The capital of the state of Maharashtra since 1960, and former capital of the old Mumbai state, Mumbai has long been referred to as Gateway of India. In fact, a large ceremonial gateway was erected in 1911 to commemorate the first visit ever made to India by a British king and queen. Through this gateway the last British viceroy departed in 1947, marking the termination of almost 350 years of official British presence in India.

Mumbai is the leading financial center of India and a major national commercial, transportation, and manufacturing hub. Mumbai Harbor, a broad, sheltered bay located between the city and the mainland, is one of the world’s greatest natural harbors. The port receives a large portion of the nation’s total imports and is a shipping point for goods produced in western India. Two major railroads terminate in Mumbai, providing service to all parts of India, and the city is served by a major international airport.

Mumbai has imposing multi-storeyed buildings, crowded thoroughfares, busy markets, shopping centres and beautiful tourist spots. Places worth visiting are the 19th century Jain Temple with its silver doors, the Kamala Nehru Park and the Ferozshah Mehta Gardens known as the Hanging Gardens of Bombay and the Towers of Silence where the Parsis dispose their dead. Visit Mani Bhavan where Mahatma Gandhi spent 17 years of his life working for the freedom of India. Also visit the Prince of Wales Museum, which has an excellent collection of miniatures.