Monday, July 5, 2010
Part of the Fort and fort wall, Bombay, 1863.--Photographer: Unknown Medium: Photographic print Date: 1863
Photograph taken shortly before the demolition of the rampart and moat of the Fort in Bombay (Mumbai), Maharashtra, by an unknown photographer, from an album of 40 prints of the 1860s. 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 communitybuilt 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 passed to the English as part of the dowry brought to Charles II by the Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza. The British built up fortifications around Bombay harbour in the 17th century around the original Portuguese settlement. In the 1760s the fortifications were enhanced as the British were engaged in war with France in both Europe and India. By the 19th century the British had established control over India and the fort walls were torn down and the area converted into the central district of Bombay city.