Nallasopara is located in Maharashtra
Nallasopara is located in India
Coordinates: 19°24′55″N 72°51′41″E / 19.4154°N 72.8613°E / 19.4154; 72.8613
 • TypeMunicipal Corporation
 • BodyVasai-Virar Municipal Corporation
 • Total4.6 lakh
 • OfficialMarathi
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
401 209(for east) 401 203(for west)
Telephone code0250
Vehicle registrationMH48
Vidhan Sabha constituencyNallasopara

Nallasopara or Nala Sopara (pronunciation: [naːla sopaɾa]) formerly known as Sopara or Supara, is a town within the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. The town lies in the Palghar district of Maharashtra, India and is governed by Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC). Nallasopara railway station is part of the Western Railway Zone and comes under Police Jurisdiction of Mira-Bhayander, Vasai-Virar Police Commissionerate.

Nallasopara is accepted by scholars as the Shurparaka (lit. city of braves; Śūrpāraka) or Supparak of ancient India and was a busy trade centre and an important seat of Buddhism. It was one of the administrative units under the Satavahanas and is mentioned in the inscriptions of Karle, Nashik, Naneghat and Kanheri.

Nallasopara has many dargahs (shrines) of Islamic Sufi masters of the medieval period.


It has tropical climate, specifically a tropical wet and dry climate (Aw) under the Köppen climate classification, with seven months of dryness and peak of rains in July.

This moderate climate consists of high rainfall days and very few days of extreme temperatures. The cooler season from December to February is followed by the summer season from March to June. The period from June to about the end of September constitutes the south-west monsoon season, and October and November form the post-monsoon season. The driest days are in winter while the wettest days occur in July.

Between June and September, the south-west monsoon rains lash the region. Pre-monsoon showers are received in May. Occasionally, monsoon showers occur in October and November. The average total annual rainfall averages between 2,000 and 2,500 mm (79–98 in). Annually, over 80% of the total rainfall is experienced during June to October. Average humidity is 61-86%, making it a humid climate zone.

The temperature varies from 22 to 36 °C (72–97 °F). The average temperature is 26.6 °C (80 °F), and the average precipitation is 2,434 mm (95.83 in). The average minimum temperature is 22.5 °C (72.5 °F). The daily mean maximum temperature range from 28.4 °C (83.1 °F) to 33.4 °C (92.1 °F), while the daily mean minimum temperature ranges from 17.5 °C (63.5 °F) to 26.4 °C (79.5 °F). In winter, temperature ranges between 12 and 25 °C (54–77 °F) while summer temperature ranges from 36 to 41 °C (97–106 °F)

Climate data for Nala sopara
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 28.5
Daily mean °C (°F) 23.2
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 17.9
Average precipitation mm (inches) 0
Source: (altitude: 5m)[1]



Sopara (by some identified with the Ophir mentioned in the Hebrew texts[2]) was an ancient port town and the capital of the ancient Aparanta. The ancient port of Sopara was the most important port in western India after the celebrated port of Cambay. The site of this ancient town is located near the present day Nala Sopara. In ancient times, it was the largest township on India's west coast, trading with Mesopotamia, Egypt, Cochin, Arabia and Eastern Africa.

The Mahabharata and the Puranas state that the Śūrpāraka was reclaimed from the sea for the dwelling place of Parashurama and it became a tirtha for this reason.[3] The finding of the relics in a stupa and the rock edicts (the fragments of the 8th and 9th major rock edicts) of Ashoka in 1882[4] prove the importance of this port town from the 3rd century BCE[5] to the 9th century CE. The Pali text Mahavamsa (VI, 46,47) states that the first king of the Sinhalese Kingdom (now Sri Lanka), Vijaya sailed from Supparaka (Sopara) to Sri Lanka.[6] Ptolemy mentioned this town as Soupara, and it was a major commercial centre during his time[7] According to the Jaina writers, Shripala, a mythical king married Tilakasundari, daughter of king Mahasena of Soparaka. Jinaprabhasuri (14th century) in his Vividhatirthakalpa mentioned Soparaka as one of 84 Jaina tirthas (sacred places). He also mentioned about an image of Rishabhadeva located in this city till his time.[8]

The earliest reference occurs in Mahabharata as Shuparak. The Buddhist Suppara Jataka, believed to be of 6th century BC, talks of Sopara as a prosperous port trading with ports of S.W.Asia, Gujarat, Malabar and Sri Lanka, its experts (navigation pilots- bodhisattvas), and the seas that they voyaged across. From about third or fourth century BC precise historic data can be pieced together.[9]

Excavations at Sopara

The stupa of Nala Sopara
Statue of Buddha at Sopara Stupa.

