Mumbai, the city of dreams, is indeed a dreamland for many people who look to make a name for themselves here. Beyond dreams, the city is also an emotion for its residents and visitors, likewise. No matter how much time you spend here, there will always be something more to do.
As the city is full of surprises, there are several hidden aspects about it that will leave you wondering and entice you in visiting the city. Here are some hidden facts about Mumbai I bet you don’t know yet.
- Seven Islands Make Up the City
Seven islands – Bombay, Mazagaon, Old Woman’s Island or Little Colaba, Mahim, Parel, and Worli – together make up the city. These individual islands got merged hundreds of years back and till date is one of the most important geographical changes the city has witnessed.
- Bombay became Mumbai
The Portuguese initially named the city as ‘Bom Bhaia’, which means ‘good bay’. However, when the British came over, they renamed the city as Bombay. Years later, the name got further changed from Bombay to Mumbai by Shiv Sena, a regional political party in Maharashtra. The motive behind the name change was that the name ‘Bombay’ looked as a sign of the British legacy.
- The city of firsts
The commercial capital of India, Mumbai to its credits has several firsts. Beyond being the city to have the first railway line (1853), Mumbai is also the first Indian city to house a five-star hotel, The Taj (1903). The years 1926 and 1928 saw Mumbai getting the first bus service and an airport, respectively, in the country.
You would already know how cramped Mumbai is and the difficulty one faces in finding empty spaces here. With a population of 20 million, Mumbai has more people than countries like The Netherlands, Romania, Kazakhstan, Zimbabwe, to name a few.
- Mumbai Local Trains
There are close to 7.5 million people that travel by local trains daily in the city. The Mumbai suburban railway system carries the most amount of passengers per kilometer than any other in the world. The peak travel hours (8 am to 10 am and 6 pm to 8 pm) are the craziest times of the day to travel. If you are an outsider, you would want to avoid this.
- Mumbai Dabbawalas
The dabbawalas of Mumbai ferry more than 2 million meals during the day. It is a lunchbox delivery and return system, where designated people deliver meals from restaurants and homes to people who work in offices. The dabbawala system in Mumbai works without any documentation, which makes it all the more amazing.
- National Park Within City Limits
It is rare for any metro city to hold a national park within its limits. But, Mumbai, as they say, is different. The Sanjay Gandhi National Park, which has an area of 104 square kilometres, is the largest that lies within a city’s limits. So, besides humans, some several other birds and animals are a part of this sprawling megacity.
- Flamingos Love Mumbai
If you have always wanted to see flamingos, now you know where to see them. During the winter season, flamingos migrate to Mumbai in large numbers. You can usually witness them at the Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary, Sewri Mangrove Park, and Bhandup West Pumping Station.
- Gilbert Hill – A Geological Wonder
Gilbert Hill, which lies in Andheri, is a 200-feet-tall hill that got formed around 66 million years back. Made of black basalt rock, it is the biggest geological occurrence in the country. However, most people of Mumbai are unaware of the fact and pass through it each day without realizing its importance.
- Bandra Worli Sea Link
Also known as the Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link, it is one of the finest examples of modern and extreme engineering in India. The length of this cable-stayed bridge is 5.6 km and was thrown open to the public in March 2010. Two and three-wheeler vehicles do not ply on this bridge.
- Aamchi Mumbai
The residents here fondly refer to the city as Aamchi Mumbai, which is a Marathi term that means ‘My Mumbai’. It also shows the love and unity of the people towards this city.
- Food Stalls
The city has some of the finest luxury restaurants, but the charm of eating at the roadside food stalls is unmatched. Vada Pav (also known as the Bombay Burger) is the ultimate street food that you cannot miss when you are in the city.
The residents of the city refer to themselves as Mumbaikars. They take great pride in calling the city as their own and getting referred to by that name.
- Helpful Nature
People in the city have a very helpful nature and always go out of their way to assist anyone who is new to the city. Tourists can especially feel relaxed and enjoy their stay, knowing that there will always be someone to help when needed.
I am sure these unknown facts about Mumbai will surprise you and would entice you to explore the city from a new perspective. If you are in Mumbai the next time, do not forget these points. The city has a lot to offer travelers who want something different and unique. Make sure you visit the city that will leave you mesmerized. I am also on IG, FB, Twitter, YT. Subscribe to my blog and social media handles to receive regular updates delivered right on your mobile.