For busy Mumbaikars

Want a sandwich, The Kite Runneror a window seat for your Volvo ride to Goa? Now you get it all online. Malay Desai goes site-seeing to test whether you should sign up or simply press Alt+F4

   
Order food    

www.mealtree.com
Taking a cue from their daily food-ordering habits, citybased professionals Ashish Agarwal and his brothers conceptualised Mealtree. Albeit not a novel idea (many western cities, for example Durban, have centralised helplines and ‘menu directories’), Mealtree attempts to bring in all major restaurants and fast-food chains under one roof. UPSIDE: We placed an online order (rolls from Wraps and Rolls), and promptly got a call for confirmation. The delivery took the usual time it would have had we ordered directly. What impressed us was the user-friendly menus, where you can easily order from multiple places. There was also the option of mentioning exactly how spicy we wanted our chicken roll.

DOWNSIDE: We didn’t find McDonalds on the site and all items under Garcia’s were dysfunctional.
   
Look up a book    

www.librarywala.com
Our ‘time-less’ city life coupled with the love for books prompted IT professional Hiten Turakhia and his buddies to kickstart India’s first online circulating library last year. It is ideal for professionals with five-day weeks who tremble at the prospect of visiting a library or buying expensive books. UPSIDE: We shelled out Rs 2,398 (out of which Rs 500 was refunded because of a new special offer) to opt for a plan which gives three books per month, for a year. After ‘queuing up’ for The Kite Runner online late one night, we received it the next afternoon.

DOWNSIDE: Its collection is all-English. It won’t have Stephen King’s On Writing — which your nearby raddiwala may have. Nor will it have recently-published books (like Binoo John’s Entry from Backside Only) which your bookshops will have. Also, some popular books like Maximum City, which are always in circulation, may take longer to arrive.
   
Book movie, play or    concert tickets    

www.bookmyshow.com
Unlike some ventures of the Network18 stable, this one doesn’t seem like a strategic investment. In fact it is promoted by Bigtree Entertainment, an info-solutions provider. Good for us, we thought, since almost all the multiplex websites require boring registrations and bug you with emails forever.

UPSIDE: The portal also offers play and concert tickets. It is really simple now to make it to a play at Prithvi or Anoushka Shankar live. And we don’t even mind the extra charge. DOWNSIDE: We decided to test-drive Jodhaa Akbar and found that there were hardly any Fame cinemas on the list. Also, the site only accepted payments through credit card and not direct net-banking. However, it hurt most when they levied a Rs 15 ‘con’venience charge on each ticket. Why on earth should we pay that if the multiplex helplines were ready to book tickets via a phone call?
   
Book bus tickets    

www.redbus.in
This one, too, has an interesting history: it was born out of the frustration of a bunch of Bangalore-based IT professionals who always suffered before travelling due to overbooking and unpredictable schedules. Today, they’ve quit their well-paying jobs and their portal boasts of a tie-up with over 250 operators across India’s smallest towns.

UPSIDE: We pretended we wanted to head to Goa overnight, logged on and printed an e-ticket in no time. We also tried the delivery, which lived up to promise and was cheaper than it’s competitor. As for cancellations, they can be done online, 24 hours before departure. What’s most impressive? You can select the boarding point nearest to you after looking up the route online.
DOWNSIDE: If only they would let us select the movie to be shown en route! We won’t have to watch films like Partner.

No good!

www.ticketvala.com
We checked out another site – which lets you rents cars and book hotel rooms too, but found it’s not half as good.Ticketvala’s site promises more and delivers less (we’re still waiting for a call for a request we made last week). It charges more for delivery and cancels tickets only 36 hours before departure.

   
Grab a DVD    

www.clixflix.com
Mumbai’s cinema lovers have never had it better. Today, we have many international fests, a classic movie club and a just-launched world cinema channel. This portal is among many side-effects of a booming entertainment industry in India. It says its powered by ‘hardcore couch potatoes’, but we found it does little to encourage the movieviewing habit.

