Northwest Mumbai consists of the suburbs of Manori, Jogeshwari, Borivali, Gorai, Mira Road, Bhyander, Naigaon, Vasai, Nala Sopara, Virar, Goregaon, Malad, Kandivali, and Dahisar. They lie on the Western train line and are usually considered part of the Western Suburbs. The district is home mainly to the middle class providing them with more affordable living. Apart from the usual suburban sprawl, this area has some nice beaches, especially near Malad. Jogeshwari has hot springs which are reputed to have medicinal properties. Borivali is the entry point for the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, which explains why the wildlife reserve is more popularly known as Borivali National Park.
All of these suburbs are on western train route. Western express highway which runs parallel to the train route on its eastern side is the main way to get get to these suburbs. It can take anywhere between 30 minutes to two hours to get here by train from downtown Mumbai. Trains are more dependable with regard to time, but heavily crowded most of the time.
The Western Line of the Mumbai Suburban Rail Network provides fast access to the tourist spots of North Mumbai region. Some of the important stations are:
- 1 Jogeshwari. Nearby spots: Jogeshwari Caves. Mahakali Caves and Madh Caves.
- 2 Borivilli. Nearby spots: Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Kanheri Caves and Mandapeshwar Caves.
- 3 Bhayandar. Nearby spots: Dongri Fort, Ghodbunder Fort and Our Lady of Bethlehem Church.
- 4 Naigaon. Nearby spots: Vasai or Bassein Fort.
- 1 Kanheri Caves, Borivali, Mumbai (Stn. Borivali). 9AM-5PM. This is a nice place to visit for history enthusiasts. This is a complex of Buddhist temples cut out of the rock. ₹5.
- 2 Mandapeshwar Caves, Laxman Mhatre Rd, Mandapeshwar, Dahisar West, Borivali West (Dahisar Railway Station 0.8 km).
- 3 Jogeshwari Caves, Gupha Tekdi, Jogeshwari (Nearest Railhead Jogeshwari). Consisting of a single cave dating back to 520 to 550 CE.
- 4 Mahakali Caves (Kondivite Caves), Mahakali Caves Rd, Sunder Nagar, Andheri East (Nearest Railhead Jogeshwari). The complex consists of 19 rock cut caves constructed between 1st century BCE to 6th century CE. The caves are divided into two parts. South East section has 15 caves while the North West section have 4 caves. Kondivite (Cave 9) is the largest cave and the only one to house a chaitya. The cave 9 also houses several sculpture of Buddha but the figures are mutilated.
- 5 Vasai or Bassein Fort (Portuguese: Fortaleza de São Sebastião de Baçaim, वसईचा किल्ला), Killa road area, Vasai village, in the Vasai taluka (county) of the District of Thane (Vasai Road Railway Station 5 km N. - from Churchgate take a Western Railways train bound to Virar and get off at Vasai Road. If someone is coming from the Central Railway or Central Railway Harbour Line then they have to switch to the Western Railway line at either Dadar, Bandra or Andheri. There are 5 trains daily to Vasai Road from Dombivli, Diva and Panvel and 5 trains from Vasai Road to Diva and Panvel. There is a State Road Transport Bus Terminus & Station adjacent and to the immediate west of the Vasai Road Railway Station in Manickpur-Navghar. The destination for buses going to the Vasai fort is "Killa Bunder" or "Fort Jetty/Quay." There are buses every half hour. Ticket costs you ₹7 and you can get off at the last stop and walk around. Auto-rickshaws are also available around ₹20 per head.). This is a large fort. The name "Bassein" is a version of an apparently native name that may have a connection to the Vasa Konkani tribals of the North Konkan region, extending from Mumbai into South Gujarat. Portuguese mariners exploring the north Konkan Coast, discovered the Arab Sultanate of Khambat or Cambay, building or renovating or expanding the fort in the early 1400s and attacked it in a failed effort to seize it. The ramparts overlook what is alternatively called the Vasai Creek and the Bhayander Creek and are almost complete, though overgrown by vegetation. Several watch-towers still stand, with safe staircases leading up. The Portuguese buildings inside the fort are in ruins, although there are enough standing walls to give a good idea of the floor plans of these structures. Some have well-preserved façades. In particular, many of the arches have weathered the years remarkably well. They are usually decorated with carved stones, some weathered beyond recognition, others still displaying sharp chisel marks. Three chapels inside the fort are still recognisable. They have façades typical of 17th-century Portuguese churches. The southernmost of these has a well preserved barrel-vaulted ceiling. The nature: It is a great place to observe butterflies, birds, plants and reptiles.
