Mumbai, one of the world’s most vibrant metropolises, has a rich history to relate. Originally, the land of Koli fisher folks, the remnants of which remains cowered on the shorelines of modern Mumbai, today this land stands as the ground for new ideas and groundbreaking trends. Feted for its diverse history, this land had witnessed many empires come and go, many a forts being built and dismantled, many a movements rise and fall. Mumbai, which got its name from local goddesses Mumbadevi, was the home to Koli fishermen community that mainly comprised of the tribes coming from Gujarat, Konkan and Vindhya Plateau. Initially an archipelago of seven little islands - Mahim, Parel, Colaba, Mazagaon, Wadala, Old Women’s Island and Matunga-Sion, this city was brought together by an ambitious reclamation project that joined all the islands to form a single landmass. If you are interested in magnificent history of Mumbai then go through the article to find out the legacy of Mumbai.
Period Of Hindu Rulers
With the defeat of Kolis community in 350 BC, Mauryan Empire Ashoka took over the throne and bought with him a cultural and religious amalgamation of Hinduism and Buddhism. However, with the decline of the Mauryan Empire, the land was passed under the dominance of Satavahanas, who became the longest ruler in history to rule this land. After the decline of Satavahanas, the area came under the dominion of Abhiras and Vakatakas, who ruled the islands concurrently for a little less than one-and-a-half centuries. Later in the 5th century, Kalachuris held the power on island. In 6th century, the Konkan Mauryas overtook the land and it was during their period, the world famous Elephanta Caves came into being. Later in early 7th century, Chalukyas defeated Konkan Mauryas and ruled the glorious land until 750 BC. Their power came to a halt when Rashtrakuta Dynasty from Karnataka captured the island. With the passage of time Silhara dynasty established its rein over the land from 810 AD to 1260 AD. The last Hindu ruler to rule the land was Raja Bhimdev of Yadav dynasty. However, with the incursion of this area by Muslim rulers of Gujarat, the supremacy of Hindu rulers ended in 1348.
With the capture of land from Hindu rulers, Mubarak Khan of Khilji dynasty of Gujarat established his dominance over this land. During the 15th century, the land was seized by Bhandaris who ruled this land for a period of eight years. However, the area was recaptured by Rai Qutb of Gujarat Sultanate. Later the glorious rule of Gujarat Sultanate was cut short by the Portuguese, with small break in between resulting from the attacks of the Bahamani Sultanate of Deccan. During the dominance of Gujarat Sultanate, rulers constructed various mosques, which are noted even today. Of all the popular monuments, the mosque of Saint Haji Ali, also called as Haji Ali Dargah, is the most popular.
In 1534, the Portuguese who already established their dominance in western coast of Diu, Daman and Panjim, took over Mumbai after defeating the Gujarat Sultanate. They named their new possession as “Bom Baia" which meant "Good Bay” in Portuguese. With the Portuguese power in Mumbai, numerous churches came into existence. However, only one church with Portuguese-style portico remains – the St. Andrew's church at Bandra. Apart from churches, Portuguese also showcased their possession by building number of forts at Sion, Bandra, Mahim and Bassien. After hundred and twenty eight years of magnificent rule the island was given to the English King Charles II in the form of dowry on his marriage to Portuguese Princess Catherine de Braganza in 1662.
Mumbai port legally came under the control of King Charles II of England in 1662 after his marriage to Portuguese Princess Catherine de Braganza. However, it was in 1665 all the seven islands of Mumbai came under the Britishers. Later in 1668, British government handed over the land to East India Company for an annual rent of 10 pounds. Impressed by the natural harbor, East India Company moved its main holdings from Surat to Bombay, the present day Mumbai. In the later years, the port city progressed under the hands of company. The year 1720 witnessed British constructing Bombay Fort and carrying out land renovation to link all the seven islands. Apart from this, Bombay also played a vital role in major political affairs during pre-Independence struggle.
Post Independence Era
After attaining Independence from British rule in 1947, Bombay became the capital of so-called Bombay Presidency. Later the presidency was divided into two states namely Maharashtra and Gujarat and with the merging of sub-urban areas, Bombay city came into existence in April 1950. Later in the year 1995, Bombay was officially renamed as Mumbai. Today Mumbai, the dream city is one of the most visited cities in India.