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Bombay (bŏmbāˈ) [key], former state, W central India, on the Arabian Sea. The state contained within its borders the former Portuguese colonies of Goa and Daman and Diu. Historical remains exist from the period (320–184 B.C.) when much of Bombay belonged to the Buddhist Maurya empire. Buddhism was supplanted (c.5th cent. A.D.) by Hinduism, and the Maurya by independent dynasties until the early Chalukyas established themselves in the region in the 7th cent. By the 14th cent. Muslim powers had attained control, with sultanates at Ahmadnagar and Bijapur. By 1600 the northern part of the region was under Mughal rule; the Marathas became dominant in the 17th cent. In the 16th cent. Portugal was the leading foreign power, but Great Britain predominated in the 17th cent. and by the early 19th cent. had formed the Bombay presidency, having defeated the Marathas at Pune. Enlarged during the 19th cent. (including Aden [1839–1932] and the Sind [1843–1937]), Bombay became a province in 1937. After India gained its independence in 1947, all former native states within the provincial boundary joined Bombay, which became a state. In 1956 Bombay was reorganized, absorbing parts of Hyderabad and Madhya Pradesh and the princely states of Kutch (Kachchh) and Saurashtra. In 1960, however, Bombay state was divided between the new states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. The chief city and former capital of the state, the city of of Bombay, was renamed Mumbai in 1995.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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