Panvel is a city in Raigad district of Maharashtra, in Konkan Division. The city is highly populated due to its closeness to Mumbai. Panvel is located in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. Panvel (also known as Panwell by the British) is about 300 years old, developed around trade routes (both land and sea), during the Mughal rule and hence after by the Marathas, British and the Portuguese. Once upon a time Panvel was famous for its rice market. Panvel Municipal Council (PMC) was established in the year 1852, and is the oldest municipal council of Maharashtra. Panvel Municipal Council's elections started in the year 1910. The first mayor of the PMC was Mr. Yusuf Noor Mohammed Master for the years 1910–1916. The sesquicentennial anniversary (150th anniversary) of the PMC was celebrated in the year 2002. The city prospered and grew due to the influence of large scale trade by land and sea. This was characterised by the large palace-like homes that came up during the Peshwa period. It is also said that old name of this city was Paneli (Panelim in Konkani). There were historic cannons (during the time of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj) situated on Panvel port. On 1 October 2016, Panvel Municipal Corporation came into existence. Panvel lies approximately 40 kilometers east of Greater Mumbai right outside the Mumbai Metropolitan Region .It is surrounded by the mountains of Matheran to the east and south east and outer regions of Panvel i.e. villages of Dundhare,Maldunge are separated from the suburbs of Badlapur and Ambernath by hilly ranges of the Western Ghats. It lies adjacent to the Navi Mumbai International Airport forming its eastern boundary. The recent developments of Panvel are in New Panvel. New Panvel is developed, administered, and maintained by CIDCO. Though residents of New Panvel elect a representative in the Panvel Municipal Council, the Municipal Council does not control or manage any administrative or development activity in New Panvel. The development of New Panvel was initiated in 1970 to meet the housing requirements of employees working in the nearby industrial MIDC areas such as Taloja, Rasayani, Patalganga & Pen. New Panvel is strategically located on the eastern side of the Mumbai-Bangalore National Highway (NH-4) and the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. It is well connected to rest of India by road and railway. New Panvel is divided in two parts – New Panvel East and New Panvel West (commonly known as Khanda Colony). They have 19 and 23 sectors respectively. New Panvel is just adjacent to the proposed Navi Mumbai International airport.It has a number of schools, colleges and hospitals to meet the needs of its residents. Panvel is surrounded by some major Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) managed regions like Patalganga, Taloja, Nagothane, Roha, Khopoli, Bhiwandi. Some of the Indian industry majors like Larsen & Toubro Limited, Reliance, Hindustan Organic Chemicals Ltd., ONGC, IPCL are based around Panvel providing mass employment. The JNPT port is also located near Panvel. New SEZ declared by government are coming around Panvel. Karnala fort: Karnala fort is a hill fort in Raigad district about 10 km from Panvel city. Currently it is a protected place lying within the Karnala Bird Sanctuary. It was a fort of strategic importance as it overlooked the Bor pass which connected the Konkan coast to the interior of Maharashtra (Vidharba)[2] and was the main trade route between these areas. It lies between Pen and Panvel near Shirdhon village. The fort is 370 m above mean sea level. Karnala bird sanctuary: At the bottom of the fort there is a famous Karnala Bird Sanctuary Karnala is 65 km away from Mumbai, 120 km away from Pune and 13 km away from Panvel. The sanctuary is around 25 m above mean sea level. Maharashtra government declared this 4.5 km region as the bird sanctuary in 1968-69. Rich with natural habitats for various kinds of birds, in the sanctuary one can find around 150 species of birds. One can watch for red vented bulbul, Indian grey hornbill, owl, paradise fly catcher. Shirdhon: Vasudeo Balwant Phadke was born on 1845-11-04 in Shirdhon village of Panvel taluka based in Raigad district in Maharashtra state. The house and his belongings are preserved over there. Gadeshwar dam[edit] Gadeshwar Reservoir: Gadeshwar dam is a nice place during the monsoon when the dam overflows. The place can be reached by entering New Panvel and via the Sukhapur-Nere road. The villages and farms with the Matheran hills on the background are a treat to watch. People who love trekking can reach Matheran from the Nere route. Panvel is also famous for watermelons which can be found abundantly in and around the city and the old Mumbai–Pune highway. Matheran: Matheran is a hill station and a municipal council in the Raigad district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is a hill station in Karjat Tahsil and is also the smallest hill station in India. It is located on the Western Ghats range at an elevation of around 800 m (2,625 feet) above sea level. It is located around 90 km from Mumbai, and 120 km from Pune. Matheran's proximity to many metropolitan cities makes it a popular weekend getaway for urban residents. The Matheran Mountain can be easily viewed from certain areas in Panvel. One can trek matheran from Dhodani village in panvel. The name Matheran means "forest on the forehead" (of the mountains). Bet El Synagogue: Situated on M.G. Road, Panvel, it is the only synagogue in Panvel and is visited by both Jews and non-Jews. It is a tourist place and part of Indian heritage. Ballaleshwar Pali: Ballaleshwar (lit.: "Ballal's Lord") temple is one of the eight temples of Lord Ganesha. Among Ganesha temples, Ballaleshwar is the only incarnation of Ganesha that is known by his devotee's name. It is located in the village of Pali which is at a distance of 30 km from Karjat in the Raigad district. It is situated between fort Sarasgad and the river Amba.