Mumbai or Bombay?

Mumbai or Bombay?

Mumbai or Bombay?

When Portuguese explorer Francisco de Almeida sailed into the harbor of the islands off India’s West Coast in 1498, he called the place Bom Baia (Good Bay). After decades of skirmishes and battles, the Sultan of Gujarat ceded “Bom Baia” to Portugal in 1534, and a “factory” or trading town was established (previously, the closest town was Thane).

Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza married Charles II of England in 1664 and brought him Bom Baia as part of her dowry. The Crown leased it to the British East India Company four years later. Under the British, Bom Baia became “Bombay. ” 

Before the place was occupied by Europeans, the salt collectors and fishermen who inhabited the seven islands (Colaba, Mazagaon, Old Woman’s Island, Wadala, Mahim, Parel, and Matunga-Sion) revered the goddess Mumba or Mumbā. Mumba Devi is a form of Shakti, the femine principle or Earth Mother. The Mumba Devi Mandir, an 18th century Hindu temple, is a major Mumbai cultural site at Babulnath near Chowpatty.

In 1995, the Hindu Shiv Sena party took control of the state assembly of Maharashtra and renamed the port Mumbai after the Hindu goddess, the city’s patron deity. India’s parliament acted to approve this in 1997.

It’s been Mumbai for over a decade, folks. Get with the program.

See also:

Mumbai? What About Bombay? How the city got renamed,” By Christopher Beam, Slate.

“Mumbai or Bombay?” by Jimmy Leach, The Independent 

The name,” FAQ, Mumbai/Bombay Pages

One Response to “Mumbai or Bombay?”

  1. life goes on Says:

    life goes on…

    […]Mumbai or Bombay? « NotionsCapital[…]…

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