Vasai has demonstrated religious harmony throughout its history.
Having been under Portuguese rule for a long period, Vasai has significant Portuguese
cultural influence. Vasai, which is not same as Sopara or Shurparak but rather a
superset of it, has five rivers. Two of them, namely Vairarini in the North and
Ulhas in the South, mark Shurparak’s limits. These rivers form the Vaitarna Creek
and the Ulhas or Vasai Creek respectively. Three small rivers named “Pandu Nadi”,
“Preta Nadi” and “Gaarudi Nadi” run off the Tungar Hills and meet the sea through
the land of Shurparak, forming the Bolinj Creek, Sopara Creek and Vagholi Creek.
All of these creeks are now drying off.
Bajipur, the original name of Vasai as it appears in Padma Purana,
which was later restored during the rule of the Peshwas (hence Bajipur is often
erroneously thought to have been named after Bajirav Peshwa). The
Harivansha Purana’s Vishnu Parva Chapter 39, Verse 28, and Chapter 40, Verse 39,
mentions “Shurparak” to be a city 500 bows wide and 500 arrows long (Note: Bows
and Arrows were the early Hindu Units of Breadth and Length). According to Buddhist
monks, in one of his former births, Gautama Buddha was Bodhisat Supparak, that is
Bodhisattva of Shurparaka (Sopara). The Yadava Kosha also mentions “Shurparaka”
as one of the chief places in Aparanta. The eighth edict of Ashoka shows that Shurparaka
was the capital of Aparanta. The name “Vasai” appears on stone inscriptions in the
Kanheri Cave writings and as "Vasya" in the Karla Cave inscriptions. Vasai is mentioned
as “Bussy” in Ain-I-Akbari Ch. II-66, of Abu Fazal. It is called “Baxay” in Barbosa
(Pg. No. 68). Finally, after Indian independence, it was renamed as Vasai. Sopara
had maritime links which has been attested even by Masudi, Ibn Haukal and Al Beruni
between the 9th and the 11th century.
People from various faiths and countries used to come to Bharat for higher studies
in Philosophy, Medicine, Astronomy, Engineering, Music, Art etc.
Thus they used to visit “Surparaks” too, which was once a great
center of Indian Wisdom. Thus we find mention of “Surparak” in Bible too where many
persons mentioned in Old Testament came to acquire knowledge and information[citation
needed]. Thus, Sopara is referred in the Old Testament as Ophir, the place from
which King Solomon brought gold; 1 Kings 9:28, 10:11. Cf. Psalms 45:9, Isaiah 13:12.
Josephus identifies Ophir with Aurea Chersonesus, belonging to India (Antiquities
8:6:4). Septuagint translates Ophir as Sophia which is in fact kalyan and not sopara,
which is Coptic for India. This refers to the ancient city of Soupara or Ouppara
on the western coast of India.
Vasai was the seat of the various political powers namely Guhashayas, Mauryas, Sudhanva,
Guptas, Satvahanas, Shilahaaras, Yadavs, Moghul, Portuguese, Marathas, British,
Union of India (Since 1947 called Free India). Vasai boomed as a seat of knowledge
where students and scholars from as far as Europe came to learn and also propagate
their philosophy. It was trade center for spices, grains, sugar, and the ship building
industry. The salubrious climate and the burgeoning profits saw many wealthy merchants
in the Buddhist rule and fidalgosin the Portuguese rule ; blue blooded Portuguese
nobles resided here in lavish villas. It later became the town where the Portuguese
aristocracy sent their illegitimate sons rather than exhibit their illegitimate
offspring. The floor of St Francis Church is paved with the graves
of the Portuguese nobility along with their royal insignia. Vasai
has always been the largest contributor of scholars for the Vedic Religion[citation
needed] who work in potato farms, Jain-Buddhist sects and priests to the Bombay
Archdiocese. This place is a place known for the one of the four famous sarovars,
Nirmal Sarovar of Vedic religion(none of the vedas refer to nirmal),
called Mahasmashan during times of Lord Parashurama, it was one of the 84 Gacchas
of Jains, it was the centre of learning for the Maitreya Buddhist sect, the sacred
place with 3 tombs each of 5th, 7th and 38th Jagadguru Shankaracharyas namely Vidyaranya
Swami, Padmanabha Tirtha Swami, and Narayan Upendra Swami. The diocese has also
contributed India's First Catholic saint St. Gonsalo Garcia.
