Tha'na, or STHA'N that is The Settlement, in north latitude 19 11' 30" and east longitude 73 3', a station on the Peninsula railway twenty-one miles north-east of Bombay, is the chief town of the Thana district and the head-quarters of the Salsette sub-division. In 1881 it had a population of 14,456. It is prettily placed on the (Bombay Gazetteer, west shore of the Salsette creek, in wooded country, between the Yeur range of Salsette hills on the west and the steep picturesque Persik peaks on the mainland to the south-east. The fort, the Portuguese Cathedral, a few carved and engraved stones, and several large reservoirs are the only signs that Thana was once a great city.


Except part of Chendni, the fishermen's suburb to the south, which contains a landing-place a customs-house and a railway siding, the town of Thana lies to the north of the railway. On the south-east, along the banks of the creek, lie the Chendni, and further north the Mahagiri quarters of the town, with a large number of boatmen's and fishers' houses. Between Chendni and Mahagiri lies a salt swamp of some thirty or thirty-five acres, which was reclaimed in 1880 by a dam. The Bazar or station road runs half a mile north from the station to an open space or square, where it meets the Agra road. It is lined by small tiled houses and poor shops, showing little but the most ordinary brass-work, cloth, and groceries. About a quarter of a mile from the station, to the east of the road, stands the Hirakot or Diamond Fort, now the mamlatdar's office. To the west stretches the large Massunda lake, with its west bank faced with broad stone steps and crowned with a Hindu temple, and, on the north bank, the Portuguese Cathedral and other picturesque buildings. Between the main road and the lake is the large Kopineshvar temple, and close by, down a street on the other side, are the meat and fish markets. At the end of the road is the vegetable market, and in the open space at the meeting with the Agra road stands, on the east side, the Collector's house, a fine double-storied building with a large garden in which are the Collector's offices and treasury. To the west are the new Byramji Jijibhai high school and the Wadia dispensary, with, close by, the public library and a curious domed building. This was intended for an English school, but, since the opening of the high school (1880), it has been occupied by public offices. Around are the dwellings of pleaders, traders, and other well-to-do natives, double-storied with high tiled roofs and gaudily coloured walls. Along the Agra road, towards Bombay, is the Portuguese Cathedral, and, a little beyond, the new Marathi school. To the east, after passing between the Collector's and Judge's houses, the Agra road comes out on a wide park-like esplanade crossed by broad tree-lined roads, with the fort or jail in the east, the English church in the north, open wooded ground with the civil hospital and the remains of the assistant judge's house to the west, the Judge's and Collector's residences to the south-west, and, to the south more well shaded European houses, and the neat police lines formerly used by the Native Infantry Regiment. This pleasant esplanade, with the double-bridged creek and the wild Persik hills to the east, and wooded rice-lands and hill-sides to the west, forms a pretty scene which, especially during the rains, is in many points more like an English than an Indian view.

North of the church lies the Khatarvada, or weaver's quarter, and beyond, at the north extreme of municipal limits on the edge of the Gosala pond, is Colonel Atkin's bungalow. Along the creek between Chendni and Mahagiri, a dam, pitched with stone on its eastern face and provided with two sluice gates, was built in 1880 at a cost of 329 (Rs. 3290). This dam has reclaimed from thirty to thirty-five acres of salt marsh behind the Hirakot, which formerly caused much annoyance and ill health, as the tide washed up and left on it filth from the latrines on the creek. The latrines are now cleaned by the tide without expense or establishment, and the area of salt ground, which has been obtained by the municipality from the Government on the Gujarat reclamation terms, is being gradually filled by town sweepings.

Thana is cut off by the Yeur hills from the sea breeze, it has an average yearly rainfall of between eighty and ninety inches, and to the east, south-east, and north, it is flanked by large stretches of salt marsh and tidal foreshore. The climate is therefore relaxing hot and feverish, especially at the close of the rains. In 1869, 1875, and 1877, it was attacked by violent epidemics of cholera.

According to the 1881 census, in the total of 14,456 people, there were 11,539 Hindus, 1398 Musalmans, 1094 Christians, 260 Parsis, and 165 Jews. The chief Hindu castes were Kunbis and Marathas.


There are four landings or bandars, Mandvi near the local-fund bridge, Liberi and Bendi in Mahagiri, and Chendni to the south of the railway line. The sea trade returns for the five years ending 1878-79 show average exports worth 22,825 (Rs. 2,28,250) and imports worth 32,266 (Rs. 3,22,660). Exports varied from 9973 (Rs. 99,730) in 1875-76 to 35,330 (Rs. 3,53,300) in 1878-79, and imports from 18,564 (Rs. 1,85,640) in 1874-75 to 57,759 (Rs. 5,77,590) in 1876-77. [The details are: Exports. 1874-75 20,034 (Rs. 2,00,340), 1875-76 9973 (Rs. 99,730), 1876-77 25,326 (Rs. 2,53,260), 1877-78 23,463 (Rs. 2,34,630), and 1878-79 35,330 (Rs. 3,53,300); Imports, 1874-75 18,564 (Rs. 1,85,640), 1875-76 32,174 (Rs. 3,21,740), 1876-77 57,759 (Rs. 5,77,590), 1877-78 21,57S (Rs. 2,15,760), and 1878-79 31,260 (Rs. 3,12,600).] The station traffic returns show an increase in passengers from 312,309 in 1873 to 460,642 in 1880, and in goods from 2644 to 16,343 tons.


To the north of the town, in the Christian village of Khatarvada or the weaver's quarter, a few families still weave the beautiful and once famous Thana silks. [Details of the Silk Industry are given under Crafts, Part I. Chap. VI.] Close by, in the Rabodi suburb, live Musalman weavers of the cotton fabrics which are known as Thana cloth. Since the introduction of cotton-cloth factories into Bombay, this industry has almost died, and the weavers have gone to Bombay, Surat, and Broach. Many ruined houses, old plinths, the mosque, and the extent of the burial-ground show that a large Muhammadan population formerly lived in this neighbourhood. In Chendni and Mahagiri some of the Koli fishers and sailors are very well-to-do. One or two are said to be worth 10,000 (Rs. 1,00,000) or more, and are now large moneylenders.


