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Used with permission from the Peter Anker Collection held in the Kulturhistorisk Museum at the University of Oslo, Norway.
James Wales prepared three views from Belmont or Mazagoan Hill. This Plate and its associated views are dominated by numerous spindley coconut trees in the foreground and middle distance, reaffirming Bombay's local reputation as the 'Isle of Palms'. The view in Plate 7 is looking eastward towards distant mountains on the mainland. Below the hill can be seen an assortment of buildings and warehouses and paddy fields. In the foreground a figure is halfway up the trunk of a coconut palm collecting coconuts, while below another man is carrying a cluster of harvested coconuts that are suspended from his shoulder on a pole. The island in the middle distance is probably Butcher's Island, behind which, obscured from sight, lay the island of Elephanta.
The view shows "Belmont toward the beach of the Harbour, including part of the village of Mazagon, the islands of Carranjar, Elephanta and Butcher, bounded by the hills". At this time Mazagaon was an outlying suburb of Bombay, and a fashionable place to live in the late 18th century. The crowded Fort area encouraged the British - and more affluent Indians such as the Wadias - to build bungalows and plantation houses here in a location where they could enjoy the fresh, cooler air and a higher vista over the landscape.
Twelve Views of Bombay and its Vicinity. London: R. Cribb, 1800.
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