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(bŏmbā`), former state, W central India, on the Arabian Sea. The state contained within its borders the former Portuguese colonies of GoaGoa
, state (2001 provisional pop. 1,343,998), c.1,430 sq mi (3,700 sq km), W India, on the Malabar coast. A former Portuguese colony and Indian union territory, Goa became a state in 1987. The capital is Panaji (Panjim). The chief products are rice, cashew nuts, and coconuts.
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 and Daman and DiuDaman and Diu
, union territory (2001 provisional pop. 158,059), 50 sq mi (130 sq km), W India, on the Arabian Sea, composed of two former Portuguese colonies seized by India in 1961.
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. Historical remains exist from the period (320–184 B.C.) when much of Bombay belonged to the Buddhist MauryaMaurya
, ancient Indian dynasty, c.325–c.183 B.C., founded by Chandragupta (Chandragupta Maurya). He conquered the Magadha kingdom and established his capital at Pataliputra (now Patna). His son, Bindusara (d. c.
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 empire. Buddhism was supplanted (c.5th cent. A.D.) by Hinduism, and the Maurya by independent dynasties until the early ChalukyasChalukya
, several S Indian dynasties that ruled in the Deccan. They claimed descent from Pulakesin I (reigned 543–566), who established himself at Badami (in N Karnataka). The Early Chalukyas held power in N Karnataka from the 6th cent.
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 established themselves in the region in the 7th cent. By the 14th cent. Muslim powers had attained control, with sultanates at Ahmadnagar and Bijapur (Vijapura). By 1600 the northern part of the region was under Mughal rule; the MarathasMarathas
or Mahrattas
, Marathi-speaking people of W central India, known for their ability as warriors and their devotion to Hinduism. From their homeland in Maharashtra their chieftains rose to power in the 17th cent.
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 became dominant in the 17th cent. In the 16th cent. Portugal was the leading foreign power, but Great Britain predominated in the 17th cent. and by the early 19th cent. had formed the Bombay presidency, having defeated the Marathas at Pune. Enlarged during the 19th cent. (including Aden [1839–1932] and the Sind [1843–1937]), Bombay became a province in 1937. After India gained its independence in 1947, all former native states within the provincial boundary joined Bombay, which became a state. In 1956 Bombay was reorganized, absorbing parts of Hyderabad and Madhya Pradesh and the princely states of Kutch (Kachchh) and Saurashtra. In 1960, however, Bombay state was divided between the new states of GujaratGujarat
, state (2001 provisional pop. 50,596,992), c.75,686 sq mi (196,077 sq km), W India, on the Arabian Sea. It is comprised of almost all of the Kathiawar peninsula, the desolate Rann of Kachchh, and the districts of Vadovara, Baruch, Surat, and the Dangs.
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 and MaharashtraMaharashtra
, state (2001 provisional pop. 96,752,247), 118,530 sq mi (306,993 sq km), W India, on the Arabian Sea. The city of Mumbai (formerly Bombay) is the capital. The state was formed in 1960, when the old state of Bombay was split along linguistic lines into two new
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. The chief city and former capital of the state, the city of of Bombay, was renamed MumbaiMumbai
, formerly Bombay
, city (1991 pop. 3,175,000), capital of Maharashtra state, W central India, occupying c.25 sq mi (65 sq km) on Mumbai (Bombay) and Salsette islands on the Arabian Sea coast. Mumbai Island was created in the 19th cent.
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 in 1995.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



Greater Bombay, a city in India, on the coast of the Arabian Sea. Greater Bombay occupies Bombay Island and the southern part of Salsette Island, which are connected by breakwaters and causeways. (Salsette Island, in turn, is connected to the mainland.) Bombay is one of the country’s most important economic and cultural centers, a major hub of international transportation routes, and the administrative center of the state of Maharashtra. It is India’s second largest city with 5,968,000 inhabitants (1971); about half of the population are Marathas, and about one-quarter, Gujaratis.

History In the 1530’s, Bombay Island was captured by the Portuguese, and in 1661 it came into England’s possession; in 1668 the English king turned it over to the East India Company. A trading station and military stronghold belonging to the English sprang up there. Modern Bombay was actually founded in 1672. In the late 17th and the 18th centuries Bombay was transformed into the principal base of the English colonialists in western India. It was the administrative center of the Bombay presidency (late 18th to mid-19th century). In the second half of the 19th century, for the first time in India, a national industry sprang up in Bombay, and a big national trading and industrial bourgeoisie began to appear. The city became the center of India’s workers’ movement (the Bombay strike of 1908 and others). In February 1946 there was an insurrection of naval seamen in Bombay.

