British Era Bungalow Malabar Hill Bombay, 1895 Photo

British Era Bungalow Malabar Hill Bombay, 1895 Photo

An old 1895 photo of a British-era Bungalow at Malabar Hill in Bombay (Mumbai). Before Bombay was unified into a single landmass, Malabar lay on the ‘H’ shape of the Bombay Island (one of the seven islands). A virgin forested area with wildlife of jackals, bears, leopards, and so on roaming around the densely wooded area.

In addition, pirates from the Malabar coast (Kerala) made it their perfect hideout on the Hill. And that’s how the place got its name. Initially, the seven islands were under the control of the Portuguese. But they later ceded it to Britain under a dowry arrangement by the Portuguese King. Since King Charles II of England married Catherine of Braganza of Portugal in 1661. See my post- Antique Map of Salsette Mumbai 1893.

After the islands were unified Malabar Point became the final location of the British Government House in 1883. Followed by many British high-ranking officials’ homes that sprung up there one of them seen in this photograph. Notice the wooded land with many tropical trees once a common sight but now a rare scene. The home is of the typical Indo-Portuguese or southern Indian style construction. With wide verandahs and a tiled roof that blocks the harshness of tropical weather.

Did you know- in Portuguese times the islands of Bombay had dense coconut plantations side by side in what was once thick jungle.

From the collection- Raja Ravi Varma’s “Birth of Shakuntala” Oleograph 1894.,  Old Postcard – Trivandrum Canal Landing Place 1900.,  Old Photo – Bombay Docks / Port 1916.,  Our Journey Around The World – 1894 Book

Photo Details

Year -


Photograph Size -

11 x 8 inches

Photographer -

Bourne & Shepherd