Secrets, Legends, and Interesting Facts about Mumbai You Don’t Know

Mumbai is the most developed city in India, and also the richest city, due to which the cost of living is high here. Like most large cities, Mumbai also has a captivating history with numerous engrossing stories. There are some interesting facts about Mumbai which many of the tourists and even the non-Mumbaikars are unaware of.

To see the unbelievable past of the city, you must visit Mumbai at least once in your life. Meanwhile here are some of the interesting facts about Mumbai you should know about this city of dreams.

1. Mumbai Was Called Bom Bhaia Earlier

Many often assume that Bombay was the first name of the city, but it was named by British invaders. Long-time before the British invaded India, Portuguese had already invaded this place and named it Bom Bahia which meant ‘beautiful bay’ in their language. The name was given due to the natural bay present around the city. Later when Portuguese were sent out of India by the British, they took over the control and named it Bombay. Later it was named after the Goddess Mumbadevi, as Mumbai because the name makes more sense to Indians than the foreign term Bombay.

Gateway of India, Mumbai
Gateway of India, Landmark of Mumbai
Lavish Colonial Buildings in Mumbai
India's First Railway Terminal


2. The City Which Is Always First

Mumbai can be called as the leader of all India cities as it has always been first in achieving many things. The first train from India was run from Mumbai to Thane, the train had received a salute from 21 guns. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Airport is the first airport in India. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus is the first railway terminal in India. The city is also the first one to start a public bus service in India. Another interesting fact about Mumbai is that Mumbai ranks first in the list of the richest city of India, based on reports prepared by the Indian government.

3. Secret Tunnels

South Mumbai area has protected the British Era buildings and their architecture due to which the south part of the city still emits the essence of the British era. Bombay, now known as Mumbai, was becoming the fastest growing area during the British era, expanding its foot. Bombay Fort was the headquarters of the British high-command during those times. During the late 1700s and early 1800s, the French ruler Napoleon had grown strong and wanted to capture Bombay. Due to the fear, the British built many underground tunnels that would lead directly to the Bombay Fort. The tunnels were built secretly that they got discovered only recently below the Mumbai’s General Post Office, which was the Bombay Fort at that time.

4. Largest Forest Area in an Indian Metropolis City

Mumbai is known for its development and big famous buildings. The other side of Mumbai is full of lush green forests. The interesting facts about Mumbai you may not know is that Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai is the largest forest area in a metropolis city in India. The national park is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Leopards, crocodiles are found in a huge number in this national park, along with some rare species of birds. There is a jungle safari in the park, trekking can also be done in the park.

5. Costliest Slum in Asia

While one might visualize Mumbai as the city with huge buildings and a forest area, after reading the above-mentioned facts, what comes as a shock to many readers is the fact that Mumbai also has a slum area named Dharavi. While one might think buying a home in this area is easy, the reality is that the land value of the slum area is high. The average cost of the property rate in Dharavi is around INR 8,000 to INR 15,000 per sqft.

Dharavi Slum, Mumbai
Dharavi Slum, Mumbai
Mumbai Railways
Busy Mumbai Railways


6. The Land of Seven Islands

While many might think Mumbai is a city that is all merged up, Mumbai actually is a city of seven small islands, located near each other. Mumbai is one of those rare cities that is actually a group of islands. Coconut trees are found in huge numbers around the beach areas, which is a lifesaver for many Mumbaikars in the summers.

Read More: Best Beaches in Mumbai


7. Mumbai Railways Are the Busiest in India

The railways in Mumbai, including both national and local, are the busiest railways, estimated to carry around 2.6 billion passengers every year. People in Mumbai travel to various villages by railways. What makes Mumbai railways even more special is the local trains, which are the largest and busiest in India. The local trains are crowded in the mornings when people travel to workplaces, schools, etc.

Read More: Mumbai Local Trains


8. Stone-Carved UNESCO Heritages

The Elephanta Caves located in the Elephanta islands and the Kanheri Caves in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park are two UNESCO Heritage sites in Mumbai that are built completely using the stone carving method. The Elephanta Caves is a collection of the stone-carved temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, while the Kanheri caves are dedicated to Buddha, who is believed to be the ninth avatar (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu.

9. Best Supply Chain Management in the World - The Dabbawalas!

This lunchbox delivery system is only in Mumbai and is famous for its wide network of Dabbawalas. This supply chain is maintained so well and is famous for not missing out on even a single delivery to date.
Hotel in Mumbai
5-star Hotel, Mumbai

This Dabbawala concept is so well-known all around the world, that Forbes magazine acknowledged it to be the best-managed supply chains. Many case studies have also been made on this concept.

10. First 5-star Hotel

Last Mumbai interesting fact is that the magnificent Taj Mahal Palace in Colaba Mumbai is the first ever 5 starred hotel in India. Founded in 1903, this hotel was the first to have electricity, Turkish baths, and German elevators. It also had the first all-day restaurant and first discotheque!

Read More: 10 Best Accommodations in Mumbai