History of Bombay Essay example

2262 Words Nov 29th, 2010 10 Pages
Bombay:: Modern yet ancient || Glitzy yet heart-rendingly poor
Let me tell you about my city.

The city of Bombay originally consisted of seven islands, namely Colaba,
Mazagaon, Old Woman's Island, Wadala, Mahim, Parel, and Matunga-Sion. This group of islands, formed part of the kingdom of King Ashoka, which have since been joined together by a series of reclamations.

After his death, these islands passed into the hands of various Hindu rulers until 1343. In that year, the "Mohammedans" of Gujarat took possession and the Kings, of that province of India ruled for the next two centuries. The only vestige of their dominion over these islands that remains today is the mosque at Mahim. Who tore everything down? The
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More about the Shiv Sena later. About 130 years later the islands were given as dowry to the English King
Charles II on his marriage to Portuguese Princess Catherine of Braganza in
1662. In 1668 the islands were acquired by the British East India Company on lease from the crown for 10 pounds in gold/per annum. Obviously the British did not value these islands at that time. The Company, which was operating from
Surat, was in search for another deeper water port so that larger vessels could dock, and found the islands of Bombay suitable for development. The shifting of the East India Company's headquarters to Bombay in 1687 led to the eclipse of Surat as a principal trading center. The British corrupted the
Portuguese name "Bom Baia" to "Bombay".

The first Parsi to arrive in Bombay was Dorabji Nanabhoy Patel in 1640. The
Parsis, originally from Iran, migrated to India about 900 years ago. This they did to save their religion, Zoroastrianism, from invading Arabs who proselytized Islam. However, in 1689-90, when a severe plague had struck down most of the Europeans, the Siddi Chief of Janjira made several attempts to re-possess the islands by force, but the son of the former, a trader named
Rustomji
Dorabji Patel (1667-1763), successfully warded off the attacks on behalf of the British with the help of the 'Kolis', the original

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