A 24-Hour-Guide To The Many Charms Of Thane - Homegrown

A 24-Hour-Guide To The Many Charms Of Thane

If cities were people, Mumbai would be the older sibling. Loud, probably more confident, and often (unintentionally) overshadowing the personality of the younger one. For the townies, the suburban areas of Bandra and Santa Cruz might be the younger sibling and for those living in Bandra and Santa Cruz, the likes of Andheri and Borivali might become the younger one. But on the fringes of good old Mumbai, lives another neglected child––the city of Thane. The actual younger sibling.

Flanked by Parsik hills on one side and Yeoor hills on the other, the city of Thane is situated along the banks of Thane creek in the North Konkan region of Maharashtra. Called the ‘City of Lakes’ for absolutely justifiable reasons, Thane also boasts of a colourful history. In fact, the first ever train in India started from Boribunder in Mumbai, and travelled all the way till Thane station in 1853 – making it a historically significant terminus.

What was once a mere suburb located just outside Mumbai, is today a thriving city in itself. Malls, skyscrapers, and food joints, Thane has everything characteristic of an industrial urban space. Yet it continues to remain a blind spot in the minds of most Mumbaikars, often becoming the subject of ignorant banter. But for many, it’s their home. The only world they knew of while growing up.

So we did the work for you and came up with a 24-hour guide. We spoke to a few locals about the idiosyncrasies of Thane city, everything that has withstood the test of time, and all the Must-Dos of the area.


Morning

I. Catch The Morning Sun At Yeoor Hills

When the weather gets too hot or the concrete chaos a little too much to bear, the residents of Thane have their own hill station to run to. Located very close to the Thane railway station, Yeoor Hills is a part of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park and has been blessing the locals with its relatively cooler temperatures. We recommend beginning your day with a morning walk or jog here. Ideal for birdwatching or simply basking in the morning sun, Yeoor hills is green and home to plenty of wildlife throughout the year, so make sure to carry your camera along with you. There are a number of waterfalls to spot, and probably even a few leopards (if you’re lucky!). You can simply drive up to the hills or even trek up if you’re feeling a bit adventurous.

HG Tip: Don’t forget to stop by the Upvan Lake which is located at the base of the hills!

II. Exotica – The Weekend Getaway That’s Right Next Door

The Exotica Tropical Retreat located at the top of Yeoor hills is exactly what you need if you’re planning to spend more than just an early morning there. A hotel nestled in the greenery of Yeoor with an open-air seating restaurant, Exotica’s aesthetic game is very much on point. We’d recommend spending the night here so you can wake up to a cup of warm tea and then head out into the woods for a quick run, or just laze around before heading back to the city’s humidity. If you’re going to make it a December trip, then don’t forget to carry a sweater as it can get pretty cold at night.

View from Yeoor Hills. Image Credit: Dinesh Valke/Flickr
View from Yeoor Hills. Image Credit: Dinesh Valke/Flickr

III. The Misal Pav at Mamledar Misal Is Not For The Faint Hearted

Nothing screams typical Maharashtrian breakfast like tears escaping from the corner of your eye as you devour a plate of spicy Misal Pav first thing in the morning. And if you’re in Thane, then Mamledar Misal is just the place for it. One of Thane’s oldest restaurants, Mamledar was opened in 1952 for the first time in Thane and is known for its quality and standardised Misal throughout Mumbai. Their menu is small and focuses mainly on breakfast items like Misal Pav, Ussal, Upma, Poha etc. We’d recommend going for the ‘low’ or ‘medium’ spicy misal if you’re not used to eating spicy food. Don’t forget to try their signature dessert — a soft, delectable milk pudding called ‘Kharvas’ that instantly melts in your mouth — right after! A kind of legacy in itself, Mamledar is just five minutes away from Thane’s most busy and popular lake––Talao pali.

Misal Pav at Mamledar Misal. Image Credit: Mamledar Misal
Misal Pav at Mamledar Misal. Image Credit: Mamledar Misal

Afternoon

IV. Jambhali Naka For All Your Shopping Needs In The Vicinity

Jhambali Naka is Thane’s one-stop-shop for literally everything your house might require. From clothes to food ingredients to stainless steel items, there’s absolutely nothing you won’t get here. Of course, finding the best deal might take some time. The area also has a lot of wholesale shops that sell stuff at a cost below the MRP. We’d recommend visiting this marketplace on a regular weekday so as to avoid the weekend rush. But if you can’t, a weekend is good too!

