Fertile Fields

The island of Salsette on which Bandra was located was often referred to as a granary.  Dr. John Fryer who visited Salsette in 1673-75 writes :"the ground excellently fertile either of itself or by the care of the inhabitants, that it yields as good Cabbages, Coleworts and better Radishes than ever I yet saw:  Besides Garden - Fruit, here are incomparable  Water-Melons, and Onions as sweet, and as well tasted as an Apple; and for the natural growth of the soil, it is known not only to supply the adjoining Islands, but Goa also.  It is more than 20 Miles in Length and 70 in Circumference".
In Bandra itself there were extensive paddy fields, vegetable gardens and coconut 'oarts'.  Besides there were mango groves on the hill-sides and brab trees in other areas.
Rice was the chief crop grown in Bandra.  When there was friction between the English in Bombay and the Portuguese in Salsette, "the Portuguese forbade the export of rice from Bandra" (Gazeteer, Vol. XIII, Pt. 2, pg. 478)
Humbert, in his 'Catholic Bombay, Her Priests and their Training' informs us that in 1706, there was a loss suffered by St. Paul's College, Goa, due to the plague among the farmers in Bandra. 


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