|— district —|
|• Total||9,558 km2 (3,690 sq mi)|
|• Density||851/km2 (2,200/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Thane (pronounced Thaanai by the locals) is a district in northern Maharashtra state in western India. The headquarters of the district is the city of Thane. Other major cities in the district are Navi Mumbai (formerly New Bombay), Kalyan-Dombivli, Mira-Bhayander, Bhiwandi, Ulhasnagar,Ambarnath, Kulgaon-Badlapur, Dahanu, Shahapur, Wada and Vasai-Virar. This is the third-most industrialised district in Maharashtra.
The district is situated between 18°42' and 20°20' north latitudes and 72°45' and 73°48' east longitudes. The area of the district is 9558 km². The shape of the district is triangular. The district is bounded by Pune and Ahmadnagar on the east, Nashik on the east and northeast, Valsad District of Gujarat state and Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli on the north. The Arabian Sea forms the western boundary, while it is bounded by Mumbai (city) and Mumbai Suburban District on the southwest and Raigad on the south.
Origin of name
The district derived it's name from the city of Thane, which is the district headquarters. The name Thane derived from the ancient name of the same city, Shristhanaka, when it was the capital of the Shilahara kings.
In 1817 CE, the territory now comprising Thane district was taken over by the British from the Peshwa and it became a part of North Konkan district, with its headquarters in Thana. Since then, it has undergone considerable changes in its boundaries. In 1830 CE, the North Konkan district was expanded by adding parts of South Konkan district and in 1833 CE was re-named Thana District. In 1853 CE, the three sub-divisions of Pen, Roha and Mahad together with Underi and Revadanda agencies of Kolaba were formed into the sub-collectorate of Kolaba, under Thana, and ultimately were separated to become an independent Kolaba district in 1869 CE (presently known as Raigad district). In 1866 CE, the administrative sub-divisions of Thana were reorganised and renamed: Sanjan as Dahanu, Kolvan as Shahapur and Nasrapur as Karjat. Vada petha was upgraded to the level of a taluka. Uran Mahal separated from Salsette in 1861 CE and placed under Panvel. Panvel, together with its mahals of Uran and Karanja, was transferred to Kolaba district in 1883 CE and Karjat was transferred in 1891 CE. A new mahal with Bandra as headquarters was created in 1917 CE and in 1920 CE Salsette was divided into two talukas — north Salsette and South Salsette. South Salsette consisting of 84 villages was separated from Thana District and included in the newly created Bombay Suburban district (present Mumbai Suburban district). North Salsette was made a mahal under Kalyan taluka in 1923 CE and re-named as Thana in 1926 CE. Kelve-Mahim was re-named as Palghar. 33 villages of the Bombay Suburban district were transferred to Thana district in 1945 CE and 14 of them were re-transferred to the Bombay Suburban district in 1946 CE when the Aarey Milk Colony was constituted.
After Independence, in 1949 CE, the princely state of Jawhar was merged with Thana district and became a separate taluka. As many as twenty-seven villages and eight towns from Borivali taluka and one town and one village from Thana taluka were transferred to the Bombay Suburban district in 1956 CE when the limits of Greater Bombay were extended northwards in Salsette. In 1960 CE, following the bifurcation of the bilingual Bombay State, 47 villages, and three towns in the taluka of Umbargaon were transferred to Surat district in Gujarat and its remaining twenty-seven villages were first included in Dahanu and later in 1961 CE made into a separate mahal, Talasari. In 1969 CE, the taluka of Kalyan was divided into two talukas, Kalyan & Ulhasnagar.
The district is the northernmost part of the Konkan lowlands of Maharashtra. It comprises the wide amphitheatre like Ulhas basin on the south and hilly Vaitama valley on the north together with plateaus and the slopes of Sahyadri. From the steep slopes of the Sahyadri in the east, the land falls through a succession of plateaus in the north and centre of the district to the Ulhas valley in the south. These lowlands are separated from the coast by a fairly well-defined narrow ridge of hills that runs north-south to the east of the Thane creek, parallel to the sea keeping a distance of about 6 to 10 km from the shores. A number of isolated hills and spurs also dot the entire district area.
