Once known as Bombay, the city of Mumbai has long been associated with an exotic crossroads of culture, the gateway to the east where handsome colonials first encountered the sensual wonders of India.
In 1498, Portuguese took seven islands off the Konkan coastline and attempted to unite them into a city they called “Bom Bahia” (beautiful bay). After limited success, the British took over, and eventually sold the island city to the British East India Company, who laid the infrastructure for Bombay to become a commercial powerhouse. In 1995 the city was renamed Mumbai, during a postcolonial wave of renaming cities and regions. Some claim that Mumbai was actually the pre-colonial name of the island city.
Modern Mumbai is a parade of booming economy, dazzling entertainment, and luxurious nights along the Arabian Sea. Arts, museums, zoos, parks, beaches and luxury accommodations all mark Mumbai as a fascinating destination that offers plenty to do. It is home to Bollywood, the booming Indian film industry with an increasingly international appeal.
Magnificent colonial structures still remain from the British age, including the famous “Gateway of India,” a resplendent arch that welcomes travelers to new lands.
Not surprising, considering it’s diverse past and coastal location, Mumbai is incredibly diverse. As you survey the city you will see temples, mosques, churches, Parsi agiaries, and synagogues. The markets are worth observing, simply for the color and energy of the people, though there are treasures to be found for those willing to join the hubbub.
Ker & Downey’s local guides are experts in navigating the tumultuous metropolises of India. You’ll feel right at home as they bring the best experiences to your fingertips and let you decide how much you want to immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and flavors of Mumbai.
Contact your Ker & Downey consultant today to incorporate Mumbai into your next adventure.