V. Silly Chilly If You’re Craving Shawarmas

Once all the shopping has exhausted you, heading to Silly Chilly’s at Khopat for some shawarmas is probably a good idea. Known to serve some of the most innovative and savoury shawarmas in the city that are also reasonably priced (bingo!), Silly Chilly’s popularity is evident in the humongous crowd it attracts after sunset. Their cheese chicken shawarma served with dollops of mayo is an absolute delight. If shawarmas aren’t your thing, then you could try their Chinese food.

VI. Stop By Preeti Sandwich and Juice Centre For A Light Afternoon Meal

If you ask the locals, most will begin a sappy tale about how they’ve watched Preeti Sandwich grow and evolve from a mere roadside stall serving sandwiches to one of the most popular food joints in Thane. Totally worth the hype, we’d recommend the Maggi cheese grill sandwich, pahadi grill sandwich, and their open sandwich which–wait for it–actually has no bread slices! Also, unlike most sandwich shops, they offer their customers the choice to choose the kind of bread they want (white or brown).

Evening

VII. Colourful Evening Skies And Boat Rides At Talao Pali

Right opposite Preeti Sandwich is talao pali — Thane’s most popular lake. It is always bustling with people. If the weather is nice and the sun isn’t too harsh, you can possibly go for a boat or horse ride here, or just sit by the lake and treat yourself with some delicious street food. There are plenty of options around the lake itself. One of Thane’s most-visited temples, the Kopineshwar Mandir, is located within walking distance of the lake.

VIII. Shaar Hashamaim — Thane’s Well-kept Secret

If you stumble across a white and grey two storey structure while traversing through the streets of Thane city, don’t let it pass. Let your curious mind make the most of it as you could possibly be looking at ‘Shaar Hashamaim’ – a synagogue that has been around for over a century. One of Thane’s well-kept secrets—a little too well kept, if you ask me—Shaar Hashamaim was built in 1879 and is located at Tembhi Naka in Thane city. Not many people know this, but Thane is actually home to 40% of India’s total Jewish population. The Jewish Community regularly meets at this synagogue to conduct daily prayers and celebrate festivals. Shaar Hashamaim is open to people who are not Jews as well and there are no fixed timings or days.

We recommend contacting Ezra Moses, the Director of the synagogue, at 9322247231 or [email protected] to inquire about the same.

IX. MOS Momos That’s Taking Over Thane

Although Appetite momos has been around for longer, MOS is where all the cool kids are going these days. Located in Hiranandani Meadows, this place is known for the kind of variety it offers. From tandoori tadka momos to creamy makhani momos, each one comes with a customised flavour of sauce (you can always ask for your regular mayo/schezwan sauce, of course). And if nothing on the menu suits your taste buds, then you can customise your order as well. An adorable little eatery with an open kitchen where you can watch them prepare your momos, eating here is quite a personal experience and we’d most definitely recommend it.

Image Credit: Zomato
Image Credit: Zomato

Night

X. Hotel Sorkul’s Sumptuous Seafood

For all the non-vegetarians, particularly seafood lovers, Hotel Sorkul is the place to be. It’s inexpensive and exudes of homemade authenticity. It’s located in Panch Pakhadi—one of the best places to embark on a food trail in Thane (some even call it the ‘Khau Galli’ of Thane). Don’t be fooled by the minimalistic decor as their food makes up for everything. Locals swear by Hotel Sorkul’s fish delicacies. We’d recommend trying out the tisrya masala and jawla fry. They’re quite generous with their thali portions—both vegetarian and non-vegetarian.

XI. Desserts And More At Prashant Corner

One of the biggest (and oldest) sweet shops in Thane, Prashant Corner has been around for more than two decades. Today, it sells not just sweets but a variety of snacks and street food. Hot and crispy jalebis fried in pure ghee garnished with dry fruits and served with Kesar, Prashant Corner is a great place to catch some traditional Indian desserts. During Diwali, their golden-coated Kaju Katlis (instead of the regular silver ones) sell like hot cakes. If you’re looking for a hygienic place to consume some street food without missing out on the flavour, then this might be a good option.

Feature Image Courtesy: ScoopWhoop

If you liked this article we suggest you read:

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