Saturday, April 9, 2011













               DEDICATED TO THE FIRST CITY-MUMBAI-BOMBAY] ;OF INDIA.part-5 OF 9                                             

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Image result for Horse-drawn tram cars COLABA


The Gowalia Tank was initially used to bathe cows. Go - Walia comes from the marathi word Gaie (cow) Wala (owner of the cattle). The cattle owners would bring the cows to be bathed in the waters of the tank. The Maidan that exists over there presently was built over the tank, which still exists underground. Gowalia Tank was also a very prominent tram terminus. Trams would start and finish there and one could travel to the Prince of Wales Museum in one anna (six paise).


Bombay Army regiments: Cavalry:1849

Bombay Army regiments:
1st Scinde Irregular Horse.
2nd Scinde Irregular Horse.

1st Scinde Irregular Horse in 1861 became the 5th Bombay Cavalry and later in 1903, the 35th Scinde Horse. 2nd Scinde Irregular Horse in 1861 became the 6th Bombay Cavalry and later in 1903, the 36th Jacob's Horse. The men and horses of the 3rd Scinde Horse were divided up between these two regiments.
The 14th Prince of Wales's Own Scinde Horse was a regular cavalry regiment of the Bombay ... It later expanded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Scinde Horse. ... the Scinde Irregular Horse got its first Commandant, John Jacob, an engineer from the ...
Active‎: ‎1838-1947



In 1878, the British controlled Indian government dispatched 7000 native Indian troops to the island of Malta. This was the first time the Indian Army was deployed outside the British Indian Empire, and questions regarding its constitutionality were raised in the British parliament. The move was seen as a signal, during the height of the Great Eastern Crisis, that Britain was ready to supplement its own forces with troops from India to counter any Russian threats to Turkey, or future wars in Europe.1905-BOMBAY-FIRST MOTOR CYCLE TRIAL-INDIA


Glimpses of old Bombay and western India, with other papers (1900)

. Hope Hall Family Hotel.

" The proprietor of the above establishment has spared neither expense nor trouble to deserve the distinguished patronage with which he has been honoured, and the continuance of which be most respectfully solicits
. " The house is situated in Mazagon, on one of the most agree- able, healthy, and fashionable spots of the island, and contains apartments particularly well adapted for families
. Every room has a bathing place, etc., attached to it, and there is a number of single and double pole tents, with very desirable accommo- dation for single gentlemen.

A bungalow containing a billiard table is set apart for smoking, which is not allowed in the house,

" The meals,

consisting of breakfast, tiffin, and dinner, besides coffee and tea, are served Table d'Hote or separately, as may be desired. "

For passengers by the Overland route,

boats are kept ready to take them on shore as soon as the steamer is anchored. An agent of the establishment will take care and bring to the hotel the luggage, which every passenger is requested to point out to him. Arrived on shore an omnibus and private carriages belonging to the establishment will bring the ladies and gentle- men to the Hotel.

* Scotland's Skaith : or Will and Jean. Published Edin., 1795, ran through five editions of 500 each in seven weeks, and fourteen editions in twelve months.
" The proprietor, importing most of the articles of luxury, including beer, wine, and liquors, from England and France direct, is enabled to offer the best choice at reasonable rates.

" There are conveyances of all kinds in the establishment to be had at a moment's notice.

TERMS OF BOARDING. " Board and lodging for a person occupying one room and taking meals at Table d'Hote : — Per month Es. 130
Fortnight „ 75 Day
Children and European servants, Es. 2 per diem.

J. M. SCHULHOF. " The proprietor

begs most respectfully to draw the attention of messes, families, etc., to his stock of claret, champagne, and other foreign wines and liquors imported by him, which he offers at very low rates if taken from his godown.

" N.B. — Board and lodging

for a gentleman or lady in their own rooms : — Per day . . Es. 7 Fortnight „ 85 Month ,,160
Old New Lady and Gentleman, Table d'Hote, Charge. Charge. per month. . . Es. 260 220 Do. Fortnight . . . „ 150 110 Do. Private, per month „ 320 260 Do. Fortnight . . . „ 170 150


1 horse conveyance, per month . . Rs. 150 100 Do. do. Fortnight . „ 75 60

2 horse conveyance, per month .