Rivers, creeks, islands, lakes and hot springs
The two main rivers flowing through the district are the Ulhas and the Vaitarna. The Ulhas originates from the north of Tungarli near Lonavala, flows for a short distance before descending near Bhor ghat. It meets the sea at Vasai creek. Ulhas River is 135 km long. The river has many tributaries; two important of them (within the boundaries of this district) are Barvi and Bhatsa. Vaitarna, the largest of Konkan Rivers rises in the Tryambak hills in Nashik district, opposite to the source of Godavari, The River flows across Shahapur, Vada and Palghar talukas and enter the Arabian Sea through a wide estuary off Arnala. Vaitarna River is 154 km long and has a drainage area that practically covers the entire northern part of the district. It has also a number of tributaries; the most important of them are Pinjal, Surya, Daherja and Tansa.
Many small creeks are found all along the western coast, in which tidal waters flood upstream and fill up much low ground. In many cases human interference has helped in converting them into mud flats. The bigger creeks are Bhiwandi, Chinchani, and Dahanu creeks. The Thane creek is not a creek in the true sense, but a depression engulfed by the sea.
The northern part of the Salsette Island is part of Thane district, which is separated from the mainland by the Ulhas estuary and the Thane creek but is connected through reclaimed land with the island city of Mumbai. Arnala Island is located in Vasai taluka, at the entrance to the Vaitarna estuary.
The district has no natural lakes, but a number of artificial lakes have been constructed mainly to supply drinking water to Mumbai. The Tansa Lake formed across the Tansa River in the hills north of Bhiwandi behind the dam completed in 1892 CE. The Modak Sagar (Lower Vaitarna) Lake on the river Vaitarna formed behind a dam completed in 1957 CE. Later in the upper reaches of the same river, the Upper Vaitarana Lake formed behind another dam built in 1972 CE. The Bhatsa Lake has been formed in the upper Bhatsa, north of Shahapur behind a dam built in 1981 CE.
Several hot springs are located in the Vasai taluka in the bed of Tansa River. They are located near Akloli, Ganeshpuri and Vajreshvari villages. The temperature of water are in the range of 42°-55°C.
There are two distinctly different climates in the district, one on the western coastal plains and the other on the eastern slopes of Sahyadri. The climate on the western coastal plains of Thane, Vasai, Palghar and Dahanu talukas is tropical, very humid and warm. The climate on the plains at the foot of the slopes (Kalyan, Bhiwandi, Vada, Ulhasnagar, Ambarnath and Talasari talukas) and on the eastern slopes of Sahyadri (Murbad, Shahapur, Jawhar, Vikramgad and Mokhada talukas) is comparatively less humid. The temperature variation is also more in the eastern part of the district comparing to the western coastal areas.
The district has four distinct seasons in a year. The winter season is from December to February, followed by the summer season from March to June. The southwest monsoon season is from June to September. October and November months constitute the post-monsoon season, which is hot and humid in the coastal areas.
In the coastal area, the average daily maximum temperature in summer is 32.9ºC (maximum recorded at Dahanu is 40.6ºC on 19 April 1955 CE) and in winter average mean daily minimum temperature is 16.8ºC (minimum recorded at Dahanu is 8.3ºC on 8 January 1945 CE). But in the interior parts of the district, the average daily minimum temperature is slightly lower in the winter season and the average daily maximum temperature is higher in the summer season. The average annual rainfall in the district is 2293.4 mm. The rainfall in the district increases from the coastal areas to the interior. The rainfall varies from 1730.5 mm at Mahim on the coast to 2588.7 mm at Shahapur in the interior. The rainfall during the southwest monsoon season, June to September, constitutes about 94% of the annual rainfall. July is the wettest month with a rainfall of about 40% of the annual total. The variation in the annual rainfall from year to year in the district is not large. The highest rainfall recorded in 24 hours at any station in the district was 481.1 mm at Dahanu on 1 September, 1958 CE .
