English District Collectorate, Thane




Thane District Profile



  Ancient History of Thane


The History of Thane district can be divided into four major periods, The Early Hindu period partly mythic and partly historic, coming down to about AD 1300 and properly called Ancient period;

T the Muslim period lasting from 1300 to 1660 the Maratha period from 1660 to 1800; and the British period since 1880. The chief interest in the history of Thane district is that, with comparatively few and short breaks, some of its ports, Sopara, Kalyan, Thane or Sanjan, has from pre-historic times, taken a leading part in the foreign commerce of Western India. From pre-historic times the Thane coast has had relation with land beyond the Indian Ocean.

From B.C. 2500 to B.C. 500 there are sign of trade with Egypt, Phoenicia and Babylon; from B.C.250 to A.D. 250 there are dealing with, perhaps settlements of, Greeks and Parthians; from A.D. 250 to A.D. 640 there were Persian alliance and Persian settlements; from A.D. 700 to A.D. 1200 there were Musalman trade relations and Musalman settlements from Arabia and Persia; in 1530 there was part of conquest by the Portuguese; and in 1664 the settlement of British.

The Thane district forms part of North Konkan also called Aprant (The western end) later known as Puri-Konkan after its capital Puri. The earliest known fact in the history of Thane coast & incidentally of Apranta belongs to engraving of Ashoka edicts an basalt bouldes at sopara about six milles north of vasai. According to Buddhist writting sopara was a royal seat & great center of commerce during the life line of Gautam Buddha (B.C. 540)

In Shilharas regime Thane city was described as pretty town by the Arab writers. The merchants who carried on the Thane trade were local Hindu, Muslman & Parsi traders. The shilaharas ruled over North Konkan for move than 400 years. They gave liberal patronage to art & Culture the temple at Ambarnath which is still extant testify the architectural & Sculptural skill of the age.


  Moghuls (1300-1500)


During Moghul period, Turk rulers had destroyed many temples & Churches of which they made mosques for Muhammad. Under the emperor of Delhi, a religous officer or kazi governed by a military officer or malik & Thane.

Under the strong rule of Muhammad Tughlak the Moghul’s maintained their supremacy in north Konkan. In spite of this two Hindu chiefs held territory on the direct rought between Daulatabad & the coast. Mahadev chief of Baglan & the chief of Jawhar, who in 1341 was recognized by the Delhi court as the lord of twenty-two forts & of a country yielding a yearly revenue of Rs.9,00,000 in one of its stone inscription dated A.D. 1464 that the Hindu Chief of Bhiwandi had power to make land grants.


  Portuguese (1500-1670)


Portuguese history would be incomplete without the mention of Vasai. The Portuguese remain in possession of Vasai for roughly two hundred years from 1535 to 1739. Nuno da Cunha, who was generally described as the founder of vasai. Timber was sent from vasai to mecca to help the Egyption to build a fleet.Thane coast was famous for its ship building. The ships built between 1550 & 1600 great ships built at Agashi & Vasai made many voyages to Europe.

The Portuguese power passed into the hands of Maratha after a long siege by Chimaji Appa, the brother of Peshwa Bajirao I
For about sixty-four years, from 1739 to 1802 Vasai remained under the Maratha finally, in 1802 by the Treaty of vasai it became a British possession & in 1818 it was incorporated in the Bombay Presidency.




In 1670’s the great Maratha warrior was defeated in 1670’s by the Portuguese forces at sea. But later Shivaji defeated them on land & took several forts to his reign.

Shivaji rocked the Mughal Empire & inflicted several defeats upon the kingdom of Bijapur & Golconda. To prove his equality over the Moghal emperor. Shivaji was crowned the title of Chhatrapati in June 1674 at Raigad fort. Shivaji started levying chauth cess he adopted the system for his own purposed & developed into a profitable instrument for the expansion of his Swarajya.


  Maratha - Portuguese


Vengaon near Karjat was part of Thane district was the birth place of famous Nana Saheb. Thane had no share in the 1857 mutinies. Vasudev Balvant Phadke was in Thane jail and was to be removed to the Andamans.

The oppressive vernacular press act. the huge expenditure incurred during the second Afgan war, the lowering of the age-limit for admission of Indian to Indian civil services & the opening of the Muhammedan Anglo Oriental college at Aligarh all these events took place in Lord Lyttons unblessed regime which left sad memories in the peoples mind.

Under the British rule the trade of the district had developed from 411 lakhs of import & 330 lakhs of exports in 1805 to 2357 lakhs of imports & 2921 lakhs of export in 1881 an increased of about seven fold.





Thane District forms a part of North Konkan Region. Which lies between the Sahyadri hills in the east and the Arabian Sea in the West. It has coastal line of about 113 Kms. It lies Between 18°42' and 20°20' North latitudes and 72°45' to 73°48' East longitudes in eastern part of the state Its East-West spread is maximum at the South which is about 100 Kms. The North-south length is approximately 140 Kms. District head quarter Thane is about 25 Kms from the international airport and 35 Kms from the main down town of Mumbai City.




