Formerly known as Bombay, Mumbai is one of the largest cities in the world with a population of around 17 million. It was constructed on a headland that extends for 22 kilometres into the Arabian Sea. In 1853, Mumbai had its first railroad and the Indian rail network was soon extended. The Victoria Terminus was built and is one of the most impressive train stations in the world. The lavishly decorated brown sandstone building dates back to1888 and is the most beautiful Victorian Gothic building in India, built during the high season of British colonial rule. The Dhobi Ghats or 'Banks of the Washers', is the name of the 'Biggest laundrette in the world'. In the open air, hundreds of dhobis do much of the city's 'laundry'. In small allotments surrounded by low walls, launderers wash from dusk to dawn. On Malabar Hill, between the villas of numerous film stars and luxury apartments, is the fascinating Adishwarji Jain Temple, a good place in which to gain an insight into the harsh rituals of the wealthy faithful who worshipped the first Jain saints. The legendary Hotel Taj Mahal Palace, with its striking façade and red cupolas, had a spectacular origin. When industrial mogul, Tata, was refused entry to a British hotel restaurant by a sign that stated, FOR EUROPEANS ONLY, he decided to build the city's finest hotel. Nowhere else are India's many remarkable contrasts so obvious and nowhere else can India be experienced so intensely as in Mumbai, mega metropolis and unique Gateway to India! Mumbai (formerly called Bombay) is a densely populated city on India’s west coast. A financial center, it's India's largest city. On the Mumbai Harbour waterfront stands the iconic Gateway of India stone arch, built by the British Raj in 1924. Offshore, nearby Elephanta Island holds ancient cave temples dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. The city's also famous as the heart of the Bollywood film industry.
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