Thana is throughout the year the seat of the Judge and civil surgeon, and, during the rains, of the Collector, the assistant and deputy collectors, the customs officer, police superintendent, district engineer, the deputy collector of salt revenue, and district forest officer. It is also the head-quarters of the chief revenue and police officers of the Salsette sub-division, and is provided with a church, jail, court house, civil hospital, dispensary, high school, treasury and revenue offices, civil jail, post office, railway station, and traveller's bungalow. A detachment of 100 men of a Native Regiment is stationed at Thana to guard the jail, which is under the charge of an European superintendent.


The municipality was established in 1862. [Government Resolution 1721, of 29th October 1862.] In 1880-81 it had, besides a credit balance of 454 (Rs. 4537), a net income of 1464 (Rs. 14,639) or a taxation of about 2s. (Re. 1-0-3) a head. This income is chiefly drawn from octroi, tolls, house tax, and market fees. During the same year the expenditure amounted to 2543 (Rs. 25,436), of which 1000 (Rs. 10,000) were on water works, 631 (Rs.6309) on scavenging, 250 (Rs. 2501) on roads, 101 (Rs. 1008) on lighting, and 49 (Rs. 496) on road watering. The municipal limits include the villages of Thana, Panch-Pakhadi, and Chendni, and the suburbs of Rabodi, Vajavli, Khatarvada, Utalsar-Pimpalpada, Utalsar-Panchpakhadi, Kolhar, Charai, Tembhi, and Varora. Since the municipality has been established, the chief expenditure has been on the Pokran water-works towards which the municipality contributed 1269 (Rs. 12,690), on roads 5844 (Rs.58,437),on latrines 540(Rs.5405),on markets 1885 (Rs.18,850), on wells and reservoirs 480 (Rs. 4799), on dams 329 (Rs. 3290) on public gardens 121 (Rs. 1208), on bridges 118 (Rs. 1183), and on repairs to markets and civil hospital 209 (Rs. 2090).

Water Supply.

Want of good drinking water has long been a great evil in Thana. [Contributed by Mr. F. B. Maclaran, C. E.] Many of the wells run dry in the hot weather, while others are so near latrines and privies that their water is unwholesome. Since 1830 repeated attempts have been made to provide a proper supply of water. But want of funds and other difficulties prevented any steps being taken, till in July 1880 the Pokran scheme was sanctioned. The Pokran water-works are calculated to provide eight gallons of water a day to the whole municipal population. For a non-manufacturing town like Thana, this supply should be, and, so far, has proved to be enough. The scheme consists of a storage reservoir with head works, including outlet and waste-weir, a main to the town, and distribution hydrants. The storage reservoir is at the foot of the eastern slope of the Salsette hills, about two miles north-west of the town. The water is impounded by an earthen dam 1005 feet long with a greatest height of 31 feet. In the centre of the dam is a clay puddle-wall ten feet wide, well punned and rammed and taken down to the solid rock, in some places thirty feet below the surface. At the north end of the dam is the. waste-weir, which is forty feet wide, with a sill 6 feet below the top of the dam, and calculated to carry off a rainfall of two inches in one hour, with a depth of 1' 6" over the sill. The surface area of the reservoir, at the level of the waste-weir sill, is 489,400 square feet, and the cubic capacity 4,304,320 cubic feet, equal to twenty-seven million gallons. The outlet is by means of a masonry tower, provided with valves at every five feet, from which a pipe ten inches in diameter, embedded in concrete, passes below the dam in a trench cut in the solid rock. The main is a cast-iron pipe seven inches in diameter, provided with a sluice valve near the storage reservoir, and ending in the valve and meter-house at the entrance to the town, where the pressure and quantity of water used daily are registered and controlled. Cast-iron pipes of suitable sizes and fitted with the necessary valves distribute the water to sixteen public hydrants with sixty-seven taps in different parts of the town. Each hydrant has from one to eight taps according to the number of people who are likely to use it. The jail, with its 800 prisoners, is supplied from the town main. The storage reservoir is calculated to hold enough water, after deducting loss by evaporation, to give a daily supply of 5 gallons to the whole municipal population which is taken at 15,000. In addition to the stored water there is the yield of a spring in the reservoir basin which has been gauged at 37,500 gallons in twenty-four hours in the hot weather, making a total available daily supply of eight gallons a head. The works were begun in November 1880, water was supplied to the town in July 1881, and the whole was completed and formally opened in August by Sir James Fergusson, Bart., K.C.M.G., CLE., Governor of Bombay. The total cost of 8463 (Rs. 84,630) was provided partly from municipal funds and partly from the Thana district local funds.


Of old Hindu or Musalman Thana there is almost no trace. The temples and mosques, praised by early travellers, were pulled down by the Portuguese (1530-1560) and their stones used for churches and other religious buildings, and most of these Christian churches and buildings were in turn destroyed by the Marathas (1737-1740). Almost the only remains of Thana before the Portuguese are the four reservoirs or ponds, Massunda, Devala, Gosala, and Haryala, all of unknown date. There are also several finely carved broken images and sculptured stones, which have been gathered in the jail garden and at the executive engineer's workshops. Of the four reservoirs, Massunda, the largest and most important, covers an area of thirty-four acres, and is faced with stone on the west and partly on the north. The Devala reservoir, between the church and the jail, covers eight acres and has stone-faced sides. The Gosala reservoir, to the north of the town, covers five acres; its banks are not lined with stone. The Haryala reservoir in the southern or Chendni quarter covers six acres, and has a stone and mortar wall on its eastern side. The sculptured stones and images in the jail garden belong to a Brahmanical temple of the twelfth century. They were found, in 1881, while clearing the Massunda lake of silt.

The Jail.