Chronological Order Of Vasai's History
The important events in the recorded history of Vasai (other than the religious
manuscripts is as follows.)
- Around 3000 B.C. – Pandavas visit Shurparak (Sopara)
on their way to Prabhas, they halted at a place where a well was built centuries
ago, now this is located in place called Pandav Vihir at Chulne Gaon.
- Around 2000 B.C. – Utkala (ancient Orissa) Naresh Guhashaya of Chandra i.e. Somavanshi
Kshatriya clan ruled Shurparak.
- Around 1700 B.C. – Shripaala charita chapter III mentions, King Mahaasena rules
Sopara and his daughter Tilaksundari married King Shripaala. During this period
Sopara’s Buddhist Stupa (Burud Raja’s Mound) where the present day sopara Hindu
temple stands after demolishing the buddhist place of worship . Here murders used
to be held on the banks of Nirmal sarovar among the scholars from the Gacchas and
Vedic Scholars attached to the Vilameshwar temple established by Lord Parashuraama.
Suppara Jataka, believed to be of 6th century B.C., talks of Sopara as a prosperous
port trading with ports of Southwest Asia, Gujarat, Malabar and Sri Lanka, its experts
(navigation pilots- bodhisattvas), and the seas that they voyaged across but latter
it was abandoned since the people of sopara were forced to give up their valuable
Buddhist teachings to follow Hinduism which prohibited them from going overseas
as sea was considered God by brahmins.
- Around 500 B.C. – Burud Raja, a great Dharmic raja rules Sopara. The timing is
questionable. The famous historian Bhagwanlan Indarji, in 1882 excavated an ancient
site near an old stup near Nirmal which was known as Burud Rajacha Kot. He recovered
relics pertaining to Lord Buddha. The relics are now with the Asiatic Society of
- Around 268-232 B.C. – Rule of Ashok Maurya starts. Fragement of Ashok's Stone
Edicts were found from the same area. The fragments of VIIth and IXth major stone
edicts were found and can be viewed at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vaastu Sangrahalay
(Earlier known as Prince of Wales Museum). In 1956, a fragment of XIth major rock
edict was found from a coastal village, Bhui. It is learnt that communication links
between central and Northern India was re-established through trade routes by the
effort of Emperor Ashok. Two main trade routes connected Maharashtra with North
India. One such route linked Sopara to Ujjain via Nasik, Pitalkhora, Ajanta and
Maheshwar. The clue to trade routes is provided by the location of early rock-cut
caves situated along ancient roads.
- 56 B.C. – Samrat Vikramadatya, the Great of Ujjain obtains Shurparak and obtains
one of the Panchadands. During his period to the rajya of Shurparak remains under
the hands of Saatavanah Kings, loyal to Samrat Vikramaditya. Their names Simruk,
Krishna, Shatakarni Purnotsanga , Skandasthambi, etc.
- Around 90 A.D. – Gautamiputra Shatakarni establishes his rule over the western
strip of India including Shurpaaraka. A silver coin was found along with Buddha
relics by Bhagwanlal Inderjee. defeating the Nahapan kings and reestablishing the
yajnya culture from vedic dharma. His rule marked the crest jewel in the history
of Satavahan kings. His rule saw skillful masons, coppersmiths and goldsmiths. The
present hamlets of the “Kasar and Sonar people” in Sopara belong to this period.
- Around 120 A.D. – Satavahan ruler Rishabha Datta ruled this region which finds
its mention in the edict at the 10th cave in Nashik.
- Around 400 A.D. – 500 A.D. – Shurparak goes into the hands of Trikutaka Empire.
During this period three Trikutaka rajas ruled Shurparaka successively viz. Indradatta,
Dahrasen and Vyaghrasen.
