A peek into the history of Virar
Virar is said to have been named after the Goddess Eka Viraa (एकविरा). In the slopes of the Tunga Parvat, a huge temple dedicated to Eka – Vira Devi may be located on the banks of the Vaitarna River. At Tunga Parvat, people used to finish their “Shurpaaraka Yatra.” It’s also possible that the name is taken from the Indian philosopher Jeevan Virar’s name.
On the west side of the Virar Tirtha, a carved stone may still be seen. The carved stone is about three feet long and nine inches broad, with a group of carvings of Ekaveera Devi’s Yoginis underneath it. A rough-cut cow and her calf stand nearby, representing Govardhana Math, which symbolizes Moksha’s eternal nature.
Virar was formerly the home of the Agri (caste) Samaj, which was primarily involved in fishing, salt manufacture, and rice farming. The region is also populated by Kolis. Virar and its surrounding regions, including the coveted Vasai Fort, were under direct Portuguese authority until the Maratha Empire reclaimed them in 1739 in the valiant Battle of Vasai commanded by Chimaji Appa.
Chimaji Appa built a shrine for Devi Vajreshwari nearby to celebrate his victory and keep a vow made to the goddess. The Vajreshwari temple is a Maratha relic.
TOURIST PLACES TO VISIT IN VIRAR
Rajodi Beach | Distance: 10 Km from Virar
On the Konkan coast, it is located between the beaches of Arnala and Kalamb. Because it is largely unknown to tourists, it is one of the region’s cleanest and quietest beaches.
Rajodi Beach is situated in Palghar District, Mumbai’s far north suburbs, and may be reached through Virar on the Vasai Virar coastal strip. Due to the development of new water sports and adventure activities, as well as dolphin sightings, the number of visitors is constantly increasing.
Chinchoti Waterfall | Distance: 25 Km from Virar
On a perfect monsoon day with little rain, a day spent in the Chinchoti jungle, which is home to a variety of insects and birds along the stream walk, is a wonderful forest experience amid the dense foliage.
In the Virar region, it is one of the finest monsoon attractions. Your day excursion will be remembered thanks to the magnificent 100 to 150-foot-tall waterfall and a lovely natural water pool on the lower level, as well as the steep hike through the forests filled with streams, birds, insects, and tranquility that is ideal for nature enthusiasts.
Pelhar Dam Lake | Distance: 16 Km from Virar
Located in Pelhar Village, Pelhar Lake is a popular tourist destination. Visitors flock to a waterfall near the Pelhar Dam during the monsoon season, which is easily accessible by car or on foot.
Because of the presence of the Tungareshwar range on its boundary, this reservoir is well-known for its lush greenery. Tungareshwar’s forest is home to a diverse range of animals, some of which may be seen from the dam if one is lucky.
Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary | Distance: 26 Km from Virar
Between the cities of Virar and Vasai lies Tungareshwar. It’s a densely forested region; during the monsoon, the surroundings are lush and green, with a smattering of flowing waterfalls. At a height of 2,177 feet, it is a well-known hiking destination.
In 2003, Tungareshwar was declared as a wildlife sanctuary to improve animal habitat and offer more space for predators like leopards. Just outside the sanctuary gate is a well-known Shiva Temple. This temple dates back nearly a century.
HISTORIC PLACES TO VISIT IN VIRAR
Takmak Fort | Distance: 25 Km from Virar
One of the Sahyadris’ hidden gems is the Takmak fort. The fort is in the Vasai Tehsil of the Thane district. Despite its proximity to Mumbai, it is still relatively unknown. The fort of Takmak has a lengthy history.
It was constructed in the 12th century by King Bheemdev. It functioned as a watchtower for identifying trade routes during the time. This fort was captured by Shivaji Maharaj, the Kohaj, and the Asheri. This fort is near the Mumbai waterfront. The Portuguese captured this fort after the Marathas when they invaded India.
