My Journey (to and fro) from Mumbai (Maharashtra) to Dandi (Gujarat)

To celebrate 75th anniversary of India’s Independence, 81 persons will embark on the same 386 km long foot-march starting from Ahmedabad, ending at Dandi in Gujarat – This was the news and I decided to visit Dandi but not via my Royal Enfield Thunderbird Twinspark 350 motorbike.

How to reach Dandi from Mumbai? – The question.

Mumbai to Navsari by train and then from Navsari to Dandi by bus or auto – whichever is available.

IRCTC website the best to reserve train ticket.

BDTS ST SF SPL (02935) – 06:10 from (BDTS) will reach Navsari at 09:53 – 03h 43m journey.

Second Sitting (2S) was available (Second Sitting – a new experience). Booked. Rs. 133.19 paid.

for return journey I reserved ticket via HW BANDRA SPL (09020) – 17:42 from

Train was on time at Bandra Terminus. Reached Navsari on time too.

Second Sitting (2S) experience was good. It is almost like General Coach but with mattress. Two passengers are allowed to seat at lower berth, two to seat at upper berth and two to seat at side-berth.

I enquired – How to reach Dandi from Navsari railway station?

Navsari railway station – west side exit, walk on left-side towards the road. A display-board showing direction for Dandi.

A neem tree (Indian lilac) – one will get bus or auto for Dandi from here only.

I was told – bus for Dandi just left.

I was disappointed.

I suggest: Dandi bus timing should match with Train timing.

Anyway, I waited for another 15 minutes but there was no bus.

Finally, I started inquiring auto fare from Navsari railway station to Dandi?

Rs. 200 – The reply from various auto drivers.

The distance from Navsari Railway Station to Dandi is 18 km approx.

One auto driver after bargain was ready for Rs. 150.

10:20 am we started the journey from Navsari Railway Station, reached Prarthana Mandir,Dandi at 10:45 am.

Journey was comfortable as the road-condition was excellent and very less traffic on-road. I like smaller towns.

Vijay – The auto driver was helpful. He gave his mobile number in-case while returning I require an auto because bus and auto service is not that frequent in this remote-area.

Thank you – said I

Approx. 3 hours I spent at Prarthana Mandir, Saifee Villa, National Salt Satyagrah Memorial and Hajani Bibi Dargaah.

While returning I waited for 15 minutes for bus or auto to arrive at Prarthana Mandir, Dandi but disappointed again.

I was told by a makeshift shop owner – 2:15 pm bus will arrive. And next bus at 7:00 pm

Rs. 18 bus fare from Prarthana Mandir, Dandi to State Transport (ST) Bus Depot, Navsari.

Rs. 25 auto fare (sharing) from Prarthana Mandir, Dandi to Char Rasta, Navsari.

No bus nor auto was available. I opt for lift from a biker – Nirshal.

Nirshal dropped me at Char Rasta, Navsari. Thank you very much – said I.

from Char Rasta, Navsari to Navsari Railway Station (3 km approx.) there is auto for Rs. 10 per person.

Finally, I reached Navsari Railway Station.

I was hungry. Bhuvneshwari Khichdi Center at Lunsikui (opposite Parsi Hospital gate) – I had to reach.

I was told to walk further for few meters from Navsari Railway Station to cross railway line to hire sharing auto for State Transport (ST) Bus Depot. Parsi Hospital was nearby – walking distance.

I hire a sharing auto for Rs. 10 and approx. 2/3 km journey I reached ST Bus Depot.

Had sugarcane juice (without ice) for Rs. 15 per glass and walk towards Parsi Hospital (D. N. Mehta Sarvajanik Hospital).

Bhuvneshwari Khichdi Center is inside the lane (left-hand side) opposite Parsi Hospital gate.

2:40 pm reached Bhuvneshwari Khichdi Center. Air-conditioned it is, having ground and upper floor.

I enter ground floor. Had Masala Khichdi and 2 glasses of Chaas (butter milk) – Delicious it was.