The chief Portuguese building is the fort which is now used as a jail. Strong stone-built walls from sixteen to twenty-one feet high, provided with regular bastions and towers, enclose an area of 13 acres. The fort was begun by the Portuguese about 1730, and, in 1737, though unfinished, offered a stoat but unsuccessful resistance to the Marathas. It was completed by the Marathas on the original plan, and, when taken by the English in 1774, was armed with more than a hundred cannon. In 1816 the Peshwa's minister Trimbakji Denglia, the murderer of Gangadhar Shastri the Gaikwar's envoy, was imprisoned in the fort, and, though guarded by a strong body of Europeans, made good his escape with the help of hints sung to him by a Maratha groom. [The guard over Trimbakji, owing probably to excessive caution, was composed entirely of Europeans. From this circumstance the Peshwa was able to communicate with Trimbakji, and for some days, previous to his making the attempt, several of his friends and servants were waiting in the neighbourhood. The principal agent of communication was a Maratha horsekeeper in the service of One of the officers in the garrison, who passing and repassing the window of Trimbakji's place of confinement when airing his master's horse, sung the information he wished to convey in an apparently careless manner which the Europeans could not detect. Trimbakji escaped over the wall between seven and eight of the evening of the 12th of September. Grant Duff, 631. According to Mr. Hockley, Pandurang Hari, who was with Trimbakji in the jail, arranged with one Narsu, the commandant's horsekeeper, to give warning to Trimbakji's friends outside, so that means of escape might be ready if he succeeded in getting out of the fort. About seven, on a dark night in the rainy season, Trimbakji went, as his custom was, to his bathing-place on the ground-floor. On the way, he struck into a passage on the left, and got out by a low window. Here, taking off his clothes and drawing over his head a leaf rainshade which had been left there by the groom, he passed unchallenged out of the main gate of the fort. His friend inside, by singing songs and talking to him, kept the sentinel employed, and, when he searched the bathing-room and found it empty, Trimbakji had made good his escape. (Pandurang Hari, I. 174-178). Another account states that he let himself down over the rampart with the help of a rope. (Ditto, 177).] In 1833 the fort was dismantled, and, since 1838, it has been used as a jail. In 1844 the Judge, while visiting the jail with a few attendants, was seized by the prisoners. They passed a rope round his neck, and were on the point of hanging him, when succour came. In 1869 plans for improving the jail were sanctioned, and by 1876 the changes were completed at a cost of 40,800 (Rs. 4,08,000). The tower near the west gate was made into a guard-room and a house for the superintendent. The buildings inside of the walls were pulled down and barracks built radiating from a central open space. A transport ward, a female ward, and a hospital were also built shut off from the main or central part and from one another. The building has ample room for a thousand prisoners. In the jail garden, laid as a pavement to a summer-house, are some inscribed Portuguese grave-stones, which were found in clearing away one of the fort buildings, probably the church of St. Dominique. [For a short account of these inscriptions see Indian Railway Service Gazette, August 1875. The stones are so much broken that little of the inscriptions can be made out. Some of the rare tin and zinc coins known from St. Catherine's wheel as rodas and a medal with the head of Christ and the year 1525 were also found. Da Cunha's Bassein, 186. An account of the copper plates which were found in 1787 is given in the Appendix.] To the west and southwest of the jail is the esplanade, which, in 1776, was formed by order of the Court of Directors by clearing away the houses. [In 1833, when the fort was dismantled and Thana ceased to be a military station, the esplanade was made over to the Collector. In 1873 Government determined to charge moderate fees on animals grazing on it, and, in 1874, a suit was filed against the Collector for levying the fees, on the ground that it had always been customary for the townspeople to graze their cattle on the esplanade free of charge. The District Judge decided against the Collector, but in regular appeal 54 of 1875 the High Court reversed the Judge's decision and held that the esplanade was Government property and the fees were a legal impost.] On the southern end of the esplanade are the military and police lines. Between the lines and the Liberi landing-place stood the large warehouses used in Portuguese times, when the state assessment was taken in rice.

Old Churches.

Before they built the fort the Portuguese had four or five watch- towers along the creek. Two of those towers, one on each side of the creek below the town, seem to have been called Sam Pedro and Sam Jeronimo. Besides the towers, there was a square fort, Reis Magos, with four guns. [These towers are mentioned in 1634 and in 1728. O Chron de Tis. I. 32, 56; III. 246.] Up the creek, about three-quarters of a mile above the local-fund bridge, are the remains of some old buildings, perhaps a fortified Portuguese mansion-house. Of the numerous churches and religious houses built by the Portuguese in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries only one remains. This is the church of St. John the Baptist, prettily placed on the north side of the Massunda lake, which is still known among the Christians as the lake of Saint Anthony. The church measures 130 feet long by thirty-eight wide and fifty-nine high. It has a short square tower at the north end and quaintly carved doors on the south. The tower is much out of the perpendicular, but otherwise the church is in good order and is in use. The height of the belfry is seventy-two feet. The bell is one of the largest Portuguese bells in India. The church has a vicarage attached. The vicar draws 3 (Rs. 30) a month from the British Government, who contribute a second 3 (Rs. 30) for church repairs. There is a chapel master who plays on the harmonium and violin. An Anglo-Portuguese school with an average attendance of sixty-three pupils is held in the church lobby. The building originally belonged to a conventual church dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua by Franciscan friars about 1540. When the original church of St. John the Baptist was destroyed, St. Anthony's church was made the Parish church and dedicated to St. John the Baptist. It is said that, in order to build the church and convent of St. Anthony, Antonio do Porto pulled down twelve pagodas which were round a great lake, doubtless the Massunda or St. Anthony's lake, and built his church with the stones of the Hindu temples. The truth of this account is borne out by the numerous handsomely carved stones which are still visible in the wall of the church enclosure, and by the fact that, in 1881, when part of the lake was cleared of silt, many mutilated and well-carved images were found. They had probably been thrown into the lake by the Portuguese when the Hindu temples were pulled down. The early Portuguese supposed that this was the place where the four Franciscan friars were murdered in 1324. [The story is given below p. 356.] The church seems to have been more than once repaired or improved. A cross bears the date 1609, a side doorway at the south end of the church has 1663, and the main entrance has 1725. [Between 1540 and 1609 the Portuguese built at Thana six churches, two convents, one monastery, one college, and one orphanage. In the town were: A Igreja da Se under the invocation of Nossa Senhora da Conceicao, built about 1540 by the Franciscan Antonio do Porto; the church of St. Anthony, built about the game time and by the same man; the church A Madre de Deus, built in 1552 by the Jesuit Melchior Gonsalves; an orphanage and college, built by the same man about the same time; a Franciscan convent or St. Anthony, built in 1582; and a Dominican monastery of unknown date. Outside of the town were the Augustinian church and convent of Nossa Senhora da Graca, built in 1574; the Jesuit church of Nossa Senhora do Rozario, built in 1605; and the church of Sam Joao, rebuilt in 1609, and still in use. See Da Cunha's Bassein, 182-188.] At Pokran, about one mile to the north-west of the town, is a ruined church dedicated to Our Lady of Mercy, in which one mass is yearly performed. At Gormal, a suburb of Vavla, five miles north of Thana, is another ruined church on a small hill, dedicated to Our Lady of Hope in which also a mass is yearly performed.

