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Along with the neighbouring regions of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, it is second most populous metropolitan area in India, with a population of 21.3 million as of 2016 For centuries, the islands were under the control of successive indigenous empires before being ceded to the Portuguese Empire and subsequently to the East India Company when in 1661 Charles II of England married Catherine of Braganza and as part of her dowry Charles received the ports of Tangier and Seven Islands of Bombay.

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However, Salsette, Bassein, Mazagaon, Parel, Worli, Sion, Dharavi, and Wadala still remained under Portuguese possession.

From 1665 to 1666, the English managed to acquire Mahim, Sion, Dharavi, and Wadala.

Following his defeat, almost the whole of the Deccan came under British suzerainty, and was incorporated into the Bombay Presidency.

The success of the British campaign in the Deccan marked the end of all attacks by native powers.

From 1782 onwards, the city was reshaped with large-scale civil engineering projects aimed at merging all the seven islands into a single amalgamated mass.

This project, known as Hornby Vellard, was completed by 1784.

The islands were leased to several Portuguese officers during their regime.

The Portuguese Franciscans and Jesuits built several churches in the city, prominent being the St.

The city also houses India's Hindi (Bollywood) and Marathi cinema industries.

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