13th July 2024

The city that was paid as a dowry: Mumbai



The Mumbai the world knows today is the result of a series of tremendous changes. Whether geographically, politically, or even name-wise, the city has travelled quite a lot! One of the most important cities in India and the world, Mumbai was once an archipelago of seven islands that slowly merged, during the 18th century, into a single mass of land.

The Portuguese ruled the city, which they referred to as bombaim – Portuguese for ‘good bay’ – from the year 1534 till 1661.  However, things in the year 1662, when Charles II of England wed Catherine of Braganza, daughter of the Portuguese king John IV. A treaty that followed obliged the Portuguese to hand over the rule to the British, as a dowry. Consequently, just like its administration, the city also acquired a name more British – Bombay.

The British were in pursuit of Bombay since the city was a very significant natural harbour, and provided better odds against land-attacks.

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