UPSIDE: Still looking…
DOWNSIDE: On registration, we found out that its online store stocks only DVDs. We regret this sorely, since Moser Baer sells VCDs at a throwaway 28 bucks! Secondly, they didn’t deliver on a Sunday and shockingly showed up zero results when we searched for common retro movies like Anand and Guide. All this, after a security deposit of Rs 2,000! Not worth your while, we say.

Better options

www.seventymm.com
It’s one of the better-known DVD rentals and deservedly so. It offers a million things for the film buff. It has an impressive regional-language stock and lets customers keep their DVDs as long as they want.Another DVD rental site, www.cinesprite.com, is as good and cheaper.

CBD Belapur

CBD Belapur flyover , CGO , RBI and CIDCO offices  on right sideCBD Belapur is a node of Navi Mumbai, with a fairly vibrant Central Business District that is moving some of the economy out of congested central Mumbai into the hinterland. Belapur is also one of the largest assembly constituencies from this region. CBD Belapur has been growing since the 1990s, and is now home to colleges as well as a number of technology businesses.

CBD Belapur is an acronym of Central Business District, Belapur. It was designed and developed in order to promote businesses. The Reserve Bank of India maintains a branch office at CBD Belapur. This area is one of the fastest developing region in Navi Mumbai in terms of new residential and commercial construction projects. CBD Belapur is well connected to Mumbai through train and BEST buses. It has Sea Link for traveling to Elephanta Caves from Sector 11.

History

A view of Belapur Creek

A view of Belapur Creek

The area near Belapur was under Portuguese rule around 1560, before it was captured by the Siddis of Janjira. In those days, the town was called Belawal by the locals, and Sambayo or Shabaz by the Portuguese. In 1682, the Portuguese recaptured Shabaz, only to lose it to the Marathas in 1733, under Chimanaji Appa. In 1817, the British East India Company captured the area from the Marathas.

Economy

Belapur

Belapur

CBD Belapur house several economic and Government administrative and private companies office. Konkan Bhavan building houses important state government office like Director of Town Planning,Public Works Department etc. The CGO Complex ( Central government office ) has offices of Chief Commissiner of central exice, Special Crime Branch , MTNL and court. Other governmentoffice include Cotton Corporation of India Ltd and headquarters of Konkan Railway.

The Reserve Bank of India, State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank ,Industrial Development Bank of India Limited and other nationalised banks have their presence here. SBI and PNB have their main server at their respective branches .

International Technology Centre at the CBD Belapur railway statin complex was built by Cidco as a Infotec hub .

Transport

CBD Belapur is easily accessible from all parts of Navi Mumbai and Mumbai by road, rail and water transport facilities. It lies on the harbour Line and on the Sion Panvel Highway.Palm beach road connects CBD Belapur directly with Vashi. Harbour Line Railway service is up to Panvel and have been extended up to Karjat by new line. The newly opened Thane-Vashi rail network, links Thane city with Navi Mumbai, including CBD Belapur.

BEST buses ply between CBD Belapur and Mumbai. Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport buses connect CBD Belapur to other nodes of Navi Mumbai and also to Thane and Dombivali . Kalyan Dombivali Muncipal Transport ply between CBD Belapur and Kalyan , Bhayander. State Transport (ST) buses and other luxury buses have a halt here. State Transport buses also ply between CBD Belapur Railway station and Panvel and Uran .

Auto rickshaw is the primary mode of transport with in the node owing the small area occupied by the node.

There exists a provision for a helipad and helicopter service making Belapur Station Complex accessible by air too. A hovercraft was introduced in mid 90’s between Belapur and Gateway of India but was later discontinued because of poor response . The main reason being the high fare.

Belapur Fort

At the intersection of Uran road and Palm Beach Road there is small fort built in 1560-1570 by the Siddis of Janjira, after they wrested control of the area from the Portuguese In 1733, the Marathas, led by Chimanji Appa, captured the fort . In 1817, when it was captured by Captain Charles Gray of the British East India Company, the fort was partially destroyed under the British policy of razing any Maratha stronghold in the area. CIDCO plans to restore the structure after a protest from residents of Belapur .

Law and Order

The office of Police Commissioner Of Navi Mumbai is at CBD belapur . A police station is also at sector 6.

