Only politicians and bureaucrats call India’s largest, most cosmopolitan, colourful, energetic and overcrowded city Mumbai – to everyone else it’s still Bombay and has a buzzing atmosphere that’s almost palpable. The sprawling city is the country’s main centre of business, fashion and film.
Until the 17th century the seven islands that make up the city were home only to fishermen but after passing into the hands of the British East India Company its fortunes grew from the ship building yards and later, trade. The Fort and Colaba areas are testimony to Bombay’s growing wealth in the Victorian era with public buildings and churches in Indo-Saracenic, gothic and early English architectural styles vying for attention. Across the city there are teeming markets to explore, fascinating museums and galleries in which to spend hours and retail therapy for the most jaded of shoppers. To keep you going along the way Bombay offers some the best cuisine in India from world class restaurants to and incredible variety of tasty street food.
From the Gateway of India a boat trip to Elephanta Caves 10km to the east of the harbour is a relaxing way to gain a fabulous view of Bombay from the sea. The caves themselves date from the 6-8th centuries and contain huge rock carvings of the Hindu god Shiva in various forms.
For more about life in the city and ideas of things to do in Bombay take a look at our blog or get in touch to plan your trip.