Apr 5, 2009

General view of Bombay (Mumbai) 1881

Photograph of Bombay from the Macnabb Collection (Col James Henry Erskine Reid): Album of Miscellaneous views, taken by Deen Dayal in the 1880s.The harbour, busy with port traffic can be seen beyond the town and there are faint views of the islands off the coast in the distance. The busy port and industrial hub of Bombay is the capital of Maharashtra. During British rule, it was the administrative capital of the Bombay Presidency. Extending over a peninsula into the Arabian Sea on the west coast of India, Bombay prospered with maritime trade and became the chief commercial centre of the Arabian Sea. Originally a collection of fishing villages of the Koli community built on seven islands, Bombay was by the 14th century controlled by the Gujarat Sultanate who ceded it to the Portuguese in the 16th century. In 1661 it was part of the dowry brought to Charles II of England when he married the Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza. By the 19th century, the British were in control of India and they embarked on a programme of building commensurate with their power and primacy. Bombay burgeoned over the decades and boasted a skyscape of colonial architecture.