In transcribing the following paragraphs from the Internet Archive online version of The Imperial Gazetteer’s entry on Bombay (modern Mumbai), I have expanded the abbreviations for easier reading and added paragraphing and links. The map is in the original. The title-page bears the date 1856, but internal evidence in various entrees makes clear that the text dates from 1851. This discussion of a major city in British India has particular importance because it immediately precedes the 1857 Mutiny.— George P. Landow]

The climate of the presidency is various; in some parts, such as Bombay and its immediate vicinity, it is exceedingly unhealthy, liver complaint being more frequent and fatal there than in any other part of India. In other places, again, such as Poonah, which is only about 80 miles distant from the city of Bombay, and lies in an elevated situation, the climate is so favourable to Europeans that the ratio of mortality amongst the British troops stationed there, has not much exceeded that of the Foot Guards in England. These extraordinary differences in the salubrity of adjoining districts, are now carefully attended to by the Bombay Government in the distribution of the European troops, by which means a great saving of life has been effected. The principal vegetable productions are cotton, rice, dates, and cocoa palins. In the North parts, a great abundance and variety of fruit is produced, and in South Concan, and the central districts, large quantities of rice are grown. Cotton also is cultivated to a great extent, particularly in Baroach, and is the best raised in India. It is brought from Baroach to Bombay in half-screwed bales. Sugar and indigo are grown in Candeish, the latter of a superior quality, but considered rather light in the colour.


These are such as are met with generally through out India: elephants, tigers, panthers, leopards, hyenas, buffaloes, wild boars, deer, antelopes, and jackals. Snakes abound, and many of them of the most venomous description, including the whip snake, and the cobra da capello. Birds are numerous, and of great variety.


Blackie, Walker Graham. The Imperial Gazetteer: A General Dictionary of Geography, Physical, Political, Statistical and Descriptive. 4 vols. London: Blackie & Son, 1856. Internet Archive online version of a copy in the University of California Library. Web. 7 November 2018.

Last modified 22 November 2018