The Doctor, 1673

On the other aide of the great inlet to the sea is a great point abutting against Old Woman's Island, and is called Malabar Hill, a rocky, woody mountain yet sends forth long grass.

A top of the hill is a Parsee Tomb lately raised, on its declivity towards the sea the remains of a stupendous Pagoda near a tank of fresh water, which the Malabars visit it most for. — John Fyer’s new Account of East India and Portia, 1698.

The Philosopher, 1804

The Island of Bombay is beautifnl and picturesque; it is of very varied surface, well wooded, with bold rocks and fine bays, studded with smaller islands. There is scarcely any part of the coast of England where the sea has better neighbours of every kind. But what avails all this in a cursed country where you cannot ramble amid such scenes, where for the greater part of the day you are confined to the house.— The Life of Sir James Mackintosh, 1835.

The Traveller, 1812.

Of all places in the noble range of countries so happily called the Eastern World, from the pitch of the Cape to the Islands of Japan, from Bengal to Batavia, nearly every hole and corner of which I have visited in the course of my peregrinations, there are few which can compare with Bombay. If, indeed, I were consulted by any one who wished as expeditiously and economically as possible to see all that was characteristic of the Oriental worlds I would say, without hesitation, “Take a run to Bombay.” — Basil Hall's Fragments, 1832.

The Soldier, 1818.

We next went by the road to Malabar Point, where the Governor has another house, and about half way to it stopped at the garden. The view was beautifuli and the road from it, shaded by innumerable cocoanut trees, delightful, — Col. Fitzclarence (brother of Lady Falkland) Overland Journey to India, 1819.

The Bishop, 1825.

The Town, Bombay,
Gleam bright, they say,
Across the dark-blue sea. — Heber’s Journey to Bombay, 1828

The Governor, 1830.

Malabar Hill — to me — a most delightful residence, almost in the sea. To a man from Bombay, that noble harbour will snggeat a comparison vith that of Corfu, but to complete it, the noble range of western mountains, should, like those of Albania, be covered with snow.

In natural beanty the Bay of Naples and its vicinity are not so striking as either Corfu or Bombay. — Kaye’s Life of Malcolm, 1856.

The Geologist, 1859.

The Bombay Islands are, I should say, scarcely surpassed in pictnresqueness and beauty anywhere in the World. — Geological Papers on Western India.

The Cicerone, 1859.

The scenery, too, is among the most beautiful in the world.— Mr. Eastwick in Murray'a Hand Book, 1859.

The Presbyter, 1865.

As to the Native Town, no Irish village of the worst kind has a look of greater poverty, confusion, and utter discomfort. The low huts covered with palm leaves, the open drains, the naked children with their naked fathers and miserable looking mothers, together with the absence of all attempt to give a decent look to the houses, present a most remarkable contrast to the wealth and luxury of the neighbouring city. — Peeps at the Fair East: Norman Maeleod, 1871.

The Editor from a Balloon, 1877.

We were soon at an elevation of about six thousand feet. We were in a dead calm, and had ample leisure to look out, over Bombay, ita groves and houses, the harbour with its tiny ships, and the narrow plain of the Konkan bounded by the Ghauts on the east and south. Looking straight down we saw underneath a large bunder [sic], with its sheds and basin, like the farm yards which children make with a box of toys. Bombay looked, as it always looks from a height, beautiful as a fairy picture. The eye rested on tho groves and trees, the houses and streets the foliage predominating over the white stucco, even far into the native town. The Elphinstone College, Parell, and, in the distance the splendid buildinga beyond the bare and brown Esplanade, stood out clear and stately from the panorama below. The whole contour of the island with Trombay and other parts of Saliette were part of the picture. The Vehar Lake, embosomed in surrouding hills, we could almost look down into. Across the harboor lay Elephants, looking very flat and insignificant when seen from this elevation. Butcher's Island, with its lines of barracks, though smaller, was more picturesque than the larger and far more interest- ing Elephants. — Abridged from Mr. Grattan Geary's Account of his Balloon Ascent on 1st December, 1877.

The Agriculturalist, 1878.

Bombay, take it all in all, is the most picturesque city in India. Viewed from Government House on the Sea Point of Malabar Hill I have seen nothing finer.— James Caird in Nineteenth Century, 1879.

Sir Richard Temple, 1879.

Believe me that if our atmosphere were a little less hazy, the scenery of Bombay would be little inferior to that of Southern Italy, of Sicily and of Greece, which has delighted so many generations of men, and this native city may fairly take its place with the finest cities of the East.

Not only is it superior to every other city of India, but it is almost equal to such cities as Cairo, Constantinople, Bagdad, Ispahan, and Canton.— Sir Bichard Temple’s Speech, 1879. [553-58]


Douglas, James. A Book of Bombay. Bombay: Bombay Gazette Steam Press, 1993. Internet Archive online version of a copy in the University of Michigan Library. Web. 25 November 2018.

Last modified 28 November 2018