- 6 Dongri Fort (Irmitri Fort), Dongri area. Dongri Fort or Dongri Hill Fort It is in a dilapidated condition and is declared 'endangered'.
- 7 Ghodbunder Fort, Ghodbander Village, Ghodbunder, Mira Bhayandar. Medieval fort built by the Portuguese between the 16th & 18th centuries. It was later occupied by the Maratha Empire and then served as the district headquarters of the East India Company. The word Ghodbhunder literally means horse port (Ghode = Horse, Bhunder = Port) and the place was used for horse trading between the Portuguese and Arabs. The fort is a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
- 8 Madh Fort, Near Kileshwar Mahadev Mandir, Kileshwar Road, Madh. A 17th-century Portuguese fort which doubled up as a watch tower. It is under the Indian Air Force and a permission is required to access the interiors. The exteriors are accessible and is more or less intact.
Forest and national parks
- 9 Gorai West mangrove forests, — Sector 8? (Borivali Railway Station 3 km east).
- 10 Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivali, Mumbai (from Stn. Borivali 3 km eadt), ☏ . Daily 7:30AM-7:30PM. Check out this relatively unknown national park in North Mumbai. It's in Borivali and serves as the lungs of Mumbai. It's quite famous for its leopards and the caves inside the park. Within the park are three fun activities: pedal boating, a toy train ride that runs over a bridge and through a tunnel, and a "safari" bus ride into the park to view tigers and lions. Tickets for each activity are sold on site.
- 11 Manori, tiny island off Marve beach near Malad (from Malad station, you can take an auto for ₹60 or a BEST bus and reach Marve, from where you can board a government-operated ferry). This is a small beautiful island with nice beaches, but dangerous for swimming. The beach on the northern side is cleaner. This is a nice place to spend the weekend though. It has a couple of hotels (see under sleep.) Make sure to try the sea-food here. Also be sure to book in advance, as the rooms get filled up, especially over the weekend. ₹2.50 per person for the ferry, additional charges for vehicles..
- 12 Velankanni Beach.
- 13 Gorai Beach, Western end of Borivali (take at the Gorai Creek a ferry. This takes 15 minutes. Rickshaw is available on the other side of the ferry and they charge around ₹160.). On holidays the beach is full of visitors and localities. Plenty of accommodation options are also available at Gorai beach
Places of worship
- 14 Vejreshwari Temple, Police Colony, Vasai West, Vasai (next to Vasai Fort - 'Chimaji Appa' Bus Stop 100 m).
- 15 Aarey milk colony, Aarey colony Rd (Borivali Railway Station 2.1 km west). Another green pocket of Mumbai. You can take a tour of the milk production plant and have a picnic outside.
- 16 Temple of Sai-Dham (Sai Baba Mandir), Mahatma Gandhi Rd, Sukarwadi, Borivali East (on NH8 highway - Borivali Railway Station 1.1 km west). There are many Hindu deities worshipped under one roof.
- 17 Vazira Naka (Swayambhu Ganesh Temple), —Lokmanya Tilak Rd, Borivali West (Borivali Railway Station 1.4 km east). This is very well known for Siddhivinayak Temple of Lord Ganesh (Swayambhu).
- 18 Our Lady of Bethlehem Church (Dongri Church), Uttan Rd, Dongri, Uttan, Mira Bhayandar. Built in 1613 this is one of the oldest Church of Mumbai.
- 19 Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church (IC Church). Built in 1544, ten years after the Bombay-Baçaim coastal tracts were ceded by the Sultan of Cambay, Bahadur Shah, to Portugal by the Treaty of Baçaim
- 1 Essel World, Global Pagoda Road, Gorai Creek, western coast of Borivali (take a ferry from Borivali or from Marve Ferry Point), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. It is an amusement park. There are 34 major rides not to include the coin operated games & a mini club. There are over 30,000 specimens in their botanical gardens and 79 rides and slides & Essel World attracts almost 1.8 million visitors each year. +phone=+91 22 6528 0305 Essel World ₹800, Water Kingdom ₹900, combined ticket ₹1200. discounted tickets also.