The district has triangular shape. Pune and Ahemednagar districts lie on the East. Nashik district on the East and North-East, Gujarat and Centrally administrated areas of Dadra and Nagar Haveli lie on the North, Arabian Sea forms the North West boundary; while Mumbai and Sub-Urban Mumbai Lie on the South.



The district is divided into three parts on the basis of its topography.


The central portion having Sahyadri ranges and its slopes is mainly forest area


The Central Region covering mostly paddy fields and


Western part along the West coast, where horticulture, cultivation of high quality fodder and vegetables are agricultural practices.




The Sahyadri ranges, having unbroken boundary run North South in the Eastern region of the district. There are also spurs running laterally to the main ranges. The heights of the mountains are maximum on the East and diminish gradually Westwards. The mountain ranges also spread unevenly in the Central region of the district. But none of them rises higher than Sahyadries.

Yeoor Hills or Mama Bhanja Hills is a hill station in Thane district. This naturally beautiful and pollution free area attracts lot of people.




The two main rivers, which join the sea on the West coast, are Vaitarna and Ulhas. The Vaitarna river rises in the hills near Trimbak in the Nashik district and flowing Southwards takes a Westwards turn entering Thane district at Vihigaon in Shahapur tahsil. It is further passes across northen boundry of Shahapur tahsil to enter Wada tahsil near Nishet village and then taking East-West course through the middle of Wada tahsil. It enters Palghar tahsil near village Vasuri(Bk.) and runs in North-West direction upto Manor, where-from it turns South-West and Southwards upto village Navghar forming Vaitarns creek at the south of Palghar tahsil. The important tributaries of Vaitarna are:-


Pinjal, which rises in the mountains in the South of Mokhada tahsil, joins it at Aleman village in Wada tahsil


Daherja, which rises in the mountain in Jawhar tahsil, joins it at village Durvas in Palghar tahsil


Surya, which rises in the mountains in Mokhada tahsil and taking south West and southwards course joins it near Sakri village in Palghar tahsil.


Tansa which rises in the mountains in Shahapur tahsil and joins it near Chirman village in Vasai tahsil. The first three tributaries viz-Pinjal, Daherja and surya join the Vaitarna from the right and Tansa joins it from the left. the Ulhas river rises in the Bhoir pass and flows North-West through Karjat tahsil of Raigad district from creek at Vasai. Its important tributaries in Thane district are


Bharvi which rises in the mountains in Murbad tahsil and joins it at Apti village in Ulhasnagar tahsil and


Bhatsa which rises in the mountains in Shahapur tahsil and joins it at Vadavali in Kalyan tahsil. Kalu is an important tributary of Bhatsa river. It is rised in the mountains in Shahapur tahsil and joins Bhatsa river near Sangoda in Kalyan tahsil. Both these tributaries viz . Barvi and Bhatsa join it from the right. The Vaitarna is navigable for 25 Kms. inside the coast and Ulhas is navigable for 40 kms from Kalyan.



The soils of thane district can be conveniently divides into three catagories.

Block Soil containing s and


Red soil in the eastern region mostly on the slopes and


Brownish-black soil in the patches of the valleys mostly lying between the coastal plains and the hilly slopes of Sahayadri.
The first type of soil, which is found in Dahanu, Palghar, Vasai and Thane tahsil, is fertile and useful for horticulture, Paddy cultivation and vegetables. Whereas, the second type which is found in Mokhada, Talasari and some parts of other tahsils on the Eastern slopes is useful for growing coares millets like Nagli and Varai. The third type of soil found in Bhiwandi, Kalyan and Shahapur tahsils is useful, particularly for Paddy cultivation.





The climate of the district is distinctly different on the coastal plains and on the eastern slopes. Being fully tropical, the climate on the coast, the coastal strip including Thane, Vasai, Palghar and Dahanu tahsils is very humid and warm. On the other hand, the climate on the eastern slopes and in the plains at the foot of the slopes is comparatively less humid. However, variation in temperature in the eastern region is more than that on the coastal strip. The maximum temperature lies between 28.0 to 35.2 centigrade and the minimum temperature lies between 16.3 to 26.5 centigrade.




The district gets assured rainfall of 2000 to 4000 m.m. from the South-West mansoons during the months June to September. Generally highest rainfall is recorded in the month of July. It is considerably more inland than on the coast. It is also less towards the North more inland than on the coast. It is also less towards the North than towards the South.


  Geographical Area


The total geographical area of the district is 9558 Sq. Kms which is 3.11% of the total Maharashtra area. The district has 15 tahsils out of which Shahapur tehsil is the largest area of 1555 Sq. Kms and Talasari tehsil is the smallest area of 268 Sq. Kms.




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