Visit Sanjay Gandhi National Park
Do we have green spaces in Mumbai? I can answer that in the affirmative, as recently I took a day trip to The Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Squeezed between the two suburb districts of Mumbai and Thane, Sanjay Gandhi National Park is perfect for picnics and fun weekend excursions to do with kids. It offers more than some peace and quiet from the mayhem and buzz of the city.
Best Time to Visit
The summers is not a good time to visit Sanjay Gandhi National Park as its really too hot unless you are an early riser. The part opens quite early and being the first ones to get inside this place would be advisable. The entire forest area looks parched and devoured off the water. Even the lakes look shrunken in size. The rainy season is the best time to visit, you will see a decent ascent in the permeability of the animals. Alongside that, this is when feathered creatures make their home and are exceedingly visible to all Nature lovers. Winters again consider a to be in the permeability as the animals most presumably rest.
The most effective method to Reach
To reach SGNP, you can take the train which goes to Borivali station. You need to exit at the Eastern side of the Station. From Borivali, one usually hires an auto or a taxi to reach Sanjay Gandhi National Park, which is 0.9 km east of Borivali Railway Station.
More Information about Sanjay Gandhi National Park
1. The park is a tremendous 104 square kilometers (65 miles) in size. It is hard to get around the recreation center without transport. You are allowed to drive in with your own vehicle on paying a charge at the ticket counter.
2. The park is open for walkers from 5.30 a.m. to 7.30 p.m., and for day visits from 7.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. All offices are shut on Mondays. Telephone: 022 2886-0362/389.
3. It’s unrealistic to stroll along the nature trails without making an earlier reserving and being joined by a naturalist. This booking should be done on the website beforehand.
4. Bikes can be taken on hire inside the recreation center at an expense of 80 rupees for two hours. The store is 300 rupees and personal ID must be given. In the event that you go on ends of the week, hope to hold up as interest is high.
5. The ancient Buddhist hand-cut Kanheri caves are a highlight of the park. Do not miss to visit. However, it is almost 8 km away from the main entrance. There are private buses that operate to the top. However, the best option would be the BEST buses that commute at well-paced intervals for just INR 15/.
6. There are practically no food stalls or restaurants inside SGNP. Outside food is allowed so packing a scrumptious picnic basket would be a good idea.
Fun Things to Do In Sanjay Gandhi National Park
1) Deer spotting
Why visit a zoo to see confined deer when you can see them wandering unreservedly? Witness numerous deer meandering around the villages inside Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Try not to tease them or make loud noises. You can sight the Spotted Deer, Sambar Deer, and Nilgai.
2) The Safari
Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) has Tiger and Lion Safari. Both were suggested by my friends who had recently visited. However, having very little time we skipped it. Hope to visit again to see the mammoth Lion and Royal Bengal tiger wandering around.
If you detest the Mumbai honking and traffic and wish for a little exercise then SGNP has a really lovely course of 6 km on which you can sell a cycle alongside thick greenery around. You can rent a cycle is at SGNP, they even have double cycles for two to ride. Rental is approx. It is approx INR 80 and the deposit charges are INR 300.
Enjoy pedal sailing at National Park Lake. Vessel rental is just INR 50 for every individual and it’s an altogether different encounter! The water originates from Tulsi and Vihar Lake.
Vanarai is a smaller than normal toy train inside the National Park. The 30 minutes train voyage took us through the woods. It was sad to see fallen trees, unkept shelters and plastic bottles strewn around the place. Noisy visiters booing at animals in the enclosers. Tickets are approx. INR 50 for a grown-up and INR 20 for a youngster.
SGNP has truly great trails and ways for a morning run or jogs. We did see free walkers on reaching early that morning. A fun thing to do with chirping birds all around. If you plan to visit, I would recommend a good pair of walking shoes as you would be doing a lot of it.
7) Kanheri Caves
Ancient Buddhist caverns at Kanheri are must see! Kept up by Archeological Survey of India (ASI) these caverns get wonderful cascades during Monsoon. Kanheri caves are the most astounding point in Mumbai from where you can get a look at the city and lake from above. Situated at 6 km from SGNP main gate, there are 107 of them in all shapes and sizes, scattered over an expanse of rocky terrain.
The hilltop and hand-carved caves are out of a volcanic rock. The largest has a deep chamber for worship and towering sculptures of Buddha can be found in Cave Number 3. Beware of the cute monkeys around the caves, one snatched my sweet corn but I didn’t complain. Ticket prices differ for Indians and foreigners. It’s INR 50 for an Indian tourist and INR 300 for a foreigner.
8) Photo Shoots
This place is heaven with the perfect backdrop for shootings, still photography and video shoots. There is no extra charge for that. With Natural sunlight and greenery, one can experiment and get te best pre-wedding shoot or Model portfolios done here.
9) Appreciate Flora
Trees of every kind, some rare and some common ones. One can appreciate the bounty of Nature here. The SGNP authorities even organize Nature Trails for Nature Lovers. You can also check the plant nursery and pick up tiny saplings of plants which you wish.
10) Savour some local fresh fruits/ eatables from vendors
No major restaurants in SGNP except one at Kanheri Caves where you can have soft drinks and a few snacks. However, at every corner, you can get the freshest of watermelon, corn, boras, star fruit, green mango, imli and other interesting food you can pick up on the go.
My Final Thoughts
The entire park is a treat to eyes with sprawling Green thick vegetation. It is impossible to believe that such a green patch exists in a crowded city like Mumbai. A great alternative for family gets together. Instead of meeting in malls and multiplexes or going outside Mumbai on a picnic a 24-hour stay in tents will knit family bonds tightly as get together can be planned in short notice. Visit Sanjay Gandhi National Park is a must