Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Salsette (Marathi:- Sashti) is an island in Maharashtra state on India's west coast. The metropolis of Mumbai (formerly Bombay) and the city of Thane lie on this island.
The present island was formerly made up of several smaller islands, which were joined together during the 19th and early 20th centuries to form a single island. It is bounded on the north by Vasai Creek, on the northeast by the Ulhas River, on the east by Thane Creek and Bombay Harbour, and on the south and west by the Arabian Sea. The city of Mumbai lies on a peninsula on the southern end of the island, and Mumbai's suburbs cover much of the remainder of the island. The island contains Borivali National Park. It is also known as Sanjay Gandhi National Park. The city of Thane lies at the island's north-eastern corner, on Thane Creek. The coordinates are approximately 20° N and 72° E. Politically but most of the island falls into the jueisdiction of Muncipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai. It is divided into two separate districts, Mumbai City and Mumbai Suburbs. The northern portion of the island lies within Thane District, which extends across Vasai and Thane creeks onto the mainland.
The name Sashti means "sixty-six villages." Present-day Sashti Island was formerly several separate islands. Most of the northern and middle part of the present island were part of historic Sashti island, while the southern part of the island, which includes Mumbai City, was originally seven small islands (Mahim, Bombay, Mazagaon, Parel, Colaba, Little Colaba, and Sion), extending south from Sashti. The island of Trombay lays to the south-east of Sashti.
Salsette Islands
Coat of Arms of Bardez and Salsette under Portuguese rule.109 Buddhist caves, including those at Kanheri, can be found on the island, and date from the end of the 2nd century. The island was ruled by a succession of Hindu kingdoms, the last of which to rule the islands was the Silhara Dynasty. In 1343 the islands were annexed by the Muslim Sultanate of Gujarat. In 1534 the Portuguese took the islands from Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat. Sashti was part of the northern province of Portuguese India, which was governed from BacaĆ­m (now known as Vasai) on the north shore of Vasai Creek. In 1661 the seven Bombay islands were ceded to Britain as part of the dowry of Catherine of Braganca to King Charles II of England. Sashti remained in Portuguese hands. King Charles in turn leased the Bombay islets to the British East India Company in 1668 for £10 per year. The company found the deep harbour at Bombay eminently apposite, and the population rose from 10,000 in 1661 to 60,000 by 1675. In 1687, the East India Company transferred their headquarters there from Surat.
In 1737 Sashti was captured by the Marathas, and most of the Portuguese northern province was ceded to the Marathas in 1739. The British occupied Sashti in 1774, which was formally ceded to the East India Company in the 1782 through Treaty of Salbai.
In 1782 William Hornby, then Governor of Bombay Presidency, initiated the project of connecting the isles. The Hornby Vellard was the first of the engineering projects. The project gained momentum in 1817, and by 1845 the seven southern islands had been connected to form Old Bombay with an area of 435 km². Railway routes and road bridges were built in the 19th century to connect Bombay island to Sashti and vise-versa. These railway lines encouraged wealthier merchants to build villas on Sashti and by 1901 the population of Sashti rose to 146,993 and turned into Greater Bombay. The channels separating Bombay and Trombay islands from Sashti Island were filled in the early 20th century.
Parts of the island are hilly, although many of the hills were cut down and used to enlarge the island by filling in the shallows and to link the islands to one another. The highest point on the island is around 450 metres in the Borivali National Park, in the northern reaches of the island. This National Park is the world's biggest within city limits.
The island is located at the confluence of a number of fault lines. This makes the area earthquake prone, up to a magnitude of 6. The island is mostly composed of black basalt rock. Since it is along the sea coast, it has also a sandy belt on its western coast. The southern region of Old Bombay is mostly at sea level. However, the parts which were erstwhile shallows are below sea level. Many parts of the city are hilly. Also worth noticing is the occurrence of Laterite soil and rocks at a point on this island.
There are three major lakes on the island Powai Lake, Tulsi Lake and Vihar lake. The latter two lakes supply part of the city's water requirements. Numerous other smaller ponds and lakes are also present in the Thane region. On the shores of the Powai lake lies the celebrated Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.
Three small rivers, the Mithi (Mahim), Oshiwara and Dahisar, originate within the National Park, and empty into the Arabian Sea. The Mithi River originates from the Powai Lake. Vasai and Thane creeks are estuarine distributaries of the Ulhas River.
A number of saline or brackish creeks extend inland from the coastline. The Mahim creek separates the city from the suburbs in the west and the Sion Creek in the east (Sion creek no longer exists). Further north on the western coast, the Oshiwara river empties into the Malad (or Marve) Creek and the Dahisar River into the Gorai Creek. The eastern waterfront too, has many small creeks.
The small southern part of the eastern waterfront of the island forms the Bombay harbour. North of this region lie vast amounts of protected wetlands, home to migratory birds. The northern, north western part of the island and parts of Mahim River also have government protected marshlands. These swampy regions form massive and dense mangrove forests.
The western coast of Mumbai has numerous beaches. The best known is the Girgaum-Chowpatty Beach. Other well known beaches are Dadar Beach, Juhu Beach, Mahim Beach, Gorai Beach, Manori Beach and Worli Beach; of which Juhu, Manori and Gorai Beaches lies on west cost of Sashti island.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


