Mumbai Travel Guide
Mumbai, formerly Bombay, is where Slumdog Millionaire triumphs. It is the premiere melting pot of India, a metropolis of gargantuan proportions, a veritable megacity which by the year 2020 is projected to become the world's largest city with an estimated population of over 29 million. It's a city of high-rises, the most densely packed in India, and, too, the wealthiest and most glamorous of the nation's metropolises. It is home to both the Indian Stock Exchange and Bollywood – India's ballyhooed movie industry which churns out more movies than any other film industry in the world, including Hollywood, with new releases screaming from billboards and life-size posters seemingly around every other corner. There are landmarks here from the British era, the likes of Victoria Station and Gateway of India, fancy hotels that can stretch even Western wallets, and public gardens and beaches overrun with bhelpuri vendors, chai wallahs (roadside tea sellers), promenading Indian families and children flying kites. There are such coveted haunts here as Cuff Parade, Breach Candy, Church Gate, Malabar Hills and Nariman Point – the last arguably the most expensive piece of real estate in the world – right alongside Dharavi, Asia's biggest slum, where more than a million people cling to a threadbare existence in a 535-acre pocket along the Mithi River. Indeed, here's the real-life city of Slumdog Millionaire.
Mumbai is located on the west coast of India in the state of Maharashtra. From the capital city, New Delhi, it is approximately 875 miles (1400 km) to the southwest.
Mumbai is a major hub. Its international airport is serviced by dozens of international carriers, as well as by Air India and Indian Airlines. Direct flights are available from several cities worldwide, including Singapore, Bangkok, and Frankfurt, Germany.
Mumbai has one of the best mass transit systems in India, which comprises a network of commuter trains that services all the inner and far-flung suburbs and buses that include red double-decker buses (yes, similar to those in London) in the fleet and cover all of downtown and central Mumbai. Yellow-and-black taxis and auto-rickshaws are commonly available too, particularly in the downtown areas, although they're a bit pricier than the mass transit options.
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