SALSETTE ( = " sixty-six villages "), a large island in British India, N. of Bombay city, forming part of Thana district. Area, 246 sq. m. It is connected with Bombay Island and also with the mainland by bridge and causeway. Salsette is a beautiful, well-wooded tract, its surface being diversified by hills and mountains, some of considerable height, while it is rich in rice fields. In various parts of the island are ruins of Portuguese churches, convents and villas; while the cave temples of Kanheri form a subject of interest. There are 109 Buddhist caves, which date from the end of the 2nd century A.D., but are not so interesting as those of Ajanta, Ellora and Karli. Salsette is crossed by two lines of railway, which have encouraged the building of villa residences by the wealthier merchants of Bombay. The population in 1901 was 146,933. The island was taken from the Portuguese by the Mahrattas in 1739, and from them by the British in 1774; it was formally annexed to the East India Company's dominions in 1782 by the treaty of Salbai.
There is another Salsette in the Portuguese settlement of Goa, a district with a population (1900) of 113,061.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)