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Mumbai (Bombay), India - Getting In Touch With Your Fellow Man
India is one of the most populous nations in the world. The city of Mumbai, better known as Bombay, carries this notion to ridiculous ends.
Mumbai - Bombay
Mumbai is located on the west coast of India and is a sight to be seen. Until 1997, the city was known as Bombay, but the government for some esoteric reason changed the name. "Mumbai" was the name used by locals for years and refers to a local goddess. Most of the city buildings and agencies still incorporate Bombay into their names. I know it gets confusing which is more or less a good way to describe the city.
A little know fact about Bombay is the geographic nature of the city. When originally settled, the city was actually a collection of islands. As the need for land has grown over the years, the water has been pushed back to the point where all the islands are now connected in one land mass. How's that for a topic at a party?
If you're looking for a serene vacation destination, Bombay is simply the worst place you could go. Upwards of 17 million people live in the city. Spend a week there and you'll feel like you've rubbed up against every one of them. The city is so packed with people that getting from point "A" to point "B" can take forever. You will not find a secluded restaurant, tourist attraction or spot on the beach. Don't even begin to think otherwise.
Bombay is full of interesting things to see if you can get to them. Victoria Train Station is definitely worth taking in for the unique architecture and absolute masses of people. The gardens at Horniman Circle are good for a stroll and one place where you won't feel completely overwhelmed with masses of humanity. For a humorous time, you can hit the beaches looking for one of the movie crews. Yep, Bombay is the home of the movie industry in India and is often referred to as "Bollywood."
In reality, the best thing to see in Bombay is Bombay. Just get out and walk. You'll see snake charmers, vendors hawking everything under the sun, the occasional elephant and taxi drivers that put a New York cabbie to shame.
India has serious poverty issues in the larger cities. Bombay has a brutal poverty problem. As much as 30 percent of the population is living in severe poverty. By severe, I am referring to people living in cardboard shacks with no running water and so on. Even the most seasoned traveler will be overwhelmed. If you are going to visit Bombay, be prepared for it emotionally.
Whether you call it Bombay or Mumbai, there is no denying the uniqueness of this city. Some travelers can't stand it while others find it intoxicating. Of course, you'll never know if you don't give it a visit.
About the Author
Rick Chapo is with Nomad Journals - makers of travel journals to preserve your travel experiences.
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