Mumbai /mʊmˈbaɪ/, also known as Bombay, is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million. 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 seven islands that came to constitute Mumbai were home to communities of fishing colonies. For centuries, the islands were under the control of successive indigenous empires before being ceded to the Portuguese and subsequently to the British East India Company. During the mid-18th century, Mumbai was reshaped by the Hornby Vellard project, which undertook the reclamation of the area between the seven constituent islands from the sea. Completed by 1845, the project along with construction of major roads and railways transformed Bombay into a major seaport on the Arabian Sea. Economic and educational development characterised the city during the 19th century. It became a strong base for the Indian independence movement during the early 20th century. When India became independent in 1947, the city was incorporated into Bombay State. In 1960, following the Samyukta Maharashtra movement, a new state of Maharashtra was created with Bombay as capital. The city was renamed Mumbai in 1996, the name being derived from the Koli goddess—Mumbadevi.
Today, Mumbai is the commercial capital of India and has evolved into a global financial hub. For several decades it has been the home of India’s main financial services, and a focus for both infrastructure development and private investment. From being an ancient fishing community and a colonial centre of trade, Mumbai has become South Asia’s largest city and home of the world’s most prolific film industry.
Most of India’s major television and satellite networks, as well as its major publishing houses, are headquartered in Mumbai. The centre of the Hindi movie industry, Bollywood, is the largest film producer in India and one of the largest in the world as well as centre of Marathi Film Industry. Along with the rest of India, Mumbai, its commercial capital, has witnessed an economic boom since the liberalisation of 1991, the finance boom in the mid-nineties and the IT, export, services and outsourcing boom in 2000s.