View:- Worli sea face and construction of the bridge connecting Bandra and Worli
Worli was one of the original seven islands that constituted the city of Mumbai. It is primarily a fishermen's village.

The Worli Fort

The Worli Fort, a British fort, is located there. It also has the Haji Ali Dargah, on a rock in the sea, which was connected at low-tide to the island by a natural causeway. The island of Worli was connected to the main island of Bombay in 1784 with the completion of the Hornby Vellard. In 1842, the Love Grove sewage pumping station was completed. It has special sluice gates opening to the sea, which are opened during periods of low tide.
Worli is a part of South Bombay which extends from Haji Ali to Prabhadevi. It is bounded by the Arabian Sea to the west and the neighbourhoods of Haji Ali, Mahalaxmi, Prabhadevi to the north.The nearest railway station to the neighborhood is Mahalaxmi. It has housed the biggest chawls known as BDD chawls which are prone to riots. Now a days even the area of Lower Parel is referred to as Upper Worli due to a massive construction boom in the area.
Some of the most exclusive residential buildings in Bombay are in Worli, such as the towering Samudra Mahal and the 20-storey Eden Hall Apartments or the 12-storey Urmi. The seaface near Worli also has a number of extremely exclusive and prestigious residential addresses such as Benzer Apartments, Benreeza Apartments, Urmi, Nishika and Godrej Apartments.
Worli was one of the Mill lands of Old Bombay, and now these mills are converted into posh offices such as Ceejay Towers and malls such as Atria. Worli has the Mahalaxmi Racecourse known as The Royal Western Turf Club of India, The Wellington Golf Course, Nehru Planetaurium, Nehru Centre, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium and Haji Ali dargah as main landmarks.
A link road between Bandra and Worli to mobilise traffic is presently under construction.

Friday, May 2, 2008


View:- New Fort area

In 1769 Fort George was built on the site of the Dongri Fort. In 1772 an order was promulgated to segregate Indian and English houses, both within and outside the Fort.The fort walls had three main gates. One was the Apollo Gate near the present day location of the St. Andrew's Church. The most well-known was Churchgate named after St. Thomas standing almost exactly on the spot that the Flora Foutain now occupies. The third was the Bazaar Gate right opposite the present dome of the General Post Office (GPO) which lends its name to the area even now long after the gate itself has disappeared. A British town ship grew up inside the fort walls. A few wealthy Indian merchants were allowed to build houses inside the fort. Businesses moved into the Fort area displacing residents. With control assured over India, the fort walls were torn down, and the area was converted into the central district of Bombay city. More of Bombay's landmarks were built in this and adjoining areas. Many of the landmarks date from this period-University of Mumbai, Flora Foutain, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Muncipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai building .


View:- Colaba and military cotonment

Gerald Aungier took possession of Colaba and Old Woman's Island in 1675. However, the development of these areas took a long time. In 1743 Colaba was leased to a Richard Broughton at Rs. 200 per annum. The lease was renewed in 1764. In 1796, Colaba became a cantonment for the military troops. The meteorological observatory was established in 1826 at the southern end of the island which is called Upper Colaba. Colaba became a centre of commerce with the opening of the Cotton Exchange at Cotton Green in 1844. Work on the church of St. John the Evangelist was begun in 1847. The church is now known as the Afghan Church (after the First Afghan War of 1838) was consecrated in 1858 and concluded in 1865.
Transport to this end of the new town was revolutionised by the introduction of horse-drawn tram-cars in 1873 by Stearns and Kitteredge. They had their offices on the west side of the Causeway where the B.E.S.T. Electric House stands today.
The Prong's lighthouse at the southern tip of the island was constructed in 1875. In the same year, the Sassoon Docks were built by David Sassoon on reclaimed land. The BB&CI Railways established their terminus in Colaba. These developments pushed the indigenous kolis (fishermen) to the edges of the island near the Sassoon Docks and to the west. The 90,000 square yards of land were reclaimed on the western shore of Colaba.