Mumbai Mumbai (Bombay) is located in the upper portion of the coastline of India that faces the Arabian Sea. Like the early Portuguese settlements at Hormuz in Persia (Iran) and Goa (now in India), this settlement at Bassein was on an island. Baçaim is situated on an island at about 70 kilometres from Mumbai (Bombay), on the Arabian Sea, it lies on an island at the mouth of a river. (See map on the page, India: Introduction.)
On the island of Baçaim was the city of Bassein, which the Portuguese attacked and destroyed in 1528 and 1532. In 1535 they settled the area, re-fortified the town, a built a church dedicated in honour of Nossa Senhora da Vida (ironically, "Our Lady of Life"). As with many other places in the European colonial expansion in the Middle East and the Far East, the Church came to local people who had recently been defeated or forced into submission by European armies. In 1548 Saint Francis Xavier visited it, a portion of the Indian population was converted to the Christian religion, and a Jesuit foundation opened.
Satellite settlements were established nearby, and the Dominicans came in 1564. In 1596 the Portuguese Augustinians built the Church of Nossa Senhora da Anunciada ("Our Lady of the Annunciation"). Details about the church and the duration on Augustinian involvement are not available. Even before this had happened, a rival to Baçaim (Bassein) was being developed 70 kilometres away, for in 1534 the Portuguese had begun to settle in Bombay. They were accompanied by Portuguese Franciscans, who gradually established churches, monasteries, and communities of converts.
On 23 June 1661, a marriage treaty between England and Portugal, made over to the British the port and the island of Bombaim (Bombay).The decline of the Portuguese power in Orient and the transfer of Bombaim (Bombay) to the British in 1665, weakened Baçaim. After 205 years of uninterrupted Portuguese rule, Baçaim (now under the Mahrattas), was progressively neglected. Its satellite towns and villages were taken over by local non-Christian leaders. The Christian minority of the population, attended by priests from Goa, gradually faded away and churches were abandoned.
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