Mumbai Harbour is the southern portion of the Ulhas River estuary, the northern (and narrower) part of which is called Thane Creek. The historical island of Elephanta is one of the six islands that lie in the harbour. Jawaharlal Nehru Port and Navi Mumbai (New Bombay) lie to the east on the mainland, and the city of Mumbai (formerly Bombay) lies to the west on Salsette Island. The harbour opens to the Arabian Sea to the south. The Gateway of India with its jetty for Elephanta is the most important tourist destination, followed by the INS Vikrant maritime Museum. Mangrove swamps line much of the northwestern and eastern shores of the harbour, and provide a rich habitat for wildlife, including thousands of migrating birds such as flamingoes.
It has been the gateway since the days the British established their factory in Mumbai. Over the years it is one of the important reasons for the development of trade and commerce in Mumbai. It is a natural harbour with three enclosed wet dock. They are named as
- Indira Docks
- Prince’s Docks (built in the year 1885)
- Victoria Docks (built in the year 1891)
Crude and petroleum products are handled from four jetties at Jawahar Dweep an island in the mumbai harbour and chemicals are handled from Pirpau. It can be noted that the port has existed for over 130 years.
The Mumbai Port is managed by the Bombay Port Trust now known as Mumbai Port Trust which was founded by the great ship builder Jamshedji Wadia in 1872.