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The Leisure Local

Friday, April 08, 2016

Don’t let time constraints and a busy schedule leave you trapped in the city. Jagruti Verma tells you how you can sightsee using local transport

Mumbai, a city of seven islands, is known for giving people the opportunity to live their lives to the fullest. So, there is no reason it shouldn’t be a haven for travellers too. If you thought that you need to leave the city to take a break, think again! Let’s say you have a day to spend on a shoe-string budget. Here is a list of places you can visit to explore Mumbai and its nearby hubs by climbing aboard the Mumbai Local!


Matheran is an extremely popular hill station located around 90km away from Mumbai, with several tourist attractions such as Panorama Point, famous for its view of the sunrise and sunset, and Louisa Point that gives you a clear view of the Prabal Fort. The cheapest way to reach Matheran is via Mumbai local. A train ticket from CST to Neral costs `25 and the journey, in a Khopoli or Karjat fast train, takes about an hour and a half. From Neral, you can either take a half-hour taxi ride or board the famous Toy Train to reach Matheran in only two hours.

Malshej Ghat
A mountain pass in the Western Ghats, Malshej is about 85km from the Kalyan district of Thane. You can get here in around two hours by road. It’s an excellent picnic spot, famous during the monsoons for its many waterfalls and flora and fauna, particularly the migratory birds. A `15 ticket from CST takes you to Kalyan in an hour, in a Kalyan fast local.


Dahanu Road is the final stop on the Western line, but that’s not the only significance it holds! It is famous for its beautiful beaches that haven’t ruined by people and the Dahanu Fort, which is a scenic spot that holds rich history. The Asawali Dam and Kalpataru Botanical Gardens in Bordi are famous picnic spots around half an hour away by road. However, the best part about visiting Dahanu is the approximate three hour journey from Churchgate for just `35! As the train slowly pulls out of the city, get set for a life-changing experience.

Vasai is a suburban township in the north of Mumbai. It can be reached in a little over an hour via a Virar fast local, with a `15 ticket. It is famous for Vasai Fort, important because of its history involving the Portuguese, the Marathas and the British, and a number of beaches and waterfalls. It also houses a number of beautiful churches including St. Thomas Church and St. Gonsalo Garcia Church.


Major tourist attractions in Panvel include the Karnala Fort and Karnala Bird Sanctuary, both around 10km away from Panvel city, which is well known for trekking and its flora and fauna. The Gadeshwar Dam is another place worth visiting for a perfect weekend getaway or a single day trip. You can reach Panvel in an hour and a half — the trip will cost you just `20 via the local trains.

Places of interest in Kharghar include the Pandavkada falls, Kharghar hills, Kharghar Valley Golf Course, Iskon Temple and Central Park and the best time to visit is during the monsoon. Board a local train from CST with a `20 ticket and you can reach Kharghar in just little over an hour. It’s a great place to spend an evening with family and friends. The street food, especially momos and other Indian Chinese dishes available here, are definitely worth a try!

Millions of people use the Mumbai locals on a daily basis to get to work. Despite being a tiring affair, picking an empty one for a ride over the weekend is worth having in a city buzzing with sights and sounds!

Use technology

m-Indicator is must-have app when travelling by public transport, especially local trains. It gives you detailed timetable schedules of the trains and also alerts you about changes, delays and mega blocks.

Find out about delays
If you are travelling on a Sunday, check for mega blocks (on m-Indicator alerts) that are a regular weekend installation on all the lines.

Don’t travel during peak hours
If you are travelling for leisure, do not pick office hours in the morning or evening for your commute, as it will make your journey too tiresome.

Don’t hesitate to ask
If you can’t figure out which train to board or where to go, ask people. Don’t worry; no one will judge you. Instead, you will get the best possible help because people who travel regularly know pretty much everything there is to know!

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