The Guardian


Mumbai was originally an archipelago of seven islands that, after a several transfers of power, landed with the British as part of the dowry of Catherine of Braganza when she married Charles II of England. By 1845, the seven islands were merged as part of multiple land reclamation projects. The island city that we know today, one that extends up to Mahim/Sion, is a result of these reclamations. Over the centuries, Mumbai became an important port for the British thanks to its natural harbor. But Mumbai’s fortunes really rose during the American Civil War, which cut off cotton supplies from America to Great Britain. Traders made as much as 80 million pounds during this period giving rise to a new elite, Bombay’s very own merchant princes! Remnants of this glorious past — from dilapidated palatial bungalows to abandoned cotton factories — remain scattered in and around south Mumbai to this day. Much has changed since then. But the city continues to retain its cosmopolitan spirit and displays exceptional resilience in the face of difficult times. Few cities draw you to them, accept you as their own like Mumbai does. Mumbai’s energy is contagious. And indeed the city seems to have something for everyone — be it the people who travel to it for work or for pleasure. The colonial buildings in south Mumbai are a sight for anyone visiting the city. Walk around the streets between Churchgate and Colaba to best experience the beauty of these buildings. Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus (Victoria Terminus), Flora Fountain, Gateway of India, Municipal Corporation and Police Headquarters, High Court, Asiatic Society and the Taj Mahal Hotel among many others make the south Mumbai district one of the quaintest areas of the city.

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