Arnala Fort | Distance: 10 Km from Virar
Arnala is regarded as one of the most impressive coastal forts in India. Arnala Fort is also known as Jaldurg or Janjire Arnala. Mughals, Marathas, Portuguese, and ultimately the Peshwas were only a few of the empires that invaded Arnala. Sultan Mahmud Begda initially constructed the fort in 1516.
Nearly this fort’s entire perimeter is submerged. Bhavani Mata and Tryambakeshwar are four Hindu deities, whereas Mahadev is one. One of the fort’s three entrances, on the north side, features massive bastions on both sides.
Bassein Fort | Distance: 17 Km from Virar
Vasai, commonly known as Bassein, is located about 45 kilometers from Palghar City. It is situated in the taluka of Vasai. The fort in the ancient city served as the Portuguese headquarters in the north, second only to Goa insignificance.
Vasai’s coastal land-fort was surrounded by sea on three sides and had a sea-water-filled moat to the landslide. Its 4.5kilometer-long stone wall was fortified with 11 bastions. The fort had two gates: the westward land-gate and the eastward land-gate. There was also a tiny citadel in the fort, which was well-equipped with water tanks, storehouses, and an armory, among other things.
The fort also featured fields for producing cereals and vegetables. All of the ancient buildings inside the wall are now in shambles.
Vasai was the Portuguese navy’s primary naval station and kind of ship-building hub. In 1802 AD, Peshwa Bajirav signed the notorious ‘Treaty of Bassein,’ thus dissolving the Maratha Confederacy. Finally, in 1817 AD, the fort and city of Vasai were surrendered to the British.
RELIGIOUS PLACES TO VISIT IN VIRAR
Jivdani Temple | Distance: 5 Km from Virar
The Maa Jivdani temple is located on the Jivdani hill in Virar. It is located on the mountain and is Virar’s most significant landmark. It is well-known across the country for its one and only temple devoted to Goddess Jivdani, which is located on a hill on the city’s eastern outskirts, 1375 steps above ground level.
Hundreds of worshipers go to the 150-year-old Jivdani Temple in Virar on Sundays and other holidays. The Papadkhandi dam, which was built in the foothills, was a major supply of fresh water in the region.
The Vajreshwari Temple | Distance: 29 Km from Virar
The goddess Vajreshwari temple was built in 1739 by the famous Maratha warrior Chimaji Appa, who is the younger brother of ‘Bajirao Peshwa 1st’ and a military leader of the Maratha Empire. The architecture of the Goddess Vajreshwari temple is inspired by Vasai Fort.
Vajreshwari is also well-known for its hot springs. The hot springs at Akloli and Ganeshpuri are well-known, with some of them being among Asia’s hottest. Due to the presence of sulfur and other curative elements, they are believed to have therapeutic properties. Thousands of people come to see them.
James Church | Distance: 6 Km from Virar
St. James Church at Agashi, on the Virar-Arnala road, was built in 1558. The Portuguese were the most famous of the European tribes that built homes along the water wherever they went. A little port town called ‘Agasi’ was one of them. Given its closeness to the sea and the availability of wood from the forests, Agashi soon became a permanent Portuguese colony.
The early stone and brick construction of St. James Church saved it from the 1594 Muslim attacks. In 1739, the Marathas attacked and largely destroyed it. As a result of the Marathas’ generosity, the church was rebuilt by 1760. The church was rebuilt in 1900.
HOW TO REACH VIRAR
Virar’s roads link it to several towns and villages in the Vasai – Virar area, as well as the country’s main cities. The Mumbai-Pune expressway and the national highways 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 17 in Virar are very well linked to Mumbai. To get there, you may take a private taxi or any other private car.
Virar is approximately 43 kilometers from the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. To get to Virar, hire a private cab from the airport.
Virar is on the western railway line. Virar Railway station is the last railway station connecting it to the rest of the Central, Harbor, and Western railway and can be easily reached from any part of Mumbai.
VVMT operates many buses from Virar to different cities and villages across the area. Buses for hire are also readily available.