There are 13 Vidhan Sabha constituencies in Thane district. These are, Vasai, Palghar (ST), Thane, Belapur, Ulhasnagar, Ambernath, Kalyan, Murbad, Wada (ST), Bhiwandi, Dahanu (ST), Jawhar (ST) and Shahapur (ST). The 2 Lok Sabha constituencies in this district are Thane and Dahanu (ST). Vasai and Palghar (ST) Vidhan Sabha constituencies are part of Mumbai North Lok Sabha constituency.
The Thane district is under proposal to be bifurcated and a separate Jhawar (Tribal) district be carved out of existing Thane district.
It had a population of 8,131,849 of which 72.58% were urban as of 2001.  Total literacy rate of the district is 80.67% (male 87.06% and female 73.10%)
The southern talukas are the mostly urban areas and hence along with Marathi many other languages like Sindhi, Gujarati and Hindi are spoken. The Marathi is the main language in rural talukas.
According to 1991 Census, the total working population in the district was 19,61,704 persons, which is 37.37% of the total population of the district. Out of total working force, 30.75% were engaged in agriculture and allied activities, 1.19% in manufacturing, service and cottage industries and remaining 30.69% in other activities. Out of total working force, the female working force was 22.89% in the district .
The important kharif crops of the district are rice, vari and nachani (finger millet). The pulses like Urad, moong and kulith are also grown in this season. Rice is the main crop of the district. Rice is grown in all the talukas of the district but mainly in Palghar, Bhiwandi, Murbad, Shahapur, Vada, Vikramgad and Dahanu. Vari and nachani are grown in the hilly areas of the eastern part of the district, namely Jawhar, Murbad, Vikramgad, Shahapur and Mokhada talukas. Wal, chavali and gram are the main rabi crops grown in this district. Dahanu taluka is famous for fruits. Chikoos (sapotas) are grown on a large scale at Gholwad. Chikoo orchards are also found in Palghar and Talasari talukas. Chikoos grown in these areas are sent all over India. Other fruits grown in the district are guavas, mangoes, papayas, grapefruits and coconuts. Vasai and Palghar talukas are famous for different varieties of bananas such as rajeli, tambeli, mutheli and velchi. Seasonal fruits grown in the district such as bor, wild berries and litchis have great demands in the markets of Mumbai. Vegetables are also grown in the district. Among the vegetables, eggplants are grown on a large scale. There are rose gardens at Dahanu .
Thane is the third most industrialised district in the State. There are 1548 large and medium scale and 18,480 small scale industries in the district. The main products of these industries are Drugs, Textiles, Adhesives, Plastics, Rubber, Steel, Pharmaceuticals, Engineering, Fertilizers, Electronics, Chemicals and Iron & Steel. The Thane-Belapur-Kalyan industrial belt is the centre of highly sophisticated modern industries. There are industrial estates at Ambarnath, Bhiwandi, Badlapur, Mira-Bhyander, Tarapur and Murbad in the district. Manufacture of machinery, machine tools and parts except electrical machinery together with the iron and steel industry and metal products are the most important and the biggest group of industries in the district and includes manufacture of Prime movers, Boilers, Refrigerators, Machine Tools, Computing and Accounting machinery, Industrial machinery for food and textile industries, machinery for chemicals, paper and cement industries. Manufacture of basic industrial chemicals including fertilizers, vegetable and animal oils and fats, paints, varnishes and lacquers and other miscellaneous chemical products is another important industry in the district. These industries are mainly concentrated in the Trans-Thane Creek and Belapur Road industrial area. The medium and large industries manufacturing chemicals and chemical products are Pfizer, Lubrizol India Ltd., Polyolefins Industries Ltd., NOCIL, Herdillia Chemicals Ltd., BASF (India) Ltd., Star Chemicals, Indofil Chemicals Ltd., and Phoenix Chemical Works. The chemical industries are also found in other parts of the district like Wagle Industrial Estate, Pokhran Road, Ambarnath and Dombivali. The cotton and non-cotton power looms are mainly located at