The city of Mumbai has a history that is both long and diverse. The city is actually a combination of seven islands that was reclaimed slowly. The place was a part of the kingdom of Ashoka, a famous king of medieval India. After the death of Ashoka, the region was ruled by a number of rulers in succession and then it fell in the hands of the Muslim invaders. In the year 1534, Mumbai was occupied by the Portuguese. St. Andrew's church at Bandra in Mumbai still stands testament to the Portuguese occupation.
After occupation of the land, the place was named "Bom Baia" which in Portuguese means "good bay". The city was, however, gifted to the English when King Charles II of England married a Portuguese princess. The influence of the British tongue corrupted the Portuguese name Bom Baia and made it Bombay. In the year 1668, the island was acquired by the English East India Company for 10 pounds of gold per year. The English turned Bombay into an important port in south Asia.
Then known as Bombay, the city became the home of Parsi families who came to India from Iran to avoid religious persecution. The original inhabitants of the islands, however, were the Kolis who were fisher folks by profession. Kolis worshiped a Hindu deity called Mumbadevi. Bombay was later renamed Mumbai taking into consideration the culture and tradition of the inhabitants of the region.
Bombay took a quantum leap towards modernization when in the year 1853 the first train in India ran between Bombay Victoria Terminus and Thane. With the development of railway communication, Bombay became a very important port and large amount of raw materials like cotton were shipped to England through the Bombay port. The outbreak of the American war of independence saw textile industries develop in Bombay and the industrialization of the area that began with the introduction of railways, picked up speed.
After ruling India for over 200 years, the British left India in the year 1947 on August 15. Handing over sovereign power to the Indian government, the last British officials left India for England from Bombay. The Government of India split the State of Bombay into two states, Maharashtra and Gujarat. The division was done on a linguistic basis and Bombay became the capital city of Maharashtra. The Stock Exchange in Bombay was established in the year 1875 and it was the first of its kind in the country. Bombay is now arguably the most economically prosperous city in India