- 700 A.D. – Adi Shankaracharya, the greatest Acharya or Cardinal religious leader
of Hindus, arrives in Shurparak on Kartik Shukla Trayodashi enroute from Gokarna
to Saurashtra. Stays at Vimaleshwar Mandir, whereas Sureshwaracharya , His disciple
stays on other banks of Vimala Sarovar where he establishes the Shivalingam.
- 5th JagadGuru Shankaracharya Samadhi at Nirmal
- Around 850 A.D. – Dridhaprahaara Yadav rules.
- Around 900 A.D. – Seunachandra (I) Yadav and then Dvaadiyappa Yadav rules.
- Around 916 A.D.– Bhillam (I) Yadav rules. Here starts relationship with the Shilaahaara
Kings, with the marriage of Bhillam Yadav with Lashtiyavva the daughter of King
- Around 1017 A.D. – King Aarakeswar Shilahaar rules Shurparak.
- Around 1030 A.D. – 1069 A.D. – Yadav Seunachandra (II) of Somvanshi clan ruled
Shurparak including Vasai. His raajaguru was Sarvadevaachaarya. On his commands
Bimba Yadav rules Shurparak. Here the name of village “Chincholi” appears. “Sonaarbhat”,
a colony of skilled Sonar’s (goldsmiths) find first mention in this period.
- 1072 A.D. – Rule of Shri Haripaala Shilahaara. A great religious congregation
of Vedic Religion was conducted at Shurparak and various scholars from different
parts of Bharat Varsha (Undivided Hindustan) were honoured and many of them were
requested to stay at Shurparak. Sri Haripaala Shilahaara donates a fruit orchard
at village Ranjali to great scholar Vishnu Upadhyay who was a Kanyakubja Brahmin.
He was such a great scholar that in 1059 A.D. a donation of 10 Drammas (the currency
of Eastern India) was donated to Him for his noble activities like running Veda
Patha Shala. The Mahapradhan Ahamalladev donates the revenue of Ane Wadi to a scholar
Brahmadeva Deva Bhatta. During this eccassion Vasudev Padwal, Mahapradhan Padmashiva
Raul, and Pradhan Vasugi Nayak were present.
Here we find the name of Vattaaraka modern day name Vatar. Here during the religious
congregation various lands were donated by Raja Haripaala to many Brahmins of various
branches, thus the 12 villages around this Vattaraka were given to Brahman Scholars
many of them Rigvedi, Yajurvedi, Saamavedi and Atharvavedis. But these Brahmins
later during the crises went away in the Vatodara region and Nasik region only to
leave behind some of their traces which later faced conversions from Portuguese
and intercaste marriages and inter gotra marriages with the local Kshatriyas, Agris
and Koli clans. Thus during the Portuguese all this region was depleted with pure
- Around 1138 A.D. – King Pratap Bimba Chalukya, brother of Govardhan Bimba raids
Shurparak from northern side of Vaitarana. Captures Shurparak and remakes the old
city of Mahikavati i.e. Kelve Mahim. His empire extends from Daman to Valukeshwar
- Around 1148 A.D. – Pratap Bimba Chalukya dies in 1147 A.D., Mahi Bimba ascends
to throne of Mahikavati (Mahim).Taking advantage of new power, Krupal Shilahaara
captures back Shurparak, but his boundaries remain limited to Shurparak, i.e. from
North coast of river Ulhas to the southern bank of famous Vaitarni River.
- 1138 A.D. – 1185 A.D. – A round this period Sopara becomes epicenter of various
political activities with this famous city going into hands of many rulers during
this short time period*
- Around 1160 A.D. – Aparaditya Shilahaara attacks Sopara and arrests Mahi Bimba
from Pratap Bimba’s family and keeps him in the prison of Sashti. According to the
treaty Mahi Bimba leaves claim from Daman to Dahisar and hands over this land to
Aparaditya Shilahaara. Pratap Bimba (II), son of Mahi Bimba now establishes new
Mahim in Mumbai and rules there till 1267 A.D.
