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With the population of 9.9 million people, Mumbai is the third largest city in the world. The area of the Konkan coast where Mumbai 1ies has been settled since prehistoric times. It later came under the control of several states that ruled western India. These included the Buddhist Mauryan Empire, fourth¨third centuries B. C. and the Hindu Satavahana, Shaka and Rashtrakuta dynasties. The Chalukyas, A. D. 550¨750 built the magnificent cave temples on Elephanta Island in Mumbai Harbor. At the end of the thirteenth century, the Yadava rulers, who had their capital at Aurangabad, some 300 kilometers to the northeast, established a settlement at Mahim on one of Mumbai's original seven islands.
The city Mumbai, know as Bombay until 1995, is a great port city, situated on the west coast of the Indian peninsula. It is one of India's dominant urban centers and indeed. Deriving its name from Mumba Devi, a goddess of the local Koli fishing peoples, Mumbai grew up around a fort established by the British in the mid-seventeenth century to protect their trading interests along India's western coast. The city's superb natural harbor provided a focal point for sea routes crossing the Arabian Sea and Mumbai soon became the main western gateway to Britain's expanding Indian empire. The city emerged as a center of manufacturing and industry during the eighteenth century. Today, Mumbai is India's commercial and financial capital, as well as the capital city of Maharashtra State.
Mumbai hosts a variety of major attractions for Indian natives, as well as visitors from overseas. The most popular of these attractions is the rock-cut temples on Elephanta Island in Mumbai Harbor. Many sightseers travel to the island by boat from Apollo Bunder, the location of another famous attraction, the Gateway of India arch. Other sites of interest include the Crawford Market, the bazaars of Kalbadevi and Bhuleshwar, the Parsi Towers of Silence, and Haji Ali's Mosque.

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