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Mumbai vs. Bombay

Why is it Crawford Market , Mumbai, and not Crawford Market , Bombay?

The city was renamed Mumbai in 1996 after being “Bombay” for hundreds of years.  At least since 1661 when it first became a British possession, because it was owned by a Portuguese princess who married a British King (Charles the II).

To the locals the city has always been Mumbai, or more accurately ?????, which if written with English (Roman) letters sounds roughly like “Mumbai”, though the last syllable is rather long – a bit like “Mumbay”.

When the English arrived they  anglicized one of the various Portuguese terms which was Bombaim, used by the Portuguese because of it’s combination of literal meaning (in their language it refers to a good bay) and it’s similarity with the real name, Mumbai.

Today, as in the past, all locals with refer to the city as Mumbai, but nobody will be greatly surprised or offended, or confused if you say Bombay.

Indeed you will find many companies and places still using Bombay in their name, such as the Bombay High Hotel, Bombay Cambridge School and the Bombay Exhibition center.

Kipling Connection

Crawford Market shares an interesting connection with that great great representative of the British Empire in India, Mr Kipling. But not as you might have though, the author and journalist Rudyard Kipling, but his father John Lockwood Kipling.

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