Bassein (Vasai): 48-km
The first railway train ran between Thane and Mumbai on April 16, 1853. However, its present-day name is said to be derived from "Sthan" or "Sthanaka", the capital of the Shilahara Kings of Konkan. Evidences say that the Thane appears in the works of the Greek geographer, Ptolemy, who, in his writings (l35 - 150 AD) refers to a place called "Chersonesus", which, according to researchers is the area around Thane creek. Slabs and copper plates dating back to the period Middle Ages have been discovered at the place. One of them, dug up from the foundations of Thane Fort in 1787, dated 1078 AD, is apparently a land grant from Arikesara Devaraja, sovereign of the city of Tagara, wherein he address the inhabitants of a city called Sri Sthanka. The great Venetian traveler Marco Polo, too, in the course of his wandering set of foots in Thane in 1290 AD. Another great traveler, Friar Jordanus, who visited the city between AD 1321 and l324, describes it as being under a Muslim governor. He leaves a detailed sketch of early Christians in Thane and refers to the martyrdom of four Christian priests in the region, more than 200 years before the Portuguese ever-set foot in India. Duarte Barbosa, a noted traveler, described Thane by the name Tana Mayambu 25 years before the Portuguese conquest. The Portuguese came here in 1530 and ruled for over 200 years till 1739. Thane was then known as "Cacade de Tana". Work on the Thane Fort began in 1730. The Marathas, who conquered Bassein (Vasai) and Thane in l737 and 1739, held sway over the region till 1784 when the British captured the Fort and ruled Thane, then also called "Tanna". They made it the headquarters of the district administration with a district collector stationed in Thane.
There are around 23 lakes in the city, which are worth a visit. The most important and beautiful of them all is the Masunda Talao, termed by the locals as Talao Pali. The lake offers boating facilities to anyone and everyone including a little space to the love struck ones. Water scooters are also available here. For the ardent foodies, Talao Pali is the right place to binge.
The Yeoor Hills offer nature at its bountiful best. This pollution free zone is a great getaway from the daily traffic hassles and hazardous life. These hills are also called as the "Mama Bhanja Hills" and a visit to the Swami's Math is a must.
Tikuji-ni-Wadi is another place, which is visited by people frequently. Food and accommodation facilities are also available over here.
Essel World, the amusement park, is located at Gorai, at a distance from the hub of the city. The main attractions here are the 34 rides that comprise of roller coasters, rainbows, bumping cars. Tourists can access this place from Marve, Bhayander or Borivali. Special bus services are also available to reach this place. Water Kingdom is just next to Essel World and claims that it has the largest wave pool in Asia.
Close to Virar at a distance of around 3 - 4-km, is the Water World. It covers slides and splashes, swimming pool, discotheque, food, lodging and play places for kids. Nearby are the beautiful beaches of Gorai, Aksa, Madh, and Marve. Further, there are places like Alibaug, Chawl, Manori, and Murud-Janjira, which are worth visiting.
Bassein or Vasai is the settlement located on the western coast about 48-km to the north of Mumbai on the right or the north bank of the Thane creek. The Portuguese ruins, which are nearly hid by palm groves and brushwood, stand about fifteen feet above water level on a low flat plot of land. The southwest point of the rich and well-wooded tract, which, being cut off from the mainland by the Gokhivra or Sopara creek, was formerly known as Vasai Island.
Titwala Ganesh Mandir:
Titwala is about 75-km from Mumbai located in Thane district, Maharashtra. It is considered as sacred pilgrim center as it houses Mahaganesh Temple and the temple of Shri Vithoba. There is also a fascinating temple dedicated to Ambarnath, dating back to the 11th century, which was built in the 'Hemadpanti' style of architecture.
Ambarnath is a rapidly growing municipal town in the Ulhasnagar Tehsil. It derives its name from a shrine dedicated to god Ambarnath or "Ambareshwar" also known as "Amarnath". The town has a temple of Shiva from where its name has been derived and Amarnath means immortal Lord, a name of Shiva.
Hallowed by the residence of Swami Nityanand Maharaj, Ganeshpuri is a small township about 75-km from Mumbai and 18-km kilometers from Bhivandi. Even before Swami Nityanand Maharaj hallowed the place it was famous for hot-water springs. In front of the temple dedicated to Shri Bhimeshwar, there are four 'Kundas', which according to the local tradition are said to have been built for 800 years ago. Water collected in one of the Kundas flows to the second; from they’re to third and subsequently to fourth from where it flows to into the river.
Sudhagadh Fort is located near Pali- a famous pilgrimage center in Maharashtra. It is one of the rarely visited forts in Konkan region. The fort is one among those forts, which are still in good condition. It can be covered during a trip to Pali and Mahad in Ashtavinayak.
Kashi and Mira are two villages in Thane Taluka located close to each other. The surroundings of the two villages abound in natural beauty and scenery. Just after leaving the check-post at Dahisar is an open surface with the backdrop of hills with zigzag paths leading up the hills. And it is this flushy background that has given these two villages the name "Kashimira".
It is called the "Mahabaleshwar of Thane District", when compared in beauty and climate. And places to see are the majestic Dadara Kopra Falls, Jai Vilas, the palace of the tribal kings, the Hanuman and Sunset Points and the enthralling Shirpamal, where Shivaji chose to camp on his way to Surat. Jawhar also offers you the unique opportunity to expose and enlighten yourself with the tribal way of life especially with the Warli paintings.
Matheran is a fascinating hill-station about 80-km to the east of Mumbai in Alibag district, situated at an altitude of 800m. This little hill paradise has been left largely undisturbed, since the time when an Englishman, Hugh Mallet, Collector of Thane, discovered it in 1850 and declared it a fine place for shady walks. Matheran is the closest hill station to Mumbai and Pune. Ideally suited for the weekend Matheran provides a break from the city. Perched on top of a hill and enveloped in shady trees, Matheran is ringed by walking tracks. The views from the look out, which drop sheer to the plains, is fantastic. On clean days it is even possible to see Mumbai from Hart Point.
HOW TO GET THERE
Air: Thane is about 25-kms from the international airport at Mumbai and 35-kms from the main down town Mumbai.
Rail: Thane has got a railway station and many trains pass connecting it with the major cities of Maharashtra.
Road: Thane is well connected by road. Regular private and state owned buses are available to almost all the parts of the state.
Population: 803,389 (1991 census)
Temperature range (deg c)
Summer: 32.37°C to 34.57°C
Rainfall: 250 - 300 mm
Clothing: Light cotton