In April 1882, Bhagvanlal Indraji, a noted archaeologist, numismatist and epigraphist excavated at the Burud Rajache Kot mound in Merdes village, near Sopara. The ruins of a Buddhist Stupa was found. From the center of the stupa (inside a brick built chamber) a large stone coffer was excavated which contained eight bronze images of Maitreya Buddha which belong to the c. 8th-9th century CE. This coffer also enclosed relic caskets of copper, silver, stone, crystal and gold, along with numerous gold flowers and fragments of a begging bowl. A silver coin of Gautamiputra Satakarni (Satavahana) was also found from the mound. The Bombay Provincial Government presented the Sopara relics to the Asiatic Society of Bombay. The coins and the artifacts found during the excavations at the site of this ancient town can still be viewed in the Asiatic Society, Mumbai museum.[citation needed] In an old Muslim graveyard near Ramkund, the fragments of 8th and 9th major rock edicts of Asoka were found. These rock edicts can be viewed in the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai. The site was re-excavated by M.M.Qureshi of the Archaeological Survey of India in 1939-1940, when several stone lintels and two small stupas were found on the south side of the main stupa in addition to a few sherds of plain glazed ware of the Muslim period. Anwar Munshi (1972) found a number of Satavahana lead coins at Sopara.[10] In 1956, a fragment of 11th major rock edict was found from a coastal village, Bhuigaon.[11] During an excavation in 1993, a ring well, fragments of Roman amphorae red polished ware and glass (all belong to the early centuries of the Common Era) were found.

The ancient habitation site lies 2 km away from the stupa which overlooks the dry creek on the south and on the east opens to Thane creek. A large quantity of Islamic Glazed Ware, Black and Red Ware were found at the site.[citation needed] It seems that during the Early Historical period Sopara was located on the mainland facing Agashi island on the north and Bassein to the south. The backwaters between the mainland and the island were suitable for the movement and anchorage of ships. Gas and Nirmal villages were once part of the creek. A number of tanks and architectural remains arc noticed in the areas adjoining these villages. All the ancient relics were found in the area between the stupa and the creek. Up to the 19th century this creek was navigable and ships of 20 tonnes used to ply here. The significance of the architectural pieces becomes more important when the surface findings arc taken into account. The area around Bhatela pond is a landing place or bunder, where even remains of a Portuguese jetty and customs house are seen. Exploration (1994) in the adjoining area has yielded Red Polished Ware and Glazed Ware. The evidence is further corroborated by a joint excavation in 1993 carried out by the Archaeological Survey of India and the British Academy, Hyderabad where antiquities of the Early Historical period (Satavahana and Kashatrapa period) – lead and copper coins, semi-precious stone beads, small fragments of Northern Black Polished Ware, amphorae pieces and Islamic Blue Glazed ware were discovered. An earthen wall and a fourteen coarse stone wall with varying sizes of stone blocks were also encountered during this excavation.[10]

It is clearly evident from the archaeological and literary sources that Sopara was the main entrepot dating from the pre-Asokan period up to the 3rd century A.D. and again from 9th to 13th century A.D. There is no evidence of cultural remains from 4th to 9th century and it seems that during this period Sopara had lost its importance. The main cause for the decline of the ancient port of Sopara was due to the effect of siltation caused by a rise in sea level. Further near-shore and off-shore marine archaeological exploration and excavation would be helpful to ascertain the extent of the ancient port city.[10]

Sopara Edicts of Ashoka

Main articles: Edicts of Ashoka and Major Rock Edicts

Ashoka Major Rock Edicts at Sopara.
Transcription of the Edicts.

The following are translations of the fragments of the edicts found at Sopara by Bhagavan Lal Indraji in 1882.[12] In these edicts, Ashoka refers to himself as "Devanampiya"(Beloved of The Gods) and "Piyadassi" (The handsome one).

8th Major Rock Edict

"In the past, kings went on pleasure tours, which consisted of hunts and other similar amusements. The Beloved of the Gods, the king Piyadassi, when he had been consecrated for 10 years, went to the tree of Enlightenment. From that time arose the practice of tours connected with Dhamma, during which meetings are held with ascetics and brahmans, gifts are bestowed, meetings are arranged with aged folk, gold is distributed, meetings with people of the countryside are held, instruction in Dhamma is given, and questions on Dhamma are answered. The Beloved of the Gods, the king Piyadassi, derives more pleasure from this, than from any other enjoyments."

