The Seven Islands
Proceeding roughly south to north, the seven islands ceded by the
Portuguese to the British were
- Colaba: whose name is a
corruption of the
Koli name Kolbhat.
- Old Woman's Island:
(alternatively, Old Man's Island) a small rock between Colaba and
Bombay, whose name is a corruption of the Arabic name Al-Omani,
after the deep-sea fishermen who ranged up to the Gulf of Oman.
- Bombay: the main harbour and the nucleus of the British
fort from which the modern city grew; it
stretched from Dongri on the east to
Malabar Hill on the west.
- Mazagaon: a Koli settlement to the
east of Bombay island was seperated from it by Umarkhadi and
- Worli: north of Bombay was seperated
from it by the Great Breach, which extended westwards almost to Dongri.
- Parel: North of Mazagaon and called
by many other names, including Matunga, Dharavi and Sion. The original
population was predominantly Koli.
- Mahim: to the west of Parel and north
of Worli, took its name from the Mahim river and was the capital of a
13th century kingdom founded by
This list does not exhaust all the islands that have merged into the
modern city of Bombay. In particular, Salsette, the large northern
island which remained under Portuguese control till 1739, is not counted
among these seven.
Created on Jul 16, 1995; last modified Nov 17, 1999.