Mumbai is the capital of the state of Maharashtra, and the most populous city of India, with an estimated population of about 13 million (as of 2006). Mumbai is located on Salsette Island, off the west coast of Maharashtra. By some measures, it is the largest city in the world. Along with its neighbouring suburbs, it forms the world's fifth most populous metropolitan area with a population of about 20 million.
The Gateway of India was built in 1919 and opened to public in 1924. The ceremonial arch was built in 1927 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary for the Delhi Durbar in 1911. Historically, the gateway holds greater significance as the last of the British troops left Independent India by sea, marched through its portals. It is situated on the Apollo Bunder.
A shiva temple built in 1914, the Prince of Wales Museum is surrounded by a beautiful landscape forming an ideal getaway from the bustle and hurry of the city. One of the best museums in the country, it is a treasure house of art, sculpture, china, rare coins, and old firearms. It also had priceless collection of miniature paintings.Standing on a busy five-point intersection in the heart of the commercial fort area, the Flora Fountain was erected in the memory of Governor, Henry Bartle Edward Frere. Haji Ali's Tomb is a mausoleum built in the memory of Haji Ali, a Muslim saint who was drowned while on pilgrimage to Mecca. It is accessible by a narrow causeway. Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus is an imposing structure formerly known as Victoria Terminus. It was built in 1888, designed by Frederick William Stevenson. The entire façade is covered by sculpture of animals and birds.
PEOPLE AND CULTURE
A resident of Mumbai is called a Mumbaikar, or Bombayite. Many residents prefer to stay close to major railway stations for easy access to their workplaces, as a significant amount of time is spent on daily commuting. Thus, many live a fast-paced life, with very little time for social activities. Bombay residents celebrate festivals with great fanfare. Ganesh Chaturthi is the most popular festival of Mumbai followed closely by Navratri.
The metropolis has its own local roadside fast food flavour, comprising vada pav (leavened wheat bread split in half, with fried dumplings as filling), pani puri (deep fried crêpe with tamarind and lentil sauce), pav bhaji (leavened wheat bread accompanied with fried vegetables) and bhel puri (puffed rice mixture), while South Indian and Chinese food are also very popular. The cosmopolitan residents have unique tastes in cuisine, music, film and literature, both Indian and international.
Mumbai is located on Shasti Island, which lies at the mouth of Ulhas River off the western coast of India, in the coastal region known as the Konkan. Much of Mumbai is at sea level, and the average elevation ranges from 10 to 15 metres. The northern part of Mumbai is hilly, and the highest point of the city is at 450 metres (1,450 feet). Mumbai spans a total area of 468 km² (169 mi²).
Three lakes are located within the metropolitan limits — the Tulsi Lake, Vihar Lake and Powai Lake. The first two are located within the Borivali National Park, and supply part of the city's drinking water. Mumbai also has three small rivers within the city limits originating in the National Park. The coastline of the city is indented with numerous creeks and bays. The eastern seaboard of Shas Island is covered with large mangrove swamps, rich in biodiversity.