The Islands of Mumbai Harbor mainly cater to the naval centers and also provides oil resources to certain extent. Mumbai Harbour also known as the Front Bay is the southern portion of the Ulhas River estuary. The northern and narrower part of this Ulhas River estuary is called Thane Creek. The historical island of Elephanta is one of the six islands lying in the harbour. Jawaharlal Nehru Port and Navi Mumbai lie in the direction of east on the mainland, and the city of Mumbai lies to the west on Salsette Island. The Mumbai Harbour opens to the Arabian Sea to the south. The Gateway of India with its quay for Elephanta is the most visited tourist destination, followed by the INS Vikrant maritime Museum.
Butcher Island also known as Jawahar Dweep is one of the islands of Mumbai Harbor. It`s situated off the Indian coast at Mumbai and has an oil terminal used by the port authorities. This island is a restricted area and most of the island is covered with thick and inaccessible vegetation. A hillock rises from the center of the island. This island is located about 8 kms from the Gateway of India. Cross-Island, one of the islands of Mumbai Harbor is an uninhabited islet off the Mumbai harbour and is located off the coast of Dockyard Road. Elephanta Island is also called Gharapuri Island or the place of caves. These caves are carved out of rock. Elephanta Island is part of the islands that constitute the Mumbai Harbour, to the east of Mumbai. This island gets its name from the island`s cave temples known as Elephanta Caves.
Mumbai is the nearest city, which is about 10 km from the island city. A ferry can be availed from Mumbai. Boats leave daily from the Gateway of India, taking about two hours for the journey to the island and back. The inhabitants of the islands of Mumbai Harbor are very few and live by way of fishing and boat repairing.
Middle Ground is also called Middle Ground Coastal Battery and is an islet off the coast of Mumbai. It lays in the Thane Creek a few hundred metres from the famous landmark, the Gateway of India. The island is actually a piece of hard basalt rock, rising out of the creek bed, laying a few hundred square metres in area. It belongs to the Indian Navy. The island serves as the saluting base to the Commander-in-Chief of the Western Naval Command. Oyster Rock is part of the group of islands of Mumbai Harbor in the state of Maharashtra. The Indian Navy owns it. For a short while, this island was used as a naval museum. Since the navy conducts its exercises and experiments in and around this island, tourists are advised to keep well clear of it.
Salsette Island is located on the west coast of India. Mumbai and Thane lie on this island and is the 14th most populous island in the world. Mumbai itself was an island before reclamation of land from the sea, which led to its merger with the Island of Bandra and Mahim. Salsette Island is surrounded by Vasai Creek on the north, on the northeast by the Ulhas River, by Thane Creek and Bombay Harbour on the east, and on the south and west by the Arabian Sea. The highest point on the island is around 450 metres in the Borivali National Park, towards the northern part of the island. National Park is the world`s biggest park within a city. Powai Lake, Tulsi Lake and Vihar Lake are the three major lakes on this island. The islands of Mumbai Harbor offer breathtaking scenic beauty and also extended naval base as well.
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