Educational Institutes

  • Aegis School of Business
  • Aegis School of Telecommunication
  • Bharti Vidyapeeth College of Engineering, affiliated to University of Mumbai
  • Institute of Business Studies & Research
  • NCST
  • Padmashree Dr. D. Y. Patil Institute of Management Studies
  • Padmashree Dr. D. Y. Patil Institute of BIOTECHNOLOGY & BIOINFORMATICS
  • RAI FOUNDATION COLLEGES

Byculla – Community Compass

Though known for its predominantly Muslim population, Byculla has a healthy mix of various communities. Sitting in his clinic at Jerbai Baug, counsellor Dr Rajan Bhonsale, who has been practising here for 20 years, smiles, “My clinic is next to the Gloria Church opposite which is the bright, aquamarine Moti Masjid (in pic above), next to which is the ostentatious Hanuman Mandir.”Byculla has always been associated as a Muslim area thanks to the Saboo Siddik College of Engineering and the All-India Khilafat Committee’s College of Education. But there is much more. However, Hyder Ali, a shopkeeper, says, “That is just a misconception. Byculla is really very cosmopolitan.” Not too many know that Byculla has the largest population of Jains in South Mumbai with the Adinath Jain Derasar located in the Sheth Motishah Lane aka Love Lane.Besides, you will find a sizeable population of Parsis too in Jerbai Baug and Rustom Baug. There is a large population of Maharashtrians at the BIT Chawls and a large Goan Christian community on the Mazgaon fringes that run the Christ Church and Antonio D’Souza schools — and of course there is the Gloria Church. And then there are the Jews. The Magen David Synagogue has on campus the century-old EEE Sassoon School. “Presently there are 550 students, about 98 per cent belonging to the Muslim community,” says Solomon J Sopher, managing trustee of the school. You couldn’t get a more cosmopolitan in Mumbai. “I wouldn’t like to practise near my house in Cuffe Parade because I wouldn’t be able to interact with such a diverse group of people,” smiles a content Dr Bhonsale. Heritage but all of 5 devotees bow here each day The 143-year-old Magen David Synagogue at Babasaheb Ambedkar Road may have been awarded heritage status but the Jews aren’t pleased. Solomon J Sopher, chairman and managing trustee of Sir Jacob Sassoon Charity and Allied Trusts, is upset. He thunders, “We haven’t been told officially that this is a heritage structure. Has anyone asked me whether we want heritage status for any of our synagogues? What will we get out of it anyway?” Built by David Sassoon, it is one of the remnants of the glorious days of the Baghdadi Jews in Mumbai. In the early 1900s, the population of Baghdadi Jews in Byculla had been approximated at 20,000. Many worked as labourers in the neighbouring Sassoon Mills (now Khatau Mills). With the creation of two nations — India in 1947 and Israel in 1948 — the Jewish community in Byculla diminished rapidly with many Bene Israel Jews leaving for Israel in 1973 with the country’s recognition of their community.Around the same time, Magen David — that was so far limited to Baghdadi Jews — finally opened its doors to the Bene Israels. “The Baghdadi Jews who came into India from Iraq in the 1800s were very staunch in their beliefs and didn’t want to recognise Bene Israels as Jews. This was mainly because of inter-caste marriages that may have been probable in the Bene Israels’ 2,000-year-old lineage,” says Sopher, adding, “Now the bigotism has decreased. We wouldn’t want to distinguish between Jews. There are only 70-80 Baghdadi Jews in Mumbai and we can’t just run this synagogue with that number. Also there are just 5,000 Jews left in Mumbai.” As Bensiyon Ghosalkar, a Bene Israel and caretaker at the synagogue, says, “Not more than five Jews visit the synagogue at an average each day.”However, next week, for the only time of the year, on September 22, the Magen David Synagogue will see a congregation of a few hundred Jews as they listen to the clarion call to God, symbolised by the blowing of the shofar (ram’s horn) by the rabbi, as they end their month of penance and repentance, the Elul Rahamin.

