Thane Creek

Coordinates: 19°01′N 72°58′E / 19.02°N 72.97°E / 19.02; 72.97
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Thane Creek
ठाणे खाडी
Thane Creek is located in Maharashtra
Thane Creek
Thane Creek
Coordinates: 19°01′N 72°58′E / 19.02°N 72.97°E / 19.02; 72.97
 • OfficialMarathi
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Official nameThane Creek
Designated13 April 2022
Reference no.2490[1]

Thane Creek is an inlet in the shoreline of the Arabian Sea that isolates the city of Mumbai from the Konkan region of the Indian mainland.[2] It comprises the area between Mumbra Retibunder and the Mankhurd-Vashi Bridge. The creek is divided into two parts. The first part lies between Ghodbunder and Thane (Thana), a section from where the Ulhas river flows from the north of Mumbai Island to meet the Arabian Sea on the west. The second part of the waterway lies between the city of Thane and the Arabian Sea at Trombay / Uran, before the Gharapuri islands.

Thane Creek was formed due to a seismic fault lying below it which runs from Uran to Thane.

In antiquity, Thane served as the capital of the Sheelahar kingdom, and was a large functional port for trade with the Arabian peninsula, along with other ports, such as Ghodbunder and Nagla Bunder. The region of the Thane Creek has been recognized as an Important Bird Area by the Bombay Natural History Society, as it is home to various avian species. In particular, it harbors populations of flamingos and several other migratory and wading birds. The area has been designated as a protected Ramsar site since 2022.[1]

Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary[edit]

Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary.

The Maharashtra Government has declared the area along the western bank of the Thane Creek as the "Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary"(TCFS).[3] It is Maharashtra's second marine sanctuary after the Malvan Marine Sanctuary. The sanctuary was notified by Govt. Gazette on 6 August 2015.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, worldwide lockdown was seen, as a result the pollution levels were drastically reduced and so as a result in the mid of December 2020, dolphins were spotted here[citation needed].

In 2022, the teams of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) counted more than 130,000 flamingoes in Thane creek. The greater flamingo and lesser flamingo are the two flamingo species present in the sanctuary.[4] Alongside the flamingoes, 167 species of birds and small mammals like golden jackals are also present.[5][6][7]

The total area of the TCFS is 16.9 square kilometres (1,690 ha) [which includes 8.96 square kilometres (896 ha) of mangrove forests and 7.94 square kilometres (794 ha) of water body].[8]

Railway bridges[edit]

View of Navi Mumbai skyline from the railway bridge

Thane railway bridge or Thane railway viaduct is the oldest rail bridge constructed on this creek. The bridge lies between Thane and Parsik tunnel, Kalwa. It has two sections, a smaller section built of stones and concrete and a longer section built of stone and concrete but with a steel girder in middle. A report from Bombay Times elaborately describing the route for an account of a first trial journey of 18th November 1852 between Bombay and Tannah (before the official opening on 16th April 1853) also gave details on the Tannah- Callian (today, Kalyan) section, then under construction. It said that the railway [route] bent quickly towards 'the viaduct' on entering the village. This refers to the two old Thane creek bridges, that spanned the creek on the original line.

A parallel railway bridge lies on the harbour line of Mumbai suburban railway.

Tanna railway viaducts
The smaller railway viaduct (top) and the longer railway viaduct (bottom) near Tanna (present day Thane) in 1855.

A new parallel railway bridge, also with two sections, has been constructed for fast local trains.[9]

The railway bridge is shown on Google Maps as Mankurd Vashi Railway Bridge.[10]

Road bridges[edit]

Thane road bridge is the oldest bridge built over this creek. This bridge connects Thane and Kalwa. The old road bridge is no longer in use and has been superseded by the new parallel bridge.

Vashi & Airoli road bridge connects two sister cities of Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. These bridges are very important bridges as it carries heavy traffic between Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and towards Pune. Being one of the busiest routes in India, the bridge provides a shorter route to Pune. A parallel trans-harbour road link is under construction to connect Mumbai's two ports as well as to reduce rush on this bridge.[11]


  1. ^ a b "Thane Creek". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  2. ^ "Elevated Churchgate-Virar corridor still stuck - Indian Express". Archived from the original on 18 October 2012.
  3. ^ Deshpande, A (8 August 2015). "Mumbai gets a flamingo sanctuary". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 13 January 2023. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
  4. ^ "More than 130,000 flamingoes visited Thane creek this year: Dept". Hindustan Times. 30 April 2022. Archived from the original on 26 July 2022.
  5. ^ "Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary secures recognition as Ramsar site". The Indian Express. 14 August 2022. Archived from the original on 7 April 2023. Retrieved 8 April 2023.
  6. ^ Jadhav, R (4 April 2023). "Thane: Golden jackals spotted at flamingo sanctuary". Mid-Day. Archived from the original on 5 April 2023. Retrieved 8 April 2023.
  7. ^ Naik, Y (30 November 2022). "Study launched on golden jackals in city's mangrove patches". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 7 December 2022. Retrieved 8 April 2023.
  8. ^ Koshy, J (6 February 2019). "Bullet train gets green light via flamingo haven, national park". The Hindu Newspaper. Archived from the original on 3 October 2021.
  9. ^ 158 years on, central railway bridges vital gap
  10. ^ "Vashi Bridge". Google Maps. Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  11. ^ Work on third Thane creek bridge to start in March

External links[edit]