English Graves.

The English church was built in 1825 at a cost of 4804 (Rs. 48,039), and was consecrated in July of the same year by Bishop Heber. [Bishop Heber writes (Narrative, II. 215): ' The church, though small, is extremely elegant and convenient. The architect, Captain Tate, in order to secure the most advantageous view of the building externally, with reference to the situation, and at the same time to observe the ancient ecclesiastical custom of placing the altar eastward, has contrived the chancel, a semicircle, on one side, like a little transept, the pulpit being in a corresponding semicircle opposite. The arrangement is extremely convenient and the effect very pleasing.'] It has sittings for a congregation of 100. In the church yard, among the oldest tombs, are those of John Vaughan dated 1780, of Charles Driffield dated 1784, and of Stephen Babington dated 1822. [Mr. Babington lost his life in trying to save part of Thana from destruction by fire. His monument in the church has the following inscription:






He was removed from this world, in the 32 year of his age, on the 19th May in the year 1822 of the Christian era, by an accident during his humane exertions to rescue the hamlet Wajowlee of the Casba Thana from destruction by fire. In deep gratitude for his constant paternal care for their happiness, and in testimony of their respect for his virtues, this monument was erected by the Native inhabitants of the Zullah over which he presided as Judge during five years. This adamantine fact stated, can panegyrical words increase his praise. His body shall rest in peace. His soul has fled to God.] Here also are the graves of two of the chiefs of Salsette, John Halsey who died in 1785, and George Page who died on the 18th of November 1794. Near the church is the picturesque civil court, in a part of which the judge lives. It is an old Maratha mansion, built round an open quadrangle in 1754, during the reign of Balaji Bajirav Peshwa, as a residence for his Sarsubhedar Ramaji Mahadev Bhivalkar. The civil hospital, between the civil court and the church, was built in 1835-36 at a cost of 473 (Rs. 4731). In 1880-81 the number of in-patients was 370 and of out-patients 2482. The establishment charges were 1158 (Rs. 11,583), and the medicine diet and miscellaneous charges 122 (Rs. 1226). The Collector's house and offices, a little to the east of the court, were begun in 1824, and finished in 1827 at a cost of 9175 (Rs. 91,749). [Owing to the delay in finishing the house, and because it cost 1172 (Rs. 11,726) more than was sanctioned, Lieutenant Grant, who was in charge of the buildings, had 20 (Rs. 200) a month stopped from his pay. The fine was afterwards remitted. Mr. W. B. Mulock, C. S.] The house stands in a large plot of ground with the office of the huzur deputy collector and the treasury at a short distance to the south. In the space opposite the Collector's house is a curious domed building, like a small chapel. It was built in 1851 by convict labour, the materials being supplied by popular contribution; the roof fell in and it was rebuilt in its present form with buttresses in 1852. It cost 840 (Rs. 8404), and was used as an English school until lately (1880), when it was turned into revenue and magisterial offices.


There are six schools, the Byramji Jijibhai high school, three Marathi schools, one Gujarati, one Portuguese, and one girls' school. The Byramji Jijibhai high school was opened in 1880. A roomy double-storied house was bought for 850 (Rs. 8500), of which Mr. Byramji Jijibhai gave 500 (Rs. 5000), and the rest was made up by private and municipal subscriptions. In 1880-81 there was an average attendance of 127 pupils.


The creek is crossed by two bridges, a local-fund road bridge about a quarter of a mile above the fort and a railway bridge about half a mile below the fort. The local-fund bridge was built in 1877 at a cost of 16,886 (Rs. 1,68,864). The approaches are of solid masonry and the superstructure of iron. The railway bridge, which consists of thirty-foot span masonry arches, is divided by an island into two parts, one 111 and the other 193 feet long. They have a headway of thirty feet above high-water mark, and the deepest portion of the channel is spanned with a wrought-iron plate-box girder eighty-four feet long.

The traveller's bungalow, which is a few yards to the east of the Collector's house, was built in 1833 at a cost of 200 (Rs. 2000).


There are two dispensaries. The Kharsedji Rastamji Wadia dispensary which was endowed, in 1864, by Mr. Rastamji Ardesir Wadia in memory of his grandfather. He provided a building and 2500 (Rs. 25,000) in Government securities. [Gov. Res. 951 of 20th May 1864, and 537 of 29th March 1865.] The attendance in 1880-81 was 7467 out-patients. The Scotch Free Church Mission dispensary was started in 1877. In 1880-81 the establishment cost 145 (Rs. 1450), and medicines 82 (Rs. 820). The total number of in-patients was forty-six and of out-patients 22,877. This dispensary is most useful and popular.


Distinct from the criminal jail in the fort there is a civil jail in the Hirakot, which has room for sixty-four inmates. During 1880 there were 197 male and twenty-two female prisoners, and a daily average of thirteen. The total charges were about 27 (Rs. 270-12-6), and the average yearly cost of each prisoner about 2 (Rs. 19-5-5). The post office, near the railway station, was built in 1855-56 at a cost of 323 (Rs. 3232).

The Hirakot or Diamond Fort, in the centre of the town, was formerly known as the town jail. It seems to have been largely added to in 1824. In 1861 Government abolished it as a town jail, removed the prisoners to the fort jail, and offered the building to the Mauritius government as an emigration depot. [Gov. Res. 1427 of 8th October 1861.] This offer does not seem to have been accepted. Since 1862 it has been used as the mamlatdar's office and Collector's record-room, and since 1864 as a civil jail. It has also the engineer's, chief constable's, and registration offices, a municipal store-yard, and a cattle pound.