. „ 300 200 Do. do. Fortnight . „ 150 110'"

. No question has been more discussed than the cost of living in Bombay, and whether it has increased or diminished during the past half-century

. But something has to be said on the other side, for exchange overshadows European life in India, and makes the life of many scarce worth living out here.

Hotel expenses mean rent, taxes, servants' wages, lights, and other items of bed and board. Readers of the document will form their own conclusions.

Of course, in addition to the items we have named, there are many luxuries we have added which have become necessaries ; but confining oneself to strictly hotel expenditure, the conclusion seems to me irresistible that there is no difference whatever between the year 1845 and 1895

. The value of the rupee, quote all other things, from gold down to coolies' wages, is quite another story.

Leaving economists to pursue the subject, we gather from this announcement that smokers were less liberally dealt with than at present,

and that the word "bath-room"
had not as yet found a place in the hotel owner's dictionary

.                                                BOMBAY HOTEL SCRAPS. "

Better a bush to sleep under in one's own country than a palace in a foreign land."

— Meer Soostum, Ameer of Sind, at Sassoor in the Dekhan. 1844. " There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man by which so much happiness has been produced as a good tavern or inn." — Dr. Johnson. 1776.

From these pessimist notions let us turn to the following Bombay advertisement of 1845.

We give it with its bad spelling, grammar and punctuation : — " British Hotel, Bombay.

" For the accomadation of Families and Gentlemen. These specious premises are desirably situate in the Fort, and wethin five minutes walk of the Banks of Dock Yard, Custom House and principal House of Agency

. " Wines and liquors of the best description. Tiffins and Dinners sent out on short notice. — T. Blackwell, Proprietor.

" In 1709 the Paces Banquet was held at the Bombay Hotel.

                                             BOMBAY HOTEL SCRAPS.

On May 9th, 1800

, we find a number of gentlemen dined at Maclean's Hotel

to commemorate the capture of Seringapatam.

On August 15th, 1818, Duncan Cameron appears as sole proprietor of the Bombay Hotel and Tavern.

This was the resort for many years of the celebrated
                                                                               Sans Souci Club
, which entertained Sir Arthur Wellesley.

Cameron is immortalised in the page and picture of Qui Hi.

(Marching on chowpatty beach to the christain burial ground which was near by)

In 1820 there must have been a number of hosteleries of sorts from the following notice : — October.

The Bombay Tavern par excellence

. The mighty Tavern of the East

. In the Fish and Vegetable Bazaar are The Country Tavern,

The Duke of Wellington,

The Lord Nelson

The Bootful of Mischief,

The Chinaman's Tavern.                         Pay To-day aud Trust To-morrow.'"

This is akin to the Italian shopkeeper who, during a commer-cial crisis, stuck every morning in his shop-window, " Credito Domani." When to-morrow came the same notice was exhibited.

                                                         September, 1826.

The Elphinstone Arms shut up.

November, 1835. The Albion HotelR. T. Hart.

December 14th, 1837. Victoria Hotel opened, 15, Apollo Street.

December 31st, 1837. Hope Hall opened, Mazagon

. August 24th, 1839. A Bombay Hotel Company started to supply the want of a good hotel.

Boarding-house Advertised.

March 30th, 1842

. It is remarked " there is no Hotel in Bombay at present," hence a Joint Stock Hotel and Boarding House Company is started with a capital of 2 lakhs.

November 26th

The British Hotel and Boarding House, Apollo St.
, Mrs. Black well, announced. December 10th. The big dinner given to Outram advertised to take place in this hotel.

1850. A single man may live most comfortably on £100 a year. — Br. Moses' Sketches. 1851.

1850, June 1st. Benson's Hotel, Rampart Row, opened.

1852, June 21st.                                                Sailors' Home,


 Sanatoriums and Hotels filthy

. 1853, May 16th. Hope Hall Hotel.. Annie Blackwell.

. 1854, September 10th. John Manuel de Souza, Matheran, starts a Bakery and can receive and lodge two gentlemen. This is the smallest hotel on record.

1856, February 26th. Good entertainment for gentlemen and parties visiting this delightful station. Matheran Hotel, B. Basteon.

January, 1857. The Bombay Quarterly Review says : — " A broker introduced at a festive dinner at the Family Hotel, the Theodore Hook of the Fort Community, extracts a yellow handkerchief from his white jacket and sings. Considered a wonderful and inimitable being."