Thane

Thane

Thane

State
 – District(s)
Maharashtra
 – Thane
Coordinates 19.12° N 73.02° E
Area 147 km²
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Population (2001)
 – Density
1,261,517
 – /km²
Mayor Mr. Rajan Baburao Vichare
Codes
 – Postal
 – Telephone
 – Vehicle
 
 – 400 6xx
 – +022
 – MH-04

Thane (Marathi: ठाणे) (formerly Thana) is a city in Maharashtra, India, part of the Mumbai Conurbation, northeast of Mumbai at the head of the Thane Creek. It is the administrative headquarters of Thane District. //

Brief history

Talao Pali Lake

Talao Pali Lake

The name “Thane” is said to be derived from Sthan or Sthanaka, the capital of the Shilahara kings of Konkan. It is currently the headquarters of Thane district.

The earlist evidence of Thane appears in the works of the Greek geographer, Ptolemy, who, in his writings (135150) refers to a place called Chersonesus, which, according to researches, is the area around Thane creek.

Slabs and copper plates dating back to the middle ages have also been discovered in Thane.

Venetian traveller Marco Polo also visited Thane in 1290. He describes the city as a great kingdom, which apparently had a well-developed port, for he mentions a continuous traffic of ships, and merchants trading and exporting leather, buckram, cotton, and importing horses.

The Portuguese came to Thane about 1530 and ruled for over 200 years till 1739. Thane was then known as Cacabe de Tana. Work on the Thane Fort began in 1730.

The Marathas, who conquered Bassein and Thane in 1737 and 1739, held sway over the region till 1784, when the British captured the Fort and ruled Thane, then also called Tana. They made it the headquarters of the district administration with a district collector stationed in Thane. The Thane Municipal Council was formed in 1863 when the city had a population of 9000.

The first railway train in India ran from Bombay VT (Now Mumbai CST, See Mumbai) to Thana in 1853. Thane (or Thana) literally means “station” in Marathi the local language. It was the only railway station besides Victoria Terminus.

After India’s independence, Thane grew slowly and became an industrial town in the ’60s and ’70s. There was also a corresponding growth in trade, transport and construction activities, which picked up tremendously in the ’80s. Once considered as the ‘ugly twin’ of Mumbai, today Thane outshines Mumbai cvbcvin its planning and neatness. Even as it develops at a fast pace, Thane, is also known as the City of Lakes, is still plagued with overcrowding and commuting problems.

History

The city of Thane is situated on the western banks of Thane creek with Parsik hills on the east and Yeour hills on the west. The creek not only provides a natural protection to the place but has also facilitated transport of big and small ships since ancient times. This has also acted as an impetus for the development of local and international trade since the pre-historic times. Besides being the stamping ground of the pre-historic tribes, Thane city has a rich cultural heritage, mythological background, and has been home to many events of historical importance.

The history of Thane city can be broadly categorized into 5 eras.

  1. Vedic period to 1300. : Comprising of Hindu or ancient period, Aparant, Silhara and Bimba dynasties.
  2. 1300 –1660: Muslim and Portuguese rule.
  3. 1660-1800: Maratha and Portuguese rule.
  4. 1800-1947: British Rule.
  5. 1947-till date : Independent India.

‘Aparant’ is the ancient name of the geographical area hosting Thane city. During the Indian expedition of the Greek Emperor Alexander, a number of philosophers, historians and geographists visited India. The second-century Greek historian Ptolemy mentioned the city of Thane in his writings. In the 9th century the city, know as Shreesthanak, was the capital of the Silhara dynasty. The Silharas ruled thane from 810 to 1260. A place called ‘Ghodbunder’ was famous for horse trading thus deriving its name from the word ghoda i.e. horse and bunder meaning port. During this period a fabric called ‘Tansi’ was exported from Thane.

The Silhara emperors were disciples of Lord Shiva, and the Kopineshwar Temple was built during their reign. During this period, due to the secular attitude and tolerance of Silharas towards different religions, people from diverse communities including Parsis, Christians, Muslims and Jews settled down in Thane, creating a cosmopolitan city.

At this time the Silharas also divided the city into different sections and named them as ‘padas’. These padas exist today, in the names of Naupada, Patlipada, Agripada etc.