- Around 1161 A.D. – King Mallikarjuna Chandra Dev rules Vasai. His colleagues being
Prabhakara Nayak, Paadhi Anant, Devshiv Rajguru and Shaivaite Temple Priest Bhopa
Dharmashiva and Avajha Upadhyay Laakhnak. Here it should be noted that all the above
names belong to Eastern India. The name Mallikaarjuna is very common in the Rajmahendri
(Rajmundri) district of Andhra. The surnames Nayak, Paadhi, Raajguru, Bhopa, Avajha
Upadhyay all are the names very common even now in Orissa. All these names are taken
from the inscribed stone obtained from Sopara and now kept safely in Royal Asiatic
Society Mumbai. Here we get the mention of three names of places in old Shurparak
namely “Shilaarvaavak”,”Padhaalasak”, “Katkhadi”.General Ambud, a Somavanshi Kshatriya
from Gujarat, from Anhilvaad, whose lineage runs back to orissa somavanshis, tried
to attack Mallikarjun Shilahaar and for this settles near Dahanuka river (Dahanu).At
the same time Mohamedeans attack Anhilvaad and thus the somavanshi sena stays near
Dahanuka .They help Yadavs to conquer North Konkan and defeat Shilahaaras. In return
Yadavs accommodate these Somavanshi kshatriyas in Dahanu.
- Around 1161 A.D. – 1195 A.D. – Aparaditya Shilaahaara rules Vasai. He was called
“Maharaajaadhiraaja Konkana Chakravarti”.Here during this times we find names of
villages “Saatuli” (Now Sativli), “Nandui” and name of Brahmin named Vedaanggraasi.
Shilaaharas rule Shurparak. Ambassador of Shilahaar King Aparaditya, named “Tejakantha”
defeats the scholars of other faiths in a grand debate organized at Shurparak and
then Aparaditya had honour of sending the Shurparak delegate Tejkantha to literary
conference at Shardi in Kashmir for further proving his scholarship. There a mention
of his visit to Shankaracharya Hill in Srinagar to receive blessings are found in
the Kashmiri records. There he visits the relatives of Kashmiri Brahmins at Sri
Nagar whose relatives were settled at Vasai. Even today the Brahmins of Vasai with
surname Pandit who are locals, claim themselves to be descendants of Kashmiri Brahmins.
- 1195 A.D. – 1232 A.D. – Keshiraaja Shilahaara rules Sopara. He was also called
“Maharaajaadhiraaja Konkana Chakravarti”. During his rule, his feudal Raja Anurodha
ruled Shurparak. During this period a great saga of Bimbadev Rana starts at Shurparak.
Bimbadev Rana, was the illustrious son of Kanauj Vidyapur’s King Shankardev Rana
and Devi Mankoji Bai. After Shankardev, the step brother of Bimbadev named Mahipaal
Rana ascends the throne by backing of the Mohamedeans, though Bimbadev was original
heir of Shankardev. Thus Mankojbai leaves Kannauj with her son Bimbadev Rana, gets
help from her brother Hedurao and King of Sorat Ankush Rana (whose nation was also
facing Mohamedean wrath). All these came to Devgiri to meet illustrious Ramdevraya.
Seeing the valour of Bimbadev Rana, Ramdev hands over the kingdom of Paithan to
Bimbadev as his feudal. Bimbadev acquires fame for his able administrative skills.
But at the same time, an innocent Brahman was killed by Ramdevrao. This act was
condemned by the regional Kings. Even Bimbadev Rana who had highest regard for the
meritorious Brahmins now refused to remain as feud of such a King. In such a religious
dilemma now Ramdevrav got some support from the “Patane Prabhu” community and some
“Palshi Clan”, and using the support of these people he continued his kingdom. Seeing
this, Bimbadev Rana preferred to leave Paithan and ascend towards Konkana and defeated
King Anurodha, feud of Shilahaar on the place of confluence of River Vaitarana and
Sindhu Sagara. During this campaign Raja Bimbadev Rana got support from the old
Gujarati Somavanshi Kshatriya friends of Hedurav and Raja Ankush Rana, who had settled
in Sopara about a century ago. After this campaign, Bimbadev donated 66 villages
to his 66 Sardars and this was none other than the “Sasti” island. He honoured the
Brahmins here and felicitated Somvanshi heads namely Thakur, Raut, Chaudhari, Mahapatra
(Mhatre), Save (Saave) and Gharat. He also honours and released orders in 1204 A.D.
that the somavansha kshatriyas are eligible to use “Chattra Sinhasana and 5 Kalashas”.
