Thane (also called Thana) is a city in Konkan, Maharashtra. It is the headquarters of Thane district. Its biggest claim to fame is that the first railway line laid in India was from Boribandar to Thane station.
Thane, is known as City of Lakes. It is also known as Elder sister of Mumbai (Bombay) as Thane district was divided and part of Thane district that is from Mulund to Sion was given to Mumbai for its future development. Also Mumbai is heavily depend on Thane for water supply from Lakes. Thane for all practical purposes is a suburb of Mumbai is past and has passed. Today Thane city area is 147 sq.kms with more than 1.2Million population.
Politically, Thane city is divided in 2 parts, East and West because a railway line passes through the middle of city.
It is worth mentioning for the 30 lakes located within and around the city, earning it the sobriquet of Lake City. Apart from being a source of water for Thane and its larger neighbour Mumbai, the lakes are also tourist attractions. The areas surrounding the city are beautiful. The scenic locales, old forts, boat rides and resorts make Thane a great getaway from Mumbai.
Thane"s climate can be same as Mumbai"s climate but it is slightly cooler than Mumbai
The earliest evidence of Thane appears in the works of the Greek geographer, Ptolemy, who, in his writings ( 135 - 150 AD) refers to a place called Chersonesus, which, according to researches, is the area around Thane creek. The city crops up again in the Middle Ages and slabs and copper plates dating back to the period have been discovered in Thane. One of them, dug up from the foundations of Thane Fort in 1787, dated 1078 AD, is apparently a land grant from Arikesara Devaraja, sovereign of the city of Tagara, wherein he address the inhabitants of a city called Sri Sthanaka. Friar Jordanus, a great traveler, who visited the city between AD 1321 and 1324, describes it as being under a Muslim governor. He leaves a detailed sketch of early Christians in Thane and refers to the martyrdom of four Christian priests in the region, more than 200 years before the Portuguese ever set foot in India. The celebrated Ibn Batuta and Abul Feda, contemporaries of Friar Jordanus, also came here. They refer to Thane as Kukin Tana and speak of its fame as a port from which ships sailed to the gulf carrying a kind of cloth called 'Tanasi' which was produced in Thane. Duarte Barbosa, a noted traveler, described Thane by the name Tana Mayambu 25 years before the Portuguese conquest. He paints a vivid picture of the town as one of Moorish mosques and temples, with many pleasant gardens. The Portuguese came to Thane about 1530 and ruled for over 200 years till 1739. Thane was then known as Cacabe de Tana. Work on the Thane Fort began in 1730. The Marathas, who conquered Bassein and Thane in 1737 and 1739, held sway over the region till 1784, when the British captured the Fort and ruled Thane, then also called Tana. They made it the headquarters of the district administration with a district collector stationed in Thane.
The Thane Municipal Council was formed in 1863 when the city had a population of 9000 souls.
Thane is witnessing a gradual transition from being a manufacturing hub to an economy driven by services sector. The State government in general and MIDC in particular are also acting as a catalyst to boost this transition. The Wagle Estate MIDC is gradually becoming a major IT & ITES, services industry hub. The Ashar IT Park marks a key milestone towards achieving it. Another IT Park on Ghodbunder Road is G-Corp IT Park, near Hypercity Mall at Kasar Wadavli.
Most of the global IT & ITES companies have started shifting focus and relocating to Thane on account of its cost efficiencies and highly skilled low attrition manpower. The IT parks are built using state-of-the-art technology, packed with all the ingredients comparable to any international IT park.
The nearest airport is the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport , Mumbai. Once you get off, you will need to take a taxi or hire a car. The distance to Thane is about 36 kilometers (22 miles), the drive can take between 45 to 75 minutes depending on the traffic.
Mumbai's taxis are allowed into Thane. The prepaid taxi service available at the airport is the recommended hassle-free way of getting to Thane. The fare you pay at the counter includes the toll you need to pay when you leave Mumbai.
The best way to get to Thane from Mumbai using public transport is to take the local train service.
Although Andheri is the nearest railway station from the airport a better option would be to take an auto-rikshaw to Kurla or Ghatkopar station(both these stations fall on the central suburban line) and then board any suburban Northbound Local Suburban train (all local suburban trains halt at Thane)to Thane. You've the option to board a fast or a slow train. But better option is to board Thane Local Train which ends at Thane station. Trains can be located by Abbrevations for example T - Thane so any train with T abbrevation on Digital Train time display will end at Thane.
The auto-rikshaw ride to Kurla or Ghatkopar stations would cost a little more, about Rs 60 to Rs 70, compared with Andheri which will be about Rs.40 to Rs.50 but you would end up saving about 1 hour to 1&1/2 hour. An added benefit is that you get to board a direct train to Thane thus avoiding the change over at Dadar.
Other option if you are coming from the airport is, take an auto-rickshaw to Andheri station which is served by the Western Railway and buy a ticket to Thane. You need to take a southbound train towards Churchgate, get off at Dadar (which is the interchange point) if possible avoid peak hour journey if you are new in Mumbai specially between 8 and 11AM or between 6 and 8PM, get on the Central Railway Line and then take a northbound train to Thane. This method is recommended only if you are adventurous at heart and are not carrying any luggage.