9th Major Rock Edict

"Thus speaks the Beloved of the Gods, the king Piyadassi: People practice various ceremonies in illness, at the marriage of sons and daughters, at the birth of children, when going on a journey on these and on other similar occasions people perform many ceremonies. Women especially perform a variety of ceremonies, which are trivial and useless. If such ceremonies must be performed they have but small results. But the one ceremony which has great value is that of Dhamma. This ceremony includes regard for slaves and servants, respect for teachers, restrained behaviour towards living beings, and donations to sramanas and brahmans – these and similar practices are called the ceremony of Dhamma. So father, son, brother, master, friend, acquaintance and neighbour should think,'This is virtuous, this is the ceremony I should practice, until my object is achieved.'"


As of 2011 India census,[13] Nala Sopara had a population of 4.6 lakh. It shows Nalasopara's population grew to 4.6 lakh in 2011 from 2.3 lakh in 2001 census. It is one of the well-known satellite city of Mumbai. Males constitute 54% of the population and females 46%. Nala Sopara has an average literacy rate of 79%, higher than the national average of 74.04%: male literacy is 77%, and female literacy is 82%. In Nala Sopara, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Among minority languages, Gujarati is spoken by 17.82% of the population, Urdu by 12% and Hindi by 22.92%.[14]

Places of importance

Hazrat Kutti Shah Baba dargah

Hazrat Kutti Shah Baba

Hazrat Kutti Shah Baba dargah also known as Nalasopara Pahad wali Dargah, near Nalasopara railway station west. It's a very peaceful place , and also a masjid is built on mountain for namazi's.

Chakreshwar Mahadev Mandir

The Chakreshwar Mahadev Mandir (19°25′01″N 72°47′55″E / 19.416982°N 72.798733°E / 19.416982; 72.798733) is a very ancient shrine of Lord Śiva.[15] This is a relatively small temple and is noted as the holy place where Svāmi Samarth performed dhyānam, pratiṣhṭha of a Rām Mandir near-by and blessed a śiṣhya who undertook a sajīva samādhi at this very place. The temple lies at one corner of the Chakreshwar lake in Nallasopara West.[16]

Reference in literature

A Gujarati novel-based on historical events written by Zaverchand Meghani named Gujaratno Jay mentions that parents of famous Jain laymen Vastupal and Tejpal who constructed Dilwara Temples had stayed in Sopara for some period of time after running away from home.[17]

See also


  1. ^ Climate: Vasai-Virar –
  2. ^ 1 Kings 9:28; 10:11; 22:49; 1 Chronicles 29:4; 2 Chronicles 8:18; Job 22:24; 28:16; Psalms 45:9; Isaiah 13:12
  3. ^ Pargiter F.E. (1922, reprint 1972) Ancient Indian Historical Tradition, Motilal Banarasidass, Delhi, p.201
  4. ^ Times of India article on Sopara, 18 November 2001
  5. ^ Thaper, R. (1997). Aśoka and the Decline of the Mauryas, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, ISBN 0-19-564445-X, pp.5,236
  6. ^ Thaper, R. (1997). Aśoka and the Decline of the Mauryas, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, ISBN 0-19-564445-X, pp.82,135
  7. ^ Thaper, R. (1997). Aśoka and the Decline of the Mauryas, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, ISBN 0-19-564445-X, p.236
  8. ^ "Chapter 19 Places". Thane district Gazetteer. Government of Maharashtra. 2006 [1982].
  9. ^ The Winds of Change, H.P.Ray, Oxford 1994, pp.27, 35, 37, 140
  10. ^ a b c "Onshore and Nearshore Explorations along the Maharashtra Coast: with a View to Locating Ancient Ports and Submerged Sites". CiteSeerX
  11. ^ Ghosh, A., ed. (1993) [1956]. "Indian Archaeology 1955-56 – A Review" (PDF). Archaeological Survey of India. p. 29. Retrieved 18 October 2009.
  12. ^ Prachina Bhartiya Abhilekha Samgraha-Dr.Shrirama Goyal,vol. 1 p3 Rajasthan Hindi Granth Akademi
  13. ^ "Census of India 2011: Data from the 2011 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 16 June 2004. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  14. ^ "51st Report of the Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities in India" (PDF). Ministry of Minority Affairs. 15 July 2015. p. 151. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 February 2018. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  15. ^ "Chakreśvar Mahādev Mandir (Nalasopara, Thane)". Tīrtha Yātra. 18 March 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
  16. ^ "Nalasopara – Buddhist Stupa & Chakreshwar Mahadev Temple – a cycling expedition". Tok. 28 December 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
  17. ^ Meghani, Zaverchand (April 2011). Gujaratno Jay. Ahmdabad: Gurjar Sahitya Bhavan. p. 21. ISBN 978-81-8461-481-7.