Mumbai (also known as Bombay) is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, second most populous metropolitan area in India, and the fifth most populous city in the World, with an estimated city population of 18.4 million and metropolitan area population of 20.7 million as of 2011. Along with the neighbouring urban areas, including the cities of Navi Mumbai and Thane, it is one of the most populous urban regions in the world. Mumbai lies on the west coast of India and has a deep natural harbour. In 2009, Mumbai was named an alpha world city. It is also the wealthiest city in India, and has the highest GDP of any city in South, West or Central Asia.
The name Mumbai is derived from Mumba or Maha-Amba—the name of the Koli goddess Mumbadevi—and Aai, "mother" in the language of Marathi, The mother tongue of the Kolis. The oldest known names for the city are Kakamuchee and Galajunkja; these are sometimes still used. Ali Muhammad Khan, in the Mirat-i-Ahmedi (1507) referred to the city as Manbai. In 1508, Portuguese writer Gaspar Correia used the name Bombaim, in his Lendas da Índia ("Legends of India"). This name possibly originated as the Old Portuguese phrase bom baim, meaning "good little bay", and Bombaim is still commonly used in Portuguese. In 1516, Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa used the name Tana-Maiambu: Tana appears to refer to the adjoining town of Thane and Maiambu to Mumbadevi.
Mumbai is built on what was once an archipelago of seven islands: Bombay Island, Parel, Mazagaon, Mahim, Colaba, Worli, and Old Woman's Island (also known as Little Colaba). It is not exactly known when these islands were first inhabited. Pleistocene sediments found along the coastal areas around Kandivali in northern Mumbai suggest that the islands were inhabited since the Stone Age. Perhaps at the beginning of the Common era (2,000 years ago), or possibly earlier, they came to be occupied by the Koli fishing community. Native Christians include East Indians Catholics, who were converted by the Portuguese during the 16th century, are also koli people.
In the third century BCE, the islands formed part of the Maurya Empire, during its expansion in the south, ruled by the Buddhist emperor, Ashoka of Magadha. The Kanheri Caves in Borivali were excavated in the mid-third century BCE, and served as an important centre of Buddhism in Western India during ancient Times. The city then was known as Heptanesia (Ancient Greek: A Cluster of Seven Islands) to the Greek geographer Ptolemy in 150 CE.
Portuguese and British rule
The Mughal Empire, founded in 1526, was the dominant power in the Indian subcontinent during the mid-16th century. Growing apprehensive of the power of the Mughal emperor Humayun, Sultan Bahadur Shah of the Gujarat Sultanate was obliged to sign the Treaty of Bassein with the Portuguese Empire on 23 December 1534. According to the treaty, the seven islands of Bombay, the nearby strategic town of Bassein and its dependencies were offered to the Portuguese. The territories were later surrendered on 25 October 1535.
After India's independence in 1947, the territory of the Bombay Presidency retained by India was restructured into Bombay State. The area of Bombay State increased, after several erstwhile princely states that joined the Indian union were integrated into the state. Subsequently, the city became the capital of Bombay State. On April 1950, Municipal limits of Bombay were expanded by merging the Bombay Suburban District and Bombay City to form Greater Bombay Municipal Corporation.
Under colonial rule, tanks were the only source of water in Mumbai. Many localities have been named after them. The BMC supplies potable water to the city from six lakes, most of which comes from the Tulsi and Vihar lakes. The Tansa lake supplies water to the western suburbs and parts of the island city along the Western Railway. The water is filtered at Bhandup, which is Asia's largest water filtration plant. India's first underground water tunnel is being built in Mumbai.
Mumbai's culture is a blend of traditional festivals, food, music and theatres. The city offers a cosmopolitan and diverse lifestyle with a variety of food, entertainment and night life, available in a form and abundance comparable to that in other world capitals. Mumbai's history as a major trading centre has led to a diverse range of cultures, religions and cuisines coexisting in the city. This unique blend of cultures is due to the migration of people from all over India since the British period.
Mumbai is the birthplace of Indian cinema—Dadasaheb Phalke laid the foundations with silent movies followed by Marathi talkies—and the oldest film broadcast took place in the early 20th century. Mumbai also has a large number of cinema halls that feature Bollywood, Marathi and Hollywood movies. The Mumbai International Film Festival and the award ceremony of the Filmfare Awards, the oldest and prominent film awards given for Hindi film industry in India, are held in Mumbai. Despite most of the professional theatre groups that formed during the British Raj having disbanded by the 1950s, Mumbai has developed a thriving "theatre movement" tradition in Marathi, Hindi, English and other regional languages.