Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivali

The Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) also known as the Borivali National Park is one of the lungs of the city with an area that covers nearly 103 sq.km. It is one of the largest parks in Asia and is one of the most visited parks in the world. It houses many rare, threatened and beautiful species such as the Atlas moth, Karvy a plant that flowers every eight years.

Rhesus Macaque and Bonnet Macaque are some of the wild mammals that can easily be spotted roaming inside the park. Other large mammals found in the park are: Black Naped or Indian Hare, Muntjac (Barking Deer), Porcupine, Asian Palm Civet, Chevrotain (Mouse Deer), Hanuman or Gray Langur, Indian Flying-fox, Sambar Deer and Leopard. One can also spot hyena or four-horned antelope. Reptiles living here include the crocodiles in the Tulsi Lake, pythons, cobras, monitor lizards, Russell’s Vipers, Bamboo Pit Viper and Ceylonese Cat Snakes.

Besides the amazing number of animals that can be spotted, the park has a number of things for kids including:

1) Toy Train: The fun train ride of about 15 minutes takes you along the foothills of the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial on 190 m (620 ft) Pavilion Hill, traverses a couple of bridges and tunnels and passes over the Deer Park.

Toy Train at Borival National Park

Toy Train at Borival National Park

2) Tiger Safari and Lion Safari: The main attractions of the park are a Lion Safari and a Tiger Safari. The Lion safari is a 20 minute ride through a 29.65 acres fenced forest area in one of the park’s green buses.The Park is said to have a total of about 25 lions and lionesses.

Leopard in Borivali National Park

Leopard in Borivali National Park

3) Walking trails: There are several public walking trails in the park. The popular Ashok Van trail winds up through thick forest to a dense cluster of Ashoka trees that are a welcome half way resting spot. One can return by Gaumukh trail to an open place of volcanic rock.

4) Kanheri Caves:The Kanheri Caves in the centre of the park were an important Buddhist learning centre and pilgrimage site sculpted by Buddhist monks around the 1st centuries BCE.  They were chiseled out of a massive basaltic rock outcropping. The caves are a must visit for anyone living in Mumbai.

Buddha Statue at Kanheri Caves, Borivali National Park

Buddha Statue at Kanheri Caves

They have a very detailed website which is maintained by volunteers. You can check it for information on ticket prices, timings and facilities at: http://www.mumbaikarsforsgnp.com/about_sgnp_information_for_tourists.htm

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