North Konkan is the northern coast of Maharashtra, India. It consists of Mumbai City, Mumbai Suburban, Palghar and Thane districts. Lying between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, it is blessed with beaches, mountains and bustling cityscapes. Besides being home to one of the largest cities in India, the region has become a popular getaway for daytrippers escaping from the bustle of cities.
- 4 Mumbai (Bombay) — summer capital of Maharashtra, the financial capital of India, the second most populous city in India
- 5 — a planned city
North Konkan is a region with sharp contrasts. The western part of the region is highly urbanised and is part of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), while the rest of North Konkan is rural and home to a poor tribal population.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region is the fast-developing conurbation in the region, consisting of Alibag, Kalyan-Dombivli, Karjat, Khopoli, Matheran, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Vasai-Virar. The cities surrounding Mumbai are home to a large commuter population as they are reasonably well-connected by Mumbai's suburban trains. However, once you move away from this area, you will find great beauty in the form of hills, beaches and forests. Many small rivers flow down from the Western Ghats to the Arabian Sea and some of these supply water to Mumbai. The region is a magnet for visitors from cities who are looking for a weekend getaway from their fast-paced existence.
Marathi predominates, but Hindi is also commonly spoken. As the region borders Gujarat, you may also find a few Gujarati speakers. Within the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, most educated locals will be well-versed in Marathi, Hindi and English.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (BOM IATA) is the only commercial airport in North Konkan. Another commercial airport is under construction at Navi Mumbai, which will be open in 2024 at the latest.
There is a lot to see in North Konkan, from British-era heritage buildings to unspoilt beaches, forts and rock-cut caves. There are several natural attractions in Mumbai alone, especially in the northern areas.
Unfortunately, most cities in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region are unliveable hellholes and suffer from overcrowding, poor civic facilities and filth. In addition, they are often ruled by land-grabbing mafia dons. In complete contrast, Thane and Navi Mumbai are better planned, have good roads and are quite liveable. Still, it is best to err on the side of safety and act according to your local environment.