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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 5, p. 206.


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206


ALIBAG TAL UKA


Alibag Taluka.-North-western taduka of Kolaba District, Bombay,
lying between i8 29' and i8 49' N. and 720 51' and 73 5' E., with
an area of 193 square miles. It contains three towns, ALIBAG (popula-
tion, 6,055), the District and taluka head-quarters, and CHAUL (6,517)
being the largest; and I77 villages. The population in 1901 was
83,647, compared with 78,129 in 189I, the increase being attributed
partly to an increased birth-rate, and partly to immigration from plague-
affected tracts. The density, 433 persons per square mile, is the
highest in the District. The demand for land revenue in 1903-4 was
2-52 lakhs, and for cesses Rs. i7,00o. On the coast the climate is
cooler than in other parts of the District. In the strip of salt rice land
that borders the Amba river, the temperature is much higher. The
average annual rainfall, 91 inches, is the lowest in the District. Alibag
is broken by an irregular range of hills which runs roughly north and
south. In the west and east stretch gardens of palm-trees and rice
lands.
Alibag Town.-Head-quarters of Kolaba District, Bombay, and of
the lahlka of Alibag, situated in I8 39' N. and 720 53' E., 19 miles
south of Bombay. Population (1901), 6,055. Alibag was named after
a rich Muhammadan, who lived in the seventeenth century and who
constructed several wells and gardens in and near the town, many of
which still exist'. On approaching the roadstead, the buildings of the
town are hid from view by a belt of coco-nut trees. The only object
of mark is the Kolaba Fort, on a small rocky island, about one-eighth
of a mile from the shore, once a stronghold of the Maratha pirate
captain Angria (see KOLABA DISTRICT). Two miles out at sea, to the
south-west of the Kolaba Fort, a round tower, about 60 feet high,
marks a dangerous reef, covered at high water, on which several vessels
have been wrecked. The town is supplied with drinking-water from
a lake, constructed in I876, distant a mile and a half to the north-east,
on the road to Dharamtar. The gardens of Alibag, which yield coco-
nuts and some fine varieties of grafted mangoes, are among the best
in the District. The value of the trade at the port of Alibag during
the year r903-4 was: exports, 6-27 lakhs; and imports, 6.-6 lakhs.
The municipality, established in 1864, had an income during the
decade ending I90o averaging Rs. 9,600. In 1903-4 the income was
Rs. I,000o. The magnetic branch of the Bombay Observatory has
recently been moved to Alibdg. The town has a high school, belong-
ing to the Free Church of Scotland Mission, with 228 pupils, and
three other schools. Besides the usual revenue and judicial offices,
there are a Subordinate Judge's court and a civil hospital.
1 James Forbes (Oriental Memoirs) gives an interesting account of a visit to Alibag
in I771. It then belonged to Raghuji Angria, who lived in the Kolaba Fort, but had
his gardens and stables at Alibag.



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