Vasai-Virar is a city in the Konkan division of the west Indian state of Maharashtra. It comprises of one of the most populated parts in the state and is also a part of the capital Mumbai Metropolitan Region.
Vasai-Virar has a collection of historical and religious attractions like ancient forts and temples as well as ecological ones like waterfalls and greenery. Some of the must-visit places in Vasai-Virar are as listed -
- Chinchoti waterfall – Scenic natural beauty; has a lovely trekking trail leading up to it.
- Suruchi Beach – A sandy beach with breath-taking views of sunset.
- Tungareshwar Waterfall
- Pelhar Dam – A beautiful dam surrounded by mountains and greenery.
- The Great Escape Water Park – An amusement park.
- Fort Bassein - A popular tourist attraction; an ancient fort with a Portuguese architectural influence (due to its Portuguese-Indian history).
- Vajreshwari Temple
- ISKCON Temple Vasai
- Jivdani Temple
- Ghodbunder Fort - Another historic fort (partly ruined) built by the Portuguese in India. Though it consists of ruins, the place offers some mesmerizing views.
The major festivals celebrated in Vasai Virar are –
- Makar Sankranti - an auspicious harvest festival celebrated in the month of January.
- Ganesh Chaturthi – A major festival in the state of Maharashtra, this is celebrated in all cites and town in this state, to worship Lord Ganesha (who is also the son of Lord Shiva).
- Holi – Festival of colours; celebrated in the month of March.
- Navrathri& Dussehra (A 10-day festival, where Goddess Durga is revered)
- GudiPadwa – Marathi New Year Day (celebrated all over Maharashtra state)
- MahaShivratri (People worship Lord Shiva and fast for long hours)
- Diwali – The festival of lights; celebrated in October-November. During this festival Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, is worshipped.
Vasai-Virar is a commercial place with various shopping spots for people to buy things like inexpensive clothes, fancy jewellery, accessories for men, women and kids, and home décor items and handicrafts. Here are some of the best shopping spots in the city to check out -
- Dattatray Shopping Center
- Viva Swastik mall
- Dhuri Center
- Dattani Square Mall
Maharashtrian cuisine is predominant in Vasai-Virar but the place also has great street foods that are a must-try, such as –
- Pav Bhaji – Butter-toasted buns served with a spicy mashed vegetable curry topped with lots of butter, chopped onions and lemon juice.
- Vada Pav – A popular local bun sandwich with spicy potato patties and chutneys.
- Pani Puri – Small crisp fried dough balls stuffed with potatoes, sprouts, etc, filled with a spicy tangy water.
- Chaat – A savoury snackwith different elements like a puree (chutney), cooked or boiled potatoes and peas, sweet yogurt, chilli paste and spices; served as an hors d'oeuvre or at roadside tracks from stalls or food carts.
Following is a list of some of the best restaurants in Vasai-Virar to try the local delicacies as well as other interesting foods and sumptuous meals –
- Kerala Café
- Hotel Rishikesh Restaurant
- Rudra Shiv Sagar
- Farm House Garden
- Kubera Veg Treat
- Farm House Globa
- Zeal Skybar
Some of the best hotels in Vasai-Virar for a comfortable stay include the following:
- The Rooms of Status
- Hotel Galaxy’s Vaibhav Vasai
- Aditya Residency
- Hotel Galaxy residency Vasai
- Hotel Swastick
- Rudra Shelter Business Hotel
- Hotel Hill View
Vasai-Virar also has a few good bars and pubs for people to hang out at during late hours. These include –
- Pankha Fast Bar & Lounge
- Wings Nightclub
- Agent Jack’s Bar
- Roshan Bar
- Dwar Bar & Restaurant
- Sai Leela Bar & Restaurant
Vasai-Virar STD Code – 0250 (to be used before dialling numbers from a device that is not locally registered)
- Police - 100
- Fire - 101
- Blood Bank – 104, 1910
- AIDS Helpline - 1097
- Women helpline - 103