[4] this is 11 km.from nagothane. Varadvinayak, Mahad: Varadvinayak, also spelt as Varadavinayaka, is one of the Ashtavinayak temples of the Hindu deity Ganesha. It is located in Mahad village situated in Khalapur taluka near Karjat and Khopoli of Raigad District, Maharashtra, India. The temple was built (restored) by Peshwa General Ramji Mahadev Biwalkar in 1725AD. There is a NMMT bus no. 58 from Vashi to Khopoli which halts at Mahad. Hanuman Mandir, Podi: This is an old Hanuman temple at Podi village of New Panvel. The Gadhi river flows just behind the temple. Panvel is an important junction point as many major highways meet and pass through the city. The Mumbai-Pune Expressway, Sion-Panvel Expressway, NH 4B and NH 66 start from here while NH 4 passes through Panvel. Roads of New Panvel are maintained by CIDCO while those in Panvel by PMC. New Panvel, being developed by CIDCO, has well planned and wide lane major roads and even the arterial roads are of two lanes. Panvel has relatively less maintained roads which are very congested due to lack of planning on part of the PMC. Proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport: The Navi Mumbai International Airport or "NAINA", which is to come up around the Panvel-Kopra area, would be built through public-private partnership (PPP) — with the private sector partner getting 74% equity and Airports Authority of India (AAI) & Maharashtra government, through CIDCO, holding 13% each. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has already given techno-feasibility clearance to the airport and the central cabinet has cleared it. The project is at global tendering stage. "NAINA" is going to help the locals a lot, with job opportunities, etc. But, construction has not yet begun. Railway: Panvel railway station is one of the most important junctions on the Konkan Railway. Harbour line from Mumbai CST, central line from Diva / Karjat, western freight corridor from JNPT and the konkan railway line from Mangalore meet at Panvel. Panvel railway station comes under Mumbai division of central railway. Panvel is the terminating station of Mumbai railway's harbour line. Also, Konkan railway connecting Mumbai to south India passes through Panvel. Platforms 1,2,3 & 4 are for suburban trains while platforms 5,6 & 7 are for main line trains. 9 pairs of daily express trains, 13 pairs of non-daily express trains and 12 daily commuter (passenger) trains stop here. Also, the Ernakulam-Nizamuddin Duronto has a technical halt at Panvel for crew change, refueling and catering. In addition, Panvel handles 116 suburban trains which go to destinations Mumbai CST, Wadala Road, Andheri and Thane. The station also handles a sizeable amount of freight trains. Panvel is a very major station and is considered equivalent to Mumbai for trains which skip Mumbai. The trains run on diesel traction and alternating current (the tracks to konkan are not electrified south of Panvel), and Panvel is a refueling point for their locomotives. In addition to refueling, Panvel has a huge number of parcel bookings, and most trains stop for periods varying from 5 minutes to 20 minutes for technical purposes. Panvel also handles crew and locomotive change for long distance passenger / freight trains. Diesel Locomotives has the facility to fill the Diesel. Good connectivity for Pune Ahemdabad and Delhi on daily basis. Daily trains for Kochuveli, Mangalore, Pune, Goa and Delhi along with Ahemdabad. Also there are trains for Patna, Bikaner, Chennai, Bhavanagar, Veraval, Kochuveli, Vasco etc. Samprkranti and RAJDHANIs have halt here along with Garib rath and Double Decker. Some of the daily trains are 12051/52 Jan Shatabdi Exp( Dadar-Madgaon-Dadar), Mandavi Express, Pragati Express, etc. Now all the local trains will be 12 Coach as now the current line is AC current. Autorickshaws: There are many autorickshaws in Panvel. The minimum fare is Rs. 10 in share-autos, but Rs. 30 for sole-hire. This is high as compared to the Rs. 15 in other parts of Navi Mumbai, Mumbai & Thane. Even though there is now the cheaper CNG fuel, autos - because of political support - are not controlled by the RTO. There is no "Fare Chart" defined by RTO for Panvel, unlike other parts of Navi Mumbai. This needs to improve for the benefit of commuters; further more, Panvel will now have a Mahanagar Palika. Bus: There are two main bus stands in Panvel - ST stand on the National Highway and NMMT stand near Railway Station. The ST buses are available from Panvel to Karjat, Alibaug, Pen, Roha, Khopoli, Thane, Bhiwandi, Kalyan, Dombivali, Badlapur, Dadar, Uran as well as beyond city. NMMT buses are available from Panvel to Thane, Vashi, Dadar and inner areas of Panvel city. NMMT AC Volvo buses are also available from Panvel to Dadar. Panvel is the second busiest bus station in the state after Latur. It is the major bus station for the state as it a junction for Konkan and Pune routes buses. There is a heavy rush on Ganpati Festival, Diwali Festival and May vacations.

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