1358, March 4th.

All liquor shops to be closed on Sundays between 10 a.m. and 1.30 p.m. and from 5 to 8 evening.

1859, April 1st

. There is a goodly show of hotels. One paper says : — " If people must stand on their dignity there is The Hope Hall;

if convenience is preferred above fashion there is The British and the English Hotel in the Fort.

" 1859, July 16th.               Adelphi Hotel,

names of residents published.

December 16th.
The Clarendon Family Hotel,
The Clarendon Hotel at Hebden
August 12th. Smith's Oriental Hotel, Mazagon, each person Rs. 3, or Rs. 60 per mensem.

1861. Kaka and Mendoza's Hotel at Matheran well patronised.

1864, August 30th. "Watson, for an   Esplanade Hotel,

bought from Government at auction a lot of ground at Rs. 110 per square yard.

Competitor the Bombay Club.

Glimpses of old Bombay and western India, with other papers (1900)


dinners and Balls.

We come now to speak of dinners, and we only notice such as are distinguished by some special incident.
On November 6th, 1818, Mr. Elphinstone gave a dinner to commemorate the Battle of Kirkee. Twenty-nine toasts were given, with appropriate tunes after each toast, and his health was drunk with nine times nine !
We have no such functions nowadays.
At a dinner on November 29th, 1821, at Government House, Apollo Street, in honour of Sir John Malcolm, 

200 sat down. This dinner was noticeable in this, that the chairman in his speech observed (jocularly we will suppose) that a considerable degree of apprehension was felt by their female friends that the zeal which the bumpers would derive from the toasts of the evening would render a great majority of the company unfit to appear in their presence that evening. The chairman's fears seem to have been groundless, for 350 danced till daylight in a pavilion specially erected for the purpose on the Esplanade.

The dances in these days were quadrilles

, country dances and waltzes. 

Spanish dances 

are also mentioned. Occasionally there were masked balls.
At another noticeable dinner, which took place at Poona on December 9th, 1826, Sir Lionel Smith in a speech made a delicate allusion to Mr. Elphinstone's remaining on the bachelor list. He said he had been requested by the ladies who had honoured the banquet by their presence to say something for them. " We all -know that they are always fluent, generally eloquent, always persuasive. Some of them may perhaps wonder and regret that Mr. Elphinstone has never yet quartered their silken chains in his honourable escutcheon."

There was a dinner given by Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy 

(he was not knighted until 1842) to Lord Clare, Sir Herbert Compton, Sir John Keane and Sir Charles Malcolm. This Dinner was on January 29th, 1835, and was signalised by the drawing-room being thrown open to the ladies of the Jejeebhoy family, and was the first instance of Parsee ladies mingling freely in European society.

It was Lady Frere who first opened Government House to native ladies (1862-67). On March 5th, 1835,
there was a ball and supper to Lord Clare, in the Town Hall, being the first occasion the building was used for this purpose, and the first time on which Chantrey's statue of Mountstuart Elphinstone was displayed to the public, and which of course was a subject of universal admiration.

Two of the most important dinners ever given in Bombay were that to Sir James Outram in 1842

, and the Byculla Club Dinner

to Sir Bartle Frere in 1867.

 No higher types of military or civil excellence can be cited in Bombay history. Their statues, like those of two brothers, stand in line on that most conspicuous site, the Thames Embankment.

Lovely, and sometimes misconstrued in their lives, in death they have not been divided.

The ball given by Sir Albert Sassoon

to Lord !Northbrook 

at Sans Souci[now it is masina hospital byculla] in 1873 was the most gorgeous and brilliant ever given in Bombay
, and it will never be forgotten by anyone who took part in that magnificent entertainment. For conviviality and national enthusiasm the St. Andrew's and Highland Society's Dinners "bear the gree" over all others.

The annual ball at Parell,
parel government house
in February, 1872, in Sir Seymour FitzGerald's time,

Seymour Fitzgerald,Gov of Mumbai,old print,1867

 did not take place. While the ladies were at their toilet, and the men ordering their carriages, a wild cry rose in the streets that Lord Mayo 
lord mayo 1822-1872
governor general of English India 1869-1872

had been assassinated. It was too true. Many drove up to the gates of Parell, found them closed, and were stunned by the notice posted on the pillars.

