Colaba Railway Station & Colaba Reclamation
Colaba gets its name from ‘Kolabhat’, a word in the language of the Kolis, the indigenous inhabitants of the islands. The area initially consisted of two islands, Colaba and Little Colaba,which were ruled by the Portuguese.
Portugal continued to hold Little Colaba 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.
By 1796, Colaba became a cantonment, and then gradually, a commercial centre. Soon, boat traffic to the area increased, sadly resulting in several people losing their lives in the capsizing of overcrowded boats. The construction of a causeway became imperative.
The British East India ComparLy built Colaba Causeway during the tenure of Sir Robert Grant as governor of Bombay. Construction was completed in 1838. joining the remaining two islands to the others.
Real estate prices in the area went up. which led to the widening of the causeway in 1861 and 1863. In 1872. Colaba became a separate municipality ward.
The Bombay, Baroda, and Central India (BB&CI) Railway established the Colaba Terminus and started the first suburban railway in India between Virar and Colaba in 1867.
The eponymous Sassoon Docks were built by David Sassoon on reclaimed land in 1875.
The Bombay City Improvement Trust reclaimed 75,000 square metres (807,293 square feet) on the western shore of Colaba, despite the move being opposed by eminent citizens of the city who feared a depression of land prices. Nevertheless, the reclamation work continued and was completed in 1905 without a resulting fall in land prices. However, the development of Colaba pushed the native Kolis to the edges of the island. In 1906, a seafront road with a raised seaside promenade was completed and called Cuffe Parade’ after TW Cuffe of the Trust.