Located 20 kms north- east of Mumbai and 15 kms north- east of Thane, Bhiwandi is a small city in the Konkan Division of Maharashtra. The industrial town is also colloquially known as the ‘Manchester of India’ as it houses the warehouses of leading textile industries. Besides, it is popular for its diverse culture and natural beauty. Bhiwandi has several temples and other places of religious importance that draws a lot of tourists to the place.
Among the top temples are Jankai Devi Temple, Gaav Devi Temple, Shankar Temple, Gyaneshwar Temple, Shree Sai Mandir, Shitla Devi Temple, Sai Mandir and Shri Hanuman Mandir etc. Aside from the temples, the town is surrounded by beautiful lakes and enthralling waterfalls that are a sight to behold. You can visit the Varaladevi Lake, Kamvare Lake, Mulgai Lake, and Sonale Lake etc.
Culture of Bhiwandi is quite similar to that of Mumbai’s culture. Every festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and grandeur. It’s a Muslim dominant area. It’s a favorite constituency for the politicians as voters belong to both lower working class and middle class. Since it is a major industrial area, majority of the people are of business class. It is one of the best places in India for establishing trade or other industries. Bhiwandi has the biggest warehouses in India.Almost all the big companies have warehouses in Bhiwandi.
Culture followed here is a mixture of Maharashtra and UP and Bihar as people from these states form the majority of the inhabitants. Their festivals and celebrations spread to the extent of celebrating almost all festivals irrespective of the religion, caste and creed.
- Elvis Butterfly Garden – One of the most sought-after places to visit in Thane, the Elvis Butterfly Garden is home to over 132 species of colourful butterflies. An open-air butterfly park, the Elvis Garden offers a uniquely informative experience for visitors of all ages.The owner of the park takes all visitors through a tour of the Garden, explaining the various life stages of the butterfly as they go. Visitors can also witness all the butterflies at their different stages- from a larva, to a pupa, then a caterpillar and eventually a butterfly- in their natural habitats.
- Upvan Lake –Built in the year 1880 by the Thane Municipal Corporation, Upvan Lake is an artificial but eco-friendly lake situated in Thane, Maharashtra. This beautiful lake was actually re-constructed by JK Singhania to supply water to the Raymond Factory.
But what makes the lake popular among the locals and tourists alike is its beauty and the scenic and peaceful surroundings. With the Yeoor Hills as its backdrop, Upvan Lake today is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Thane. It makes for a perfect place to enjoy a picnic with family or take an evening walk to refresh your mind.
- Tansa Lake –If you want to spend your holiday in the company of nature, Tansa Lake is one of the best places to visit in Thane where you can unwind in fresh atmosphere. The popularity of Tansa Lake as a weekend getaway is on a rise with locals and tourists making their way to this picturesque site. The lake is artificial and is surrounded by dense forests, so the area has been declared a wildlife sanctuary. The isolated location of the lake ensures regular sightings of endangered species of animals and birds, making it a must visit destination for wildlife lovers as well.
- Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary –The Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary is one of the best places in Thane for those with a penchant for birdwatching. Overgrown with mangrove forests on all sides, Thane Creek is home to several colourful bird species throughout the year. The main attraction here, however, as the name suggests, are the pink-feathered flamingos that make their way to the sanctuary each year in spring. The best time to visit the sanctuary, thus, is between February and May, when the entire area gets coloured pink with the flocks of flamingo.
THINGS TO DO
- Chinchoti Waterfall – The way to Chinchoti waterfall is actually a small but beautiful trek route. The hill and the forest where the waterfall is, are along the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway. Trekkers mostly start at the Kaman village. There are two different trails that open at different places near the waterfall. The Chinchoti waterfall is a rain-fed waterfall, and so during the dry months, the waterfall dries up completely. It is an hour and a half away from Bhiwandi, but the drive is worth every bit.
- Mumbra Waterfall –Located about forty minutes away from Bhiwandi, the Mumbra waterfall is a popular tourist attraction. This monsoon-fed waterfall is on the Mumbra Hills. As it is monsoon-fed, the best time to visit is, naturally, the monsoon season. However, it is strongly advised not to visit the waterfall during heavy rainfall.
- Kolshet Creek –Located about forty minutes away from Bhiwandi, this is another creek popular among locals, located at Kolshet Road, Kolshet.
- Vasai Creek –Located about an hour and a half away from Bhiwandi, Vasai Creek is an estuary of the Ulhas River. It falls within the Konkon district of Maharashtra. Vasai Creek was previously known as Bassein Creek. The greenery in the area has been affected due to heavy construction going on to develop the area and its water transportation system. However, this place still remains a perfect getaway for a serene evening.