Bhiwandi, Thane and Kalyan. Traditionally, Bhiwandi is famous for its handlooms. But the deteriorating markets for the handlooms compelled the weavers to replace their handlooms by powerlooms. Fisheries constitute an important industry in Thane district. It is carried out in sea as well as in creeks and estuaries on the western coast. Marine fishery predominates over inland fishery in the district and provides employment to about 75% of the persons engaged in the fishing industry. Fishing in sea is carried out along the coast stretching over about 110 km. The important fishing centres in the district are Dahanu, Pokharan-Uchheli, Nawapur, Murabe, Satpute, Datiware, Arnala, Vasai and Uran. Food processing industries like grain mill products, Bakery products, Cocoa, Chocolate and Sugar Confectionery, Salt, ice, slaughtering, preparation and preservation of meat, dairy products, canning and preservation of fruits and vegetables, canning, preserving and processing of fish are developed in the district. Raptakos, Brett and Co., Pfizer Ltd., Cadbury Fry (India) Ltd. which produce modified milk food and high protein food are some of the large and medium companies in the district. Wood products like plywood and veneer, wooden boxes, barrels, bamboo, cane baskets, bobbins, industrial fixtures, cork & cork products are also manufactured in the district. The Tarapur Atomic Power Station which has ushered an era of utilisation of nuclear energy for electricity generation is also situated in the district. The finance is being provided by various public sector and private sector Banks and Financial Institutions in the district. Bank of Maharashtra is one of the leading Public Sector Banks of the district, having 60 branches (2000 CE) .
Thane Municipal Corporation started its own public transport service known as Thane Municipal Transport (TMT) from 9 February 1989 CE. The TMT has a fleet of 289 buses which ply on 45 routes from 2 bus-depots and 8 bus-stands ferrying approximately 2.8 lakhs commuters daily. Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses connect Thane city to different parts of the district and also to other districts.
The total railway track length in the district is 345.73 km. spread in western and central part of the district. The Western Railway network passes through Vasai, Palaghar and Dahanu talukas of the district and Central railway network passes through Thane, Kalyan, Ulhasnagar and Shahapur talukas of the district. Western Railway local trains leaving from Churchage railway station go up to Dahanu Road railway station in the district. Central Railway local trains leaving from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus go up to Kalyan, Ambarnath, Badlapur, Karjat and Kasara. In 1994 CE, a new connection made from Diva Junction to Vasai. This connection joined Central Railway and Western Railway networks and its length is 41.96 km . Konkan Railway network also passes through a part of the district. Local trains have now started plying from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai to Panvel on this network. Dahanu, Satpati, Mahim. Kalyan, Vasai, and Uttan are the ports on the Arabian Sea coast. Ferry services are available between these ports. Metered Auto Rickshaws ply in Thane, Navi Mumbai, Mira-Bhyander and several other towns. Metered Taxi services are also available in Thane, Navi Mumbai, Mira-Bhayandar and some other towns.
- ^ Thane district e-gazetteer - geography, administrative evolution
- ^ Thane district e-gazetteer - geography
- ^ The Times of India, Mumbai edition, 25 May, 2007
- ^ Thane district e-gazetteer - geography
- ^ Thane district e-gazetteer-climate
- ^ Names of the Tahsils of India
- ^ Election Commission, Maharashtra - No. of Voters 1.8.2006
- ^ 
- ^ www.smallindustryindia.com - Thane district
- ^ www.indianngos.com - Thane district
- ^ www.smallindustryindia.com - Thane district
- ^ Thane Municipal Corporation website – Transport
- ^ www.smallindustryindia.com - Thane district
|Thane District related topics|
|Cities and towns||Thane • Navi Mumbai • Kalyan-Dombivli• Mira-Bhayander • Bhiwandi • Ulhasnagar • Ambernath • Kulgaon-Badlapur • Dahanu • Shahapur • Wada • Vasai-Virar|
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