Versova Beach – Awarded by UN Environment Programme

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Versova Beach
Background of fishing boats and fisherman villages in the wet sand of the Versova beach of Mumbai with apartment buildings along the coast along the coastline

Versova Beach is listed among the best places to visit in Mumbai. Tourists love the beach because its coastline is fascinating.

This three-kilometer-long rock beach is located northwards from Juhu Beach, and a creek separates the two beaches. Versova beach faces the Arabian sea and is nearer Andheri, a suburban area.

It is among the most attractive beaches in Mumbai, with black and white dry sand and several rocky patches.

People rank it as one of the cleanest beaches with a calm and peaceful environment. It is highly popular for its water, colorful fishing boats, and breathtaking sunrise and sunset views.

The Koli community, one of Mumbai’s largest fishing communities, lives around the beach. Some interesting restaurants and cafes are lined close to the beach, where visitors can enter and have fun.

The tourists and locals turn out in large numbers to the beach’s sandy shore, admiring the dazzling water and glimmering cityscape.

Versova Beach

Things to do at Versova Beach

The things to do at Versova Beach include:

  • Watching the sunrise and sunset – This beach offers a panoramic, unobstructed view of the Arabian Sea and the golden sun rising or setting in it. Unlike Juhu Beach, hordes of food vendors will not disturb your train of thought. You can enjoy aloofness as you sit on the rocks.
  • Horse riding – Horses for hire are readily available near the beach. You can ride along the beach’s length while the horse scoops the sand out or ride it on the waves.
Versova Beach
  • Buying fish – Fishing is the main occupation of the Koli fishing community. The fish market at Versova is among the largest. It offers a wide range of sea creatures and fishes.
  • Taking photos – The solitude and scenic view at Versova Beach are attractive for photographers. You can take appealing images at dusk and capture the sky’s golden hues or at dawn to catch the fishers. People capture other views, including horses riding across the shore, giant sailfish in the market, and snack vendors by the beach.
  • Water sports – This beach provides several water sports opportunities.
  • Festivities – Versova Beach, Mumbai, is also an excellent venue for several celebrations and festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi and Coconut Day. You can plunge into the adventure of a lifetime when you visit the secluded beach, which promises visitors unlimited memories and fun.
  • Vesava Koli Sea Food Festival – This festival is organized in Jan every year and has a variety of seafood to enjoy. It is a unique festival worth visiting. This year the festival is on the 20th, 21st, and 22nd of January, 2023.
  • Cycling – You can bike along Versova Beach’s attractive coastline for an unusual seaside excursion. Several guided cycling tours are organized, allowing visitors to explore this beach’s beauty.
Versova Beach
Workers and machines clean Versova beach of filth, plastic, bottles, and scrap, which people leave.

Versova Beach Timings and Entry Fee

You can enjoy the beach for free. You may spend several hours there watching the rising and falling waves, capturing the rocky boundary, and painting the views.

Best Time to Visit Versova Beach

The evening hours are ideal if you enjoy spending time with many other people at the beach. If you want to see fresh catch from the sea, visit the beach early in the morning.

The returning boats typically have lots of fish and other seawater creatures. The fishermen auction the fish by the afternoon.

The ideal months to visit Versova Beach are from October to March. During these months, Mumbai’s humidity levels are lower.

If you love seafood, you can plan your visit around the three-day Koli Seafood Festival, which takes place in January each year.

Interesting facts about Versova Beach

Some interesting details about the beach include:

  • Versova Beach was once a port for sea-related transactions.
  • The giant rocks at the beach prevent the strong sea waves from damaging buildings.
  • The cleanup project at the beach started in October 2015 and lasted for three years.
  • Afroz Shah and other volunteers cleaned the beach.

What is special for children?

Kids can enjoy several activities at Versova Beach, Mumbai. They include horse riding and water sports. They can also play with the waves and frolic at the shore.

History of Versova Beach

Versova was initially referred to as Vesave. It is a small fishing village in the Kolis located north of ancient Mumbai City.  Britain used to refer to this as vis-a-vis, and the locals gave it the name Visava.

The initial name of the village was “Visava,” which derives from the Marathi word meaning “rest.”  Later, it was known by the name “Vesava.” The village is listed in the writings by Gemelli Careri from 1695.

Versova was under Portuguese rule during the latter part of the middle period. The Portuguese built Our Lady of Health Church in Versova, and several Kolis changed to Christianity then.

In 1720, the town had become tiny, with a little Fort and a growing market for dry-fished fish.

In 1739, the Portuguese lost the territory to the Marathas, who reinforced the fort. A British army under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Keating defeated the Marathas in 1774.

In the year 1800 in the year 1800, the British set up a training center for cadets in engineering and artillery. The facility was relocated to the former Bombay city following the outbreak of fever that affected nearly all cadets and even killed a number of them. This military institution was taken away in 1818.

How to reach Versova Beach

There are multiple ways to get to Versova Beach.

By road

As India’s financial capital, Mumbai is well connected to the nearby cities and towns. A network of state-run and private buses operates from Pune (148 kilometers), Nagpur (780 kilometers), Nashik (168 kilometers), and Aurangabad (370 kilometers) from Mumbai, among other cities.

Many buses drop off passengers at the Mumba Central Depot, about 20 kilometers away from the beach. You can reach the beach by travel by bus to the beach. You can take a bus to Andheri and another from Andheri to Versova. You may also rent a car or book a cab in Mumbai to get to the beach directly.

By Rail

Most local trains operate between Mumbai and other Indian towns. Andheri is the closest railway station in the locality.

By Metro

You can also reach Versova by a Mumbai metro ride. It takes ten minutes to walk from the Versova metro station to the beach, which is around 750 meters only.

By air

The main airport in Mumbai is the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. Flights from popular destinations like Singapore, Dubai, and Bangkok are available. The airport also has many flights from Indian cities like Guwahati, Kochi, and Chandigarh, among others. The airport is around 8 kilometers from the beach, and it takes about thirty minutes to drive to the beach.

What should I carry when visiting Versova Beach?

It is advisable to carry some bug spray or lotion to avoid getting bitten by insects. Also, pack essential medicines. It would help if you also had sunscreen that offers optimal protection from harmful ultraviolet rays. Carry a water bottle, Sunglasses, and a hat, as the sun can be pretty hot, especially in the afternoons.

There was a time when Versova Beach was dirty. Is it clean these days?

Several years back, Versova Beach was in a poor state and had turned into one of Mumbai’s dirtiest beaches. The residents had turned it into a dumping ground, and visitors also left some trash there. Thankfully, there is no trash now, and the turtles live in it once more after a 20-year gap.

How did Versova Beach get cleaned up?

Afroz Shah, an activist, lawyer, and other volunteers made an effort to revive the beach’s beauty in October 2015. Three years later, the beach’s pristine glory resumed. In 2016, the United Nation’s top environmental department gave him the Champions of Earth Award for his work.

Afroz and his neighbor started cleaning glass bottles, plastic bags, cement sacks, and other garbage from Versova Beach. Within less than a year, their rigorous efforts convinced three thousand citizens to join the cleanup drive.

How can I travel from Thane to Versova Beach?

The beach is located about 27—8 kilometers from Thane. You can travel by taxi to get to the beach from Thane. It takes about 1.30 hours to get there. Another option is boarding a train from Thane railway station and reaching Andheri Railway station or Versova Metro station. You can walk about one kilometer or rent an Auto to Versova.

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