- Lonad Caves –The most prominent and popular sight in Bhiwandi, the history of these caves’ dates back to the 5th century. They are a cluster of rock-carved Buddhist caves carved out of the hills near Janwal village in the Kalyan region. Once home to Buddhist monks, these caves are now famous tourist and pilgrim sites. Many Hindu temples are found here, like the famous Khandeshwari temple. The Chaitya griha is the most noteworthy structure of the place. The Chaitya structure has a shrine, a hall, and a double veranda.
- Sankeshwar Shopping Complex – This is another shopping complex focusing mainly on curating garments for all. This shopping complex is again very popular among locals for its reasonable pricing. The shops are owned by local business owners, and they are not brand names.
- Lala Shopping Centre – This place is less for the tourists and more for the locals living here. If you are looking for something in Bhiwandi, chances are you will find it here. All kinds of garments are found here, from kid’s clothes to lehengas for women. Other than that, there are shops selling home accessories and interior decor products, as well as jewellery and beauty products.
- The Miracle Mall –It is one of the popular malls in Bhiwandi. The mall has a lot of branded shops that are otherwise not found in Bhiwandi. It is a good place for people looking to buy from branded names.
The staple food of the region is rice, along with vegetables and pulses. Being a coastal city, fish forms an important component of the food. Bhiwandi, located at a central position is like a buffer of the food habits of the western state of Gujarat and the south. The city has a good number of vegetarians too. The effect of the vibrant life of neighboring Mumbai has trickled onto Bhiwandi as well. A lot of contemporary restaurants have mushroomed in the city of 1.2 million people. These offer a variety of delicacies such as Chinese or Italian. A lot of these exotic restaurants offer home delivery and pickups.
Like most other Indian cities, the streets of Bhiwandi are lined with fast food joints. These can be categorized into different categories. But one can expect to get famed golgappas and chats in plenty. Besides, contemporary Chinese noodles, momos and rolls have seen an uptrend in recent years.
Spices remain a specialty in this part of the world. A lot of Chutneys and Pickles are consumed in Bhiwandi. These can add a dash of taste to the food.
- Saya Grand Club and Spa Resort
- Shangrila Resorts
- Gopalas Residency
- Whispering Woods Villas
- Fab Hotel Arc Palace
- Bhai Jaan Dhaba – Fear not, it is a traditional dhaba in terms of food, but in terms of decor, this dhaba has more of a restaurant look. Like most traditional Dhabas, this one too has an outdoor seating arrangement. The outdoors is beautifully decorated with fountains, pruned plants, and fairy lights.
- Shawaya Dhaba – Another quintessential Dhaba, but this one has style! This Dhaba too has an outdoor sitting area like most Dhabas but the extra tadka lies in the decoration of the place. It is decorated with vibrant colours and fairy lights. Having dinner outdoors here is a treat. It is a favourite with the locals. That’s how you know it's good food.
- Dilli Darbar Dhaba – The traditional roadside Dhaba with a classic outdoor seating area serving the tried and tasted Dhaba-style food.
- Mato Mato – The perfect cocktail bar for all kinds of hangouts, be it with colleagues after work or meeting with friends on the weekend. If you are new to the town, it is a great place to witness the changing face of Thane.
- Butterfly High Bar and Restaurant – Butterfly High Bar and Restaurant is a high-end, fashionable hangout place. The food and the drinks are both equally recommended. It has a very modern, eclectic, and aesthetic interior. The restaurant space is sprawled and not suffocating.
- RD Lounge –Trendy nightclub with a large assortment of imported alcohol, cocktail, and spicy food to accompany the drinks. The interiors live up to the standards of a good nightclub. The lounge is perfect for a relaxing hangout.
Among the main festivals celebrated in Bhiwandi are ‘Ganesh Pooja’ and ‘ Naralli Poornima’. Ganesh Pooja is a celebration of Lord Ganesh with a lot of pomp and show. Whereas Naralli Poornima is the celebration of the fishermen as fishing was the main occupation here. During the rainy season, the fisher folks celebrate this festival where they offer a coconut to the sea as a symbol of devotion. Special dish called ‘NaralliBhaat’ i.e., coconut rice is also served.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Bhiwandi is between the months of October and March when the temperature is comparatively pleasant than the rest of the year. Winters are the most appropriate time of the year to visit Bhiwandi for sightseeing since the weather is neither hot nor rainy.
How to Reach
- By Air: The nearest airport to Bhiwandi is Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport situated in Mumbai.
- By Train: The nearest railway stations are situated in Bhiwandi itself- Bhiwandi Road railway station and Kharbao railway station.
- By Road: Bhiwandi is also connected to the neighbouring cities of Maharashtra via local buses and taxis.