This article has been extracted from
THE IMPERIAL GAZETTEER OF INDIA , 1908.
OXFORD, AT THE CLARENDON PRESS.
Note: National, provincial and district boundaries have changed considerably since 1908. Typically, old states, ‘divisions’ and districts have been broken into smaller units, units, and many tahsils upgraded to districts.Many units have since been renamed. Therefore, this article is being posted mainly for its historical value.
Head-quarters of Kolaba District, Bombay, and of the taluka of Alibag, situated in 18 degree 39' N. and 72 degree 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 1876, 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 1903-4 was: exports, 6.27 lakhs; and imports, 6.61 lakhs.
The municipality, established in 1864, had an income during the decade ending 1901 averAgrang Rs. 9,600. In 1903-4 the income was Rs. 11,000. The magnetic branch of the Bombay Observatory has recently been moved to Alibag. 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 1771. It then belonged to Raghuji Angria, who lived in the Kolaba Fort, but had his gardens and stables at Alibag.