Palghar – Almost a tribal district situated on the north side of the Mumbai, has been carved out of Thane district on 1st August, 2014 as a 36th district of Maharashtra State. Palghar includes 8 talukas & has a rich & vibrant culture to celebrate.
Lets turn the pages of HISTORY to see how Palghar came to be:
In British era, Palghar was a small village and Mahim was its Tahsil. However, in 1867 British government laid railway line between Mumbai to Baroda (Gujarat) to make it convenient to send the cotton of Baroda to England for their cotton mills. The Palghar railway station has come in existence in 1893.
Port of Sopara
Since the beginning of the first millennium B.C. till the 15th century A.D., it is believed that Sopara near Mumbai was a prosperous port located on the west coast of India. Archaeologists and historians have been researching since 1882 A.D. and have found indications of an era as early as the 3rd century B.C.
According to the Mahabharata and the Puranas, Śūrpāraka (now Sopara) was reclaimed from the sea for the dwelling place of Parashurama. It is for this reason that the place has become a pilgrimage destination.
Between the 3rd century BC to 9th century CE, Buddhism flourished here. Besides that King Ashoka also built a stupa here. In April 1882 during excavation at Merdes village near Sopara, 8 bronze images of Maitreya Buddha were found in the stupa.
According to the Jaina writers, Shripala, a mythical king married Tilakasundari, daughter of king Mahasena of Soparaka. Jinaprabhasuri (14th century) in his Vividhatirthakalpa mentioned Soparaka as one of the 84 Jaina tirthas (sacred places).
Legend also has it that King Hiram of Tyre brought gold, precious stones and almug trees for Solomon from this city that was earlier called land of Ophir.
Palghar has its own way to celebrate their unique tribal culture with the most prominent castes Warli (Adiwasi), Katkari, Vanjari, Vadval & Malhar Koli.
World famous Warli paintings and Tarpa dance have been contributed by the tribal Warli community. Their art goes back to a millennium. Warli represent the earliest settlers of the Land around the present times and their culture has largely influenced the later cultures in and around the area.
Now, the Vanjaris have their roots in Chittodgad, Rajasthan. History has it that they migrated for two reasons – number one being trade and the second was to escape the Muslim invasions. Their language is quite distinct from Marathi, as it has high influence of both Rajasthani and Gujarati.
The largest community in Palghar, the Vadval are said to be the descendants of the Yadava dynasty of Devagiri who also escaped from the Muslims. They belong to a rare Marathi-speaking community.
The fishermen community contribute towards the trade and diet of Palghar and the neighbouring areas. They also play a major role in cultural events in pleasant Palghar.
Palghar focuses on a few industries, here are some of the most popular ones.
Blessed with the long coastline of nearly 91 km, Palghar is very famous for fishing and trading. In port strip areas the major business is fishing. As well as businesses is also based on drying fish, prawn culture. For preserving fish, fridge & ice factory business also create jobs. In Palghar taluka from Satpati Pomfret fish & prawn are exported.
Agriculture and Orchards
The fertile land of Palghar is perfect for vegetation and cultivation. Chickoos and Lychees are produced in a huge quantity here.
Thanks to the unique bio-diversity, beaches, forests, hills and religious places, Palghar is filled with pleasant surprises. No wonder it is attracting so much attention from tourists and immigrants alike.
Many global companies have set shop as well as their industrial units in Palghar. From Coco Cola to Blue Star ACs and Anita Dongre’s fashion line. The state government have developed Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation(MIDC) 5757 small registered Industries
1883 temporary small registered industries and 427 large/medium industries exist.
There are three industrial cooperative colonies- 1) The Palghar Taluka Cooperative limited Industrial colonies,Taluka Palghar, 2) The Vasai Taluka Cooperative limited Industrial colonies, Taluka Vasai and 3) Priyadarshini Cooperative limited Industrial colonies, Taluka Wada. Industrial estates established by the Small Industries Development Corporation, Konkan and Maharashtra State Development Corporation had set 15 large projects in Palghar. The industry also includes textile industry, chemical industry, engineering industry, steel industry.
TARAPUR -( Bhabha Atomic Research Centre) : ( Bhabha Atomic Research Centre) : A world famous destination because of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS). The town, with nuclear power plants and about 2,500 industrial units, is called the industrial centre of the entire region. Tarapur fort built by Portuguese and won by Marathas. The Tarapur Fort, with wells and gardens within, was given in gift by the Peshwa to Vikaji Mehrji, for a hundred years, and is still held by his heirs, and is currently in custody of Chorge family.
