Mumbai’s population is palpably massive and its diversity of human energy is endless. It’s India’s Bollywood film industry capital, financial engine, fashion hub and home to pioneering regional and international artists from all genres. The city’s modern districts co-exist alongside a surprising array of tucked-away temples, bazaars and shops.


Mumbai’s historic and constant synergy of vibrant commerce, openness to creative influences from abroad and the importance of education continue to thrive in the present day. Numerous traditions, languages, religions and diverging world views intersect and intertwine to produce creative dialogue.


Renowned architectural treasures spanning many epochs and styles abound in Mumbai. The Gateway of India, Iskcon Temple, the Khotachiwadi village and Elephanta Island are some examples of the broad range. The city centre contains some of the world’s most impressive colonial and art deco architecture and nurtures the planet’s largest urban tropical forest.


As in most Indian cities of size, an exploration of foods and preparation styles is an imperative. Thanks to Mumbai’s diversity, almost any style of regional and international cuisine is available – from street vendors serving-up fresh dishes from the northwest frontier to multi-cultural, organic palettes influenced by beliefs that the body is a temple to be listened to when deciding what to eat.


Seven islands originally comprised what is now Mumbai. This area along India’s northwestern coastline was home to the Koli people from prehistoric Gujarat. The name Mumbai is said to stem from the name of the Koli mother goddess. Waves of regional empires controlled the area as did the Portuguese and the East India Company.

While still referred to as Bombay, Mumbai evolved into an important and coveted commonwealth port of trade. Educational and economic development fueled the rapidly growing city’s eventual influence on the thinking behind India’s independence from Great Britain in 1947.