Infobox Indian Jurisdiction
native_name = Virar | type = city | latd = 19.47 | longd = 72.8
locator_position = right | state_name = Maharashtra
district = Thane
altitude = 11
population_as_of = 2001
population_total = 118,945| population_density =
area_magnitude= sq. km
The name Virar comes from Eka-viraa. Just as Tunga Parvatbecomes “Tunga-ar”, similarly “Vira” becomes “Vira-ar”.There is a huge temple of Eka-vira Devi on the banks of Vaitarna River at thefoot hills Tunga Parvat, (this is now totally broken by thecontinuous raids of Mohamedeans and Portuguese in last 400 years),where people used to conclude their “Shurpaaraka Yatra”, asdescribed in the Puranas and local legends.
Virar is the name of a
railway stationon the Mumbai suburban railwayon the Western Railway (India)railway line. Virar is a city and a municipal councilin Thane districtin the Indian state of Maharashtra.
Virar is the name of a suburb in Northern Mumbai, and also of an eponymous suburban railway station. Virar is the last station on the Western Suburban local train route of
Mumbai. It is around one and a half hours away by train from Churchgatethe first station on the Western Railway Line.
An outpost of
Mumbai, Virar was connected with the mainland with electric train way back in 1925.
Virar is located at coord|19.47|N|72.8|E| [ [http://www.fallingrain.com/world/IN/16/Virar.html Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Virar] ] . It has an average elevation of 11
metres (36 feet).
Prime CommunityVasai has basically 6 communities: 1)Bhandari 2)Koli 3)
Samvedi4)palshe 5)Aagri 6)Vadval
In all the above 5 communities half the population was converted to Christianity around 1570 A.D. by the then treacherous Portuguese regime.
The story of Virar and Jivdani
The name Viraar comes from Eka-viraa. Just as Tunga Parvatbecomes “Tunga-ar”, similarly “Vira” becomes “Vira-ar”.There is a huge temple of Eka-vira Devi on the banks of Vaitarna River at thefoot hills Tunga Parvat, (this is now totally broken by thecontinuous raids of Mohamedeans and Portuguese in last 400 years),where people used to conclude their “Shurpaaraka Yatra”, asdescribed in the Puranas and local legends. There is a huge tankhere dedicated to Eka veera Devi called “Viraar Tirtha”, i.e. “Eka- Viraa Tirtha”.Even today, on the west banks of Viraar Tirtha,one finds a carved stone about three feet long and nine inchesbroad. Below that is a group of female figures of the Yoginis ofEkaveera Devi. Nearby one can find a stone with a roughly cut cowand calf (Savatsa Dhenu), a symbol of Govardhana Math whichsymbolizes eternity or Moksha. Moving ahead near the foot of a knollof rock are two cow’s feet (Go-Paad) roughly cut in rock.The legendary story of Jeevdaani Devi is as follows:During their forest journey, Pandavas came to Shurparaka. Theyvisited the holy temple of Vimaleshwar consecrated by LordParashuram and on their journey to Prabhas halted on the banks ofVaitarni river. There they worshipped the Bhagavati Ekaveera on thebanks of Viraar Tirtha and seeing the serenity and lofty naturedecided to carve caves in the nearby mountains. They did so on thehills nearby and installed and worshipped the Yoga Linga ofEkaveera devi in one of the caves. They called her BhagavatiJeevadhani (That is Goddess, who is the real wealth of life). Doingso Pandavas also made a set of small caves now known as “PandavDongri” about a mile from Shrigaon for the hermits. Many yogis usedto stay in Pandav Dongri and have darshan of Jeevdhani Devi.After the onset of Kali Yuga, and after the advent of the Buddhistfaith, the number of Vaidik Yogis lessened and slowly people forgetthe hillock and the devi. During times of Jagadguru Shankaracharya’s advent, a Mahar or Mirashi named Viraadas used to stay in Viraarwho used to graze the village cattle. He came to Nirmal Mandir forthe darshan of Jagadguru Shankaracharya Padmanabha Swami andrequested His Holiness to bless him so that he could have darshanof his beloved Kuladevata. Jagadguru was pleased with the devotionof Mahar and advised him to serve Go-Mata on the foothills ofJivadhani, and at appropriate time he would have darshan of hisGoddess and attain Go-Loka. He literally for the rest of lifefollowed the advice of Jagadguru Shankaracharya and herded thevillage cattle. While grazing the village cattle, he used to see a cow grazing along with, whose owner never paid him for herding her.By his virtue, he determined to find the owner of the cow. Hefollowed the cow on the top of Jeevdhan Hill. A beautiful womanwith divine features appeared. The Mahar remembered the words ofJagadguru Shankaracharya and understood that she is none other thanhis Kuladevi Jeevdhani, he was overjoyed and asked “Oh Mother ! Ihave grazed your cow, will you not pay me for her herding ?”