MUMBAI: The city of Mumbai, once upon a time was a habitat of seven islands but the fortune of this city changed rapidly after the seven islands were given as a dowry gift .How ? Read the details :
GIFTED IN DOWRY
Portuguese took the Bombay islands from King of Gujarat Bahadur Shah in 1534.
They had the Bombay ruled under them till 1661.Then the Bombay islands were gifted to the British Royal family as a dowry .Portuguese Princess Catherine D Bragenza was married to British Prince Charles II and she carried Bombay as her dowry gift .
But the habitat of seven islands could not attract the British Royal family also .They were not interested in this colony .So they rented it to East India Company.In 1668 , British Royal family rented out the seven islands to East India Company for an yearly remuneration of 10 pounds per annum .This was to be paid in gold .
POPULATION OF BOMBAY
The population of Bombay, when East India Company took over the city on lease was only 10,000 (Ten Thousand) .But the efforts and development of the islands by East India Company gradually rose the population.
In 1661, when British took over the city from Portuguese, the city had ten thousand people residing all over the seven islands.
But after fourteen years, means during 1675 the population of Bombay rose to 60,000 .The city population saw a rise of 6 times in only 14 years.
East India Company had its offices and headquarter in Surat , Gujarat .But as the city developed , EIC transferred their offices and headquarter from Surat to Bombay . Their decision tilted the scale in favor of Bombay.
In 1687 East India Company declared Bombay as their new headquarter and therefore, they began development works in the city .Such developments were the foundation stone for today’s Mumbai city .A habitat of seven islands was being converted to become a world class city , on the lines of London , gradually .
The first civil engineering project, to connect all seven islands through land was under taken.
In 1782 , Hornby Vellard , the civil engineering project initiated by Governor William Hornby was initiated at a cost of Rs. 1 lakh although many directors of EIC opposed it . This project of connecting islands was completed in 1784.
From 1817 onward , Bombay saw large civil engineering projects which merged all seven islands into a single city which by 1835 , had an area of 435 sq km .Till 1857 , the city remained under Company Raj and in 1858 onward , it came under British Raj .