that Mumbai got its name from the Koli communit’s patron goddess Mumbadevi. However, this claim on Mumbai’s etymology is also disagreed with by many sources. 
  • Now, archeology could trace back that Mumbai was once an amalgamation of seven islands. But till today, we don’t know when human civilization began on these islands.

Dynasties That Ruled Maratha - Bombay’s History

  • The Maratha soil was taken under rule by the Mauryan Dynasty in the 3rd Century BCE.
  • With the Buddhist emperor Ashoka of Magadha sitting on the Mauryan throne at that time, the Mauryan expanded its borders towards the South with their arrival on Maratha soil.
  • Between the 2nd century BCE and the 9th century CE, the islands came under the following traditional dynasties: Satavahanas, Western Satraps, Abhira, Vakataka, Kalachuris, Konkan Mauryas, Chalukyas, and Rashtrakutas, before Shilaharas ruled from 810 to 1260.
  • The Delhi Sultanate conquered the islands in 1347-48 and controlled them until 1407.
  • From 1407, the reigns were taken over for recordably the last time by the independent Gujarat Sultanate. Their most famous contribution is the Haji Ali Dargah in 1431 at Worli, built in tribute to the Muslim saint Haji Ali.

 Top view-Gateway Of India by the Arabian Sea

Bombay In Colonised India

  • Before the East India Company first set foot in India and got their eyes on Bombay, the Portuguese had already gotten their prize.
  • With an excellent climate and direct access to the Arabian Sea, Bombay was one of their first choices, even though it cost the then reigning king.
  • With the growing power of the Mughal Emperor Humayun, the reigning king Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat Sultanate thought it best to start an alliance with the Portuguese Empire.
  • The signed treaty was called the ‘treaty of bassein’, which entailed that the Sultanate would hand over all the seven islands to be ruled and cooperated with at their own will.
  • So, the Portuguese established colonies of their own and judicial ways of their own from 1534.
  • The Portuguese were actively involved in developing and development of their Roman Catholic religion in Bombay.
  • Those seven islands didn’t just begin to be culturally different from the rest of India, but they also developed differently in terms of lifestyle.
  • However, the Portuguese could only keep those islands up until a year, as they surrendered all the seven islands to the English East India Company in 1535.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus - At evening

Mumbai In Independent India

  • During British colonialism, the port of Bombay also functioned as a presidency.
  • However, post independence, Bombay got instated as a state with corroboration of many namesake princely families. Even though the princely family neither ruled Bombay nor did they stay in significance for long.
  • From that time, Bombay has evolved into the city we see today. A city with job opportunities for almost every field of occupation that there exists – from industries to entertainment.
  • Mumbai is today most famous for being the home ground of the majority of Hindi cinema and is considered one of the first “modern” cities, but in its heart it still maintains its originality and nativity.
  • With the majority of its population evidently developed and modern and of the western way of the lifestyle, Mumbai still has a majority of the crowd willingly speaking their native language ‘Marathi’.
  • Most of the living residents of Mumbai have their roots in fishing communities and other native communities from the Common Era and they are extremely proud of where their roots go back to. 
  • This acceptance and lack of judgement that surrounds the perspective of all the ‘Mumbaikars’, is what makes them different and forward.

Places To Visit In Mumbai

  • St Thomas Church
  • Shree Siddhivinayak Temple
  • Afghan Church
  • Mahalaxmi Temple
  • Mount Mary Church
  • Haji Ali Dargarh
  • Gateway Of India
  • The Taj Palace Hotel
  • Bandra-Worli Sea Link
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
  • Raj Bhavan
  • Global Vipassana Pagoda 
  • Marine Drive

Marine Drive - Queen’s Necklace

  • Navi Mumbai
  • Dharavi
  • Colaba
  • Bandra
  • Royal Opera House
  • Prithvi Theatre
  • Dadasaheb Phalke Chitranagari (Film City)
  • Mehboob Studios
  • National Centre For Performing Arts
Tags: place to visit


  1. Tripti

    Mumbai is the wealthiest city in the country

  2. deepak

    Mumbai means bollywood, beaches, best street food, mumbai local and VADAPAAV

  3. Prince Gautam

    Easily understandable way to explain.

  4. Atanu Bhattacharjee

    Mumbai- The dream city, we know its a Dream city but people from outside Maharashtra they don’t about it. This Reference very much helpful for them and for us also.

  5. Anchipaka Rupa Sri

    Mumbai city is magic

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