There are nine modern Hindu temples, eight Brahmanic and one Jain. The Kopineshvar temple, a large cut-stone building, was raised by Sarsubhedar Ramaji Mahadev Bhivalkar about 1760, just after Salsette had fallen into the hands of the Marathas. It stands on the east bank of the large Massunda lake, and is said to have been built in honour of an image of Kopineshvar that was found under the water. It enjoys a yearly Government allowance of 10 10s. (Rs. 105), and was repaired in 1879 by the Hindu community, at a cost of 800 (Rs. 8000). Within the enclosure of the Kopineshvar temple, [In 1848, a Bombay merchant offered to the Kopineshvar ling, a lotus made of 10 cwt. (40 mans) of clarified butter. Dnyanodaya, let February 1849.] are six small shrines of Brahmadev, Ramji, Maruti, Shitladevi, Uttareshvar, and Kalikadevi, of which Uttareshvar and Kalikadevi enjoy allowances from Government of 4 4s. (Rs. 42) and 6 (Rs. 60). In the market, are the Thakurdvar temple, with a yearly Government allowance of 4 18s. (Rs. 49), and a shrine of Maruti with an allowance of 1 16s. (Rs. 18). There is another shrine of Maruti near the Gosala reservoir, with an allowance of 18s. (Rs. 9); one to Jakhmata in the Kolbar suburb, with an allowance of 8s. (Rs. 4); and one to Gantalidevi on the Bombay road, with an allowance of 8s. (Rs. 4). Two other temples, Vithoba's on the station road and Maruti's on the bank of the pond near the fort jail, have no allowance. The Jain temple of Parasnath in Tembhi suburb, was built by Marwar Vanis in 1879, at a cost of 400 (Rs. 4000).


There are four mosques. The Jama mosque, in the Mahagiri quarter, enjoys a yearly Government allowance of 2 (Rs.20). It is a large building of unknown date. It was repaired about thirty years ago, at a cost of 1000 (Rs. 10,000), by the widow of Jusab Meman. There is another mosque in Tembhi, a third in Vajavli, and a fourth in Rabodi.

In the Parsi quarter of the town is a fire-temple, built in 1780 by Kavasji and Dorabji Rastamji Patel. It was repaired in 1829 by Kavasji's son Rastamji, and bears an inscription of that date. [ Parsi Prakash, 217.] Near the fire-temple is a Parsi rest-house, built by Mr. Rastamji also in 1829. There are two Towers of Silence on the Thana-Bhandup road, one two and the other four miles south of Thana. The latter was built in 1780 by Kavasji and Dorabji Rastamji Patel, and is not now used. The former, now in use, was built in 1843 by Kavasji's son Rastamji, and bears an inscription of that date. [Parsi Prakash, 414.] A synagogue in Tembhi was built by the Indian Jews or Beni-Israels in 1879, at a cost of 800 (Rs. 8000).


There are four markets, the vegetable market, a low shed, near the Collector's house, opened in 1863 at a cost of 99 (Rs. 997); the fish and meat markets, two small buildings near the centre of the town, each of which cost 25 (Rs. 250); and the beef market in a very isolated position in the Rabodi quarter. All the markets have been condemned by the Sanitary Commissioner, and new plans and estimates, at a cost of 1727 (Rs. 17,276), have been sanctioned by Government. It is proposed to obtain a Government loan of 500 (Rs. 5000), and a public loan of 500 (Rs. 5000) for their construction. On either side of the main or bazar road, leading to the railway station, are rows of shops where most of the necessaries of life are sold. The grain comes from the country round, and the other articles, such as chillies, clarified butter, oil, and molasses, are brought from the Deccan. Most of the cloth is either made in the Bombay mills or imported from Manchester. These shops are open from six in the morning till eight at night.

There are six resting and sixteen boarding houses, and four places for caste dinners established by private individuals. The Roman Catholics are allowed to bury four bodies a year in the church-yard of St. John the Baptist. Their common burial-ground lies on the the Bombay road in the village of Panchpakhadi. The Jewish burial-ground is also in the same village, and a new one has been opened on the Pokran road. The Hindu burning-ground is immediately behind the Hirakot, and the Musalman burial-ground is south of the Massunda lake and between the English church and Mharvada.


The earliest reference that has been traced to Thana is, that in 636 it was rich enough to tempt Usman bin Asi Sakifi, Governor of Bahrain and Oman, to send a plundering expedition from the Persian gulf. [Elliot and Dowaon, I. 115,415; Reinaud's Fragments, 182; Journal Asiatique, V. 156.] About thirty years later (660) it was again sacked by the Arabs. [Calcutta Review, XCII.] In the beginning of the tenth century (913) Macudi mentions it, under the names of Tanah and Tabeh, as one of the chief coast towns. [Prairies d'Or, I. 330, 381; Elliot and Dowson, I. 24.] About a century later, Al Biruni (970-1039) speaks of Tana as the capital of the Konkan, about forty miles south of Subara. [Elliot and Dowson, I. 60, 61, 66, 67; Eeinaud's Fragments, 109,121.] In a copper-plate of 997 it is mentioned as Shri-Sthanaka, where a royal festival took place and a grant of a village was made. Twenty years later (1018) another copper-plate states that Shri-Sthanaka was one of the chief towns of a family of Silhara chiefs, who ruled over 1400 Konkan villages. [As. Res. I. 357 and an unpublished copper-plate of Aparajita (A.D. 997) deciphered by Pandit Bhagvanlal. The Silhara capital is called Puri. It seems not to be Thana, as Puri and Shri-Sthanaka are more than once mentioned in the same inscription. (Ind. Ant. IX. 38), Some have thought Puri to be Elephanta or Gharapuri, a view supported by the names Pori and Poli used of Elephanta by Garcia d'Orta (Trans. Bom. Lit. Soc. Rep. I. 269) and Linschoten (Navigation, 83). Others identify Puri with Eajapuri in Janjira. None of these identifications is satisfactory. The site of the Silhara capital seems to have been between Bassein and Agashi. Puri may therefore have been Sopara to which a Bakhar of the eighteenth century seems to refer as Puri. The point is noticed under Puri in the Appendix.] In 1026 and 1094, Silhara copper-plate inscriptions mention Shri-Sthanaka and the port of Shri-Sthanaka. [Ind. Ant. V. 278; IX. 38.] In the twelfth century (1153) Idrisi refers to it as Banah, a pretty town on a great gulf where vessels anchor and from which they sail. [Jaubert's Idrisi, I. 179; Elliot and Dowson, I. 89. Idrisi says, ' In the neighbouring mountains grow the kana and the tabashir. The roots of the kana were sent east and west, the tabashir was adulterated by mixing ivory cinders, the real article came from the roots of the reed sharki.' This is afterwards said to be bamboo-sugar. Tabashir, the Sanskrit tvak rind and kshir fluid, made from the inner rind of the bamboo, was used as a medicine. Elliot, I. 89. In Borneo, in the fourteenth century, pieces of tabashir, let in under the skin, were supposed to make the body wound-proof. Oderic in Yule's Marco, Polo, II. 208. Tabashir or tavakhir is the first solid food that the Kolis of Kolaba give their children.] In an inscription stone of Someshvar, the twentieth Silhara chief, dated 1260 (Shak 1182), a grant is recorded to Uttareshvar of Shri-Sthanaka. [See above, Karanja.]

