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10 Introduction 11 An introduction to Mumbai city Located on the west coast of India the group of islands which has grown into the city of Mumbai was probably first recorded as the home of fisher folk where a group of Buddhist monks established an outpost late during the Magadhan empire The islands were tossed from one king to another for two millennia until the maritime trade empire of the British decided to develop the natural harbour into a city In the 400 years since then the city has grown by a series of land reclamations which now link the original islands into one mass The city was called Bombay for much of the last 400 years The origin of the name is obscure but is often said to have come from the Portuguese phrase bomb bahia meaning good bay The name Mumbai has been used in the main local languages for as long and is ascribed to the local deity Mumba ai means mother in marathi The name of the city was changed to Mumbai by an act of the parliament in 1997 Estimated to hold about 15 million people the city has grown dramatically in the last 50 years The core area called the Island city has the most expensive real estate in all of India As a result the city has grown far into the mainland both to the north and the east It is not unusual for people to commute more than an hour to work each day Getting water power and food to the city is a major task which is handled reasonably by civic agencies planning bodies and people going about their business Mumbai is called the financial capital of India the stock exchange is the primary stock exchange of the country most large business houses have their corporate houses in the city It is also the primary center for the arts and
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