WHO BUILT BOMBAY ? Many historical facts about Mumbai.

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According to ancient history, a group of 7 (seven) islands comprising Colaba, Mazagaon, Old Woman’s Island, Wadala, Mahim, Parel, & Matunga-Sion formed a part of the Kingdom of Ashoka the Great of Magadh, ironically in North India !
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The 7 islands of Mumbai passed through many hands – the Sultans of Gujarat, the Portuguese & the British !
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Every ruler left behind proof of residence in Mumbai !
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The Mauryans left behind the โ˜…Kanheri-Caves (Borivali N-Park), โ˜…Jogeshwari-Caves โ˜…Mahakali-Caves & the caves of “Ghara-puri” island more popularly called.. Elephanta !
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The Sultans of Gujarat built the Dargahs at Mahim & Haji Ali !
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The Portuguese built the two Portuguese Churches, one at โ˜…Prabhadevi & the other โ˜…St. Andrews at Bandra !
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They also built Forts at Sion, Mahim, Bandra & Bassien (today’s Vasai) !
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The Portuguese named the group of 7 islands ‘Bom Baia’, Good Bay !
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The British built a city out of the group of 7 islands & called her Bombay – derived from the original Mumbai !
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The original settlers of the 7 islands, the Koli fishermen, worshiped Mumba Devi, her Temple still stands at Zaveri Bazar/Paydhoni.. Cotton Exchange ..near Chowpatty !
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The Kolis called the island Mumbai, ‘Mumba’-devi, Mother Goddess’ !
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In 1662, King Charles II of England married the Portuguese Princess Catherine of Braganza, & received the 7 islands of Bom Baia as part of his dowry !
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6 years later, the British Crown leased the 7 islands to the English East India Company for a sum of 10 pounds in gold per annum !
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It was under the “English East India Co” that the future megapolis began to take shape ! After the first War for Independence in 1857, Bombay once again became a colony of the British Empire !
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History has forgotten this, but the first Parsi settler came to Bombay in 1640, he was Dorabji Nanabhoy Patel !
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In 1689-90, a severe “plague” เคชเฅเคฒเฅ‡เค— epidemic broke out in Bombay & most of the European settlers succumbed to it !
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The Siddi of Janjira Fort(MS) attacked in full force. Rustomji Dorabji Patel, a trader & the son of the city’s first Parsi settler, successfully defeated the เคธเคฟเคฆเฅเคฆเฅ€ Siddi (African-Negro) with the help of, the Kolis & saved Bombay !
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Gerald Aungier, Governor of Bombay, built the Bombay Castle, an area that is even today referred to as Fort !
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He also constituted the Courts of Law. He brought the Parsi shipbuilders, Gujarati traders, Muslim & Hindu manufacturers from the mainland & settled them in Bombay !
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It was during a period of 4 decades that the city of Bombay took shape!
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Reclamation was done to plug the breach at Worli & Mahalakshmi, and Hornby Vellard was built in 1784 !
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The Sion Causeway, connecting Bombay to Salsette, was built in 1803 !
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Colaba Causeway, connecting Colaba island to Bombay, was built in 1838 !
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A Causeway connecting Mahim & Bandra was built in 1845 !
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Lady Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy, the wife of the First Baronet Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy donated Rs. 1,57,000 to meet construction costs of the Causeway. She donated โ‚น 1,00,000 at first ! When the project costs escalated & money ran out half way through, she donated โ‚น 57,000 again to ensure that the vital Causeway was completed !
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Lady Jamsetjee stipulated that no toll would ever be charged for those using the Causeway. Today Mumbaikars have to pay โ‚น-75 to use the Bandra-Worli Sealink, connecting almost the same two islands !
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Sir JJ Hospital was also built by Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy !
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The ship building “Wadia family of Surat” was brought to Bombay by the British. Jamshedji Wadia founded the โ˜…Bombay Port Trust & built the โ˜…Princess Docks in 1885 & the โ˜…Victoria Docks & the Mereweather Dry Docks in 1891 !
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Alexandra Docks were built in 1914 !
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A Gujarati civil engineer supervised the building of the Gateway of India !
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The Tatas made Bombay their headquarters & gave it the iconic Taj Mahal Hotel & India ‘s first civilian airlines, Air-India !
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The Godrejs gave India its first vegetarian soap !
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Cowasji Nanabhai Daver established Bombay’s first cotton mill, ‘The Bombay Spinning Mills’ in 1854 !
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By 1915, there were 83 textile mills in Bombay largely owned by Indians !
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This brought about a financial boom in Bombay ! Although the mills were owned by the Parsis, Gujaratis, Kutchis & Marwaris, the workforce was migrant Mahrashtrians from rural Maharashtra !
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Premchand Roychand, a prosperous Gujarati broker founded the Bombay Stock Exchange. Premchand Roychand donated Rs. 2,00,000 to build the Rajabai Tower in 1878 !
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Punjabi, Sindhi & Muslim migrants have also contributed handsomely to Mumbai!
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APART FROM ITS ORIGINAL INHABITANTS, THE KOLIS, EVERYONE ELSE IN MUMBAI ARE IMMIGRANTS !! __๐Ÿ–‹โ€ฆ..
This article was written on February 7, 2010 by Tushar Gandhi, Founder President of the Mahatma Gandhi Foundation & a grandson of Mahatma Gandhi !
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