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Location: Sewri


Sewri is a locality along the eastern edge of South Mumbai, in Maharashtra, India. It is also the name of a railway station on the Central Railway Harbour Line.
Sewri (pronounced as Shivdi) was a small hamlet on the eastern shore of the Parel island, one of the original seven islands of Bombay. Sewri has a fort that dates back to 1770. The Agri-Horticultural Society had established gardens at Sewri, which were acquired in 1865 by Arthur Crawford, then the Municipal Commissioner of Bombay, for building a European cemetery. Large parts of Sewri belong to the Bombay Port Trust and were incorporated into the harbor facilities. In 1996, the mangrove swamps of Sewri have declared a protected ecology. Lesser flamingoes from other parts of India come to these mangroves to breed. They arrive at the mudflats from the months of October to March every year. These mudflats are near the Sewri jetty, which is a 20-minute walk from the railway station.
The climate is tropical in Sewri Koliwada. The summers are much rainier than the winters in Sewri Koliwada. This climate is considered to be Aw according to the Köppen-Geiger climate classification. The average annual temperature is 26.8 °C in Sewri Koliwada. Precipitation here averages 2488 mm.
Up to the eighteenth century, Mumbai consisted of several small islands. In 1661, seven of these islands were ceded by the Portuguese to the British as part of the dowry of Charles II of England. The harbor proved eminently opposite, and the British planned to shift base from Surat to Mumbai. The Siddis, who were of African descent and noted for their navies, had allied themselves with the Mughals. The British, under the East India Company and the Mughals, were constantly waged war on each other. As allies of the Mughals, the Siddis also declared the British as enemies.
Faced with relentless attacks by the Siddis in 1672, several fortifications were constructed in Mumbai, and in 1680 the Sewri fort was complete. It stood on the island of Parel, on a hill overlooking the eastern seaboard and Indian mainland. It had a garrison of 50 sepoys and was managed by a subedar. It was also armed with eight to ten cannons.[1]
In 1689, the Siddi general, Yadi Sakat, with an army of 20,000 men, invaded Mumbai. The fleet first captured the Sewri fort, then the Mazagon Fort, before sacking the town of Mahim. The fort was also later involved in a battle that repelled a Portuguese attack in 1772.
After the decline of the regional powers, the fort was subsequently used to house prisoners. It was later converted as a Bombay Port Trust godown.