Thane district is to the north of Bombay in the Konkan Region. Lying between the Sahyadri mountain range and the Arabian sea, it is blessed both with beaches and mountains. The district has become a popular getaway for daytrippers escaping from the bustle of Bombay.
The district gets its name from the city of Thane which contains its headquarters. The southern part of the district is highly urbanised as it borders Bombay, while the northern part is rural and home to a poor tribal population.
The southern cities are home to a large commuter population as they are reasonably well-connected by Bombay's local trains. Unfortunately, except for Thane and Navi Mumbai, the others are unliveable hellholes and suffer from overcrowding, poor civic facilities and filth. In addition, they are often ruled by landgrabbing mafia dons. In complete contrast, Thane and Navi Mumbai are better planned, have good roads and are quite liveable. In fact, Thane city was once judged the cleanest city in India.
Once you move away from the cities, you will find great beauty in the form of hills, beaches and forests. Many small rivers flow down from the Sahyadri mountains to the Arabian sea, and some of these supply water to Bombay and Thane. The district is a magnet for visitors from Bombay who are looking for a weekend getaway from their fast-paced existence.
The district does not have an airport. The nearest one is the Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport, Mumbai.
The urban areas to the south such as Thane city, Dombivali, Kalyan and Vasai are served by Mumbai's suburban local trains. Thane city, Dombivali and Kalyan are served by the Central railway and Vasai is served by the Western line. The Central and Western lines of the Indian Railways run through Thane district, the former having a stops at Thane, Kalyan and the latter at Palghar and Dahanu road. Navi Mumbai is served by Central Railway Harbour line.
NH 8, connecting Bombay with Ahmedabad, runs through Thane district. It forms part of the Bombay-Delhi leg of the Golden Quadrilateral and so the road conditions are very good.
The interiors of the district are served by MSRTC. But unless you want to ride in rickety buses, avoid this option.
You can hire taxis from Bombay and Thane city. Rates are generally charged on a per kilometer basis, but you will have to pay the to-and-fro fare even if you are on a one-way trip.
Your options are the State transport bus, the auto-rickshaw or to hire a taxi. Traveling by trains is not a good idea if you need to get around within the district.