History of Dombivli

Dombivli town existed from around six to seven centuries but a little was known about its history. The only thing known was a huge open space which was declared as a pond by the archaeological survey of India. It was believed that this pond was used by the Peshwas in the past. There was some land adjacent to this pond which was used for grazing and training the horses.

History Behind the Name

A number of variations prevail regarding how this town got its name. Some historians believe that Dombivli got its name from the stringent caste system which was prevailing in India at that time. During the 14th century, each community occupied a small area which was named according to its caste. The areas where Thakurs lived were called “Thakurli”, where “Patharwats” lived was called “Patharli” while low caste people or “Dombas” lived in “Dombivli”. Since “Dombas” was amongst such sub castes so it is believed that the presence of these settlers at the place gave this town its present day name “Dombivli”.

Early History of Dombivli

King Harpal Dev referred Dombivli on stone inscriptions in the year 1075. These inscriptions were situated in Mahul village located near the Turbhe Port. Although there were no other signs proving the existence of Dombivli but these inscriptions proved that Dombivli village existed hundred years ago.

A reference is also given for Dombivli during the Peshwa Rule in the year 1730. Many stone inscriptions in fort like ruins found around Dombivli date back to 1396. The stone writings which refer to the existence of this town in the years 1396 – 97 still exist there and are a proof of its great heritage. The stone inscriptions which existed back in the year 1300 B.C at “Agasan” are preserved in the Museum.

Dombivli became popular because of its location, as the town is situated close to some of the important ports where the ships carrying important food grains used to visit regularly. Just like many other towns in Western India, Dombivli also came under the rule of Portuguese in the end of the 18th Century. Portuguese stationed at several places in Dombivli when they came to this town.

In the 19th century, farmers in the town started cultivating Paddy and then sold it in the areas from Kalyan to Mumbai. In the past, the areas were named on the basis of inhabitants such as the area where Thakurs lived was known as “Thakurli”. The areas where “Stone Cutters” or “Patharwats” resided were called “Patharli” while the areas where “Dombas” or low caste people lived were known as “Dombivli”. Since ancient times, the regions Diva, Agasan and Ghariwali were neighbouring villages.

Dombivli was surrounded by the ruins of the following villages topologically:
  • The Chole village was located on the eastern side.
  • The Aayre or Airey village was situated on the western part.
  • Patharli Village lays to the South of Dombivli.
  • And Thakurli village was situated on the Northern side.
During those time, the forests were thick and full of animals, which made the villagers confined within their homes as the sun set.

Shri Narayan Atmaram Patkar was the first person to settle down in Kopargaon near Dombivli in the year 1880. He used two ships to transport and trade in rice and some other commodities in the Kalyan creek. Also, Mr Zaveri has mentioned in his unique research reports that “Dombivli town has derived its name from the fact that the town was situated on the shallow land which was prone to the danger of being submerged under water.”

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