Rs. 70 for Masala Khichdi and Rs. 40 for 2 glasses of Chaas. Total amount paid – Rs. 116 including CGST AND SGST.

Bhuvneshwari Khichdi Center open at 11 am till 11 pm (3 pm till 5 pm closed).

Had walk from Bhuvneshwari Khichdi Center till ST Bus Depot and then hire an auto for Rs. 10 till Navsari railway station.

Reached Navsari Railway Station. Upon request to station master, air-conditioned Waiting Room was opened. Spent few hours and return train at 17:42 – on time. Reached Bandra Terminus – on time.

The one day journey (to and fro) from Mumbai (Maharashtra) to Dandi (Gujarat) was fruitful. The journey continues..

Day 2: My Train Journey from Andheri for Tungareshwar Trek

Day 2, it was Sunday (less crowded train expected), I with a friend was visiting Tungareshwar temple at Vasai East but this time not via my Royal Enfield Thunderbird Twinspark 350 motorbike but via Mumbai’s local train.

As said earlier, due to COVID-19, for general public local trains are available in three-time slots only:

  1. from the start of the days services till 7 am
  2. 12:00 Noon till 4:00 pm
  3. 9:00 pm till the end of the days services

I was at Andheri Railway Station little before 12 noon (for general public ticket counter opens 15 minutes before 12 noon).

II ordinary ticket purchased from Andheri till Vasai Road (to and fro) for Rs. 20 only/per person.

Local train (Slow) was on time and less crowded (You may take Fast also).

I suggest: download m-Indicator – an award winning Public TransportApp of India for up-to-date information.

Andheri Railway Station till Vasai Road local train journey time approx. 45 minutes.

We walk towards East side.

There were autos lined-up outside Vasai Road (East).

I enquire with an auto – How much for Tungareshwar?

Rs. 150 – He said.

I walk further and ask another auto.

Rs. 50 per person – He said.

Finally I found an auto for lesser amount.

Vasai Road till Tungar Phata (Tungareshwar temple gate)Rs. 40 per person.

15 minutes/8 kms journey approx., we reach Tungar Phata (below National Highway bridge).

Rs. 80 paid. Road-condition from Vasai Road till Tungar Phata was excellent.

Tungar Phata (Tungareshwar temple gate – below National Highway) till Tungareshwar temple is 3.5 kms journey.

Autos coming from Vasai Road are allowed only till Tungar Phata (Tungareshwar temple gate).

Tungareshwar temple gate, to reach little before Tungareshwar forest gate, you may hire another auto for Rs. 10 per person.

We decided to walk 3.5 kms.

Tungareshwar forest gate, you may hire another auto till Tungareshwar temple for Rs. 50 per person.

Again we decided to trek 2 kms from Tungareshwar forest gate till Tungareshwar temple.

What I like the most about Tungareshwar temple trek is the untouched natural surroundings.

I like the dusty road and the jungle all-around. Reminds of Ranthambore National Park (Rajasthan).

Entry Fee counter was closed. I was told – Sunday, Monday and National Holidays such as 26 January, 15 August – entry to the park is free.

As I walk further I saw Udasin Math on the left-hand side. Will visit for blessings while returning – I said to friend.

Tungareshwar temple trek is an easy trek but as I gained weight during lockdown I was tired of walking.

Though the distance was approx. 500 meters left, I thought of lift.

A scooty was coming – I requested for lift.

I was riding as a pillion at Pawan’s scooty. Thanks – said I.

Soon I was at temple-area parking.

Sorry to friend, who was trekking to reach temple.

Total trekking time from Tungar Phata (Tungareshwar temple gate) till Tungareshwar temple is approx. 1 hour (3.5 kms) but if you are super fit, I guess maximum you will take 40 minutes.

At temple-area parking I saw two paths.

One downwards towards Tungareshwar temple and another towards Balyogi Sadanand Maharaj Ashram – 6.2 km further.

