“Grew up in a small town
And when the rain would fall down
I just stared out of my window . . . .”
No song has been able to describe me best the way these soulful lyrics of Kelly Clarkson do. As I nurture my dream of scaling different peaks in my career, I can never forget the place where I grew up, the place which taught me how to dream, the place which taught me that the sky is the limit – my very own city – Thane. Thane, a city which always lived under the shadow of the Maximum City has already begun to carve its niche, slowly and steadily.
Thane city (also known as Thana), located to the northeast of Mumbai, is also the administrative headquarters of Thane district. Thane district is located along the Konkan belt in Maharashtra. Thane has few stories to offer when it comes to discussing the history of the city. It finds a mention in the writings of Ptolemy, Marco Polo, Friar Jordanus, Ibn Batuta and many other travelers who visited it. The Portuguese who step foot in Thane in around 1530, ruled it for 200 years till 1739 and called it Cacabe de Thane. It was then captured by the brave Maratha warriors who ruled it till 1784 until the British took over the Thane fort. It was in 1863 when the Thane Municipal Council was formed, with a population of about 9000 people. Thane came to be known as an industrial town after independence, in the 60s and the 70s. The growth of trade, transport and constructional activities followed in the 80s. The 90s saw Thane witness a major boom in the real estate sector. Today, Thane stands proud as one of the fastest growing cities in Maharashtra and one of the most sought after places for all those looking for a second home.
Thane, with over 30 lakes in and around, is also sometimes called the Lake City, the most famous one being Masunda. The area around Masunda, known as TalaoPali is a popular hangout zone. It is crowded on weekends with people, mostly from middle class families queuing up for boating. It is a picturesque sight at night with yellow lights surrounding the massive stretch of water. The famous Kopineshwar Temple located in the busy Jambhli Naka Market, is situated diametrically opposite TalaoPali. Legend says that the temple was originally located at the bottom of the lake and emerged one fine day. People considered this to be a blessing from Lord Shiva. It is also said that the height of this temple increases by an iota every year and when it reaches a certain level, it would be Armageddon for all of us .These lakes are an integral element of the city’s demography not only because they are tourist attractions but also because they supply water to the neighbouring areas as well.
It would be unfair to leave out the fact that Thane city was blessed with an abundance of greenery, with hills and forests in many places away from the heart of the city. But with constructions happening at a frenzied pace, the green areas have dwindled in number. However, nature lovers should not be disappointed. The Yeoor hills remain one of the most popular getaways for most Thaneites. The Swami Math located here is a must visit. Many resorts have sprung up here to cash in on the popularity of these majestic hills.