district salt bombay
KOLABA, a district of the Bombay Presidency, India, lying between 17° 52' and 18° 50' N. lat., and between 73° 7' and 73° 42' E. long. It is bounded on the N. by Bombay harbour and Thana district, on the E. by Poona and Shthra, on the S. by Ratnhgiri and Janjira state, and on the W. by the Arabian Sea. Lying between the S diyadri range and the sea, Kolaba district abounds in hills, some being spurs of considerable regularity and height, running at right angles to the main range, whilst others are isolated peaks or lofty detached ridges. The sea frontage, of about 20 miles, is throughout the greater part of its length fringed by a belt of cocoa-nut and betel-nut palms. Behind this belt lies a stretch of flat country devoted to rice cultivation. In many places along the banks of the salt-water creeks there are extensive tracts of salt marsh land, some of them reclaimed, some still subject to tidal inundation, and others set apart for the manufacture of salt. The district is traversed by a few small streams. Tidal inlets, of which the principal are the Nagothna on the north, the Rolm. or Ghaul in the west, and the Bankot creek in the south, run inland for 30 or 40 miles, forming highways for a brisk trade in rice, salt, firewood, and dried fish. Near the coast especially, the district is well supplied with reservoirs. The Sahyadri range has two remarkable peaks, - Paligarli, where Sivaji built his capital, and Miradongar. There are extensive teak and black wool forests, of which the value is increased by their proximity to Bombay. The Kolaba teak has been pronounced the best grown in the Concan, and inferior only to that of Calicut. In 1875-76 the forest revenue amounted to £3634. Tigers and leopards are found all over the district, and bears on the Sahyadri range. Hyenas and jackals abound. Bison, scitriblutr, and cheetah have been shot, but are very rare.
Kolaba district, with the exception of Alibagh subdivision, formed part of the dominions of the peshwa, annexed by the Bombay Government in 1818. Alibagh lapsed to the paramount power in 1839.
The population in 1872 was 350,405 - Hindus, 330,914 ; Mohammedans, 17,194 ; Parsis, 25 ; Jews, 1940 ; and Christians, 208. Of the Hindus the most important class are the Brahmans, who own large gardens and palm groves along the coast. Another important class are the Bhandaras, or toddy-drawers and cocoa-nut cultivators. The Beni-Israel (see vol. xiii. p. 685) are chiefly found in the seaboard tracts. A considerable number of them enlist in the native army, and are highly esteemed as soldiers. They also monopolize the work of oil-pressing to so great an extent that they are generally known as oilmen or tc/is. The total area of Government cultivable land in 1876-77 was returned at 468,646 acres, of which upwards of 93 per cent. was taken up for cultivation. Rice forms the staple produce, and is the chief export of the district. The inferior grains are nachni (Eleusisme coracana), wari (Paniewin miliaceum), and harik (Paspabini frumentaceunt); and these form the chief food supply of the people. The estimated value of the exports (rice, salt, timber, vegetables, and fruit) is £438,249; of the imports (grain, piece goods, oil, butter, and sugar), £170,816. The local industries are salt manufacture and silk-weaving. The total imperial, local, and municipal revenue in 1876-77 was £106,893, of which £72,462 was contributed by the land tax. There are seventy-one Government or aided schools attended by 3644 pupils. The average annual rainfall is 75 inches. The chief town of the district is Alibagh.