India's largest city is vast, colourful, noisy, filthy and beautiful. Mumbai is a microcosm of what India stands for, a city where contrasts are as normal as breathing. There's the glamour and sophistication of Bollywood, the poverty and simplicity, Gothic buildings and ornate Indian architecture, palaces, temples, smog and dirt. And there is also millions of people wherever you go.
Mumbai's immense size and scope is quite daunting, and difficult to comprehend. But those who embrace its differences will find a magical place where the chaotic markets offer bargain shopping, the nightlife is lively and fun, the restaurants offer a variety of exceptional cuisines and the sights are quite superb.
The city is located on a peninsula halfway up India's western coast. It's the country's economic centre, home to more millionaires than any other city in the country. Mumbai is also India's most important port, and a base for many of the country's largest corporations. The extreme wealth contrasts very starkly with the extreme poverty visible here. In fact, almost 21 million people live in slums in Mumbai.
This ancient Hindu city was first established at the beginning of the 16th century, and historic buildings from Imperial Bombay's heyday are still visible, including exquisite Victorian buildings and a variety of other architectural styles, reflecting the British passion for variety and decoration.
You'll find Mumbai's streets full of traffic as well as carts and cattle, the air is full of smog and the noise is ear-popping. Mumbai may not be India's capital, but it epitomises what modern India is all about - no holds barred.
- Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, VABB
- Daman Airport, VADN
- Nashik Airport, VAOZ
- Pune Airport / Lohagaon Air Force Station, VAPO