Who does not like travelling? Everybody calls themselves an avid traveler these days. Okay, guys, let’s get one thing straight in our minds…travelling through Mumbai local from your home to work does not make you a traveler in any sense. But I think, apart from alcohol, travelling acts as the best stress buster. How? Allow me. Broke up with your partner? Travel to celebrate your independence. Got into a relationship? Travel together. Want to run away from home? Travel. Got a new bike? Go out for a ride and travel. Killed someone? Run the hell away. Travel. Everything is related to travel. So, here we’re back with another exciting article to give you a fresh feel of some unexplored places in a concrete jungle like Mumbai that shall give you a feel of our favorite places of all, Goa. I bet you hardly know any of these. And even if you do theoretically, have you really taken the pain to take your ass off which is glued to that sofa and explored these beauties? If not, scroll down to explore these gems.
1. Vasai Fort
I can literally read your reaction through the screen. ‘Where is Vasai?’ or ‘EWWW’. Trust me guys, I’ve been to this places and it is a sight for sore eyes. Well, Goa is certainly known for lush green serene scenic beauty, and not just its beaches and alcohol.
Fort Bassein or Vasai Fort is a large fort in Vasai village, in the Vasai taluka (county) of the District of Palghar, Konkan Division, Maharashtra State, Republic of India. The name “Bassein” is the English version of the Portuguese “Baçaim” (with the “ç” spoken as “s” and with the “m” silent), itself a version of an apparently native name that may have a connection to the Vasa Konkani tribals of the North Konkan region, extending from Mumbai into “South Gujarat.” The Marathi name of the place is Vasai.
Famous British Band Coldplay shot there song ‘Hymn for the Weekend‘ at this fort. The video as of September 2016 has more than 500 million views on YouTube.
The complete form of the Portuguese name is “Fortaleza de São Sebastião de Baçaim” or the Fort of St. Sebastian of Vasai. The Vasai fort is a monument of national importance and is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.
The fort and the village are accessible most easily through the [Vasai Road Railway Station], which itself is in Manikpur-Navghar, a part of the newly raised City of Vasai-Virar (See “Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation”), and lies to the immediate north of the cities of Mumbai and Mira Road-Bhayander. The “Vasai Road” Railway Station is on the Western Railway line (formerly the Mumbai, Baroda & Central India Railways) in the direction of Virar Railway Station.
2. Vasai Beach:
When anyone says Goa, the second thing that comes to our minds is Beaches. First, which goes without saying, is alcohol. Duh! But we have some lovely places right next to you, Mumbaikars, to give you some short term travel goals and some great pictures with your girl gang! Have a look.
Vasai has a lot of beaches and the area around is often compared and referred as Mini Goa. The list of popular beaches would be Suruchi Beach, Kalam Beach, Rangoan Beach, Bhuigaon Beach, Rajodi Beach, Arnala Beach etc. It has a Portuguese Catholic population as you enter Old Vasai. The beach area has thick greenery and is very beautiful scenic views that you would love to watch.
You can get into Vasai either by railway route or the road. If you are travelling from Mumbai / Thane you would have to take the Western Railway route via Dadar / Andheri and board a Virar bound local train. Road access to Vasai from Mumbai would be pretty simple once you take on the Western Express Highway and drive straight into the Gujrat-Ahmedabad Highway. It takes approximately one hour drive from Borivali up to Vasai. Persons commuting from Thane or Vashi can take the Ghodbunder road to join the Gujrat-Ahmedabad Highway. Vasai is around 40 km from Thane. People staying at Kalyan/Dombivali can take the Bhiwandi bypass and take the Anjoor phata route at Bhiwandi and head straight down to the Gujrat Ahmedabad Highway. Someone travelling from Nasik to Vasai has two options. You could take up the Wada-Jawar route coming up from Trambakeshwar and enter Vasai by joining Gujrat-Ahmedbad Highway. The second option is to take the Kasara route and then join the Nasik Highway – Ghodbunder – Gujarat Ahmedabad Highway route.
Gorai, as well all know is Palm Jumeriah Beach for residents of Borivali to Bhayander. Not a posh area, but definitely a place to give you a refreshment from the traffic and city life of Mumbai. There is this exclusive and amazing resort in Gorai which is considered to be a Mini-Goa in Mumbai, called Sun Beach Resort. Giving you a feel of Calangute Beach, this resort is well-known for its beach, which is on the edge of the resort. The view of sunset is something you can never miss. The shacks here are free of cost and the rooms being extremely family friendly and affordable, is worth every penny.
This is a hidden and an unexplored gem in a chaotic city like Mumbai. Situated right on the Manori Beach is a resort which is a carbon copy of Goa. Manoribel, situated near Manori Church and Manori Beach should be a must visit on your list now. The resort has its own scenic beauty, which assures you some quality time with your loved ones and switches on the relaxation mode within you.
5. Bandra Church:
Without churches, Goa just cannot be imagined. Mount Mary Church, situated in one of the poshest places in Mumbai, Bandra, is a must visit. A peaceful, yet lively place during all the Catholic festivals. Bandra will never fail or disappoint you to give you a feeling of Goa.
The idol of Mother Mary with Lord Jesus in her hands, it is believed the every year during Christmas, Lord Jesus changes His position. If this year, Mother Mary holds Him to Her left, next year, the idol would be on the right. Many archaeologists and historians have tried to know the reason behind this miracle, but all attempts are in vain. God is above all the CCTV cameras. (Uparwala Sab Dekh Raha Hain!) Have a glimpse of this serene place:
Bandra lightens up exactly similar to Goa during the Bandra Fair, which is mostly during the Christmas. They practice Mass every Sunday, which is obvious. Here during the fair, you can eat, pray, love and shop till you drop. Have a look:
That is how we conclude our lovely journey of Goa, within Mumbai. Folks, if you are a tad tighter on your pockets, visit all these above mentioned places to get a fresh air and lovely feel of Goa. A place withing the city, far from the city, that gives you a homely feeling. Take that ass off, put on your shoes, ready, get set, GO!
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We shall meet you on our next article. Till then, travel a tad farther and smile a bit wider. May the travel bug bite you hard enough. Not at all horny. I swear!