Bombay or Mumbai is the capital of Maharashtra state and the largest city in India and the world, with an estimated population of 14 million inhabitants (2009). Mumbai is on the island of Salsette off the western coast of Maharashtra. Its metropolitan area is the third largest in the world with a population of about 22 million inhabitants. The city has a deep natural harbor through which pass half of India’s passenger traffic and a large amount of cargo.
Mumbai is the commercial and entertainment capital of India and houses important financial institutions as the Reserve Bank of India (the Indian central bank), the Bombay Stock Exchange (stock exchange of a city) and the National Stock Exchange of India (other major stock exchange), as well as the mother ofseveral Indian companies. The city attracts migrants from all over the country due to the great business opportunities and therelatively high standard of living. It became, thus, a melting pot ofvarious communities and cultures. Mumbai is in the so-calledBollywood, the Indian film and television.
In 1995, the local government rejected the official version of theEnglish name of the city (Bombay) in favor of the official formमुंबई Marathi, Mumbai transcribed (see the sections ‘Etymology’ and ‘Controversy over the name’ below).
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