There was a dinner given in August, 1824, to John Jukes, a great billiard player. Thirty-five sat down,

and in 1859 a native entertainment took place, at which 200 European ladies and gentlemen danced until daylight. The gentleman in whose honour it was given, is in good health, and is now (1894) in Bombay

. But what can we say more of Bombay festivities ? The Duke said he was feasted into Bombay and feasted out of it. General Ulysses Grant said that we had killed him with kindness and done everything except hury him. The Prince of Wales said it was the dream of his life.


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Bombay haunting

By: Shailesh Bhatia
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Mumbai: Neighbours swear that these properties take on a new dimension after sunset. Sunday MiD DAY explores the unknown, the unexplained in the city's twilight zones 
There are places in our city that could inspire the likes of the Ramsey brothers and Ram Gopal Varma, whose names are synonymous with celluloid mystique and horror. Stepping into the twilight zone, Sunday MiD DAY investigates the phenomena of the supernatural, which allegedly exists in the heart of this concrete jungle we call home. Apparently, we are not alone.
With no intention to spread superstition, we provide our list of 12 of Mumbai's Most Haunted.
Case 1
Over 16 years, a spacious, uninhabited bungalow, in the bylanes of JVPD scheme and in the neighbourhood of many Bollywood stars including the Big B, is being gradually reclaimed by the elements of nature. An array of imported cars gathering dust in its compound, a mass of vegetation and thick undergrowth now cover the prime property worth crores.

Neighbours swear that the property takes on a new dimension after sunset. The chirping of birds, the only residents of the bungalow, reach a crescendo and what follows is an abrupt silence and the presence of an eerie energy.

Neighbours further claim that the owners of the bungalow, which is now under government custody, apparently vanished into thin air after they were accused of pilfering money from a public limited company they had floated.
Case 2
Numerous water wells of Mahim which never run dry, are not only a Mecca for the water tanker operators, but also a source of forbidden mysteries.

With water tankers parked on the either side of a lane, right behind the Paradise cinema, lies a building called Ram Sakit and in its compound is a sealed well, supposed to possess the spirit of old lady Sulochana who met her watery grave on the very spot, over 20 years ago. "I knew the lady, who was in her fifties and hailed from a Maharashtrian family. It was around 10 am when she stepped out to wash her clothes and slipped into the well and died," claims an old resident adding that the entire neighbourhood believes she still appears during Amavasya and vanishes in the morning.

The belief is said to be so strong that a person called Richard, who claims to be the landlord, carries out exorcisms of laying flowers on the well (see pix) everyday, to mollify the spirit, which is said to not be malicious in nature.
Case 3
In less than a kilometer radius of the Mahim railway station, lies the dreaded Nasserwanj Wadi, where no local likes to venture after midnight. "Don't venture inside or you will get possessed. Don't expect any one from the area to come and help you," warned a group of ladies standing near the gate as this reporter approached the wadi (old settlement) compound.

Folklore has it that the property once belonged to a Parsi gentleman called Nasser, who was brutally burnt in a cabin close to a well inside the compound. "The gruesome murder was committed around 16 years ago, but the Parsi landlord still takes his daily stroll over here after midnight, keeping a watch on his property. He is known to torment anyone who crosses his path," alleged Francis, a resident.

Francis confessed that moving out of his house was a total taboo for him and his family and they always kept a crucifix and slept with a light on. "More than seven people have lost their lives here, within a span of one year after the Parsi landlord died, so we concealed the well under a pile of rubble. But this has not really helped," he alleged.
Case 4Eight months ago, in a scene right out of Omen, a huge, black dog appeared out of nowhere and made the second floor corridor of a building in Santa Cruz (W), his permanent home. His uncanny presence coincides with the death of a lady, simply known as "second floor ki bhabi", who committed suicide after a tiff with her husband.

The dog simply doesn't budge from his place; he just sits there quietly. But every night, he lets out a series of low frequency howls and a veiled lady appears and strolls in the corridor. Next, the silence is broken as the building lift mysteriously comes to a standstill on the floor, as if on command, casting ghastly shadows from its tube light.