Today, I decided to visit Tungareshwar temple only and maybe some other day 6.2 kms trek.

I was told by locals that motorcycle and auto can go up to Balyogi Sadanand Maharaj Ashram but on rider’s risk as the road condition is not good.

I enquired with an auto present – How much fare till Balyogi Sadanand Maharaj Ashram (to and fro)?

Rs. 700 – He said from Tungareshwar temple till Balyogi Sadanand Maharaj Ashram (to and fro).

Too costly. Anyway, I walk towards Tungareshwar temple.

Had blessings from Lord Shiva and visit to few more temples around.

After spending approx. one hour at temple-area, I walk towards makeshift shop to have snacks.

Mineral Water (Rs. 20), Limca 1/2 litre (Rs. 50), 3 Tea (Rs. 30), 4 Bread Pakoda (Rs. 60) – We had at Hari Om Sena Hotel.

Tungareshwar temple visit/trek finally was successful. I was happy.

I enquired with Hari Om Sena Hotel about Tungareshwar temple timings.

6 am till 6 pm (7 days open) – He said.

9:00 am and 6:00 pm is the Aarti time.

Maha Shivratri and the holy month of Sawan – temple is crowded by devotees visit.

Thank you – said I.

Best Time for Tungareshwar trek I believe would be – October month after rainy season.

Near parking-area I saw Mahant Bajrang Das Udasin Ashram. I paid a visit to have blessings.

Donated few rupees and finally with a smile downwards trek to reach home. The journey continues..

Day 1: My Motorbike Journey from Andheri East to Tungareshwar Temple via Western Express Highway

Tungareshwar temple at Vasai East – visit was pending since few years.

Finally, it was Maha Shivratri festival day and I decided to visit.

Though there is Mumbai’s local train from Andheri station till Vasai Road station but currently due to COVID-19, for general public local trains are available in three-time slots only:

  1. from the start of the days services till 7 am
  2. 12:00 Noon till 4:00 pm
  3. 9:00 pm till the end of the day’s services

I decided to visit Tungareshwar temple at Vasai East via my Royal Enfield Thunderbird Twinspark 350.

I started my journey from Andheri East (via Western Express Highway) at 9:15 am

By 9:40 am I reach Dahisar Toll Plaza covering 17 kms in 25 minutes.

Yes, I drive slow. Mostly 40 km per hour.

Journey from Andheri East, Western Express Highway till Dahisar Toll Plaza was good because of brilliant road condition and not much traffic on road but once I crossed Dahisar Toll Plaza, the journey was different – heavytraffic.

10 am I was at Vasai Creek Bridge.

Though the distance from Dahisar Toll Plaza till Vasai Creek Bridge is only 6 km but due to heavy traffic on road, it took 20 minutes to cover 6 km. And too much dirt too in the air because of heavy vehicles.

After crossing Vasai Creek Bridge, after few kms I saw McDonald’s outlet on the left-hand side.

I was hungry because yet to have breakfast but I continue my journey.

Will have breakfast while returning – I said to myself.

At 10:40 am after covering 16 km journey in 40 minutes from Vasai Creek Bridge, I reached Tungar Phata (below highway bridge) that connects to Tungareshwar road to reach Tungareshwar temple.

But I was disappointed.

There was police deployment at the Tungareshwar temple gate and a notice displayed.

I asked one policeman – is the temple closed?

He said – Yes, today only.

Anyway, what to do? – I have to return. Maybe another day will visit for sure but not via my motorbike.

The motorbike journey from Andheri East till Tungar Phata (Vasai East) was 39 kms only but it took 1 hour 25 minutes.

U-turn and I towards McDonald’s outlet.

After covering 12 km on highway again, I reached McDonald’s outlet (right-side) at 11:10 am

Had breakfast with Cappuccino Coffee – Rs. 99/- only (combo offer).

Though the journey was not completed but a wish exist to visit Tungareshwar temple again – The journey continues..