Previously known as Bombay, Mumbai is the financial capital of India, with a confluence of people from various backgrounds and cultures from across the country. It is a city known to fulfill the dreams and aspirations of millions of people around the country and across the world. With a population of approximately 14 million, it is a melting pot of grit, spirit and determination.

Mumbai was once a group of seven islands which were gradually joined together by massive reclamation projects undertaken by the British in the 1700’s. Today, Mumbai is an incessantly growing city with the Indian Ocean to its south and an ever-increasing boundary to the north. As more and more suburbs of Mumbai keep getting developed, they are slowly falling under the jurisdiction of Mumbai.

Mumbai has quite a consistent climate across the year, being a coastal city by the Arabian Sea. The average temperature varies from 18°C (64° F) in winters to 30°C (82° F) in summers. There are three main seasons – Summer (from February to May, and again in October), Monsoon (from June to September) and Winter (from November to January). Mumbai’s humidity levels range between moderate during winters and high during summers and monsoon.

Mumbai, India - February 28, 2016: aerial view of Marine Drive in Mumbai, India.
Mumbai, India – February 28, 2016: aerial view of Marine Drive in Mumbai, India.

When relocating to Mumbai, you must consider the cost of living in this city. It is the most expensive city in India and one of the ten most expensive places in the world to rent an apartment. There are very few houses in Mumbai and most people live in apartments. Renting or buying an apartment can be easily done by contacting local real estate agents who will provide you with the cheapest deals. These agents are usually reliable and are the most common channels to rent or buy property. If you have any friends or family in Mumbai, they could help you out with this. However, finding accommodation online is catching up in India, pioneered by sites such as 99 Acres, Makaan and Magic Bricks.

Being the economic hub of India, employment prospects in Mumbai are vast. There are a plethora of job sites, including Naukri, Monster and Times Jobs to name a few. However, due to the large population, there is a lot of competition and it helps if you are a post graduate (which, in India, means at least 17 years of education). While schools in Mumbai are either English-medium or vernacular (in which case, English is taught as the second or third language), Mumbai University imparts graduate and post graduate education in English to all its students. The main languages spoken in Mumbai are English, Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati. Among the four of them, Hindi is the language common to both immigrants as well as locals and would be most helpful to learn.

There are quite a few sights in and around Mumbai. You can spend a few days absorbing the British architecture in the south of the city or take a walk along the narrow lanes of Bandra villages. You may also take a ferry ride from the southern tip of Mumbai to ancient caves dating back to 600 AD or spend an entire day at the museum. Getting around Mumbai is very easy – all of Mumbai is well connected by public transportation like local trains, buses, taxis and auto rickshaws.

So if you’re the kind who loves a fast paced life, welcome to Mumbai!