In the earlier part of the 12th century with a view to create a new township, King Bimbadev, alongwith 66 segments of his community came over and settled in Thane. The explorer Marco Polo visited Thane in 1290 and noted it to be one of the best cities in the world. In 1480 Sultan Mahmud Begara of Gujarat made Thane the capital of his ‘Subha’ Province.

The Portuguese ruled Thane for over 200 years from 1530 to 1739. During this period Thane was known as “Kalabe De Tana”. St. John the Baptist Church was constructed in Thane in 1663. Construction of the Thane Killa (Fort) was started in 1730. In 1737 the Maratha general Chimaji Appa the planned the conquest of Vasai (Portuguese Baçaim), and on March 28, 1738 the Marathas conquered the Thane Killa. The fort is presently being used as Thane Central Jail.

In 1744 the British conquered Thane city and its fort.

The famous Kopineshwar Temple was renovated in 1760. In 1778 the palatial residence of the Peshwas was converted into the Court building. In the year 1780 Keshavji Sorabji Rustomji Patel constructed the first Parsi Agyari in Thane. The first District Court was established in 1803. The first railway train ran on April 16, 1853 from Boribunder to Thane. The Thane Borough Municipality was established on March 10, 1863.

The first newspaper in Thane was launched in the year 1866. Different Marathi magazines like Arunodaya, Survodaya, Vakilancha Sathi, Nyaylahari, Manohar, Dyanapradip, Dyanadipika were seen to be in circulation thus showing the importance of the print media during that period. In the year 1880 the Thane Borough Municipality spent Rs. 12,960 on construction of the Pokharan Lake, to supply the town with drinking water. This prestigious project was inaugurated by the then Governor of Bombay Presidency, Sir Ferguson James. The first elections of the Municipality were conducted in 1885.

The first census took place in the year 1881 and the population of Thane at the time was 14,456. The Jain temple of Thane was built in 1879. The first ever English medium school was started in 1821 and was named as ‘Thane English School’. In the year 1893, the first Marathi Library was established. In 1896 the birth anniversary of Shivaji Maharaj was celebrated for the first time in Thane. In June 1897 Lokmanya Tilak visited Thane. On April 19 1910 freedom fighters Veer Anant Laxman Kanhere, Gopal Krishnaji Karve, and Vinayak Narayan Deshpande were hanged to death in the Central Jail for killing the Nasik District Collector Jackson. In 1938 freedom fighter Veer Savarkar was fêted by the citizens of Thane after his release from the British confinement. In 1920 a road near Masunda lake was named after Dr. F.A. Moose for the commemorative service during the epidemic of plague.

A reputed citizen of Thane Shri Vithal Sayanna’s son Divan Bahadur Narayan Sayanna reconstructed the Civil Hospital building in 1935.

India’s Independence day, August 15, 1947, was celebrated in Thane by bringing down the British Union Jack and hoisting the tri-coloured flag of India at the hands of a freedom fighter Shri Nanasaheb Joshi at the District Collector’s Office.

With a view to preserve the rich cultural heritage of Thane, the Thane Municipal Council constructed Rangayatan, a drama theatre, named after the Marathi writer Shri Ram Ganesh Gadkari. The theatre has been hosting different plays and cultural programmes since.

The Thane Municipal Corporation was established on 1 October 1982. It had a population of 790,000 as per the 1991 census. The population has reached to about 1,400,000 in the year 2003. The Thane Municipal Corporation has undertaken many development projects and schemes since 1982. One of major projects is the Integrated Road Development Project. Taking in view the all round infrastructural development which has recently taken place in Thane , the Govt. of India conferred the prestigious ‘Clean City Award’ to Thane in the year 2000.

Geography

Thane is located to the North of Mumbai (Bombay, Maharashtra,India). Although being a district place, the city has always been shadowed by the existence of the metropolis just on its outskirts .Spanned over an area of about 147 km², this city houses over 10 Lakh (1 million) people. A total of 200 km of roads run through the city. The city is surrounded by scenic hills, which add to its beauty. The Hill of Yeoor is considered to be the hill station for the Thaneyites. On the other hand is the Parsik Hill. The city is divided by Thane Creek, a stream of water from the Arabian Sea. Two road bridges & one rail bridge connect the two parts of the city.