Thus since 1204 A.D. these Somavanshi Kshatriya clan (Both from Orissa Somavanshi
clan who had settled in Shurparak in 280 A.D. and Gujarati Somavanshi clan) come
to be known as “Panchkalshis”. But his kingdom does not last long, after his death
Shilahaaras took over Shurparak.
- 1233 A.D. – Rule of Ramachandra Dev Shilahaar starts. The head of Konkan was I
(Vi)shwar Dev and head of Shurparak Pranta was Kanher Dev, who was born by the grace
of Kanher Dev Shiv Mandir located in Krishnagiri (Kanheri) Caves.
- 1255 A.D. – Rule of Jetugi Dev Shilahaar Konkana Chakravarti starts. His ministers
were Shri Udayiprabhu, Maayi Naayaka (from Orissa), Daada Prabhu, Jasami Naayaka
(From Orissa). A great astrologer of International fame named Shri Khidev (from
Orissa) resided in Nivayi Garden in Sandor, Vasai during these times. During this
period a Raajapatha (Royal Road) was built in Sopara passing through Nirmal. Here
at Sandor the Shilahaara Kings renovated the Revatirtha Mahadev and installed a
Nandi there. This place is now called “Relbav”.
- 1290 A.D. – Rule of Yadavs of Somavanshi Clan of Eastern India, thus they carry
in their names the title “Chandra Dev”. King Iyarandev and later King Naarandev
rule Shurparak for a short time.
- 1294 A.D. – Bhimdev Yadav starts rule over Shurparak and Mahikavati. He established
Suryavanshis and Sesha Vanshis in Mahim and Shurparak. Bhimdev also brought Agales
(i.e. Agris) from Mungi Paithan in Paithan District on banks of Godavari, who work
as Patharvat (Road Makers), Mithagre (Working on Salt Pans). In Portuguese rule
Agaris were forced to work as sanitary cleaners by Portuguese. Agris are considered
to be clan originating from a Kshatriya Prince Yayati and his maid servant (dasi)
Aagalika. Bhimdev Yadav gave a new look to the city of Shurparak. The city comes
to a new repute from the educational and cultural point of view. Bhimdev Raja invited
101st Jagadguru Shankaracharya Swami Sukhabodha Tirtha to Shurparak around 1296
A.D. and requested a dharmic justice to purify Anhilvaad Somvanshis assisting them
to take Prayashchitta about the abhakshya bhakshana (about eating flesh of horse)
during the war with the Mumbai Somvanshis and Mohamedeans.
- 1350 A.D. – Internal conflict starts between descendants of Bhimdev and Seshvanshi’s.
The Somavanshis of Anhilvad assist Seshavanshis and defeat Yadav dynasty. Survanshis
flee to Sashti and Chaul. Now Shurparak goes into hands of Seshvanshis with only
three clans of kshatriyas left namely Anhilvaad (now called vaadval) Somavanshi
Kshatriyas, Seshavanshi Kshatriyas and Chaukalshi Kshatriyas.
- 1394 A.D. – 1414 A.D. – Rule of Natharao Sinda Bhedari- Bhongle from Sheshavanshi
Kshatriya Clan. He was the first king to build the Vasai Fort. Vasai was called
Bajipur in the Puranic Records. (Bajipur is original name of Vasai, as mentioned
in Padma Purana, but people mistake it to be named after Bajirav Peshwa.
- 1414 A.D. – 1507 A.D. – The political crisis reign the Shurparak and Mahikavati
with clashes between Somavanshis, who now called themselves Paanch Kalshis and Seshavanshis.
Thus Shurparak becomes very weak politically. This period was most tragic for India
since, during this period, the west coast of India had practically no ruler at all,
and this news spread out as far as Europe. Now European empires sent off their voyagers
to discover the possibility of rule in India. At the same time, Mohammedeans prepare
themselves to take advantage of this weak rule.
