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Salsette Island
Island
(Salsete) is an island in Maharashtra
Maharashtra
state on India's west coast. The metropolis of Mumbai
Mumbai
(formerly Bombay) and the cities of Thane
Thane
and Mira-Bhayandar
Mira-Bhayandar
lie on it, making it very populous and one of the most densely populated islands in the world. It has about 15.1 million inhabitants living on an area of about 619 km².

Contents

1 Location 2 History 3 Geography

3.1 Geology 3.2 Other natural formations

3.2.1 Lakes 3.2.2 Rivers 3.2.3 Creeks 3.2.4 Wetlands

4 References

Location[edit] Salsette is bounded on the north by Vasai
Vasai
Creek, on the northeast by the Ulhas River, on the east by Thane
Thane
Creek and Bombay
Bombay
Harbour, and on the south and west by the Arabian Sea. The original seven islands of Bombay, which were merged by land reclamation during the 19th and early 20th centuries to form the city of Mumbai, are now practically a southward protruding peninsula of the much larger Salsette Island.[1] The island of Trombay
Trombay
that was to the southeast of Salsette is today part of Salsette as much of the intervening swamps have been reclaimed. It contains Borivali National Park, also known as Sanjay Gandhi National Park. The city of Thane
Thane
is at the northeastern corner, on the Thane
Thane
Creek while its suburb Mira-Bhayander
Mira-Bhayander
lies in the northwest corner. Politically, the Mumbai
Mumbai
City district covers the peninsula south of Mahim and Sion while most of the original island constitutes the Mumbai
Mumbai
Suburban District. The northern portion lies within Thane
Thane
District, which extends across Vasai
Vasai
and Thane
Thane
creeks onto the mainland.[2] History[edit] See also: History of Mumbai The word Sasashti (also shortened to Sashti) is Marathi for "sixty-six," referring to the original "sixty-six villages" on the island.[3] It was inhabited by farmers, agriculturists, toddy tappers, artisans, fisherfolks who trace their conversion to Christianity back to 55 (citation required) AD with the arrival of Christ’s disciple St. Bartholomew in north Konkan, west Maharashtra. They were converted to Roman Catholicism
Roman Catholicism
by four religious orders—Dominicans, Franciscans, Augustinians and Jesuits—who arrived in the 15th century with the Portuguese. These original natives of Salsette are the East Indian Catholics and Kolis.[4] 109 Buddhist
Buddhist
caves, including those at Kanheri, can be found on the island, and date from the end of the 2nd century.[5] Salsette was ruled by a succession of Hindu kingdoms, the last of which were the Silharas. In 1343, the islands were annexed by the Muslim
Muslim
Sultanate of Gujarat. In 1534, the Portuguese took the islands from Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat. Sashti became part of the northern province of Portuguese India, which was governed from Baçaím (present-day Vasai) on the north shore of Vasai
Vasai
Creek. It was leased to D. Diogo Rodrigues also called as Mestre Diego from 25 October 1535 to 1548. In 1554, the islands were handed over to Garcia de Orta, a renowned physician and botanist, and the author of Colloquies on the Simples, Drugs and Materia Medica of India, a seminal work on Indian and Eastern medicine of its time. On the island of Mazagaon, the Jesuits had set up base claiming the land. The Portuguese king refused to entertain their claim and in 1572 permanently leased the island to the de Souza e Lima family. By now, there was a large Roman Catholic population. The Portuguese also brought with them African slaves known as "Kaffirs", who soon entered the ethnic mix of the people. The Portuguese had established Goa, which lay south of the islands, as their headquarters in India. Goa was then known as the "Lisbon of the East" and was capital of the Portuguese Indian Vice-Kingdom. Due to its prominence the islands were never important to the Portuguese. Nine Roman Catholic churches were built on Sashti island by the Portuguese: Nirmal (1557), Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (1557), Sandor (1566), Agashi (1568), Nandakal (1573), Papdy (1574), Pale (1595), Manickpur (1606), and Nossa Senhora das Mercês (1606). The St. Andrews Church and the Mount Mary's Basilica in Bandra, the Cross at Cross Maidan, Gloria Church (1632) in Mazagaon and the remnants of a church in Santa Cruz are the sole places of worship that have survived till today. In 1661, the seven Bombay
Bombay
islets were ceded to Britain as part of the dowry of Catherine of Bragança to King Charles II of England
Charles II of England
while Salsette remained in Portuguese hands. King Charles, in turn, leased the Bombay
Bombay
islets to the British East India
India
Company in 1668 for £10 per year. The company found the deep harbour at Bombay
Bombay
eminently apposite, and the population rose from 10,000 in 1661 to 60,000 by 1675. In 1687, the East India
India
Company transferred their headquarters there from Surat. In 1737 the island was captured by the Marathas, and most of the Portuguese northern province was ceded to the Marathas in 1739. The British occupied Salsette in 1774,[6] which was formally ceded to the East India
India
Company in the 1782 Treaty of Salbai. In 1782, William Hornby, then Governor of Bombay
Bombay
Presidency, initiated the project of connecting the isles of Bombay. By 1845 the seven southern islands had been connected to form Old Bombay, with an area of 435 km². Railway viaducts and causeways were built in the 19th century to connect Bombay
Bombay
island to the mainland via Salsette. The channel separating Bombay
Bombay
from Salsette and Trombay
Trombay
were bridged by the Sion Causeway in 1803.[7] Accessibility considerably increased after construction of this causeway.[8] Mahim and Bandra
Bandra
were connected by a causeway in 1845.[9] These railway lines and roads encouraged wealthier merchants to build villas on Salsette Island. By 1901 the population of Salsette increased to 146,993 and the region began to be referred to as Greater Bombay. Geography[edit] See also: Geography of Mumbai

