Fort & Harbour British Era Bombay, 1861 Photo

An 1861 photo of Fort and Harbour of British era Bombay (Mumbai). A portion of the defensive walls of Fort George can be seen in the foreground. The open space vaguely visible in the far background probably is the Cotton Green. The city was made up of seven islands when the British East India Company took over.

In 1532, the Portuguese conquered the islands of Bombay and Mahim from the control of Sultan Bahadur Shah. Bahadur Shah was the ruler of the Kingdom of Gujarat. The new Portuguese colonialist rulers were not wise enough to exploit the advantages that Bombay offered. The place remained stagnant under their reign.

In 1661 King Charles II of England received the islands as part of a dowry. For marrying King of Portugal’s sister Catherine of Braganza. King Charles realizing it would high maintenance and upkeep, leased the islands to the East India Company. Consequently, East India Company’s headquarters was shifted from Surat to Bombay.

The British built a fort after the settlement with the Portuguese. From around the 1740’s a long process of reclamation took place for around one and a half centuries. Which transformed the islands into a single landmass. Click on the photo for better view

Also read 350 years ago, Bombay was given to the East India Company. See post Bombay Fort And Harbour – Old Map/Plan 1754. 

Did you know- the fort wall was built around the present Fort area in 1715 by Governor Charles Boone, in order to protect the city against the French, Mughals, Marathas, and pirate invasions.

From the collection- Drawing Hiding The Taj Mahal WW2.,  Old Malabar Hotel In Cochin Ernakulam- 5 Old Photos 1948.,  General Post Office Bangalore – Old 1900 Postcard.

Photo Details

Year -


Photograph Size -

10 x 8 inches

Photographer -

British photographer