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Thane District,Maharashtra

Thane District is a district in the state of Maharashtra in Konkan Division. At the 2011 Census it was the most populated district in the nation, with 11,060,148 inhabitants; however, in the district was split into two with the creation of a new Palghar district, leaving the reduced Thane district with a 2011 Census population of 8,070,032. The headquarters of the district is the city of Thane. Other major cities in the district are Navi Mumbai, Kalyan-Dombivli, Mira-Bhayander, Bhiwandi, Ulhasnagar, Ambarnath, Badlapur, Murbad and Shahapur. 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 revised area of the district is 4,214 km². The district is bounded by Pune and Ahmadnagar districts to the east, and by Palghar district to the north. The Arabian Sea forms the western boundary, while it is bounded by Mumbai City District and Mumbai Suburban District to the southwest and Raigad District to the south.

History

In 1817, 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, the North Konkan district was expanded by adding parts of South Konkan district and in 1833 was renamed Thana District. In 1853, 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 (now known as Raigad district).

Back in 1866, 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 was separated from Salsette in 1861 and was placed under Panvel. Panvel, together with its mahals of Uran and Karanja, was transferred to Kolaba district in 1883 and Karjat was transferred in 1891. A new mahal with Bandra as headquarters was created in 1917 and in 1920 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 and renamed as Thana in 1926. Kelve-Mahim was renamed as Palghar. 33 villages of the Bombay Suburban district were transferred to Thana district in 1945 and 14 of them were re-transferred to the Bombay Suburban district in 1946 when the Aarey Milk Colony was constituted.

After Independence, in 1949, 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 when the limits of Greater Bombay were extended northwards in Salsette. In 1960, 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 made into a separate mahal, Talasari. In 1969, the taluka of Kalyan was divided into two talukas, Kalyan and Ulhasnagar.

Geography

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. Isolated hills and spurs dot the 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 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. 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. 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 in the Vasai taluka in the bed of Tansa River. They are near Akloli, Ganeshpuri and Vajreshwari villages. There are some more examples: Kokner (Maswan tal-Palghar) and Sativali (Saphale tal:-Palghar). The water temperatures are in the range of 42°-55 °C.