Mumbai-The Business Capital of India
Bombay or Mumbai as it is now known, is predominantly a commercial city -- the largest commercial hub of the country aka commercial capital of India. The name Mumbai is believed to be linked to the goddess Mumba Devi, to whom a temple was dedicated at the site where Victoria Terminus now stands. In the early centuries, Mumbai was a group of seven islands that were ruled by Hindu dynasties. Then the Mughals invaded it in the 14th century. Since then the area had a rather unsettled history, passing first to the Portuguese, with the main island becoming part of the dowry of Catherine of Braganza when she married Charles the Second in 1661.
The British government eventually leased the land to the East India Company. Merchants and migrants began to flock to this place because of the port that ensured good trade connections. Over a period of time, Mumbai acquired a mix of Parsis, Hindus, Gujaratis, Banias and Goan traders and merchants which characterises its present multicultural society . It was not till the nineteenth century, that efforts at land reclamation resulted in the islands finally being linked together.
Apart from a cosmopolitan culture, Mumbai's heritage includes buildings left over from the era of the British Raj. The fanciful and highly decorated Victoria Terminus in the heart of downtown Mumbai is the most well known of all. Others include the Horniman Circle, Watson's Hotel and neighbouring Victorian buildings opposite the Jehangir Art Gallery, St Thomas' Cathedral and Crawford Market. Besides these, there is Mumbai's landmark, the Gateway of India. The places to really spend time and feel the ambience of Mumbai, are the markets and the beaches. From fashion street to the new, high-rise, all-in-one shopping plazas, Mumbai is a shopper's delight. In the evenings, Marine drive remains ever popular, with the broad sweep of lights alongside the darkness of the Arabian Sea making a spectacular view.