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You might be tempted to simply write off Thane as just another suburb of Mumbai; a heavily industrialized cog in the sprawling megalopolis of Maharashtra. But that would be to miss the deep histories and cultures that coalesce around this area that rolls out from the Yeur Hills to meet the meanders of the Ulhas River. The town's past is chronicled by the crumbling remnants of Thane Fort, whose aged Portuguese arches now come half-reclaimed by palm groves and gallery woods. The likes of other forts such as Bhorapgad and Mahuli are today popular as excellent trekking destinations, while the Bassein Fort stands close to the beachfronts of Vasai, which boast tree-spotted walkways and some open marshlands spreading out between the neighborhoods of north Mumbai. Many Thane tour guides will be eager to reveal the temples that are popular with the locals here, while the waters of Upvan and Tansa, the sands at Kelva, the historic caves at Naneghat and the nature trails of pretty Tikuji-Ni-Wadi offer the perfect escape from the big city.