At the close of the thirteenth century the fortunes of Thana seem to have been at their best. It was a great kingdom, both in size and wealth, inhabited by idolators with an independent ruler. The king was in league with corsairs, who plundered merchants and gave him all the horses they caught. No ships came without horses and the king had no horses of his own. There was much traffic with many ships and merchants, who imported gold, silver, and copper, and exported brown incense, cotton, cloth, and leather of various excellent kinds. [Yule's Marco Polo, II. 330.] About the same time Ab-ul-Fida (1273-1331) speaks of Thana as the best city of the province of Al Lar, celebrated for producing tanasi a kind of cloth, and manna or bamboo-sugar tabashir. [Da Cunha's Bassein, 180; the cloth is still called Thana cloth.] In 1310 Rashid-ud-din speaks of Konkan and Tiina, probably meaning a compound name Konkan-Tana. So Ibn Batuta (1342) writes Kukin-Tana, and in the Portulano Mediceo of the middle of the fourteenth century it is Cocintana, and in the Catalan map (1375) Cucintana. [Yule's Marco Polo, II, 331. This double name was probably used to distinguish the Konkan Thana from the Malabar Tanur. See below p. 357.]

In 1318, Thana was conquered by Mubarik Khilji (1317-1312), and a Musalman governor was placed in charge. [Naime's Konkan, 24; Yule's Marco Polo, II. 330.] A few years later (about 1320), four European friars, Thomas of Tolentino, James of Padua, Peter of Senna, and Jordanus of Severac in France, with Demetrius a Georgian lay-brother good at the tongues, came to Thana. They were received by Nestorian Christians, of whom there were fifteen families. Four of the friars according to one account because of their great success as preachers, and according to another account because they reviled the Prophet Muhammad, were put to death by the Musalman governor. [The probable date is 1322, Acoording to Jordanus, the friar James, to show that the Christian law was better than the Musalman law, passed through and sat in a great fire. The governor was satisfied, but the Kazi was furious. He warned the governor that if the friars were let go, all would believe in Christ, and reminded him that, next to going to Mecca, the slaughter of a Christian was the surest way of gaining pardon for sins, The governor listened and the four friars were put to death. (Jordanus Mirabilia, X.). According to Oderic's account the friars were brought before the Kazi, and, after some religious discussion, were asked what they thought of Muhammad. They stated that Christ was the very God, and one of them Friar Thomas rashly answered that Muhammad was the son of perdition and had his place in hell with his father the devil. For this blasphemy the friars were bound and exposed bareheaded in the sun from nine till three, the six hottest hours of the day.

This had no effect. Then James of Padua was thrown twice into a fire, but both times he came out unharmed. Malik, the ruler of the town, then sent them away secretly to a suburb across an arm of the sea. But afterwards the Kazi persuaded him to send men after the friars and kill them. Thomas, James, and Demetrius were beheaded, and Peter, who had not been with the others, was next day tortured and cut asunder. On hearing of the massacre, Dildili, apparently the Emperor of Delhi, sent for the Malik, upbraided him for daring to inflict death on those whom God had twice preserved, and ordered him to be executed. Though neither mentions the other, there seems no reason to doubt that both Jordanus and Oderic were at Thana about the same time. Jordanus came to Thana with the four friars, went off at once to preach at Sopara, and, on hearing of the massacre, came and taking the bodies to Sopara, buried them there. He then made a missionary tour north to Broach, and, in 1321, was at Gogha or Caga. (Mirabilia, V.; Yule's Cathay, I. 228). Oderic came to Thana within a year of the martyrdom, visited the tomb, and carried off the martyrs' bones. (Yule's Cathay, I, 57-70).] Friar Oderic, who visited Thana a year or two later (1324), speaks of it as a city excellent in position, with a great store of bread and wine, and abounding in trees. The people were idolaters, worshipping fire, serpents, and trees, and had some odd marriage customs. [At marriages the bride and bridegroom wore high mitre-like caps wrought with flowers. After the marriage the bride was set on a horse and the husband got on the crupper holding a knife against her throat. In front of them went a naked woman singing till they reached the bridegroom's house when the bride and bridegroom were left alone. In the morning when they got up they went naked as before. The dead were not buried, but carried with great pomp to the fields and left there to be devoured by beasts and birds. Yule's Cathay, I. 60.] The land was under the dominion of the Saracens. There were great numbers of black lions, monkeys, baboons, and bats as big as pigeons. The oxen were very fine, with horns a good half pace long and a camel-like hump upon the back. The rats, called scherpi, were as big as dogs, and were caught only by dogs, cats being no good against them. The trees gave a very intoxicating wine. [Hakluyt's Voyages, II. Ed. 1809, 160; Yule's Cathay, I. 60.]

