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Mumbai Travel Guide

Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is the capital of Maharashtra, a state of India. It is also the most populous city in India and second in the world. As of 2009, Mumbai is also the richest city in India. It was originally a conglomeration of seven islands on the Konkan coastline which over time were joined to form the island city of Bombay.

The population of Mumbai is estimated around 21 million in the metropolitan area, making it the largest city in India. Hindus comprise 68% of the population, followed by Muslim 17%, Christian 4%, and Buddhist 4%. The remaining are followers of Parsi, Jain, Sikh, and Jewish religions and atheist ideology.

Mumbai has a tropical climate, specifically a tropical wet and dry climate with seven months of dryness and peak of rains in July. December to February is the cold season and is followed by the summer season from March to June. October and November is the south west monsoon season, where rains lash the city. The average January temperature is 74 degrees F (23 degrees C) while the average July temperature is 82 degrees F (28 degrees C). The average annual rainfall is 85.31 inches (216.7 cm).

There is lot to see in Mumbai for the city is divided into two zones: North and South. While the north is primarily a suburban area, the south is where all the tourist action is. One of the most popular landmarks is the Gateway of India. The Gateway of India is a monument in Mumbai located on the waterfront area in South Mumbai. This yellow basalt arch is 85 ft (26 meters) high and was built to commemorate the visit of King George V in 1911 and was designed by George Wittet. In earlier times, the Gateway was the monument that visitors arriving by boat would have first seen in the city.

The Elephanta Caves are a series of sculpted caves located on Elephanta Island in Mumbai Harbour. These fine examples of rock sculptures were dedicated to Shiva. The main cave was a Hindu place of worship until the Portuguese vandalized it in 1534, after which the caves suffered severe damage. The cave was renovated in the 1970s after years of neglect. Around February, the Elephanta Festival of music and dance takes place in this island in the backdrop of the sculptures.

The Prince of Wales Museum is a Mumbai landmark situated between the historic areas of Colaba and Fort in South Mumbai. It was completed in 1914-1915 to commemorate the visit of the then Prince of Wales to India. The museum was renamed in the 1990s after Shivaji, the founder of Maratha Empire. It houses approximately 50,000 exhibits of ancient Indian history as well as objects from foreign lands. The museum also houses Indus Valley Civilization artifacts, and other relics from the time of Guptas and Maruyas of ancient India.

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