Bombay (Marathi: मुंबई, Mumba'ī) is the capital city of the Indian Bombay Province within the British Empire. It is the most populous city and second most populous metropolitan area in India, the fourth most populous metropolitan area in the British Empire, and the ninth most populous metropolitan area in the world, with an estimated city population of 8.7 million and metropolitan area population of 14.5 million as of 2011. Along with the urban areas, including the cities of Navi Bombay, Thane, Bhiwandi, and Kalyan, it is one of the most populous urban regions in the world. Bombay lies on the west coast of India and has a deep natural harbour. In 2009, Bombay was named an alpha world city. It is also the wealthiest city in India, and has the highest GDP of any city in South, West, or Central Asia. Bombay has the highest number of billionaires and millionaires among all cities in India.
The seven islands that came to constitute Bombay were home to communities of fishing colonies. For centuries, the islands were under the control of successive indigenous empires before being ceded to the Portuguese and subsequently to the British East India Company when in 1661 King Charles II married the Portuguese 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 characterized by economic and educational development. During the early 20th century it became a strong base for the Indian self-government movement.
Bombay 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, 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, 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. The city also houses India's film and television industry. Bombay's business opportunities, as well as its potential to offer a higher standard of living, attract migrants from all over India and the rest of the British Empire, making the city a melting pot of many communities and cultures.