Ibn Batuta (1344), who, as is noticed above, calls it Kukin-Tana, mentions that from it ships of large burden went to Aden. [Yule's Cathay, II. 399.] A few years later (1347), by the rise of the Bahmani dynasty and the change of capital from Daulatabad south to Kulbarga, the coast trade centred at Chaul and Dabhol instead of at Thana. [Briggs' Ferishta, IV. 28.] Thana seems to have become part of Gujarat. Early in the fifteenth century (1429) a Bahmani general took Thana and Mahim, but Ahmad I. (1411-1443) of Gujarat sent a strong land and sea force, and recovered both places. [In 1357 the northwest division of the Bahmani kingdom is described, as the tract comprehending Chaul on the sea coast, and lying between Junnar, Daulatabad, Bir, and Paithan. Briggs' Ferishta, II. 295.] In 1480 it was made the capital of one of the five provinces into which Mahmud Begada (1459-1511) divided his realm. [Briggs' Ferishta, IV. 62.] Still it lay at the extreme end of their territory, and its Gujarat rulers were powerless to bring back to it any considerable share of foreign trade. In 1514 it was a fortress of the Gujarat king, and had a Moorish town near it, very pleasant with many rich gardens, great Moorish mosques, and Gentile temples. Its trade was small and its harbour troubled with pirates. [Stanley's Barbosa, 68. Barbosa calls it Tanamayambu, apparently a jumble of Thana, Mahim, and Mumbai. Perhaps one reason why Thana was then, as it had been 150 years earlier, known by a double name, was to distinguish it from Tanur in Malabar, also a resort of Moorish merchants. Stanley's Barbosa, 153; Da Cunha's Bassein, 180. The places are confused in Anderson's Western India, 84.]

In 1529, terrified by the defeat of the Cambay fleet and the burning of the Bassein coast, ' the lord of the great city of Thana' became tributary to the Portuguese. [Faria de Souza in Kerr, VI. 211.] This submission did not save him in the war that followed (1530-1533). The city was thrice pillaged, twice by the Portuguese and once by the Gujaratis. [Kerr, VI. 225; Dom Joao de Castro, Primeiro Roteiro da Costa da India, 70, 75. Of the two Portuguese burnings, one would seem to have been by Antonio de Saldanha in 1531, the other by Diogo de Sylveira in 1533 (Da Cunha's Bassein, 133). The Gujarat burning was probably in 1533, before Bassein and its dependencies were finally handed to the Portuguese. The fact that the Gujarat king burnt Thana seems to show that 'the lord of the great city of Thana,' who made the treaty with the Portuguese, was a Hindu tributary not a Musalman officer.] It was then, under the treaty of December 1533, made over to the Portuguese. In 1538 Thana and its suburbs, with gardens and pleasure houses, measured about four miles round. It bad sixty temples and mosques and sixty ponds, some of them two-thirds as big as the Rocio of Lisbon, and all built of well-wrought stone, with many steps, as if in a theatre. Some of the temples were of cut-stone; others were of brick beautifully laid one on the other, unjoined by cement but without a crevice. The city had not recovered its three recent burnings. Though an emporium and the chief town of a great part of Gujarat, its people were few and its suburbs, once with 900 gold-cloth and 1200 plain-cloth handlooms, were empty. It was a desert rather than a city. [Dotn Joao de Castro, Primeiro Roteiro da Costa da India, 70, 75. Dom Joao uses the word mesjitas or mosques, apparently meaning un-Christian places of worship. Most of the religious buildings were probably Hindu.]

Under the Portuguese, Thana entered on a fresh term of prosperity. Before 1540 the successful Franciscan Antonio do Porto had built a cathedral, A Igrcja da Se, under the invocation of Nossa Senhora da Conceicao, and 'out of the stones of twelve temples round a great lake,' had raised the church of St. Anthony. [Da Cunha's Bassein, 183, 185. The bank of this lake is said to have been the scene of the martyrdom of Jordanus' fellow missionaries (1322). See pp. 351, 356.] In 1552, the Jesuit Father Melchior Gonsalves, built a church to The Mother of God, A Madre de Deus, and about the same time an orphanage and a college were founded. In 1574 the Augustinians built a church and convent of Our Lady of Grace, Nossa Senhora da Graca; in 1582 the Franciscans built a convent of St. Anthony; in 1605 the Jesuits built a church of Our Lady of the Rosary, Nossa Senhora do Rozario; and, in 1609, a church of St. John, Ham Joao. The city included ten hamlets, pacarias or pakhadis, and was enriched by the presence of many nobles who had country villas and gardens. [Da Cunha's Bassein, 165. One of these granges or quintas, about two miles from Bhiwndi, was much resorted to by the governor and officers of the town. Ditto, 181.] In 1585 it was very populous with Portuguese, Moors, and Gentiles. Rice was the only export; but there were many makers of armesia or silk and weavers of girdles of wool and of black and red bombast. [Caesar Frederick (1561-1585) Hakluyt, II. 344. Dr. Da Cunha explains armesia by the Portuguese armesie a kind of thin silk fabric. ] At this time Thana was famous for its docks, where, in 1588, six small vessels were built and fitted out. [Da Cunha's Bassein, 221.] At the close of the century, it was a fortified town with a great number of converts. Many boys and girls, bought for a few pence, were trained in doctrine, shoemaking, tailoring, weaving, and ham-curing. [Annar Maritimore Colonides Lisbon, 1843, 382-83. About this time, Giovani Botere (1540-1617) describes Thana as having the remains of an immense city, and containing 5000 velvet weavers. These details are doubtful. Botero never visited India. See Da Cunha's Bassein, 169.] In 1618, Thana, like Bassein, suffered from a terrible cyclone. When the storm began to rage, the Jesuit Fathers of the Thana college as if moved by one mind, fled to the church to pray. Their piety saved them. While they spent the night in prayer their house was dashed to pieces, but without the loss of a life. [Cordara's History of the Jesuits, VI. 162.] In 1634 it was a place of some trade and manufactures. There were looms for silk and cotton, and a manufacture of desks and tables of blackwood inlaid with ivory. Inside the town there were two churches, the cathedral and St. John's church, and four convents, the Augustins with twenty, the Capuchins with twelve, the Jesuits with eleven, and the Dominicans with two members. Outside the town were two chapels, the Jesuits' Nossa Senhora do Rozario and the Augustins' Nossa Senhora da Graca. Of fortifications there were the captain's square-bastioned fort called Reis Magos, armed with two four and one eight-pounder guns, and there were two towers Sam Pedro and Sam Jeronimo. The staff was acaptain or thanadar, with a garrison of eighty Portuguese, 100 natives, and 150 slaves; a judge or ouvidor, with five peons; a police magistrate or meirinho, and five peons; a jail-keeper, and a customs-house clerk. [O Chron. de. Tis. III. 258; Da Cunha's Bassein, 180, 182. The Thana customs yielded 600 (16,000 pardaos).]