"The veiled lady never harms anyone, but has all the neighbours scared to death and they refuse to even speak out her real name. You just have to be in the building at midnight to feel her presence," alleged 23-year-old Nadeem Sheikh, a local resident.
Case 5
A famous South Bombay hotel is supposed to have a friendly ghost in the form of its original architect. Folklore has it that the Frenchman, who created the blueprints, went off on a trip to his country in 1903.
On his return, he was stunned to find that the hotel frontage had been made in the reverse direction, and committed suicide. His ghost is still believed to manifest in the old wing, but has never bothered anyone.
Case 6
Close to the Pawan Hans quarters, near the Juhu aerodrome is a century old peepal tree, which residents claim is the home to a 20-year-old girl called Salma who poured kerosene and set herself ablaze for no apparent reason in 1989.

Her presence was so strongly felt that a resident called Anthony D'Souza, a devout Catholic, built a Hanuman mandir to protect residents from harm after he was apparently guided to do so in a dream. "On special nights, the girl can still be seen running, with her clothes still on fire and disappears into the tree," claimed Mehboob Sheikh, a local resident.
Case 7
In the backyard of SNDT, Girls College, Juhu are a few dilapidated structures, once used as staff toilets by the gardeners and other menial staff workers. Residents of the neighbouring building swear that post 1.30 am, sounds of a teacher thrashing her students can be heard clearly.

"First the lessons start, and the teacher can be heard reciting mathematical tables, invariably followed by thrashing sounds and the wails of children. It's been practically heard by everyone in our building and goes on till the wee hours of the morning," alleged Riyaz Ansari, a local resident.

"Once, out of curiosity, we formed a group of 10 boys to investigate the phenomena, but found only an eerie emptiness. By the time we reached back home, the cries from the structure had restarted and no one has ever dared to venture out there again," added Riyaz.
Case 8
With mangroves on either side, a narrow strip of road, which leads to Marve and Madh Island is notorious for many automobile accidents. It's said that a lady in full bridal attire, seen especially on full moon nights, distracts the drivers, which leads to the mishaps. Dozens of uncharacteristic sightings have been reported, not only by locals, but by staff of beachfront hotels who return from late night shifts.

The trick, they say, is to not look directly in to the mesmerising eyes of the beautiful lady and to just ignore her. Legend has it that an unknown bride was brutally murdered on her wedding night and her body dumped in the isolated mangroves over 25 years ago. The spirit is apparently still on the lookout for the culprits.
Case 9
In the dead of the night, it requires sheer guts to cross the dimly-lit Aarey Road, which connects Goregaon to Powai. Danger lurks not only from the leopards who come down from the National Park to feed on easy prey, but also from the paranormal.

The spirits, which seldom attack the locals, are known to target only outsiders, especially rickshaw drivers who would rather take a longer route to reach their destination than risk this terrain. A strange old man in white kurta pajama is known to hire a rickshaw. Within a span of 15 minutes, the man disappears into thin air, leaving the driver under a strange state of hynopsis.

Said one driver who was 'struck' by the spirit, "I felt as if I was surrounded by a flowing water body and was helpless. Covered in perspiration, I was vaguely aware of being approached by another man, who slapped me to get me to my senses."

Case 10
In the heart of IC colony, Borivali is an open garden plot so dreaded that no child has played here for the last 30 years. Old residents claimed that a gardener committed suicide here after fearing he would lose his job when the property changed hands. Said to be so possessive of the land, the gardener allegedly targets any child playing on the property, which is now covered in undergrowth.
Case 11
The mango groves surrounding the LIC colony at Borivali add a strange mystique to the quiet area. But it is the tall water tower, surrounded by huge boulders, known as the 'reservoir', which emits a creepy energy. Residents make it a point to never go near there alone. Those who have, complain of giddiness and vomiting, beyond the spectrum of medical science, that vanished within a week.
Case 12
Moving across the newly completed Jogeshwari Link Road stands a row of pink buildings, said to possess the spirit of an airhostess who was allegedly murdered in her second floor flat. Residents say that soon after her death, the company flat was allotted to another airhostess, who encountered a weeping lady on the terrace one day.

On enquiry, the sobbing lady stated that she was unable to go home, as the flat she was residing in had been occupied by someone else. When asked for details, she quietly pointed her finger at the same flat where the new airhostess resided, before vanishing in to thin air.

Ghosts or not, all these 12 places are said to have an unexplained energy... believe it or not if you will, but fiction overrides fact in these Mumbai 'haunts'.


 [10] BOMBAY 1950-PHOTOS




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