At the base of the Sahyadri Mountain in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, lies the industrial town Khopoli. This small town is highly developed due to its proximity to Mumbai and Navi Mumbai and also for the presence of many big industrial plants of the state. Khopoli is a part of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and has its own Municipal Council. The Mumbai Suburban Railway Line connects Khopoli through Karjat, thus helping the residents of Khopoli travel with ease to the financial capital of India.
History of KhopoliKhopoli was also known as “Campolee” during the British era and was surrounded by the rocky terrain of the Bhor Ghat. The Marathas ruled this part of the land during the 18th century and Khopoli region was administered by an able Peshwa (Prime Minister) and states-craftsman Nana Phadnavis. The small scenic valley at the foothill of the Bor Ghat was occupied by the local villagers with a huge water body in the middle.
This water body also known as the Shankar Mandir Talao was the main water source of the region. As per various legends, this Talao (lake) also is popular with the name of Kakan Talao and is believed to be holding a secret passage underneath, which helped Maharaj Shivaji to escape while attacked by the British. After British took over this part of India, Khopoli got its first railway line in 1856 under the Great Indian Peninsula Railway. Khopoli is also the location for the first privately owned Tata hydroelectric power station in India.
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Geography and Demography of KhopoliKhopoli falls under the Khalapur Taluka of the Raigad district of Maharashtra. The town is at the foothills of the Sahyadri range with Patalganga river flowing across the region. It is exactly located at 18°79' N latitude, 73°35'W longitude and is at 76m above the mean sea level. The whole of the Karjat Khopoli region has a vibrant scenic beauty with hilly tracks, plain lands, lakes and rivers. The dazzling and rough mountain rivers with the undulating terrain are what make the hydro-electric projects a success.
As per 2013 Census of India, Khopoli had a population of around 64460 with males constituting 53% of the total population and female population of 47%. The average literacy rate of Khopoli is 74%, which is higher than the Indian national average literacy rate of 59.5%. The male population has a literacy of 80% and female literacy is 68%. 13% of the population is under 6 years of age.
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Climate of the RegionKhopoli has a tropical climate with a substantial rainfall throughout the year. The region is never too hot and has a humid moderate temperature. The summer months are short with temperature rising to a maximum of 30.5 degree Celsius in May. January is supposed to be the coldest month with temperature falling to 23.2 degree Celsius. The annual average rainfall is recorded to 4187mm. The best time to visit Khopoli are during the period of December to February, when the place is relatively dry and cool.
Tourist Attractions in KhopoliBeing an industrial town, Khopoli is generally visited by corporate and industrial employees. But the town and its surroundings has many secrets hidden for the tourists. For someone visiting Mumbai, one can take a weekend drive of 80kms on the awesome well maintained Mumbai - Pune Highway (NH-4) and reach Khopoli. Rajmachi Point, Tiger's Leap Point, Duke's Nose are some of the mesmerizing viewpoints of the region. The aerial view from these places is worth remembrance and makes a perfect panoramic canvas. Two of the most important and pious temples of this region are, Shri Varad Vinayak (7 kms.) and the Ashtavinayaka temples (38 kms.) from the town centre, devotees can visit these temples and watch the grand Aarti being performed during morning and evening.
If someone has a passion for adventure, then monsoon should be the time to pay a visit at Khopoli. The trek through the forest of the Western Ghats to the full flowing Zenith Waterfall is a memorable experience. One can take a car trip or even trek from Khopoli to the Khandala Ghat region to enjoy the serene nature. The Kalote Lake which is around 12 kilo meters from the town is a perfect place for a leisure family picnic. The recently added IMAGICA Theme park is an all day program with hundreds of activities waiting for the tourists. This theme park is one of the best in the entire India.
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Economic Growth in KhopoliWith the fast industrialisation, Khopoli has been declared as an industrial area by the Government of India. The beginning of this development started with the formation of the Tata Hydro-electric Power Generation Centre, the first privately owned power station of Tata group. In 2009, Khopoli got its own Tata Power BPO. With the SEZ status came many industrial setups. All these factories and plants are registered under the Khopoli Municipal Corporation. Various foreign investments have also taken place over the years. Some of the renowned industries of the region are namely, Paper & Pulp Conversions Ltd (PAPCO), Alta Laboratories Limited, Bombay Oxygen Limited, Mahindra Ugine Steel Company Limited India Steel Works Limited and Zenith Steel Pipes Limited. This in turn has helped in the real estate growth in the Khopoli town and its suburban areas.
Healthcare Development of KhopoliIf one visits Khopoli now, one will be amazed to see the development of the place. It is nowhere less than Mumbai, with many high rises, gated communities, clean and well maintained roads, school, colleges and hospitals. With industrial growth the state government has also kept a tab on the healthcare scenario of the region. There are well equipped diagnostic and pathological labs present for the residents of the place. Some of well known hospitals and nursing home of Khopoli are Bhatkar Hospital, The Leprosy Mission Hospital, Dr. Talathi Nursing Home, Kulkarni Nursing Home, Sumitraraj Hospital, etc.
How to Reach KhopoliThere are well connected roads from Mumbai, Pune and Thane to reach Khopoli. A road drive to this industrial town can be an enjoyable experience too. The distance is not much and maximum 1 to 1.5 hours is required to reach this place from the capital of Maharashtra. Tourist cabs and taxis are also available for a day’s trip or a weekend visit. Khopoli has its own railway station which is connected to the Mumbai Suburban Railway network. All through the day, local trains run between Mumbai and Khopoli. Many daily commuters are availing this service to reach their offices on time. The nearest airport are at Pune (80kms) and Mumbai (85kms).
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