In 1675 the town was built of low tiled houses, good silk and cotton stuffs were made, and there were seven churches and colleges, the chief that of the Paulistines or Jesuits. [Fryer's New Account, 73.] Twenty years later (1695), Thana is described as in an open excellent country, protected by five small forts garrisoned and furnished with cannon. It was famous for calicoes, no place in the Portuguese dominions exceeding it in this particular even for table service. [Gemelli Gareri in Churchill, IV. 198.] The country round Thana was highly tilled and adorned every two or three miles with rich mansions. On a rising ground, three miles from Thana, was the seat of Joao Melo with terraced walks and gardens ending at the water side in a banqueting-hall. A mile further was Grebondel or Ghodbandar, the property of Martin Alphonso, said to be the richest landholder on this side of Goa, a fortified mansion with a stately church. [Anderson's Western India, 146.] Hamilton (1720) in his account of the coast passes over Thana without a reference. [Hamilton's New Account, I. 181.] In the decay of Portuguese power this rich territory was poorly guarded. There was (1728) no fort at Thana, only near the creek three small towers with three or four men in each. [O Chron. de Tis, I. 32.] The importance and the weakness of Thana were brought to the notice of the Portuguese government, and the building of a fort was sanctioned and begun. The work was in progress, when, in April 1787, a Maratha force entered Salsette. The governor of Salsette, who was then at Thana, retired to Karanja. But the fort, though unfinished, was bravely defended. Two assaults were repulsed, when the defenders capitulated as the Marathas seized and threatened to slaughter their families. [Bom. Quar. Eev. III. 273. The artisans had still enough of their old fame to make the Portuguese king wish that they could be induced to settle at Goa. Nairne's Konkan, 84.] Next year Colonel Pedro de Mello, with about 500 European and 4000 Indo-Portuguese, stormed and destroyed the batteries of Asheri, and made a great effort for the recovery of Thana. But the Bombay governor apprized the Marathas of the intended expedition, and Malharrav Holkar arrived in time to repulse the attack on the fort which was led by Don Antonio Frois, the Portuguese governor of Bassein and Salsette, who fell in the attempt. [Grant Duff, 240.] In 1739, with the loss of Bassein, Portuguese power came to an end. The mansions of the gentry were abandoned and their owners retired to Goa and Bombay. [Tieffenthaler's (1750) Des. Hist, et Geog. de l'Inde, 408.] Though they did little to improve Thana, the Marathas treated the Native Christians- well, allowing them to keep some of their churches and leaving them free to practise their religion. The Native Christians, though deserted by their European pastors, had still their Salsette priests, and held their festivals with the same pomp as at Goa, without risk, oven with a certain respect on the part of the Gentiles. [Du Perron's Zend Avesta, I, ccccxxiv. In 1760, on one of the high days, Anquetil du Perron found several thousand orderly and reverent Christians, as black as Hindus, and many Hindus attending a great service.]

In 1750 Thana is described as a small shady city, rich and pleasant, once Portuguese now Maratha. It was bathed by the Bet river with a rocky bed which could be crossed at low tide. On the river side it had low walls. To the north it was sheltered by a fort in European fashion, in the middle of which was the church and convent of St. Dominique. The other churches, except the church of St. Francis which was still in use, were ruined or pulled down. [Tieffenthaler's Des. Hist, et Geog. de l'Inde, 408-409.] In 1771 the English, urged by the news that a fleet had left Portugal to recover Salsette and Bassein, determined to gain possession of Thana. An envoy was sent to Poona to negotiate the cession, but his proposals were rejected. Meeting with a second refusal, the Bombay Government determined to take Thana by force. On the 12th of December 1774, under General Robert Gordon, 600 European and 1200 Native troops left Bombay for Thana. On the 20th batteries were opened and a breach was made on the 24th. On the 27th an attempt to fill the ditch was repulsed with the loss of 100 Europeans. But on the evening of the 28th the fort was carried by assault, and the greater part of the garrison were put to the sword. During the siege Commodore Watson, who was in command of the naval force, was mortally wounded by particles of sand driven into his body by a cannon shot which struck the ground close to him. [Grant Duff, 374; Low's Indian Navy, I. 176.] Mr. Forbes, who visited the town so soon after that it was still desolate from the siege, describes the fort as a pentagon with regular bastions, curtains, and towers, mounting more than a hundred cannon. Most of the guns were damaged or dismounted. It had been built by the Portuguese and altered by the Marathas. The English engineers cleared away houses and gardens to form an open space round the fort. Half a mile from the fort was a Portuguese church pleasantly situated on the side of a large pond surrounded by mango and tamarind groves. [Forbes' Oriental, Memoirs, I. 453.] The fortifications were new modelled and improved. The fort was made strong and kept in the highest order. Its usual garrison was a battalion of sepoys and a company of European artillery from Bombay. [Hamilton's Des. of Hind. II. 173.] Ten years later (1784), on a second visit, Mr. Forbes described Thana as a flourishing town, the fortifications repaired, the Maratha houses improved or rebuilt, and the commandant's house changed into a commodious residence. [ Forbes' Oriental Memoirs, III. 441. Thana was then infested with tigers. Ditto, 428.] In 1804 Lord Valentia mentions Thana as a small fort commanding the passage between the island and the Maratha country, otherwise of little use. [Travels, II. 198, 199.] In 1825 it was chiefly inhabited by Roman Catholic Christians, either converted Hindus or Portuguese who had become as black as the natives and assumed all their habits. The town was neat and flourishing, famous for its breed of hogs and for the Christians' skill in curing bacon. [Heber's Narrative, II. 187.] In 1828 Hamilton mentions it as a straggling place, but not very large, with several Portuguese churches and many Christian inhabitants. [Hamilton's Gazetteer, 622.] In 1826 and again in 1862 its population was returned at 9000. [Clunes Itinerary, 12; Thornton's Gazetteer, 958.]