Home > Visitor Services > Mumbai Guide > Mumbai History

Mumbai History


Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) is the state capital of Maharashtra and commercial capital of India. In the sixteenth century Portuguese rulers named the area Bom Bahia which means Good Bay. The British took over Mumbai from the Portuguese, in the year 1662. It was a dowry gift from the Portuguese to Charles II, then the king of England, in his marriage with Infanta Catherine Braganza, the Princess of Portugal. After gaining possession of the isles; the British anglicized the name to Bombay. The city was renamed Mumbai in 1995, the name Mumbai is derived from Mumba Devi, after the patron goddess of the Kolis who are the original inhabitants of Mumbai. The Kolis called her 'Mumba Aai' (Mother Mumba). From this word came Mumbai. The temple of goddess Mumba Devi is still exists in Mumbai.

Mumbai was a cluster of seven islands, islands namely Colaba, Smaller Colaba, Worli, Parel, Mazgaon, Mumbadevi & Mahim, the seven islands were merged by way of reclamation. Ambitious projects like Town Hall, University Library, High Court Building, Malabar Hill water reservoir, Vihar water supply scheme, and construction of V.T. and corporation buildings and Gateway of India were undertaken and completed. Market places like Crawford Market & Mulji Mehta Market and business places like Stock Exchange (t he Bombay Stock Exchange, the oldest in Asia , currently ranks as the third largest in the world) and Fort Market were established.

In 1853 the first railway line in India between Mumbai and Thane was started. The Mumbai Suburban Railway Network extends from Churchgate to Virar on the west, Mumbai CST to Kasara / Karjat in Central & from Mumbai CST to Panvel on Harbour line.

Mumbai has now grown into a very large metropolitan city. It has earned a reputation of being a main centre of trade, commerce, communications, business, industry, entertainment and tourism in India . No history of Mumbai can be complete without the mention of Bollywood , the biggest Indian film industry which churns out hundreds of Hindi block-busters every year and lures many young star aspirants to the city every year.

Although the old Mumbai has undergone many changes during the last four to five decades, it has preserved its original charm. The real beauty of this city lies in the vivacity and diversity in its culture. People of all regions, religions and communities have settled here for generations and many more come here every day for business, trade, and tourism. Mumbai continues to charm as a magical city of dreams and infinite possibilities.

Useful Links to know more about the History of Mumbai.

This Link provides the History of Mumbai from ancient times
The official website of Maharashtra Government Tourism Department