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.
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.
The interior of the Stupa is a huge cavernous hall with pin-drop silence... a truly peaceful place perfect for meditation!
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
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 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
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
There are several old houses in Gorai that remind me of Goa
The Gorai Police station is another old construction of wooden beams and limestone walls, with clay tiled roof
A short halt to admire the beach at Manori
Arrived at Manori jetty, waiting for the ferry across to Marve
The ferry ride across from Manori to Marve offers a great view of the creek
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
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!