Resting on the north coast of Mumbai overlooking the Arabian Sea, the port city of Virar is home to a vibrant, multihued culture enriched by its Portuguese and Marathas settlements. Virar’s beautiful backdrop of rainforests, waterfalls and rural villages is complemented by the town’s stunning white-sand beaches.
Things to do
Explore Vajreshwari Temple and its religious hot springs. Built by the Maratha ruler, Chimaji Appa, the Hindu temple is surrounded by rice fields. Enter through a stone fortress to see the temple’s golden tortoise and marble lion and to ring the bell upon entry.
Climb 1,375 steps to Jivdani Mata Temple, the only temple in India devoted to the God of Wealth of Life. The 17th-century temple clings to a cliff face in the Satpura Range overlooking the city. Within the fortification lies an ancient cave where devotees pay their respects.
Relax on the quiet sandy shores of Rajodi Beach. Enjoy a sunset camel ride along the water’s edge or hire bikes and cycle from Rajodi Beach to Kalamb Beach. For family fun, head to Yazoo Park, a giant amusement park featuring thrilling rides, water slides, musical shows and a floating restaurant.
Discover the dense forests, waterfalls and wildlife of Tungareshwar National Park on a seven-kilometer trek to the Shiv Mandir Temple, a bright-yellow temple located 663 meters above sea level. On your way back, stop for a swim at Chinchoti Waterfalls, a series of cascading swimming holes.
Vivar is a 55-minute train ride or 45-minute taxi from Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport in Mumbai. Buses are limited, but there are plenty of taxis available and most places are within walking distance.