The Villages in Mumbai
To think about traces of villages in Metropolitan City is a bit difficult thing. With rapid urbanization, villages have lost their rural character & many villages are now merged with urban surroundings. Modern-day Mumbai has divided into two districts i.e the Mumbai City & Mumbai Suburban District.
Mumbai City is once a scattered group of several islands, the city took its current form after several land reclamation projects spread mostly over the eighteenth century. The area at the core of Mumbai city today was built by uniting seven islands – the Isle of Bombay, Colaba, Old Woman’s Island, Mahim, Mazagaon, Parel and Worli. These were then united with the islands of Salsette and Trombay towards the north ( Now known as Mumbai Suburban Districts), to form Greater Mumbai. Let’s try to look at the historic villages in Mumbai City & then current villages in Mumbai Suburban.
Historic Villages in Mumbai City
The earliest inhabitants of the islands were the Kolis, an aboriginal tribe of husbandmen and fisherfolk who have Koliwadas* / Villages in the portions of the islands which are now known as Upper Colaba, lower Colaba, Dongri, Mazagaon, Naigaon, Sion, Mahim & Worli. In fact, even the very name ‘Mumbai’ is said to have been used for this place by the Kolis from as far back as the 16th century and was derived from their goddess, and patron deity of the city, Mumbadevi.
Raja Bhimadev founded Mahikavati (Mahim) in 1294 & thus began the journey of Bombay or Mumbai. Bhima’s followers, among whom the Prabhus, Palshikar Brahmans, Panchkalshis, Bhandaris, Bhois and Thakurs were the most noteworthy, spread over the islands and settled the Villages in Mahim, Siwri, Naigaon, Matunga, Vadala & Parel. Some other villages or old establishments are Byculla, Tadvadi, Nagpada & Chinchpugli, Kumbarwada, Khara Talao, Chakla, Umarkhadi, Mandvi, Dhobi Talao, Dharavi & Chembur.
Mazgoan derived from Matsya Gram which means fishing village. Located north of the island of Mazagaon, Parel is a historic settlement with written records indicating habitation as early as the 11th century C.E. Mahim, to the north-east of Worli, once served as the capital of the area ruled by the 13th-century ruler Raja Bhimdev.
*Koliwada refers to a village of Kolis (fishermen) in India. Several places named Koliwada are located across the city.
The Villages in Mumbai Suburban District
During the 19th century, three causeways were made that joined Mumbai city with the Suburban district. At that time some villages from Thane District were withdrawn and included in Mumbai Suburban District and South Salesette Taluka was converted into Andheri Taluka. In subsequent years some villages from Borivali Taluka and some villages from North Salesette Taluka were withdrawn and two separate Taluka known as Andheri and Kurla was created.
Since then in Mumbai Suburban District consists of three Talukas namely Andheri, Borivali, and Kurla and thus there are 87 villages in the Mumbai Suburban District. List of Villages as per Mumbai Suburban district website
List of Villages Mumbai Suburban District
Villages in Andheri Taluka
Villages in Borivali Taluka
- Eksar Pahadi
- Pahadi Goregaon
Villages in Kurla Taluka