Currently the Thane Lok Sabha (Lower House of the Indian Parliament) constituency is the most populous constituency of the country.

Culture

Majority of the people in Thane are Maharashtrians and Marathi is the most commonly spoken language in the city. In spite of a predominant Maharashtrian culture, Thane, just like its neighbouring city Mumbai, boasts of a very vibrant cosmopolitan culture. Kannadigas and Tuluvas are present in large numbers.

Festivals such as Ganesh Chaturthi are celebrated with great zest in the city. The Gadkari Rangayatan auditorium has cultural programs running all through the year.

Thane used to be described as a ‘sleepy’ city when compared to Mumbai till the early 90s. But the size of the city has increased manifold in recent years, spurred by a residential boom due to people moving away from the Mumbai city to find affordable and good homes as well as amenities in Thane. Although Thane doesn’t have a night life yet, there are several activities going on in the evening time in Thane. There a variety of good places to eat as well as hang out.

Thane was also adjuged in the recent past as India’s most beautiful city, following a beautification drive by the then commissioner of Thane T.Chandrashekhar.

Industry

Thane has a large industrial area.There are many big and small industries even today. Thane industrial area consists of Wagle industrial estate,Trans Thane Creek( TTC ) area known as Thane belapur road, Ghodbunder road. These industrial area houses mostly chemical,engineering,textile and electrical industries. Now many of these industrial area are housing Software centres, BPO and Callcentres like TCS,Adventity etc.

Transport

Thane has its own bus service known as Thane Municipal Transport (TMT). BEST (Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport) also runs buses from Thane to some destinations in Mumbai. Thane is well connected with neighbouring suburbs through Mumbai’s railway network. Thane is a stop on the Central Railway division of Indian railways, and is about 30 km away from the Mumbai city stop.

Location

30 km North East of Mumbai on the western coast of India. Also close to Navi Mumbai Airoli node via the Thane-Belapur road TB road for short. Its a junction for Local Trains towards Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.

Weather

Typical coastal sultry & humid

Rainfall – Average 1500 to 2000 mm beginning of June to end of September. Temperature – Average – 25 – 37 °C (76 – 99 °F) Humidity – 45% to 87% highest in month of August.

Altitude

Plains at sea level

Population

1.55 million (Year 2003)

Area

48 km²

Lakes

Thane the city of Lakes has around 30 lakes. The most beautiful of them is the Masunda Talao, also known as Talao Pali. The lake offers boating and water scooter facilities.

Some of the other popular lakes are

  • Upvan Lake – located at conjunction of roads Pokhran 1 and Pokhran 2.
  • Kacharali Talao – Located at Panchpakhadi (opp. New Thane Municipal Corporation).
  • Makhamali Talao – Located Near Nooribaba Dargah, Charai.
  • Siddheshwar Talao – Located at Hansnagar, Khopat.
  • Bramhala Talao – Located near Thane Central Jail.
  • Ghosale Talao –
  • Railadevi Talao – Located near Mulund Checknaka.
  • Kausa Talao – Located at Kausa, Mumbra
  • Kolbad Talao – Located at Kolbad, Old Agra road.
  • Hariyali Talao – At Yehoor
  • Rewale Talo – Located opp. to Balkum Fire station.
  • Kasar Vadawali Talo – Located at Kasar Vadawali Goan
  • Khidkaleshwar Talao – Near Shil. on the road towards Dombivali
  • Nar Talao –
  • Abhiruchi talao-

Educational Institutes

Thane City Quick Look

Gadkari Rangayatan Drama Hall, Photo by YogB

Gadkari Rangayatan Drama Hall, Photo by YogB

M G Road, Photo by Harshal Jawale and Kiran Jawale

M G Road, Photo by Harshal Jawale and Kiran Jawale

Kopri Railway Bridge, Photo by Harshal Jawale and Kiran Jawale

Kopri Railway Bridge, Photo by Harshal Jawale and Kiran Jawale

Thane
Next station south:
Mulund
Mumbai suburban railway : Central Railway Next station north:
Kalwa
Stop No:18 KM from starting:32 Platforms:10