- Sultans of Gujarat continuously raid Vasai under leadership of Mahmud Begada,
and ultimately in 1513 A.D. Mirat-I-Ahmadi mentions the hold of Mahmud Begada till
1517 A.D. Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat and foe of Humayun, hold Vasai since 1517
A.D. and start heavy destructions between 1513 – 1530 of Stone Temples of Hindus
and Burud Raja’s Palace, destroy stone lined “Tirtha Sthalas “Lakes and reservoirs.
Now Bahadur Shah from Gujrat had complete hold over Vasai.
Portuguese pirates of Goa and the local chieftains raided vasai as and after the
rule of sultans started weakening fighting mughals. Vasai was burnt twice by Portuguese.
Mosques, which were built on Temples were destroyed and new churches were built
on them. Now the town was called Baxay. It was filled with the men of Bahadur, who
were Moors (Muslims of mixed Arab and Berber descent). (Ref. Jordanus’ Mirabilia
Pg. 23). These pirates started merchandise exchange and started great movement of
shipping from Malabar laden with arecas, cocoa and spices, which were later, sent
along Red Sea.
- 1526 A.D. – Portuguese establish the first factory.
- 1529 A.D. – Heitor da Silveira attacks Ali Shah - burns and plunders Vasai. Mosques
which were built on temples were destroyed. New Churches were built on destroyed
mosques. Religious Conversions starts under guidance of hoary Franciscan missionary
Fr.António de Porto who are helped by the orthodoxy of local Hindus.
- 1532 A.D. – Governor of Diu Malik Tokan of Bahadur Shah re-fortifies Vasai. Establishes
15000 Cavalry and Infantary.
- 1533 A.D. – Portuguese General Nuno da Cunha along with Diogo de Silveira and
Manuel de Macedo bring 150 Ship – 4000 men (half Europeans, Half Goanese)[citation
needed] and attack Vasai. Bahadur Shah cedes Vasai. Religious Conversions restart
under guidance of hoary Franciscan missionary Fr.António de Porto who throws bread
in the well and those who drink water from that well are automatically ostracized
from Hinduism by shamedi brahmins who donot hesitate to confisticate the lands and
belongings of the converted before ostracizing their people (citation is required).
Thus the rule of King of Portugal João III starts. It should be noted that he is
that King of Portugal at whose request Inquisition formally started in Portugal
but not in India.
- 1536 A.D. – António Galvano opposes muslim attack on Vasai, lays foundation corner
stone for the reconstruction of Bacaim Fort.
- 1537 A.D. – António Galvano furiously pulls down certain Muslim Mosques which
were built on the foundation of hindu temples and in their place builds Cathedral
of St. Joseph. Portuguese empire seemed to favour the Franciscans. Though this continued
till 1634 A.D., but due to the changes in the Papal intimacy towards Jesuits (famously
called Troops of Pope), Portuguese empire had to allow them in
Bassein too.
- 1539 A.D. – Muslims see this act as danger to Islam in this region and calls “Jehad”
and pray to muslim rulers.
- 1542 A.D. – 1580 A.D. – Clergymen under guidance of fathers of Jesuit College
start conversions of natives into Christianity by preaching’s and throwing breads
in the wells which according to orthodox Brahman belief become unholy to drink so
anyone who drinks the water is ostracized and declared converted . Basically Portuguese
backed Franciscans. Immediately at the advent of Portuguese rule, the Jesuit missionary
of zeal Francis Xavier from Spain, arrive in Vasai in 1544 A.D., and twice in 1548
A.D. and train the pastors for Evangelisation of the true faith. Francis Xavier
is famous for his quotation, “ Every time a new convert smashes his idol and caste,
my joy knew no bounds”. Soon the Portuguese stripped lake banks
pulled down around 200 temples and used the stones in building Portuguese Churches[citation
needed], forts and houses, religious and state buildings whose ruins still remain
in Bassein.
