Home Tourism India Old Bombay, Mumbai

Old Bombay, Mumbai



Old Bombay, Mumbai

Before it was ceded to the British, the port city of Mumbai was a group of 7 islands, which were connected into a single landmass through land reclamation around the late 18th century. Since then the city was developed as a major port town in India after the construction the Suez Canal. The old town is known for its historic architecture and various tourist attractions.

On 18 January 1665, King Charles granted Humphrey Cooke the possession of Bombay. However, Salsette, Mazagaon, Parel, Worli, Sion, Dharavi, and Wadala still remained under Portuguese possession. Later, Cooke managed to acquire Mahim, Sion, Dharavi, and Wadala for the English. Sir Gervase Lucas, who was appointed Governor of Bombay on 5 November 1666, reported that Bombay included all the islands except Colaba and Old Woman’s Island. On 21 September 1668, the Royal Charter of 27 March 1668, led to the transfer of Bombay from Charles II to the British East India Company for an annual rent of £10. Sir George Oxenden became the first Governor of Bombay under the regime of the British East India Company. Gerald Aungier, who became Governor of Bombay on July 1669, established the mint and printing press in Bombay and developed the islands into a centre of commerce. He also offered various business incentives, which attracted various communities like Gujuratis, Parsis, Dawoodi Bohras, and Jews. On 20 February 1673, Rickloffe van Goen, the Governor-General of Dutch India attacked Bombay, but the attack was resisted by Aungier. The Treaty of Westminster (1674), concluded between England and Holland, relieved the British settlements in Bombay of further apprehension from the Dutch.

The first cotton mill in Bombay, the Bombay Spinning and Weaving Company was established on 7 July 1854. The foundation of the University of Bombay in 1857 made it the first modern institution of higher education in India, along with the University of Calcutta. The Great Indian Peninsular Railway and the Bombay, Baroda, and Central India Railway (BB&CI) were started in 1860. The outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861 increased the demand for cotton in the West, and led to an enormous increase in cotton-trade. In 1866, the British Government established the Bombay Coast and River Steam Navigation Company for the maintenance of steam ferries between Bombay and nearby islands; while the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 completely revolutionized the marine trade of Bombay. In 1870 the docks were consolidated under the Bombay Port Trust, and the Bombay Municipal Corporation was established in 1872, providing a modern framework of governance for the rapidly-growing city. Tramway communication was also instituted in 1872. Public gardens such as the Victoria Gardens and Northbrook Gardens were opened in 1873 and 1874 respectively. Violent Parsi-Muslim riots again broke out in February 1874, which were caused by an attack upon Prophet Muhammad published by a Parsi resident. The Bombay Gymkhana was formed in 1875 and soon organizations such as Bombay Quadrangular followed. Bombay became one of the few cities in the world to include a largenational park within its limits, and the Bombay Natural History Society was founded in 1883. The Princess Dock was built in the year 1885 as part of a scheme for improving the whole foreshore of the Bombay harbour.
Mumbai is one of the oldest cities in India. Being the capital of Indian state Maharashtra, it is the fifth most populous city in the world. You could easily say that is because of the enormous amount of opportunities this city has got to offer the people coming through from various small towns and villages across the length and breadth of the country. Named after Koli goddess Mumbadevi, Mumbai has the natural harbour providing a grand deal of business of fishermen. Very well connected by road, rail and air transport, Mumbai is one of the finest metropolitan cities in India.

In this post of ours, We wanted to touch the old glory of this place through some unbelievable old treasure photographs. This will let you know how significant this city has been over the period of years and would show us the ambience and busy schedule of the people here.

Interesting Facts about Mumbai

This city was built on what once use to be a group of seven islands.
It was the work of British engineers during 19th century to landfill these islands to form the present Mumbai.
Mumbai was earlier known as Bombay, meaning Good Bay in Portuguese.
The Mumbai Suburban trains carry close to 8 Million commuters daily, this is more than the population of Israel.
Not to forget the incredible Dabbawalas, they carry more than 200,000 Lunch boxes daily.
Dharavi is the biggest slum in the world, but wait they are reported to export goods worth more than USD 700 million to countries across.
The seven islands of Bombay were 16th century Portuguese territories lying off the west coast of India, that were handed over to England under this title as part of the dowry of Catherine of Braganza when she married Charles II in 1661.The isles had earlier been part of indigenous empires like the Silhara dynasty and the Sultan of Gujarat before they were captured by the Portuguese in 1534. After acquiring them as dowry, Charles II rented the islands to the East India Company in 1668 for 10 pounds of gold a year. By 1845, the islands had been merged[1] into one landmass by means of multiple land reclamation projects. The resulting island of Bombay was later merged with the nearby islands of Trombay and Salsette that lay to its North-east and North respectively to form Greater Bombay. These islands now constitute the southern part of the city of Mumbai.

The original islands handed over to England were as follows:

Isle of Bombay
Old Woman’s Island (Little Colaba)

Previous articleAkshardham Temple, Delhi
Next articleAjanta and Ellora Caves, Aurangabad


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here