Opulence and bustle in India’s mega-metropolis

‘The city that never sleeps’ – for once, this doesn’t mean New York. Mumbai has also earned this nickname. The financial metropolis and largest city in India with around 12.5 million inhabitants is always on the move and has plenty of sights in store. For tourists, the city offers culinary specialties and impressive museums as well as a wide selection of historical buildings that are well worth visiting.

Bollywood opulence, on the one hand, international business, on the other: Mumbai is India’s capital of commerce, finance and entertainment – and a city of cultural and linguistic contrasts. Since the area was settled by the Koli people thousands of years ago, numerous influences have shaped life in the city – from various indigenous rulers to the Portuguese colonial empire and the British East India Company..  

The name also has a chequered history: the British colonial rulers derived the official name ‘Bombay’ from the Portuguese ‘bom baim’, which means ‘good bay’. This wasn’t changed to Mumbai until 1995 in a move to strengthen the region’s cultural identity. Mumbā or Mahā-Ambā is the name of the patron goddess of the indigenous Koli community as well as the patron saint of local fishermen and salt collectors – and ā'ī means ‘mother’ in Marathi, the official language of the State of Maharashtra.

Experience esteemed monuments up close

The traces of the past are not only discernible in the language. Both Indian and colonial heritages also stand in close proximity to one another in the image of the city. The most famous structure is probably the ‘Gateway of India’, built in honour of King George V and Queen Mary at the beginning of the 20th century. The majestic gateway extends out at the foot of India’s western waterfront, presenting a breathtaking view, especially at dusk. Alternatively, this great view can also be experienced on one of Mumbai’s many promenades, such as Worli, Carter Road or Bandstand. Also recommended: finding a cosy spot on one of the sandy beaches and enjoying a portion of Bhel Puri, a typical Indian ‘beach snack’ made of puffed rice, vegetables and spicy tamarind sauce.

Another remarkable destination: the cave temples on Elephanta Island. The main temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The rock-hewn Shiva sculptures inside are considered to be one of the most important works of Hindu sculpture. You can reach the island by a one-hour boat ride that departs from the Gateway of India – perfect for a day trip.

Mumbai’s museums: From Gandhi to miniature buses

If you want to learn more about the history and culture of India, a trip to one of the museums is recommended. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya documents the entire history of India from prehistoric to modern times with over 300 antiquities on display. The Mani Bhavan Museum, on the other hand, showcases the life of Gandhi and is also seen as a historical building. It stands on Laburnum Road in the Gamdevi district and was the centre of Gandhi’s political involvement between 1917 and 1934.

Lighter fare can be found, for example, at the B.E.S.T. Bus MUSEUM. It contains scale models, old tickets and photos of the buses and trams of the BEST (Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply & Transport) company, which has been responsible for much of Mumbai’s local transport since 1873.

Cultural and culinary conglomerate

Even a simple stroll through Mumbai’s lively streets can be very rewarding. The architecture combines many different styles and extraordinary buildings. Visitors might then head off to one of the many markets to sample a famous Bombay sandwich, also known as a sandwich masala: white bread toasted golden brown with herb chutney, masala spices, vegetables and melted cheese at the centre – that’s the taste of India.that's what India tastes like.

Fascinating buildings in and around Mumbai

This is how the slang of Mumbai sounds

If you’re out and about on the streets of Mumbai, you’ll hear a typical phrase or two. Here is a selection:

  • Abbe Yede: Commonly used among friends and younger men to mean ‘You fool!’.
  • Fattu: This word is used to refer to a frightened person.
  • Ghanta: The word literally means ‘bell’. Depending on the context, the meaning changes to ‘no way’ or ‘I don’t believe you’.
  • Waat Lag Gayi: Means ‘I am finished!’ or ‘We are finished!’

India’s economic sea freight centre

The city has a lot to offer, and not only for tourists. It is also an attractive destination for logistics providers thanks to its numerous (air)ports. Important transshipment points such as the Nhava Sheva, Andheri and Mahape ports handle imports and exports to and from other large economic regions such as the USA, Europe and China. For example, 70 per cent of India’s maritime trade takes place in Mumbai alone, and more than six per cent of the country’s total gross domestic product is generated there. With more than five locations in Mumbai, logistics service provider Rhenus is available to its customers on the spot. The company is active in India with a total of 67 locations and a fleet of over 200 vehicles. Rhenus India provides all services from a single source, including forwarding, express and supply chain management solutions.

And what can we do for you?

Rhenus Logistics offers dynamic international logistics solutions that meet the requirements of the Indian supply chain environment.

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