1893 map showing the island.

Salsette is dominated by a central mass of hills surrounded by tidal flats. A number of much smaller islands lay on its western flank. These included Bandra, Juhu, an old linear sand bar rising just above sea level by a metre or two, Versova, Marve Island, Dharavi
Dharavi
island and Rai Murdhe, all with a knoll core and fringing wave-cut platforms and sandy beaches. These islands seem to have remained separate till as late as 1808. At the time of writing of the old Gazetteer of Thana in 1882, these islands could be reached during low tides by walking across the tidal inlets in between, except for the island of Dharavi (not to be confused with the slum near Mahim), which had to be reached by a boat. These are no longer separate, being joined to Salsette via reclamation. The highest point is the conical peak of Kanheri (467 metres) in the Borivali National Park, in the northern reaches of the island.[10] This National Park
National Park
is the world's biggest within city limits. Geology[edit] The island is at the confluence of a number of fault lines.[11] This makes the area earthquake-prone, up to a magnitude of 6. The island is mostly composed of black basalt rock. Since it is along the sea coast, it has a sandy belt on its western coast. The southern region of Old Bombay
Bombay
is mostly at sea level. However, the parts which were erstwhile shallows are below sea level. Many parts of the city are hilly. There is laterite soil and rocks at a point on Bombay
Bombay
Island. Other natural formations[edit] Lakes[edit] There are three major lakes on the island: Powai Lake, Tulsi Lake
Tulsi Lake
and Vihar Lake. The latter two supply part of Mumbai's water requirements. Numerous other smaller ponds and lakes are present. Rivers[edit] The Mithi River
Mithi River
(Mahim), Poisar River, Oshiwara River
Oshiwara River
and Dahisar River, originate in the national park, and empty into the Arabian Sea. The Mithi River
Mithi River
originates at the Powai Lake. Vasai
Vasai
and Thane
Thane
creeks are estuarine distributaries of the Ulhas River. Creeks[edit] A number of saline or brackish creeks extend inland from the coastline. The Mahim creek separates the city from the suburbs in the west. Further north on the western coast, the Oshiwara river empties into the Malad (or Marvé) Creek and the Dahisar River into the Gorai Creek. The eastern waterfront too, has many small creeks. Wetlands[edit] The small southern part of the eastern waterfront of Salsette forms Bombay
Bombay
harbour. North of this region lie vast amounts of protected wetlands at Sewree, home to migratory birds. The northern, northwestern part of the island and parts of Mahim River have government protected marshlands. These swampy regions form massive and dense mangrove forests. References[edit]

^ "Geography - Salsette group of Islands". Maharashtra
Maharashtra
State Gazetteer, Greater Bombay
Bombay
district. 1987. Retrieved 24 March 2012.  ^ "2.17.1 Existing Situation" (PDF). Mumbai
Mumbai
city Development Plan 2005. Retrieved 24 March 2012.  ^ India. Census Commissioner. (1901). Census of India. Government Central Press, Bombay. Retrieved 16 April 2012.  ^ "Populations. Christians. history" (PDF). Bombay
Bombay
Gazetteer. Retrieved 25 March 2012.  ^ Alexander Kyd Nairne (1894). History of the Konkan. Asian Educational Services. p. 9. ISBN 978-81-206-0275-5.  ^ Naravane, M.S. (2014). Battles of the Honorourable East India Company. A.P.H. Publishing Corporation. p. 53. ISBN 9788131300343.  ^ Alexander Kyd Nairne (1894). History of the Konkan. Asian Educational Services. p. 124. ISBN 978-81-206-0275-5.  ^ Anne Bulley (2000). The Bombay
Bombay
Country Ships, 1790-1833. Psychology Press. p. 99. ISBN 978-0-7007-1236-6.  ^ "City by the sea". Dance with Shadows.com. Retrieved 24 March 2012.  ^ "Geography - Salsette group of Islands". Maharashtra
Maharashtra
State Gazetteer, Greater Bombay
Bombay
district. 1987. Retrieved 25 March 2012.  ^ "The Seismic environment of Mumbai". Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 315531399

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