We know it sounds unbelievable, but hey, Mumbai has an island that most of us didn’t know about! A well-kept secret, Panju Island, is located near Thane’s border and is about 15 km from Borivali station. It is among the 26 islands in India—the only one in Maharashtra—that will be turned into tourist hotspots.
With a population of 1,500, Panju Island offers salt flats, vegetable farms and endless palm trees. The Maharashtra State Tourism Board intends to add various elements to put the island on the tourist map. A soon-to-be-built Central Amenity Centre will be the main attraction point. The intricate structure made out of bamboo will be illuminated by LED and eco-friendly bulbs to ensure that it is visible to tourists, even from the train.
A solid waste management plan will ensure that the farming and fishing island remains pollution-free. Tourists will get to see a variety of folk dance performances and music concerts. The island will also have a museum, aquarium, amphitheatre, mangrove park, and a selfie point with life-size statues and sculptures. Guests can either rent a cycle, take a stroll or opt to go around in the eco-friendly golf carts. Laster and water shows will be held on Panju island’s two lakes Gode Talao and Khare Talao, depicting the rich history of the island.
While the island is largely unexplored, it dates back to the time of Maratha warrior Chimaji Appa. He strategically used Panju island to gain control over Vasai Fort from Portuguese rule.
Nature lovers can spot the rich flora and fauna at the observation decks. If you are an adventure junkie you can opt for various activities like wall climbing and boat rides and night camping, complete with campfires.
How To Reach Panju Island
You can spot the island while travelling on the Western railway line—over the bridge on the creek between Bhayander and Naigon stations.
Take a jetty for Panju Island from Naigaon. You can drive up to Naigaon or take a Western Express train to Vasai or Virar (Naigaon is the station after Borivali).