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;
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.
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 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.
According to the 2011 census, the area of divided district is 4214 sq. Km and it is 1.37% of the total area of the state.If the area is considered, then the district is 33rd in the state. Shahapur Taluka has the highest area of 7 talukas in the district and is 1629 sq km. (38.66 per cent) and the smallest Ulhasnagar taluka 13 sq.km. (0.31 percent) of the area. The two talukas Thane and Ulhasnagar are completely urban in the district. Alongwith these two talukas, Kalyan, Bhiwandi and Ambernath talukas are comparatively developed.
Pune and Ahmednagar districts are in the east of the district. Nashik district is on the north east and Palghar district is to the north. The Arabian Sea is spread on the west side of this district, and the districts of Mumbai Suburban and Raigad are on the southern side.
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.
Sahyadri range, which has the eastern boundary, has a boundary line on the Sahyadri boundary. Also, small mountain ranges are divided spaced. The mountain ranges in the east are high-altitude and gradually decreases in the west. In the central part of the district there are also small mountain ranges.
Yeoor and Mama Bhanja Hills in Thane district is a cool place to live.
There are two important rivers in Varanasi and Ulhas in Thane district. Vaitarna river originates from Trimbak base in north-east of Nashik district and swept it southwards into Shahapur taluka of Thane district and then flows through the talukas of Wada, Palghar and get Arabian sea in Vaitarna Bay in Navghar on the south side of Palghar. Tansa river originates from Ghatmath in Shahapur taluka and later it meets the Vaitarna river at Chiman in Vasai taluka. On the right side of the Vaitarna river, the tributaries of Pinjal, Dherja and Surya are available and on the left side the river Tansa gets. Ulhas river originates from Bhormatha and goes to Karjat taluka from Raigad district and further to Vasai Bay. The Ulhas river has three tributaries, the Barvi river originates from Ghatmathi in Murbad taluka. Later it gets Ulhas river in the village of Aapnath taluka. Origin of the river Bhatsa, through Ghatmath in Shahapur taluka, it comes near the village of Vadwali in Kalyan taluka and meets Ulhas River. The Kalu river of the Bhatsa river is the main tributary, and it gets through Bhatsa river near Samodh village in Kalyan taluka, through Ghatmath of Shahapur taluka. The tributaries of Barvi and Bhatsa come with Ulhas river towards its right side. 25 km inside the shoreline of Vertran Creek. The interstate part of the Ulhas River and 40 km from Kalyan is suitable for water transport.
According to the type of land, the surface of the ground is mainly divided into two parts.
- Black and sand mixed land is found in Thane taluka. This land is fertile and it is mainly suitable for the cultivation of rice crop, vegetable and orchards.
- Brown reddish land is found in most of the coastal stripes of Sahyadri Ghatmath and in the empty slopes. Mainly there is such land in Bhiwandi, Kalyan and Shahpur talukas and it is useful for rice 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.