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October 24, 2003

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Mumbai floats on an island connected by bridges to the mainland. Fisherfolk called the Koli settled here first in the 2nd century BC. Their ancestors live in shanties along the shoreline. A Hindu dynasty ruled the Mumbai region from the 6th century AD until the 1300's, when the domino line of leaders began: Muslims for 200 years, Portugese for 100 years, and British for 200 more. The British called the island Bombay and built it into a commercial hub of Asia, the trading headquarters of the East India Company. Bombay retains the commercial pre-eminence, however, it's name changed to Mumbai in 1996, after the goddess Mumba, worshipped by the region's first inhabitants, the fisherfolk Koli.
Mumbai's postcard landmark - the India gate.
Hello, Shiva. This is the Triple-Headed Shiva, where the Hindu god is depicted as destroyer, preserver, and creator.
Offshore Mumbai stand the Elephanta caves, built over 1000 years ago by devout Hindus. They couldn't decide between square or cylindrical columns.
All kids must bathe, even if it's cold and public.