Nov 27, 2008

Origin of word Mumbai

The City of Bombay or Mumbai as it called now derives its name from the goddess Mumba. How is the word Mumba derived? Is this a name of a Hindu goddess?

One theory says that the name is derived from Amba Bhavani - a Hindu goddess. Abma is another name for Bhavani - the consort of Shiva the Hindu god of destruction. Just as godess Kali is sometimes called MahaKali or the great Kali, so is Amba called MahaAmba. Maha means great. The natives of Bombay and other illiterates pronounced the word Maha-Amba as Mamba or Mumba

The suffix Ai signifies mother -- Hindu goddess are considered mothers. The word Mumbai is therefore derived from the words 

Maha + Amba + Ai = Mumbai.

The word Bombay (Portuguese Bambaim) is the corruption of work Mumbai.