Thane District is a district of Maharashtra located in its northern part. The district got its name 'Thane' from the ancient city 'Shristhanaka' which was ruled by the Shilahara kings. On the other hand, the history of the district is also very interesting. In 1817, the area covered by the present Thane district was went into the hands of British from the Peshwa and then it was made as a part of the North Konkan district, with its headquarters located at Thana. After that it went through numerous changes in its boundaries. Again, in 1830, the district of North Konkan district was expanded by adding some parts of the South Konkan district and in 1833 it was renamed as Thana district. In 1866, the sub-divisions of the Thana district were reorganised. Moreover, in the year 1945 33 villages of the Bombay Suburban district were added to the Thana district whereas 14 of them were re-transferred to the Bombay Suburban district in the next year i.e. 1946 when the then famous Aarey Milk Colony was established. In 1949, after India got independence the princely state of Jawhar was merged with Thane district and became a separate taluka.
Geographically, the district lies between 19023'N latitudes, 72097'E longitudes and 8 m altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 31.37% forest area of total geographical area. The district occupies a geographical area of 9,558 sq km. and interms of geographical area it occupies the ranks of 16th in the state and 70th in India. It is bounded by Pune and Ahmadnagar districts to the east, Palghar district to the north, the Arabian Sea to the west, Mumbai Suburban district to the southwest and Raigad District to the south. The two principal rivers of the district are the Ulhas and the Vaitarna. There are completely two different climates in district -one affects the western coastal plains and other on the eastern slopes of Sahyadri. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 2560.3 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administrative wise, the district has 6 municipal corporations and 2 municipal councils. To administer in a better way the district is divided into 15 taluks. The district comprises of 18 Assembly Constituencies and 3 Lok Sabha constituencies. Moreover, the district comprises 15 sub-districts, 51 towns and 1704 villages. The administrative language in the district is Marathi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 1, 10, 60,148 out of which 58, 65,078 are males and 51, 95,070 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 886 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth of the district was 36.01% including 33.97% were males and 38.38% were females. The population density in the district is 1,157 persons per sq. km. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 1,21,816 including 63,329 were males and 58,487 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 36,463 including 21,207 were males and 15,256 were females. As per 2011 census the major religions of the district are Hindu and Muslim with 78.81% and 12.26% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Marathi and Hindi with 53.08% and 21.96%.
Half of the population of the district are engaged in agriculture. Rice is the chief crop of the district. Other crops cultivates in the district are vari, nachani (finger millet), Wal, chavali and gram. Thane is the third most industrialised district in the State. There are 1548 large and medium scale and 18,480 small scale industries in the district. In the year 2017-18 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 3,05,85,100 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 2,51,31,500 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012. In the year 2013-2014 the net domestic product in the district was Rs. 1,79,52,600 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 1,11,23,800 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2004-2005. In the year 2013-14 the Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost in the district was Rs. 1,73,150 at Current Price and Rs. 1,07,287 at Constant Prices in the year 2004-2005.
As per 2011 census the literacy rate of the district is 84.53% including 88.72% are males and 79.77% are females. Some of the reputed schools of the district are Saraswati Education Society High School and Junior College (S.E.S.), Smt. Sulochanadevi Singhania School, St. John the Baptist High School, Holy Cross Convent High School, etc.
Baliram Sukur Jadhav, a veteran Indian politician and a member of the 15th Lok Sabha of India from the Palghar constituency of Maharashtra was born on 2nd June, 1956 in Thane district. He is a member of the Bahujan Vikas Aaghadi political party, headed by Hitendra Thakur. Sonubhau dagadu Baswant is a well-known Indian politician was born on 10th February, 1915 at Katghar, Shahpur in Thane. He was the member of the 3rd Lok Sabha of India from Thane and 4th Lok Sabha of India from the Bhiwandi constituency of Maharashtra. He was a member of the Indian National Congress (INC) political party.
The centres of attraction of the district allure numerous travellers to the district. Ganeshpuri Temple is located in a small town near Bhivandi, about 40 km. from Thane which is the residence of Swami Nityananda Maharaj. Along with the temple there are four tanks called kundas which are some 800 years old. Jawhar Palace is popularly called the "Mahabaleshwar of Thane District" because of its unrivalled beauty and wholesome climate. Kashi and Mira are two villages in Thane Taluka which are located close to each other. The surroundings of the two villages flourish in natural beauty and scenery. Masunda Talao is one of the most prominent lakes of the district. Water scooters and other boating facilities are available in the lake. Manas Mandir is a magnificent place located at post village Savroli, in Shahapur taluka of Thane district. Pilgrims from far distance place comes to this place. Talao Pali is a lake located about 600 m west of Thane creek and a kilometre north of Thane railway station. It is also known as Masunda Talao. Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary is located 90 km. from Mumbai in Thane district. The sanctuary with an area of about 320 sq kms has around 54 species of animals and 200 species of birds in the sanctuary. Earlier Vasai Fort was known as the Bassein Fort. The Bassein Fort was constructed in 1532 by Bahadur Shah, Sultan of Gujarat. Upwan Lake is one of the famous lakes of the district. Salsette Island is an island in Maharashtra. It is the 14th most populous island in the world.