Colaba ( , pronounced ) is a
part of the city of Mumbai, India, and also a
- For the fort in Alibaug, see Kolaba fort
During Portuguese rule in the 16th
century, the island was known as Candil. After the British took
over the island in the late 17th century, it was known as
The name Colaba, comes from Kolabhat
, a word in the
language of Kolis
, the indigenous inhabitants
of the islands, before the arrival of Portuguese. The area that is
now Colaba was originally a region consisting of two islands:
Colaba and Little Colaba (or Old
). The island of Colaba was one of the Seven islands of Bombay ruled by the
The Portuguese had acquired these lands from the Sultanate of Cambay
by the Treaty of Bassein
. The group of islands
was gifted by Portugal to Charles II of England as dowry when he
married Catherine of
Braganza. The cession of Bombay and dependencies was
strongly resented by Portuguese officials in Goa and Bombay,
who resisted transfer of possession for several years, while the
English representatives were confined to the island of
Anjediva while negotiations
Angered by the backtracking, Charles II leased
these lands to the British
East India Company
for a nominal annual rent. Gerald Aungier, second Governor of Bombay (1672), and the
president of the English settlement of Surat, took
possession of Colaba and Old Woman's
Island on behalf of the Company in 1675.
Portugal continued to hold Little Colaba island for several decades
more before ceding it to the English in about 1762, subject to the
retention of Portuguese ownership of a house on the island, that is
now the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in Middle Colaba. This was leased
by the Portuguese Government of Goa to the Bishop of Damão
, the head of the
party in Bombay, as his residence.
After an attempt by the Propaganda
party to seize the chapel, a court ruled that the house
remained the property of the Government of Portugal and evicted the
Propaganda Fide party.
Ambitious reclamation plans from 1912 have been only partly
In 1743, British Colaba was leased to Richard Broughton
at Rs. 200 yearly, and
the lease was renewed in 1764. By 1796, Colaba had become a
cantonment. Colaba was known for the variety of fishes – the
turtles, crabs, prawns and lobsters.
A Colaba Observatory
, a meteorological observatory
was established in 1826 in the part
that was called Upper Colaba. The Colaba Causeway was completed in 1838, and thus, the remaining two
islands were joined to the others.
Gradually, Colaba became
a commercial center, after the Cotton Exchange was opened at
in 1844. The real estate
prices in the area went up. The Colaba Causeway was widened in 1861
Colaba became a separate municipality ward in 1872. The Sick
Bungalows (now known as INHS Ashwini) were built in the 19th
century. The construction of the Anglican church of
St. John the Evangelist (now known as Afghan Church after the First Afghan
War of 1838) began in 1847.
The Church was consecrated
in 1858, with the work on the steeple
being concluded in
The horse-drawn tram-cars were introduced in 1873 by Stearns and Kitteredge
, who had their
offices on the west side of the Causeway, where the Electric House
The Prong's lighthouse was constructed at the southern tip of the
island in 1875. The eponymous Sassoon Docks were built by David
Sassoon on reclaimed land in the same year.
BB&CI Railways established the Colaba railway station or
, the site of which is now
occupied by the Badhwar Park
The development of Colaba pushed the native kolis
to the edges of the island.
The Bombay City
reclaimed around on the western shore of
Colaba. Eminent citizens of Mumbai, such as Sir Pherozeshah Mehta
, opposed the work,
fearing that the reclamation would depress prices of land. However,
the reclamation work continued and was completed in 1905. There was
no fall in the land prices. In 1906, a seafront road with a raised
sea-side promenade was completed, and named as "Cuffe Parade
" after T. W. Cuffe of the
India, the art deco style Regal theatre, the cafes
(Mondegar, Royal and Leopold), and the
Palace & Tower hotel, all add to the atmosphere.
southern tip is occupied by a military cantonment, including the
Nagar layout built on reclaimed land.
parts of the cantonment retains its large, wooded spaces and is the
only bit of green left in this otherwise congested area.
midst of Navy Nagar lies the Tata
Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), one of
India's leading scientific institutions.
Colaba is renowned
for high-end boutiques, imitation consumer goods, and is popular
with tourists. This is a place where rich Indian industrialists and
business people prominently reside, for example the Ambanis
and Ratan Tata
only that, Colaba Causeway or just Causeway as it is known in
Mumbai has the best buys of everything from bracelets to perfumes
to clothes to watches, clocks, DVD's and CD's. Colaba has all that
is needed, to name a few places, Subway, Barista, Regal Cinema, Gokul, Taj Mahal
Hotel (a 5 star hotel) and for the shoppers there's Nike,
Adidas, Reebok, Woodlands, Arrow, Levi's, Levi Skyes, Lee, United Colors of Benetton, and
Colaba is the hippest neighbourhood in Mumbai
serving as the major shopping district for both tourists and
locals. It has an old English charm and a very modern feel as well.
Colaba is also the art centre of Mumbai, with all the major
galleries and museums located in and around this area.
Nearest railway stations:
Football Clubs in Colaba
- PIFA Colaba Youngstars FC [Elite Division (Group B)]- This is
one of the premium Football Club which plays in the Elite Division
of the MDFA- Mumbai Football League [MFL] . This club has struggled
a lot and worked out very hard in spite of running shortage of
enough sponsors to help them. Also they are not government-backed
institutional clubs which are playing in Mumbai football so it
faced lots of hardship but it overcame and finally made to the
Elite division of MFL.
This club is sponsored and trained by PIFA (Premier India Football
Terrorist attack in November 2008
November, 2008, terrorist strikes occurred at various places in
Colaba, notably the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Leopold Café and
The attacks resulted in over 100 deaths and
significant damages. A petrol pump in the area was blown up.
Other Business Districts of Mumbai
- Origins of Bombay
- 7 islands of Mumbai
- Colaba and Cuffe Parade
India Football Academy Official website