Formerly known with the British name Bombay, Mumbai is the largest city in India and the capital of the Maharashtra state. Mumbai is a metropolis, a cultural headquarters, a commercial powerhouse, a liberal and modern melting pot, all at once. The city is made up of seven islands where skyscrapers, villas, and 5-star hotels tower beside slums and shanties. The “Mumbaikans”, the name for the citizens of Mumbai, are a fascinating mix of ethnicities, levels of wealth, and status. This diversity reflects in the steady stream of cultural activities, shows, and performances. The city is also the epicenter for the Hindi film industry, called Bollywood, which has the largest production of films in the world.
Mumbai's most recognized and ambivalent monument is the Gateway of India. The triumphant arch was built to commemorate the visit of Britain’s George V and Queen Mary in 1911 and designed to be the first thing to be seen when approaching Mumbai by boat. Perhaps ironically, it also symbolizes the end of the imperial rule: in 1947 the British troops passed through the gateway marking the country's independence.Mumbai is also the home of many buildings with captivating architecture, such as the Victoria Terminus, the city's principal railway station, and the Prince of Wales Museum, a fascinating construction preserving archeological, religious, and natural artifacts.A visit to the colorful markets and bazaars, such as Crawford Market and Chor Bazaar, is definitely a must-see.