The seven islands that came to constitute Mumbai were home to communities of fishing colonies of the Koli people. For centuries, the islands were under the control of successive indigenous empires before being ceded to the Portuguese Empire and subsequently to the East India Company when in 1661 Charles II of England married Catherine of Braganza and as part of her dowry Charles received the ports of Tangier and Seven Islands of Bombay. During the mid-18th century, Bombay was reshaped by the Hornby Vellard project, which undertook reclamation of the area between the seven islands from the sea. Along with construction of major roads and railways, the reclamation project, completed in 1845, transformed Bombay into a major seaport on the Arabian Sea. Bombay in the 19th century was characterised by economic and educational development. During the early 20th century it became a strong base for the Indian independence movement. Upon India's independence in 1947 the city was incorporated into Bombay State. In 1960, following the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement, a new state of Maharashtra was created with Bombay as the capital.
Mumbai is the financial, commercial and entertainment capital of India. It is also one of the world's top ten centres of commerce in terms of global financial flow, generating 6.16% of India's GDP and accounting for 25% of industrial output, 70% of maritime trade in India (Mumbai Port Trust and JNPT), and 70% of capital transactions to India's economy. The city houses important financial institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India, the Bombay Stock Exchange, the National Stock Exchange of India, the SEBI and the corporate headquarters of numerous Indian companies and multinational corporations. It is also home to some of India's premier scientific and nuclear institutes like Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Nuclear Power Corporation of India, Indian Rare Earths, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, Atomic Energy Commission of India, and the Department of Atomic Energy. The city also houses India's Hindi (Bollywood) and Marathi cinema industries. Mumbai's business opportunities, as well as its potential to offer a higher standard of living, attract migrants from all over India, making the city a melting pot of many communities and cultures.
The name Mumbai is derived from Mumbā or Mahā-Ambā—the name of the patron goddess (kuladevata) Mumbadevi of the native Agri, Koli and Somvanshi communities— and ā'ī meaning "mother" in the Marathi language, which is the mother tongue of the Koli people and the official language of Maharashtra.
The oldest known names for the city are Kakamuchee and Galajunkja; these are sometimes still used. In 1508, Portuguese writer Gaspar Correia used the name "Bombaim" in his Lendas da Índia ("Legends of India"). This name possibly originated as the Galician-Portuguese phrase bom baim, meaning "good little bay", and Bombaim is still commonly used in Portuguese. In 1516, Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa used the name Tana-Maiambu: Tana appears to refer to the adjoining town of Thane and Maiambu to Mumbadevi.
Other variations recorded in the 16th and the 17th centuries include: Mombayn (1525), Bombay (1538), Bombain (1552), Bombaym (1552), Monbaym (1554), Mombaim (1563), Mombaym (1644), Bambaye (1666), Bombaiim (1666), Bombeye (1676), Boon Bay (1690), and Bon Bahia. After the English gained possession of the city in the 17th century, the Portuguese name was anglicised as Bombay. Ali Muhammad Khan, imperial dewan or revenue minister of the Gujarat province, in the Mirat-i Ahmedi (1762) referred to the city as Manbai.