and origin of Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) goes like
this. Bombay was initially a group of seven islands on the
Konkan coastline, occupied by Koli fishermen. Until Sultan
Muhamed Begada seized the islands, Bombay was inhabited by the
Hindus. Vasco da Gama, a Portuguese traveler, was the first
person to explore the sea-route to Bombay. The discovery led
to repeated attacks by the Portuguese, who eventually captured
the islands in 1534.
constructed a parish, several forts and churches, but couldn't
realize any value out of them. In 1661, these islands were gifted
to Charles II of England, in the dowry of Catherine de Braganza,
who was the sister of the Portuguese King. Finding no use of the
islands, Charles II leased them to the East India Company in 1668.
This trading company took great advantage of the strategic
location of the islands and built the docks, trading posts and the
fort that would make the switchboard of the city.
Before long, Bombay developed into an important trading post.
Reclamation was started and Gerald Aungier, the Governor persuaded
businessmen from all parts of the country to come and settle in
Bombay. He was titled the 'Father of Bombay' seeing that during
his time, Bombay developed into a major commercial centre. The
booming port attracted the capitalist communities like the Parsis,
Gujaratis and Marwaris, who established trading companies and
In 1708, Bombay became the headquarters of the East India Company.
During the 18th century, the population considerably increased and
basic amenities were introduced to the city. Bombay saw
construction of various buildings, monuments, railway stations,
offices, banks etc in the 19th century. By the year 1862, the
seven islands were coupled together to figure one expanse. With
the advent of the Great Indian Peninsular Railways, the city
received enhanced means of communication.
As soon as the Suez Canal was opened in 1869, Bombay flourished as
an international port and reinforced itself as the chief
commercial and industrial center in India. It was declared the
capital of Bombay state, once India became independent in 1947. In
1960, Maharashtra, the state, came into existence and Bombay state
was dissolved to make its capital. Bombay was named as Mumbai
after 'Mumbadevi', the patron goddess of Koli fisher folks in