- 1583 A.D. – Bacaim becomes full fledged trade centre with trade of rice, corn
and timber for ship building. St. Joseph Cathredal construction completes, 5 Convents,
13 Churches, an orphanage and a hospital built in the city of Bacaim which was never
done during the brahmin rule. Of which Dominican Church was built in the Fort under
the invocation of São Gonçalo. Jesuits intensify their evangelization movement to
increase support against invaders of other faiths and to increase the number of
Catholics as against Protestants. (this is funny where did the Protestants come
into picture ?), which were on rise in Europe. The methods adopted for conversions
were numerous, which is clear from the “Monita Secreta” which reveal
“Secret Instructions of the Jesuits”, Jesuit way of missionary
work is also revealed from the fact that in 1738, English rulers at Bombay have
observed Jesuits to be hostile and treacherous since they tie up with peshwa a brahmin
ruler and shamedis and take control of whole of India technically the shamedis are
responsible for British rule of India.
- 1607 A.D. – Bacaim gets international acclaim to be place of Shipbuilding, place
of export of building stone; (these stones are used to construct all Goanese Churches).
- 1612 A.D. – Muslims besiege Bacaim but fail considerably.
- 1618 A.D. – 1634 A.D. – Portuguese give conversions a slow down and start maintaining
good relations with native unconverts to avoid conflicts, curses and thus grow their
trade in rice, pulses, grains and cocoanuts. They allow 200 native Christians to
stay within the walls of Bacaim along with better class of Christians. Though craftsmen
and Hindu Brahmins were not allowed to live within the walls . The Jesuit college
gets reformed with fine library of commentaries, works on history and morals, increase
hospitality and made public places of entertainment unnecessary.
- 674 A.D. – 600 Arab pirates from Muscat landed at Bacaim and plundered all churches
outside of the walls and did cruel violence on native converts and unconverts. This
marked the decay of Portuguese power. These Arabs settled in the now what is called
as “Hathi Mohalla “ and later spread in Papdy. Seeing this as right opportunity,
Shivaji recommends More Pandit to settle in Kalyan and forced Portuguese to pay
one forth of Bacaims revenue.
- 1690 A.D. – Bacaim striken by pestilential plague continuing the Bacaim city along
with Ahmedabad, Surat, Deccan and Bombain for seven to eight years. About two thirds
of the city lost the life in this deadly disease. During this period Phadke of Aggassi
renovated the Bhavani Shankara Mandir. Shankaracharya Samadhi at Suleshwar, Nirmal
- 1693 A.D. – Jagadguru Shankaracharya Narayan Upendra Swami of Jyotish Peetham
arrive in Vasai during his onward journey from Rameshwaram back to Jyotishpeetham.
This is located in the open ground near “Sureshwar Mandir”.
- 1702 A.D. – The economic crises in London adversely affect the trade from Vasai.
- 1728 A.D. – Portuguese Officer sent from Goa observes that outposts, stockades,
forts and grassion of Bacaim was in poor state with only unskilled and untaught
and undrilled robber like soldiers left in the fort. Portuguese take strong steps
to restructure the Bacaim’s administrative structure.
- 1737 A.D. – 38 A.D. – *1737 A.D. – 1738 A.D. – Marathas march towards Bacaim.
They seize Arnala to drive out the Portguese. General Shankarji Pant informed Chimaji
that Arnala fort is a strategic FORT for the naval forces that were on route to
attack the Portuguese. Chimaji approved the assault on the fort. Shankarji Pant
consulted and sought assistance of the local people to attack the Arnala fort; among
them were Govindji Kasar and Gavraji Patil from Bolinj. Shankarji sent Gangaji Naik,
Bajirao Belose and Rayajirao Surve to lead a battalion of 400 soldiers to lead the
attack on Arnala fort. This attack was coordinated along with naval force commanded
by Manaji Agre.
On March 28, 1737 Maratha forces attacked the fort and surprised the Portuguese
who were caught with their guard down. The Portuguese retreated and gave up the
fort. The Maratha victory was commemorated with a plaque installed on the northern
wall of the fort and is still visible today. Soon after the Maratha victory, Shankarji
Pant began reconstruction of the fort. By January of 1738 three bastions were completed.
The three bastions were named Bahirav, Bhavani and Bava. The construcation was completed
by March of 1738. Later Marathas occupied Versova and Dharavi.
