THANA, or Tanna (= a fort, or police-station), a town and district of British India, in the Northern division of Bombay. The town is on the west of the Salsette creek or Thana river, just where the Great Indian Peninsula railway crosses to the mainland, 21 m. from Bombay city. Pop. (1901) 16,011.
The District Of Thana has an area of 3573 sq. M. It extends along the coast for 105 m., with a breadth of 50 m., and is confined between the Western Ghats on the E. and the sea on the W., while on the N. it is bounded by the Portuguese territory of Damaun and by Surat district, and on the S. by Kolaba district. The district is well watered and wooded, and, except in the p ort-east, is a low-lying rice tract broken by hills. Most of the hills were once fortified, but the forts built on them are now dilapidated and useless. Matheran is a favourite summer resort for the citizens of Bombay. The only rivers of any importance are the Vaitarna and the Ulhas, the former being navigable for a distance of about 20 m. from its mouth; the latter is also navigable in parts for small craft. There are no lakes; but the Vehar and the Tulsi, formed artificially, supply Bombay city with water. In 1901 the population was 811,433, showing a decrease of i per cent. in the decade. The staple crop is rice. Fishing supports many of the people, and the forests yield timber and other produce. Salt is largely manufactured by evaporation along the coast. At Kurla, in Salsette island, there are cotton mills and rice mills. The district is traversed throughout its length by the Bombay and Baroda railway, and also crossed by the two branches of the Great Indian Peninsula line.
The territory comprised in the district of Thana (apart from Salsette island, which was acquired in 1782) formed part of the dominions of the peshwa, and was annexed by the British in 1818 on the overthrow of Baji Rao. Since then the operations to put down the Koli robbers, which extended over several years, have been the only cause of serious trouble.
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