BIRTH OF BOMBAY

BIRTH OF BOMBAY

It has never happened before , a city is born ‘before our eyes’!

Before the British came here , the area now covered by the huge city , was seven islands , many of which were sparsely populated by fishermen. A British traveler, who visited India a few hundred years ago , saw only Parsees there, in one of the islands. When the Mohammedans conquered Persia , Parsees , who are Brahmins , migrated en mass to India. They found vacant land in the islands near the main land and settled there. That was the birth of Mumbai.

The major city near Bombay was Surat where the East India Company built ware houses. Surat was a very old city , perhaps the only city in the Arabian sea , except Calicut. They must have found it easy to occupy vacant land in Bombay, which could be converted into a port. The earth released during the works , was dumped in what is now called ‘Church Gate reclamation’ In due course , all the seven islands were interconnected and became one with the mainland. Now it is one of the largest cities of the world. When the British Queen visited India , the ‘Gateway of India ‘ was there , to welcome her!

It is ironical that he Capital remained in far away Calcutta , until they shifted to Delhi in 1911 . Why did they not choose Mumbai?

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