- 1739 A.D. – Seize of Bacaim begins on 17 th February 1739 under able leadership
of Bajirao’s brother Chimnaji Appa. Marathas exhibit besiegning force, skill, courage
and perseverance and thus Portuguese lose their commander Silveira de Menezes. But
Portuguese Garrison defends with highest courage and constancy with hand grenades,
musketry and mortars, using their technically advanced weapons and artillery, the
Portuguese inflicted high casaulties on the Marathas . Angre’s fleet plays brave
role and on 16 May 1739 Marathas defeated Portuguese with might.
Portuguese offered to capitulate, but requested to allow marching out with honours
which Marathas accepted, as a mark of humane protocol to the defeated army. Bacaim
fell from Portuguese as a stately tree never to rise again.
- 1739 A.D. – Bacaim was named as Bajipur after the peswa Bajirao. To restore the
Hindu Culture and resettle the unconverted natives they incurred upon by the Portuguese
Rule, Peshwas brought a flight of well trained, well learned Brahmans to purify
the native converts willing to reconvert to their original Hindu fold of four castes
and made them fit to take their place in their old castes. To the converts unwilling
to come back to Hindu Fold or to those who were born out of Portuguese Peshwas striped
the churches it was latter in 1800s that these churches were reconstructed during
the British rule of India. Chimnaji Appa restores the Nageshwar Mandir near Naga
Kunda, Builds Hanuman Mandir over a church which might have been built on a mosque
or temple foundation in the Fort . And oldest Trivikram Mandir in Fort over st.
anthony churchand Vamana Mandir of Aggasi said to have been established by Shri
Vamadev Tirtha Swami in 388 B.C. built Bhavani Shankara Mandir of Aggasi over our
lady of light church, Papdy Kshetrapaleshwar Mandir which was built over our lady
of fatima . Also rebuilt and restored Jagadguru Shankaracharya Mandir at Nirmal.
Also reestablish the Padmanabha Tirtha Swami Samadhi Ruins on the outskirts which
were destroyed by Portuguese. Shankarji Keshav , the Subhedaar of Vasai took lead
in all these activities.
- 1767 A.D. – Dutch wished to establish the factory at Bassein.
- 1774 A.D. – The Bassein town was taken by British but was again restored to the
- 1780 A.D. – British led by Godrad attacked Vasai from 13 November to 10 December
and acquired Vasai from the Marathas.
- 1783 A.D. – Under the treaty of Salbai (March 1782) Bassein was restored to Marathas.
- 1802 A.D. – 31 December, the Treaty of Bassein was concluded.
- 1817 A.D. – Bassein with the rest of North Konkan passed to British. British soon
start establishing modern Catholic Churches including Our Blessed Lady of Mercy,
Our Blessed Lady of Remedies, St. Michael the Archangel (Manickpur Church), Church
of St. Thomas the Apostle at Sandor, Our Blessed Lady the Mother of God (Pali Church),
Our Blessed Lady of Grace (Papdy Church)
- 1830 A.D. – British attempted to revive the industry in Bassein by starting the
Sugar Factory, but the scheme failed from the death of Mr. Lingard the promoter.
- 1838 A.D. – Bassein almost became deserted with just a small population of fishermen,
hunters, native converted and native unconverted ones. The population dropped down
from 60499 in the beginning of 1802 A.D. to 10356 in 1881 A.D.
- 1852 A.D. – The ruined Portuguese Church of Nossa Senhora da Vida was converted
by British to a sugar factory. But the factory was soon closed due to losses incurred
because of poor administration.
- 1856 A.D. –Road was built connecting Bassein to Manickpur (Umela).
- 1860 A.D. – The land of the fort was leased for thirty years to Major Littlewood,
whose son cultaved the fields in the fort for some time. Franciscan Church was closed
by bastion of Sam Sebastian under the pressure of British and Mrs Littlewood.[citation
needed] 1864 A.D. – Bassein Municipality was established. A new town beside Par
Naka was established in the village of Malonde. The Bassein Municipality limit included
Old Fort, Malonde, Dhauli, Sandore, Mulgaon and many gardens and fields between
Bassein and Papdy.
- 1869 A.D. – Mamlatdaar Office gets established.
- 1947 A.D. – British Rule Vasai.
- 1947 A.D. onwards – Rule of Union Government of India rule Vasai from New Delhi
by the democratically elected representatives.