Thane is also well served by long distance trains, many of which stop at Thane station en route Mumbai.
Two main roads enter the city from Mumbai. The older one is the Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg (commonly abbreviated as LBS Marg) and Eastern Express highway. Both of them are toll roads - the toll gate (called naaka) for the former is called Mulund Checknaka while that for the latter is called Anand Nagar Octroi Naka. The toll at both the naakas is 30 rupees one way for a car which is somewhat unfair because there is a huge difference in the condition of the two roads.
LBS marg is invariably congested, encroached upon and potholed. It goes through the heart of Mumbai's Mumbai/Central Suburbs. The Eastern Express highway is wide, well-maintained and smooth. It goes through an uninhabited area where development is prohibited. Use this road to get in, even though the distance will be slightly more. The roads intersect at Marathon chowk ("Marathon square", because that's where the Thane Mayor's Marathon starts from.). LBS marg then goes right through the city, while the Eastern Express highway skirts it and turns into NH - 3 highway to Nashik and Agra.
There are very few BEST buses that go right up to Marathon Chowk (It is known as "Teen Haath naka")- 399 and 496 Ltd. Once you get off, catch a TMT bus or auto-rickshaw.From this spot Thane railway station is hardly 10-12 min walk if you go by following Gokhale Road , & auto should not cost more than 10-15 Rupees.
There are few more BEST routes that enter into Thane. 499 - Ghatkopar Depot to Vrindavan Society. 493 - Anushakti Nagar to Balkum via Majiwada. 494 - Ghatkopar Depot to Retibandar Kalwa.
BEST also has air-conditioned bus kinglong route AS700 for Borivali, from Thane railway station east, frequency every 15 minutes. early bus 6.00AM last bus 11.30PM. There is also a normal bus available for the same route as 700 Ltd.
Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) also called ST bus service from Thane railway station west frequency every 15 minutes.
BRTS Buses originate from Cadbury Junction for Backbay and Nehru Planetarium
Most private buses from various parts of the country will stop in Thane. Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses will ply from various parts of Maharashtra to Thane.
Thane Municipal Transport (TMT) commuters helpline number 1800-22-9901 to get the information about TMT buses
Note that auto-rickshaws from Mumbai cannot enter Thane city limits. You will have to change over to another one at the toll-gate. But nowdays there is no need of a special permit to travel from Thane to Mumbai or vice-versa. You may ask the mumbai rikshaw driver to take you to thane or vice versa.
The area around Masunda Lake, called Talao pali ("talao" meaning lake) is the heart of the city. Most of the important landmarks are located here.
Ram Maruti Road, Gokhale Road and LBS Marg are the important roads to criss-cross this area. The other important road is Ghodbunder Road which connects the eastern and western halves of the city and joins the Eastern Express Highway.
Thane Municipal Transport (TMT) runs a bus service through the city.
The most common way to get around in Thane is to hire an auto rickshaw which runs on [CNG http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CNG] Fuel. Payment is by meter. Recently the government as made it compulsory for the auto-rickshaws to install an electronic meter which shows the amount and the distance traveled. If you know the approximate km to destination, then you can negotiate the charge lumpsum before hand e.g Thane to Sion is 15-18 km and fair charge would be Rs. 130-140 (latest rate) but the meter will show Rs.180-190. Thus fixing 140-150 before sitting saves you a lot of headache.
If you are on a day trip from Mumbai, one of the options is to catch a taxi in Mumbai and use it to go around Thane city. You cannot flag down taxis in the city as you won't find any, but you can certainly hire one.
Yeoor Hills, also known as Mama Bhanja Hills, is a group of picturesque hills in Thane. It is an unspoiled and pollution free area, carpeted by natural foliage and fauna.
Yeoor Hills is home to about 78 known species of birds and about 12 different species of animals. Besides, it has the highest density of leopards in India. A trek through Yeoor Hills at the Thane end of Sanjay Gandhi National Park will be an enchanting experience.
The prime attraction here is the 150-year-old holy shrine of Mama Bhanja.
Tikuji-Ni-Wadi, a complete family theme park, is nearby.
The old shopping areas are the ever busy Ram Maruti Road and the Naupada road towards Thane Station. There you will find shops on the roadside. New malls are coming up on Ghodbunder Road and the Eastern Express highway. Prominent among them are:
In addition, there is a McDonalds close to the railway station, another McDonalds at the Lake City Mall, a Pizza hut at Paanch Pakadi area & Wonder mall (see Buy) and a Dominos near Paanch Pakadi area & Hiranandani Estate.
Hotel Vijaydurg:Famous for Malvani food with delicious & spicy prawns, crabs, shell masala, malvani thali with fried pamplet, bombil, halva etc. Solkadi to drink after food for digestion. Located at Majiwada before Flyover from station end.
Some of the restaurants listed under Eat have bars where you can have a drink, but Thane is not a place known for its nightlife. The lower end bars tend to be sleazy, so you need to be careful.
Cafe Coffee Day  has two outlets here.
'*Amruta Restaurant, Naupada. Amazing Vegetarian food. Especially the awesome Pav bhaaji is sure to make to lick your fingers edit
There are many lodges near the railway station, but there is a lack of decent hotels.