What's the difference, we're often asked, between Mumbai and Bombay? They are, of course, one and the same. The two names, Mumbai, from the original cluster of seven islands, and Bombay, its British derivation, continue to co-exist happily today.
Mumbai is the most cosmopolitan of all the Indian cities. It is the economic powerhouse of India, the largest sea-port in the country and home to the world's biggest film industry, known world-over as 'Bollywood'. The population has grown in leaps and bounds and is now close to 19 million. Within this compelling megalopolis you'll find India's Beverly Hills and its Bronx, its super-rich and abject poor, Victorian monuments and Buddhist relics, gleaming high-rises and cardboard shanty towns, all of which was captured so compellingly in the film "Slumdog Millionaire" set in Dharavi, Asia's largest slum. Mumbai is, in other words, a paradise and a paradox, and not to be missed!
As a city, Mumbai never sleeps! It's a thriving cultural centre, has bars and clubs to suit every taste, a huge number of great restaurants to dine in, plus pubs and clubs where you can relax and meet friends.
The weather from March to May is hot and humid, but the city's coastal location means that there are some cooling effects from the sea breezes at this time of year. Temperatures hit their maximum in May, around the low 30s° C (high 80s° F) followed by the heavy summer monsoon from June to September. January and February experience pleasant fine weather in the region of 20-25° C (68-77° F) and these are perfect times for exploring the ancient caves and monuments that surround the city, and the rugged interior of the hinterland.
At a guess (and it's a wide one) there are anything between 10,000 to 30,000 expatriates living in the city. Fifteen per cent of the total organized workforce of India is based in Mumbai, which is the manu¬facturing centre for chemicals, tyres, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, plastics, rubber goods, autos and engineering goods. Mumbai has a number of supportive expat network groups, including overseas womens' support groups, consulates and chambers of commerce.
There are several schools to choose from. Mumbai has an excellent American International School, commonly known as ASB, providing education from pre-school through to Grade 12 and which follows the US curriculum and the International Baccalaureate programme. This is the school of choice for most expatriates. Other schools of repute are the German School known as the DSB School where 90% of the instruction is in English and the balance is in German. The Ecole Francaise Internationale is the French School (following a French curriculum) which is located at Worli, as is the Japanese School. Finally, there is the Ecole Mondiale World School which is located in a quaint lane in Juhu, Here they follow the International Baccalaureate programme.
There are a number of excellent hospitals in the city. We can organise introductions to the Breach Candy Hospital, the Bombay Hospital, the Jaslok and Hinduja Hospitals, and the Tata Memorial. There are pharmacies all over the city, including many which are open 24x7, and we will help you find a local GP and any other specialist medical services you require. Namaskar!
Welcome to Mumbai!