Hello, Mumbaikars! You might be one of those folks who’s too fancy for Navi Mumbai, but boy, are you missing out or are you missing out? Today, we’re giving a massive shout-out to Vashi (we can hear a lot of South Bombayites groan internally).
It’s truly unwise to underestimate the charm of this quaint place that’s soon going to house India’s second IKEA outlet (yup, good news, isn’t it?). Vashi is a world on its own and that’s what we love about it. This weekend go try these 7 things (all of which are tried and tested by yours truly).
1. A Long Drive On Palm Beach Road
It’s apparently the most beautiful road across Mumbai city and for good reason. This 10 kilometer path with a 6 lane roadway is every rider’s dream. Want to run away from the madness of the crowd and just chill for a while? We’d say hit up Palm Beach Marg with a long drive! Connecting Vashi to CBD Belapur, this road is surreal to travel on, with a lake that sits humbly at one its turns. We were there on a Friday evening, post work, just to hush the tiring week away and we so didn’t want to go back home!
FYI: On Sundays, the road is reserved only for joggers and cyclists.
2. Shop At The Bikaner House
Nestled in one the by-lanes, this one’s easy to miss. The Bikaner House is filled with authentic handicrafts that make for the perfect gifts. Best part? They are affordable and don’t pinch your pockets. We hoarded their original mini Lac statues and gorgeous textiles, including the infamous Bandhane. They source all of their products from authentic craftsmen and vendors across the country and they house crafts from gemstones to white metal creations.
Address: SS-4, 121, Opposite Bank Of Maharashtra, Vashi, Navi Mumbai, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400705
Timings: 10 am – 9 pm
Contact: 022 2782 6948
3. Lunch At Everybody’s Favorite, Hotel Navratna
When in Vashi, you simply CANNOT not eat at Hotel Navratna. Why? Because anybody who lives here will tell you that you’d be a complete fool if you miss out! We’re not exaggerating. We absolutely loved their Pav Bhaji (Rs 115) and because we have appetites similar to those gorillas, we ordered for their popular Deluxe Thali (Rs 245) too. They even have a Mini Thali (Rs 160) and a Mini Thali with Pulao (Rs 180). People also come in for their Malai Kofta (Rs 155) but what our favorite part was the filter coffee (Rs 36) with which we ended our meal.
FYI: It’s a pure vegetarian restaurant but, to be honest, you won’t even think of meat when you eat here.
Address: Hotel Navaratna, Plot 10, Sector 17, Vashi, Navi Mumbai
Timings: 6 am – 12:30 am
Cost: Rs 800 for two approx
Contact: +91 8291981930, +91 8291981931
4. Rest Your Feet At Sagar Vihar
If you’re park person, you’re going to love this place. If you’re not a park person, you’re still going to love this place. Because Sagar Vihar, ladies and gents, is something out of an idyllic tale. This park opens out to the Thane Creek and it’s circular built has steps leading down to the water. You might even forget you’re still in Mumbai by the number of flowers that make up for the Veer Savarkar Udyan that’s situated inside this primary location. Read your book or just sit and listen to the sounds of birds while you take a break from all your explorations.
5. Try the Shawarma at Rite On Koal
If you’re in mood for a snack (you will be, we know) head to Vashi station for a delicious Shawarma experience. Rite On Koal is apparently one of the local favorites when it comes for this Middle-Eastern food dish. People here claim it to be the best shawarmas in the whole of Vashi. We tried their Chicken Shawarma Roll (Rs 80) and their Paneer Shawarma Roll (Rs 80). They are also known for their sumptuous Biryani, if you’re looking for a proper meal.
Address: Below Tower 5, Railway Station Complex, Vashi, Navi Mumbai Mumbai, Vashi
Timings: 12 pm – 12 am
Cost: Rs 650 for two (for a whole meal)
Contact: 022 65650090
Also Read: 5 Amazing Dishes To Try In Navi Mumbai
6. Shop For Books At This Never-Ending Book Sale At BookFair
We kid you not. After you’re done gobbling down some shawarma, we’d advice you to head just a couple of lanes ahead to the BookFair. Not even a kilometer from Vashi station, this place houses a never-ending book sale, even on the latest titles. We loved rummaging through the old, musty piles and bagging books for as cheap as Rs 75. Their discounts on the newer titles vary but they range anywhere from 10% to 20%.
FYI: We’d suggest you revisit earlier in the day sometime, since you’ll be the first one to bag the better books.
Address: Assam Bhawan, Sector 30A, Opp Center One Shopping Centre,Near Vashi Railway Station, Vashi,, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra 400703
Timings: 11 am – 9 pm
Contact: 098194 86350
7. End The Day At Mini Sea-Shore
Vashiites call it “our very own Joggers Park”. A small pond that’s now being used to enjoy lazy boat rides, Mini Sea-Shore is Vashi’s very own Juhu Chowpatty. People come here for an easy walk with friends and family but what we love most about it was the encompassing natural beauty. You can even walk the promenade that shadows the Vashi Creek or you can simply sit down to enjoy a gorgeous sunset. (Psst… we did both)
Address: Rajiv Gandhi Joggers Park, Juhu Chowpatty, Sector 10A, Vashi, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra 400703
So, are you ready to grab your best friend and explore Vashi this weekend?