Mumbai
Journey Two / Chapter 13
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Journey Two / Chapter 13

Mumbai

September 2016

A journey through the most populous city of India, from its colonial past with its broadwalks and monuments; through the largest shrim-fishing dock in India and peculiarities of its internal life; to the slums of Mumbai - rapidly developing and transforming itself into self-sufficient businesses.

Mumbai, a cosmopolitan metropolis, earlier known as Bombay, is the largest city in India and the capital of Maharashtra state. Mumbai was originally a conglomeration of seven islands on the Konkan coastline which over time were joined to form the island city of Bombay. The island was in turn joined with the neighbouring island of Salsette to form Greater Bombay. The city has an estimated metropolitan population of 21 million (2005), making it one of the world's most populous cities.

Mumbai is undoubtedly the commercial capital of India and is one of the predominant port cities in the country. There are hundreds of separate docks around the city, each serving different purpose. I made visit to the Princess Docks, which is the India's (and perhaps world's) largest Shrimp-processing dock. Tonnes of fresh shrimp catch from shrimp-fishing boats are processed here daily by thousands of workers.

The city is also unfortunately home to India's largest slum population. There is about a dozen of them in Mumbai - the larger ones include Dharavi, with population around 1 million the heart of small-scale industry in Mumbai. I made a visit with my resident friend to one of the smaller slums - known as Laundry slum due to the predominant nature of business being handled here - processing laundry to most hotels, accommodations and restaurants from all over the city.