- 2 Gorai Udyan Garden, Gorai Sector-1, Borivali (Borivali Railway Station 2 km east).
- 3 Jhansi Ki Rani Garden, ~102, Link road, Eksar Village, Eksar, Borivali (adjacent to the famous Eskay Resort - Borivali Railway Station 3 km SE). Also here the Lakshmibai Udyaan Pond.
- 4 Prabodhankar Thackrey Auditorium, Sodawala lane, Borivali (Borivali Railway Station 400 m south). Where a variety of dramas, plays are scheduled (in Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi & also in some south Indian languages).
- 5 Veer Savarkar Udayan Garden, Borivali (entrances from T.P.S. road, Factory lane, and Babha - Borivali Railway Station 400 m east). an ideal place for all which have facilities like jogging track, boating area, kids play garden, skating, etc.
It is a growing area of shopping malls.One of the best malls in Mumbai are locating in this belt due to the rising affluence of the locality. One that stands out is InOrbit, Malad. Other than that places to shop are concentrated near railway stations.
- 1 Growels 101, Akurli Rd, off Western Express Hwy, Kandivali East (Kandivali Stn. 0.8 km west). Four-level shopping centre.
- 2 Infinity Malad mall, Link Road, Malad West (Malad Station 1 km east), ☏ . There are various areas for shopping, multiplex theatre complex, entertainment & games, food court, recreational area, multipurpose hall/ unit, offices, storage, parking, services, etc.
- 3 Oberoi Mall, Dindoshi, Goregaon East, Oberoi Garden City (Malad Station NW 0.5 km), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Mall hours: daily 11AM-9:30PM, food court 11AM-11:30PM. It offers the upmarket shopper over 500 brands under one roof.
- Banjara Dhaba, Borivli West, Rushi Complex, close to IC Colony. Good variety of Punjabi and Chinese food. Reasonably priced and decent Dhaba style ambiance. Drinks served.
- 'Good Ambience, Kids love the place due to the Jungle theme inside the restaurant. Priced reasonably.
- Machaan Restaurant in Malad west, Above Croma, on link road is a good family restaurant &s erves some excellent veg & non veg Indian food. Drinks are also served.
- Rajdhani, in Orbit mall, Malad. Great Gujarati Thali.
- Salute, Borivli West, Kastur Park. Good variety of Punjabi food. Moderately priced.
- Silver Coin, IC colony, Borivli. Good variety of Moghlai, Punjabi food along with a few continental dishes. Average meal per person around ₹350.
- Urban Tadka, Kandivali, Off West Express Highway. Good variety of Punjabi. Moderately priced. Drinks served.
This is not a great place to drink. It has only few good pubs. Drinks are served in a few good restaurants. A large number of men drink in smaller and cheaper bars, but women are not generally seen in such places.
- 1 Star of Mumbai, 172, Shahid Bhagat Singh Society, JB Nagar, Andheri East (next to 'Kanti Nagar Joggers Park' - Airport Road Metro Station), ☏ . ₹1700-₹2200.
- 2 Tourist Resort, Vairala Talao, Gorai Beach, Uttan Road, Borivali West, ☏ . Working hours: M-Sa 7AM-11PM ₹1,500-2,000.
- 3 Blue Balerina, Erangal Beach, Madh Marve Road, Malad West, Malad West, Marve Rd, Chikuwadi, Malad West, ☏ . ₹1,900-₹3,800.
- 4 The Resort Hotel, 11, Madh-Marve Road, Aksa Beach, Malad (West) (Goregaon Stn 5 km east), ☏ , fax: , , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 10AM, check-out: 10AM. Five-star hotel, close to Aksa beach. +phones= +91-22-2844 5538, +91-22-2844 5260, +91-22-2844 5318 ₹5,800-16,000, includes complimentary breakfast, excludes taxes.
- 5 The Retreat, Erangal Beach, Madh-Marve Road, Malad (W), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. A five-star beach facing hotel. ₹4,500-15,000.