The Mahul creek that we see today was once a flourishing harbour with big international ships arriving and departing from there. The hills near Trombay were much bigger and, slowly over the years, diminished with its stone being used in various reclamations and fillings that became Bombay.
This and many more little-known facts and tit-bits of local history were discussed and debated at a gripping seminar on Chembur and its history of the pre-Portuguese and British era recently.
Visuals of stone inscriptions made in 1184 AD, found in 1882 mentioning about revenue of Vadhivli village in Chembur, were also on display.
Two city historians, Ravindra Lad and Ashok Saave, who anchored the seminar, said that Chembur in itself has been a very old village at a distance from the scattered islands of Mumbai and has glorious history as documented in ancient records. The seminar had been organised by the Vijay Chemburkar Smruti Manch at Bal Vikas Sangh Hall. The forum has been conducting the lecture series since past two years to bring in focus less-popular speakers working in the field of history & heritage.
Lad said there are inscriptions of the time when the Shilahara king Aparaditya I ruled the north Konkan from 1170–1197 AD. The inscriptions were found in 1882 and they have reference to the fact on how a garden in Vadivli village was granted for performing worship by the king on a fixed revenue.
“The village has evolved over a period of time. Later, in the British era when Chembur was connected to Mumbai with the causeway. There was a small railway that once travelled from the suburb to Andheri and it had been originally built to carry construction material,” Lad added.
Save said manuscript Mahikavati Bakhar that covers historical events in north Konkan of around 400 years has references to Chembur.
The existing local line was originally single track built for garbage transportation and was opened to passenger traffic in the 1920s. A lot of old garden bungalows that still exist in today’s Chembur are a legacy of that era.
“The speakers presented interesting lesser-known history of Mumbai & its environs. It was a step ahead to create this forum dedicated to history,” added architect Rahul Chemburkar, who organised the workshop.
Heritage on display
Many more little-known facts and tit-bits of local history about Chembur were discussed. Visuals of stone inscriptions made in 1184 AD, found in 1882 mentioning about revenue of Vadhivli village in Chembur, were also on display.