ART & CRAFT
The tribal people in this region pride themselves over their art and crafts. The most famous of them all is the Warli paintings that dates back centuries. These tribal community preserved this priceless treasure of traditional art alive. Colors used in paintings are a nature's gift to this art from such as Geru, Red earth and green color prepared from leaves. The Warli art depicts the simple tribal village life and their belief in the circle of life. The Warlis worshipped Mother Nature and lived according to her will. As the Warlis have ancient tradition they also have their own forms of celebration of festival and art. Dhumsa Dance, Gauri Dance, Kambadu dance, Tarpa and Dhol Dance are some of the vibrant dance forms which differ from area to area. Tarpa is a traditional dance of the Warli. Tarpa dance is a rhythmic swaying dance forms round an ancient instrument, called Tarpa.
Here’s a fair warning, you might be significantly hungry after reading this.
If you’ve tried Konkani or Malvani food and are a fan, Vadval cuisine is in a similar space. Though only food enthusiasts can tell the subtle differences, read on to become one yourself! Vadval cuisine doesn’t add as much coconut as the Malvani one does. Instead, the Vadval cuisine is a bit tangier due to the tamarind and the usage of spices are higher too. Again the local vegetable produce adds lot more uniqueness to the Vadval food.
If you visit Vasai-Virar in Palghar don’t forget to experience the delectable dishes at the Vadval food festivals. From Kombdi vade, Vaalachi Mutki, Aloocha Phadphada, Monsoon special Shevalaachi Aamti, Aloovadi and Kobichi Vadi, Bombil fry, and fish pickles (Koleem), you’re surely going to be in for a treat.
Chicken Poha Bhujing
Bhujing was first created at Agashi Bhujing centre in the year 1940. This iconic dish is essentially made of marinated dry chicken with sliced potato & Nylon Poha (That’s supposed to be the best quality of Poha). Cooked on charcoal, fried in oil the moist and juicy chicken is mixed with nylon poha. The end result is truly exceptional!
Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?
Now that’s you’d be interested in trying this. Here’s how you can reach Agashi, a place near Virar. If you take the Western Mumbai Railway, you will have to get down at the last stop, which is Virar. Agashi is another 5-odd kilometres from there.
Ever wondered what the people of the Warli community eat? Here are a few of their famous dishes!
A mixture of rice flour, grated cucumber and sugar or jaggery that’s steamed.
Sugar or jaggery or sweet tadi (Nira) is mixed with fermented rice flour and steamed.
Fermented Jowar flour/Sorgum with Ragi flour (finger miled) is cooked & generally given to the patient for a fast and healthy recovery.
A dish where marinated chicken is wrapped in special leaf (Palsache pan) & cooked in an earthen pot. The pot is sealed with leaves and make it cook by lighting fire on the top of the earthen pot.
One of the most famous dishes from the Vasai Christian community is Indel. It is essentially marinated chicken/mutton, which can be used for 8-10 days.
There you have it, some of the most interesting cuisine and dishes in pleasant Palghar.
A land that’s rich in bio-diversity and culture. Industrialization and modernization have made this place all the more attractive in the recent years.
If you’re planning to catch a flight, choose the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai as your destination. From there you can drive down to pleasant Palghar, which will take you approximately two hours. The international airport is well connected to most cities. From Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Chandigarh, Bangalore, Delhi, Goa, Gwalior, Jaipur, Jamnagar, Hyderabad to Indore and Jodhpur! You can choose any airline and flight of your choice, whether it is Air India, Air France, Air China, Air Arabia or Air India Express.
Palghar has a Railway Station, which is connected to all the major cities of Maharashtra. It is also connected to metros and cities like New Delhi, Bangalore, Jamnagar, Chennai, Mysore, Kanyakumari, Puri, Nasik, Ahmedabad Surat, and Jaipur through trains like Lok Shakti Express, Dehradun Express, Ahmedabad Passenger, Ranakpur Express and Saurashtra Express.
There are many roads that lead to Palghar. The distance from Thane is about 90 kms and it is 106 kms from Mumbai. If you are travelling from Nasik, then it is 162 kms and 216 kms from Surat. While if you are travelling from Pune the distance will be about 237 kms, from Ahmedabad it is 460 kms and from Hyderabad it is about 797 kms. Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) and some private travel companies offer their services. You can book a cab or bus, depending on your comfort.
|Area||5,344 km2 (2,063 sq mi)|
|Capital||Palghar taluka is the main administrative capital of the district.|
|Language||Marathi is the most widely spoken language with Warli, Vadvali and Vanjari dialects. Small communities of Gujaratis and Muslims speak Gujarati and Urdu respectively.|
|Literacy Rate||77.52%, male literacy is 81.2%, and female literacy is 73.35%|
|Rainfall||Tropical climate, the average rainfall is 2101 mm.|
|Temperature||Average annual temperature in Palghar is 26.5 °C|
|Season||Four seasons, Winter is from December to February,
Summer from March to June.
The southwest monsoon season is from June to September.
October and November months is hot and humid .