. TheDevi just smiled in delight and was on the point of putting somemoney in the Mahar’s hand, when he said “Do not touch me, I amMahar. Give me something which cannot be spoilt by touch, words,smell, figure, and ether.” Knowing this Devi asked “Lo my child ,whence from you learned this unique knowledge of Varnashram Dharmaand Moksha Dharma?”. To this Mahar replied, “From none other thanby the Grace of Jagadguru Shankaracharya”. Bhagavati was pleasedby this and said “By your virtue (Punya), see this cow which isnone other than Kaamadhenu has taken your forefathers to higherabodes by her tail , crossing the Vaitarini”. Thus saying the Maharsaw the cow lept from the hill top putting her two feet prints onhill foor and other two across Vaitarini River in heavens. Now Devitold, “I confer upon you the thing which you demanded that isMoksha.” Saying so the Mahar attained Moksha (The real Jeeva Dhana,the real wealth of Life) and the Devi was about to disappear in thecave, when a barren woman saw all this divine incidentscreamed “Devi Devi , Amba Amba, will you leave this barrendaughter of yours without our jeevan dhan a child in my laps?”.Devi was pleased by her prayers and said “ Great indeed are you whosaw all three of us. I henceforth bless you with a child.” The ladywas not satisfied by this, she said “Oh Mother of the three worlds,do not just bless me , but let all barren daughters of you who prayyou be conferred with the child”. Devi was pleased at this andsaid “See henceforth, due to the advent of Kali Yuga , in order tomaintain purity of rituals, I will stay into a hole in the niche ofthe cave. The barren women who offer me the beetlenuts in thishole, as is offered in my original place in Mahurgad, will berewarded with a progeny”. Thus saying the Devi disappeared. Thislady spread out the incident and thus once again the Jeevdhan hillstarted to be visited by the pilgrims.THE NOW INSTALLED MURTY IS VERY RECENT ONE, BUT THE ORIGINAL DIVINEPLACE OF DEVI IS THE HOLE IN THE NICHE OF THE CAVE, WHICH IS THEMAIN PLACE OF WORSHIP.
As of 2001India census[GR|India] , Virar had a population of 118,945. Males constitute 54% of the population and females 46%. Virar has an average literacy rate of 78%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 81%, and female literacy is 74%. In Virar, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Over a period of time Virar has become a cosmopolitan suburb with approx 70% population being Marathi speaking and the balance mix of other communities. The suburb is fully developed with all the banking facilities and residential infra-structure to accommodate the growing population. 70% of the population is below 30 years and basically the result of migration from Mumbai mainland to this part of the greater city due to ever increasing cost of land.
The growth of Virar is yet to be seen in full as the quadrupling of the railway line between Borivali and Virar has just taken place in 2007. The railways are still pleading the lack of sufficient number of rakes to take full advantage of the quadrupling. Another proposal which is hanging fire in the extension of the link road from Dahisar to Virar by using the old currently unused railway bridge over the Vasai Creek.
Virar is endowed with an excellent beach which is around 6 km away -
Arnala. Many worshippers offer their prayers to their beloved deity " Jivdani Mata", by visiting the Jivdani temple, situated atop a hill (having around 1375 steps). This hill also offers a very picturesque view of Virar and its vicinity. There are various farmhouses, shacksand picnic hotels on the beach to make day stay comfortable.Govinda the Bollywood star and current Member of Parliament is also from Virar.
John XXIII High School, Agashi, Virar (West)
Dr. N.P.Shah English Medium School,
Vidya Vihar English English High School,
National English High School,
M.G.M English High School,
AVS Vidya Mandir Virar [http://www.avsvm.com]
St Xaviers High School, Muljibhai Mehta (CBSE) School,
K.G.High School, Agashi (Marathi Medium School)
* VasaiVirar [http://www.vasaivirar.com]
* www.VIRAR.info [http://www.Virar.info]
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