Mar: अलिबाग alibāga.

‘Ali’s Garden’ Town, Maharashtra.

From Ali and Mar/Skt: bāga/bāgh, ‘garden’, ‘orchard’.

The Bene Israel Jews lived here and there is a part of the town called Israel Ali” [Mar: āḷī , ‘lane’]. Local legends tell of Eli, a Bene Israel Jew, who owned mango and coconut plantations, and whose land was consequently called  Eli(chi) Bagh. So the name could come from either the quarter or the landowner, The Bene Israel are a community of Indian Jews dating back to the 1stC. There were 20,000 of them living in India at Independence but their number has fallen to less than 5,000 following emigartion to Israel and elsewhere.

Alibag also has the 17thC Kolaba Fort, two beaches (Alibag and Varsoli) and a Magnetic Observatory (founded in 1904 to replace the original one in Colaba).

For related place names see Indian Place names and Maharashtra place names.


Alibag Fort    Rakesh Ayilliath