THE LITTLE-known Mumbra Devi temple located on the Old Mumbai-Pune highway just opposite the Mumbra railway station may not be on the must-go-to lists of many tourist maps, but the quaint little temple with the mysterious Parsik Fort in the background has its share of regular visitors.
The temple — that gives its name to Mumbra — perched over 200 metres above sea level, can be seen from a distance by railway commuters on the central line and is a landmark that tells them they are approaching Mumbra.
The easiest way to reach the temple is to go there from the Mumbra railway station. In a way, the trek up to the temple begins from Mumbra station itself as one takes the lane opposite the railway station that goes upwards on to the Mumbra bypass. From Mumbra bypass, it takes nearly 20 minutes to half an hour to reach the Mumbra Devi temple. There are steps to make the climb easier for senior citizens.
Once at the top, the main temple has a mural of 10 faces of Mumbra Devi, prime deity of the Koli and Agri fishermen tribes who used to reside in Mumbra, when it was still a small fishing village.
From the top, one can soak in the view of the Ulhas river, the old Mumbai-Pune highway with the trains on the central line snaking their way onwards to Dombivli and beyond.
The monolithic rock at whose base the temple is located leads to the Parsik Fort.
Denzil Aranha, a Thane resident, who has been visiting forts across Mumbai and Thane, said, “Given the strategic location with the view of the Ulhas river, the Parsik hill was fortified. However, the climb from the temple to the Parsik fort is too steep and it is impossible to reach the top without proper equipment. I hope the authorities make the fort more accessible or else we will lose a slice of history to neglect.”