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Day Trips From Mumbai: Visiting Vasai And 6 Things To Do In Vasai

A blend of rural and urban style of living. Discover this land of modern day contrasts. While there are roads filled with traffic, bridges and buildings, you will also find lanes with no vehicles, absolute silence, salt pans and paddy fields. That’s Vasai for you – a charming destination on the northern periphery of Mumbai’s western suburbs. Vasai is a part of the Konkan division of India, located in the Palghar district.

Unlike other urban hubs of Mumbai, the region is less polluted and even less populated. Vasai might not always get the love it deserves from Mumbaikars, especially considering how its beauty and historical significance is criminally underrated. Most people aren’t even aware of it, for that matter.

Spending A Day In Vasai - 6 Things You Must Experience In Vasai

  1. Chulna Lake
  2. Bhuigaon Beach
  3. Churches In Vasai
  4. Bawkhal of Vasai (Traditional Water wells)
  5. Shramik Mahila Mandal
  6. Bombay Bakery

History Of Vasai

Vasai derived its name from the Sanskrit word ‘Vaas’, which means dwelling/residence. However, this is not the only name the region had. Each ruler that dominated the place changed the name. The Portuguese named it Baçaim. The Marathas named it Bajipur. The Muslim rulers named it Basai. Later it was renamed as Bassein and now Vasai.

Vasai is located right next to Arabian sea, and hence it served as a good trading centre in the colonial days. The Portuguese were the ones who discovered that the land here is extremely fertile and ideal for growing rice, cotton, sugarcane and betel nuts. That’s when they realised this specific region could be very beneficial.

To establish their power over the region, they took over the Bassein Fort in 1536, which stood to show the naval strength of the Portuguese rule. It was the commercial, political and military base for the Portuguese. As the Portuguese ruled this region for 205 years, there’s bound to be lots of their legacy left behind. Such as the community known as the East Indian Catholics, who form a small minority of the population here. They are a true legacy of the Portuguese colonialism. 

The Portuguese lost their power and left Vasai in 1739. Then, the fort was taken over by the Maratha Army after the Battle of Baçaim. After a couple of years, the British took over the territory in 1780. The fact that Vasai had so many names shows that each time the name changed, the place had a new ruler. From the hands of the Gujarat Sultan to the Portuguese and then the Marathas and the British, Vasai has seen it all. But as it was ruled by the Portuguese for the longest, its influence is more prevalent.

Vasai was once a jewel of the Portuguese empire and the Vasai Fort was where all the administrative work took place. Features of Portuguese architecture are still visible on houses, churches and wells. If you explore Vasai with these historical facts in mind, you’d easily be able to re-imagine its colonial pas

Also read: 1 Day Walking Tour Of Mumbai: Best Places To Cover

Chulna Lake

This lake is easily accessible by road and is just the perfect spot to sit, unwind and just let time pass you by. There’s a huge paddy field and just this lake in the middle. No sign of buildings at all in this region. It is around 6 kms away from the main city. If you want to experience peace, this is as good a place as any.

Also read: 5 Amazing Lakes In Sikkim

Bhuigaon Beach

Beaches in Vasai are just relaxing and fun, because the people keep the beach active. People play football or cricket on the beaches and it’s just fun to watch people here. But the backdrop of palm trees decked on the beach is what makes this place all the more gorgeous. The Bhuigaon Beach in particular is famous among locals, but still majorly untouched.

Also read: 6 Virgin Beaches In Maharashtra

vasai, things to do in vasai

Churches In Vasai

Vasai still has churches that could be more than 400 years old. The churches here just have a mesmerizing old-world charm to it. St Thomas Church, St Francis Xavier Giriz and St Michael Manickpur are few of the best churches to visit in Vasai. There are approximately 40 churches in the area. Each, a testament to the village’s heritage and culture.

Also read: 5 Of The Best Temples In Odisha

Bawkhal of Vasai (Traditional Water wells)

These are traditional lakes and ponds found in villages of Vasai. A Bawkhal plays a very important role for maintaining groundwater levels in the region. In the years of the past, it was used for irrigation purposes by farmers. This well system is said to be 200 years old, so if you spot one, consider yourself lucky. It is undoubtedly a really interesting sight to come across.

Also read: Visiting The Lakes In Udaipur

Shramik Mahila Mandal

This is a food center in Vasai run entirely by women employees. The food prepared here is authentic and affordable too. The restaurant has a story behind it which is extremely inspiring. The place was set up by a local teacher named Mrs Indumathy Vishnu Barve. Her inspiration to do was so she could help women in need of employment.

Today, the place is run by 250 women and the profit is shared by all. This place is perfect not only to get a unique experience but also to enjoy delicious local cuisine.

Also read: 10 Best Restaurants And Cafés In Thiruvananthapuram For Vegetarians

Bombay Bakery

If you’re in Vasai, do not take a local train back home without trying some of the food served at this bakery. Bombay Bakery is a supremely iconic place which is just around 15 minutes away from the railway station. A must-try is chicken Russian cutlet, chicken puffs and chicken rolls. To end your trip here on a sweet end, try this bakery’s cake! It’s simply delicious.

