Colaba is a part of the city of Mumbai, India, and also a Lok Sabha constituency. 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 Colio.
The name Colaba comes from Kolabhat, a word in the language of Kolis, the indigenous inhabitants of the islands, before the arrival of the Portuguese. The area that is now Colaba was originally a region consisting of two islands: Colaba and Little Colaba (or Old Woman’s Island). The island of Colaba was one of the Seven islands of Bombay ruled by the Portuguese.
The Portuguese had acquired these lands from the Sultanate of Cambay by the Treaty of Bassein (1534). The group of islands was given by Portugal to Charles II of England as a 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 the transfer of possession for several years, while the English representatives were confined to the island of Anjediva while negotiations continued. Angered by the back-tracking, 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 Damao, the head of the Padroado party in Bombay, as his residence. After an attempt by the Propaganda Fide 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.
Public transport in Mumbai involves the transport of millions of its citizens by train, road, and water. Over 88% of the commuters in Mumbai use public transport Mumbai has the largest organized bus transport network among major Indian cities. Mumbai’s public transport consists primarily of rapid transit on exclusive suburban railway lines augmented by commuter rail on main lines serving outlying suburbs, the bus services of the three municipalities making up the metropolitan area, public taxis and auto-rickshaws, as well as ferry services. A metro and a monorail system have recently been inaugurated. A commercial Seaplane Service has recently been introduced.