It was supported by almost all the navy ships in India’s other ports, and also by a general solidarity strike of Bombay’s workers and by hartals in many cities of India. This uprising was the high point of the revolutionary upsurge that led to India’s winning of independence (1947).

Economy The economic structure of Bombay differs sharply from that of the ancient cities in the interior regions of India. Bombay’s economic development was influenced by British colonial policy, which assigned to Bombay the function of the maritime “gateway to India.” The city’s economic advancement was promoted by the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. Whereas the population increased from 16,000 to 161,000 from 1716 to 1816, it was 773,000 by 1881.

Bombay is the main port for imports (with 40 percent of the country’s imports passing through it) and is second (after Calcutta) for exports (about one-third of the exports). Its cargo turnover reaches 10 million tons a year. Exports include manganese ores and other ores, cotton items, cotton, skins and hides, oilseed, and oil cake, as well as metal products and machinery. Imports include machinery and equipment, coal, oil, and grains.

Main-line railroads begin in Bombay—the Western (to Delhi) and the Central (to Calcutta). Bombay is a major hub of international air traffic (Santa Cruz Airport on Salsette Island).

Wide foreign-trade relations and favorable transportation conditions promoted the transformation of Bombay into one of the country’s chief industrial centers, mainly in textiles. (Up to three-quarters of the country’s cotton industry is concentrated there.) Bombay was also transformed into a banking and financial center. (The boards of large Indian and foreign monopolies are located there.) The cotton industry retains a large relative share of Bombay’s industrial production (about 40 percent), but its share in India’s overall cotton output has decreased (to one-fourth). In the years of India’s independence new industries have appeared in Bombay-petroleum refining, the chemical industry, machine building, and others. Electric power is produced by hydroelectric plants located at the foot of the Western Ghats, a thermoelectric power plant on Trombay Island, and others. Bombay is a center of the film industry.

Architecture and planning Bombay was built up mainly in the second half of the 19th century and in the 20th century. Its planning and development bear the imprint of prolonged colonial rule and social inequality. There are many structures in the vein of English neoclassicism and neo-Gothicism, as well as imitations of 15th-century to 18th-century architecture (the Gateway of India and the Prince of Wales Museum). Since the mid-20th century, buildings have been constructed in modern European and American styles. The nucleus of the city is a former British fort located in the southeastern part of Bombay Island. There is almost no permanent population here; in the daytime hundreds of thousands of office employees and workers pour into the area, which has a regular layout, wide streets, and much greenery. The premises of the fort contain government institutions, banks, stores, a university (1857), and the offices of trading and industrial monopolies. North of the fort are the irregularly laid-out residential neighborhoods of the former “Black City.” (The lower floors of the buildings are occupied by stalls and workshops.) In the center of Bombay is an enormous market (the Crawford market, 1871). Warehouses, docks, and piers stretch along the eastern shore of the island. Branches of both railroads linking Bombay to the mainland also come here. Along the western coast of the island are wealthy neighborhoods (villas and the governor’s residence); the hanging garden is in the Malabar Hill area.

A semicircular highway, Marine Drive (“The Pearl Necklace,” which was built up after World War II with six-story buildings housing many apartments), skirts Back Bay in the southern part of the island. Elephanta Island (Gharapuri) with cave shrines (dating to the eighth century) is 8 km from Bombay; a giant bust of the three-faced Siva (about 6 m high; eighth century) and reliefs are in the largest of these shrines.

The city widens in the direction of Salsette Island, and the official city limits (since 1950) extend from south to north, from the fort to the city of Thana. In the northern part of Bombay there is the Trombay Atomic Research Center, a technological institute (1961–66, built with the aid of the USSR), a petroleum refinery, a chemical plant, a machine-building plant, a thermoelectric power plant, and the Milk Colony (a farm supplying the city with milk).


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. a port in W India, capital of Maharashtra state, on the Arabian Sea: ceded by Portugal to England in 1661 and of major importance in British India; commercial and industrial centre, esp for cotton. Pop.: 11 914 398 (2001)
2. a breed of black short-haired medium-sized cat
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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