Also read: 7 Unusual Foods In India

What Makes Vasai Special?

The first thing you’d notice about the region is that there are very few towering buildings and you’d see rows of bungalows instead. There are parts of the place that look completely like a city but then there’s also places where you’ll pass paddy fields, beaches, wells, ponds, huge banyan trees and lots of gardens! It has a very enticing countryside charm to it.

vasai, things to do in vasai

Many people in Vasai have the luxury of having their own backyard space, where they grow their own fruits and vegetables. You would see small shrubs, papaya and banana plantations as well. This is something not commonly found in the city of Mumbai, which makes Vasai extremely unique.

The communities here are small and live in close proximity, which means everyone knows everybody. It’s common that people live in joint families and houses have been passed on from generations in the blood line. The atmosphere is extremely welcoming and green. The beaches here are also compared to Goa. As the place is close to the coast, you must try the seafood of Vasai before you leave the place.

Also read: 8 Things To Do In Vasaco Da Gama

Summing Up!

Vasai is all hearts when it comes to its versatile culture, tradition, and language. The town is small but warm and welcoming to the tourists and in general, has got a variety of things to explore other than the mentioned things above, Vasai Fort is one of them. Explore, eat, travel and repeat, this is what Vasai lets you do. 


What are the top attractions to visit in Vasai?

Fort Bassein - Popularly known as Vasai Fort, this is easily the prime attraction of Vasai. This was held by the Portuguese for the longest time in the 16th century. While time and general neglect has left the fort in ruins, it still retains some of its grandeur, attracting locals and photographers.

Tungareshwar Temple/Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary - Getting to Tungareshwar isn’t a piece of cake, thanks to off-road hilly trails and dense forests. But the effort will be worth it. You can visit the temple of Tungareshwar, dedicated to Lord Shiva, and also explore the hiking trails around it. Make sure that you visit the Chinchoti Falls too!

Bhuigaon Beach - It may not be on the map of the mainstream tourist, but that makes it all the more better! Vasai has quite a few beaches, but consider giving the Bhuigaon Beach a visit to get your dose of Vitamin Sea!

How Far Is Vasai From Mumbai?

Vasai is about 60 km from Mumbai by road, and would take you about 2 hours to reach. Alternatively, you can board a local train as there’s regular service and all of them halt at Vasai Road.

Who Made Vasai Fort?

The Vasai Fort was built in 1184 by the Yadavas of Devagiri. But over time, it came under the control of the Portuguese, the Marathas and the British.

How Do I Get From Vasai Fort To Vasai Station?

If you’re going by bus, board the ones numbered 105 and 201 from the Chimaji Appa Smarak bus stop. These bus routes end at Vasai Road Railway Station. You can get rickshaws here as well.

What Are The Best Outdoor Activities In Vasai?

Exploring Fort Bassein - The fort may be in ruins now, but still retains some of its former grandeur. Exploring the fort would make for a great adventure, but we’d advise you to not do so alone, and after dark.

Beach Hopping - Vasai has quite a few beaches, and if you’re a beach lover, you have options to choose from. Bhuigaon, Rangaon, Vasai, and Suruchi are some of the beaches that you can visit.

Visiting Panju Island - You’ll be crossing over this island when on a train, but to get to Panju Island, you’ll need to get a ferry from Naigaon Jetty. This little island will give you Goa vibes, and would make for a memorable day of exploration.

Where Is Vandri Lake Located?

Vandri Lake is located about 35 km to the north of Vasai. It is one of the three lakes along the NH48, and makes for a wonderful place to ride to. The nearest railway station is Saphale.

How Do You Get To Vandri Lake?

If you’re traveling from Mumbai, get onto NH48 and simply drive along until taking an exit at the Vandri Lake Road. Don’t forget to get some snacks from the intersection, as there are no shops near the lake.

Is Vasai A Part Of Mumbai?

The most populous city in the Palghar district, Vasai is part of Mumbai as the district is included in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

How Can I Go To Vasai?

By Road - Vasai is well connected by road with all the major cities via the NH48. You can avail yourself of bus services too.

By Train - For those coming from Mumbai, this is a faster and more convenient mode of travel. There are regular local trains running between Mumbai and Vasai Road. Remember that traveling in a local train to Vasai Road on weekday evenings would mean dealing with huge crowds. For outstation travelers, there are many express trains that halt at Vasai Road or the nearby Borivali, from where you can get a local train.

How Far Is Vasai From Andheri?

Andheri is about 46 km away from Vasai by road. You can also get a local train from Vasai Road, but it can be very crowded on a weekday morning.

  • Region
    West India
  • Type of Experience
  • Best Time To Visit
    All Through The Year
  • Food You Must Try
    Chicken Russian Cutlet, Chicken puffs and Chicken Rolls.
  • Language
    Hindi, English, Marathi
  • Things To Do In Vasai
  • 6 Things To Do In Vasai

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