Cycling along the mangroves of Mumbai

Adventure Mar 31, 2013

Mumbai has a long coast that is lined at many places with mangroves. The greenest of these stretches lies to the north west coast from the banks of Ulhas river (Vasai creek) that separates Mumbai island from the mainland, down to Versova. This is one of my favorite cycling routes, because the entire stretch is relatively free of congestion due to its accessibility from the rest of Mumbai.

As you can see from the map below, there are two wide creeks that divide this stretch of coastline, and there are no bridges over these. Hence the only way to reach this coast by road is to go all the way north to Mira Road and then via Uttan.

I had been wanting to cycle the entire stretch and got a chance on one weekend in March 2013.

I had a break from cycling of about a month, I was eager to get back on the cycle. I started early at around 5 am, and cycled along the Western Express Highway till Mira Road, then took the detour towards Uttan.

Uttan Hill
At Uttan, I skipped visiting the Uttan fort, leaving that for another time. The above photo is from another trip I took to Uttan fort.

Global Vipassana Center I visited the Global Vipassana Center at Gorai. The Stupa is supposed to be the world’s largest pillar-less stone dome. Painted golden, it shines in the morning light.

Global Vipassana Center Interior The interior of the Stupa is a huge cavernous hall with pin-drop silence... a truly peaceful place perfect for meditation!

Buddha Statue and Stupa, Gorai A giant statue of the Buddha in a meditative pose. The statue is over 20 feet high and is carved from a single rock of marble

Bell Tower, Global Vipassana Center, Gorai The Bell tower is an open structure designed in the traditional Burmese architecture holding a massive bell. The bell was donated by the people of Myanmar

The Myanmar Gate, Global Vipassana Center, Gorai The Myanmar Gate is a massive entrance arch to the Global Vipassana Pagoda complex, and is accessible from a road that leads to the center from Gorai jetty

Street in Gorai Village After a much needed tea with biscuits at a road-side restaurant, I head out towards Manori. This quaint street in Gorai Village seems frozen in time several years ago

Old Houses in Gorai There are several old houses in Gorai that remind me of Goa

Gorai Police Station The Gorai Police station is another old construction of wooden beams and limestone walls, with clay tiled roof

Manori Beach A short halt to admire the beach at Manori

Cycle at Manori Jetty Arrived at Manori jetty, waiting for the ferry across to Marve

Manori Creek The ferry ride across from Manori to Marve offers a great view of the creek

Madh Fort From Marve, the road continues to Madh. This time I did not visit Madh fort that I had visited as the first of my project to cycle to historic sites around Mumbai

Manori Creek I then took the second ferry from Madh jetty across to Versova, and then returned home to Andheri.

70 km of peaceful riding away from the city… a great way to start a Sunday!


Ashutosh Bijoor

Adventurer, mathematician, software architect, cyclist, musician, aspiring wood worker