- The town of THANA, on the landward side of the island of
Salsette, still exists, about 20 miles from Bombay. The Great Peninsular
Railroad here crosses the strait which separates Salsette from the
The Konkan is no doubt what was intended by the kingdom of Thana.
Albiruni speaks of that city as the capital of Konkan; Rashiduddin calls
it Konkan-Tana, Ibn Batuta Kukin-Tana, the last a form which appears
in the Carta Catalana as Cucintana. Tieffentaller writes Kokan, and
this is said (Cunningham's Anc. Geog. 553) to be the local
pronunciation. Abulfeda speaks of it as a very celebrated place of trade,
producing a kind of cloth which was called Tanasi, bamboos, and
Tabashir derived from the ashes of the bamboo.
As early as the 16th year of the Hijra (A.D. 637) an Arab fleet from Oman
made a hostile descent on the Island of Thana, i.e. Salsette. The place
(Sri Sthanaka) appears from inscriptions to have been the seat of a
Hindu kingdom of the Konkan, in the 11th century. In Polo's time Thana
seems to have been still under a Hindu prince, but it soon afterwards
became subject to the Delhi sovereigns; and when visited by Jordanus and
by Odoric some thirty years after Polo's voyage, a Mussulman governor was
ruling there, who put to death four Franciscans, the companions of
Jordanus. Barbosa gives it the compound name of TANA-MAIAMBU, the latter
part being the first indication I know of the name of Bombay (Mambai).
It was still a place of many mosques, temples, and gardens, but the trade