Online Encyclopedia

KOLABA (or COLABA)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V15, Page 887 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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KOLABA (or COLABA), a district of British India, in the southern division of Bombay. Area, 2131 sq. m.; pop. (1901), 605,566, showing an increase of 2 % in the decade. The head-quarters are at Alibagh. Lying between the Western Ghats and the sea, Kolaba district abounds in hills, some being spurs running at right angles to the main range, while others are isolated peaks or lofty detached ridges. The sea frontage, of about 20 m., is throughout the greater part of its length fringed by a belt of coco-nut and betel-nut palms. Behind this belt lies a stretch of flat country devoted to rice cultivation. In many places along the banks of the salt-water creeks there are extensive tracts of salt marshland, some of them reclaimed, some still subject to tidal inundation, and others set apart for the manufacture of salt. The district is traversed by a few small streams. Tidal inlets, of which the principal are the Nagothna on the north, the Roha or Chaul in the west, and the Bankot creek in the south, run inland for 30 or 40 m., forming highways for a brisk trade in rice, salt, firewood, and dried fish. Near the coast especially, the district is well supplied with reservoirs. The Western Ghats have two remarkable peaks—Raigarh, where Sivaji built his capital, and Miradongar. There are extensive teak and black wood forests, the value of which is increased by their proximity to Bombay. The Great Indian Peninsula railway crosses part of the district, and communication with Bombay is maintained by a steam ferry. Owing to its nearness to that city, the district has suffered severely from plague. Kolaba district takes its name from a little island off Alibagh, which was one of the strongholds of Angria, the Mahratta pirate of the 18th century. The same island has given its name to Kolaba Point, the spur of Bombay Island running south that protects the entrance to the harbour. On Kolaba Point are the terminus of the Bombay & Baroda railway, barracks for a European regiment, lunatic asylum and observatory.
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