Mahim & Matunga Once Lush Streets of Bombay – 2 PCs1900



Two 1900 postcards show Mahim and Matunga once the lush streets of Bombay (Mumbai). It was not only Mahim and Matunga which was verdant, at one time, but perhaps the whole of Bombay. After unifying the seven islands into a single landmass in the 1840s it was interspersed with landscapes of mud flats, green fields, and wooded areas.

Mahim was one of the seven islands of Bombay before the unification. It raised coconut plantations and crops till the turn of the 20th century. The plantations were mainly owned by the Portuguese in the 15th and 16th centuries. It was a leafy suburban district just as it was with Matunga and Worli till the 1940s. The Fort area had quite many tanneries in the early 19th century which the British relocated to Mahim. Where they perhaps still operate to date.

Extensive areas of Matunga were devoid of any houses or roads, being fields or low-lying wastelands. That was densely dotted with toddy palms with pathways zigzagging amongst them. Later mills opened up on the land as each new mill was built, the toddy palms had to be cut down. Matunga is today a lower-middle-class area in Bombay. It once contained a British Military Cantonment, later the cantonment was shifted to Colaba, probably in the 1840s-50s. However, not a trace of this old cantonment is found in Matunga today.

Did you know – that Mahim had a hunting party, in the 1800s, every Sunday, they hunted hyenas and jackals on horseback. 

Past posts – 1964 M. Suriyamoorthy Charcoal On Paper Nude (#3)., Apollo Bunder Before Building the Gateway, 1880 Photo., Origin Of The British East India Company, 1903 Print ., Old Book 1914 – Academy Architecture.