Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai
Sanjay Gandhi national Park is a very popular park of Maharastra. It was earlier known as Borivali National Park. It covers down the area of 104 square kms. It is one of the famous national parks of India. This is the largest urban park of the world. This park is full of flora and fauna and thus attracts thousands of people every year. The Kanheri caves in this park are 2400 years old and are the most attractive of all.
This park of 4th century is world famous national park. The Kanheri Caves present in this park was an important place for learning centre of Buddhists. This park was also named Krishnagiri National Park at once. At that time, the park's area was only 20 square km. After some time, the responsibility of this park was given to Forest Department of Borivali. Then in 1974, the administration has changed the name to Borivali National Park. But in 1981, this named was futher decided to be changed to Sanjay Gandhi National Park in the memory of Sanjay Gandhi who died in an air craft accident.
Most of the hill ranges and suburbs of Borivali comes under Sanjay Gandhi National Park. The park is connected to most metropolitan cities of Mumbai. The hilly ranges of this park are between 30 meters to 480 meters high. The park has two lakes. One is Vihar Lake and the other one is Tulsi Lake and both of them are also the water source of city. This park is also known as lungs of Mumbai as it prevents or purifies most of the pollution of Mumbai.
Biodiversity in Sanjay Gandhi National Park
This park is full of different kinds of plants and animals. The park consists of nearly 800 types of flowering plants, 36 different kinds of mammals, insects of 5,000 species, 62 types of reptiles and 150 different species of Butterflies. Not only this but also many endangered species of plants and animals are present here. Atlas moth is one of the largest moths of the world, which is also there in this forest. Strobilanthes callosa is one of the flowering plant which booms in every 8 years. This park is also a living place for most of the leopards.
Flora of Sanjay Gandhi National Park
Trees of teak, karanj, kadamba, shisam and other species of ziziphus, acacia, euphorbia, red silk cotton and some other flowers are common in this park. Karvi is a flowering plant in this park that booms once in every 7 years.
Fauna of Sanjay Gandhi National Park
The forest is consist of many animals and mammals. Rhesus, Macaque, Chital and Bonnet Macaque are some of the wild animals found here. Other big mammals in the jungle are Indian Hare, Asian Palm, Porcupine, Indian flying-fox, etc.
Reptiles such as crocodiles, pythons, monitor lizard, Bamboo pit Viper and Ceylonese Cat Snakes are also present in the forests of Sanjay Gandhi National Park.
Some of the birds in this park are golden orioles, minivets, robits, hornbills, bulbuls, sunbirds, peacock and woodpeckers. Some of the Migrating birds and local birds hereare paradise flycatcher, herons, swifts, gulls, etc.
Tourist attractions in Sanjay Gandhi national Park
This national park is declared as one of the most visited national parks in Asia. It is found that millions of people come here every year to see the beauty of this national park. The money collected in the year 2004 was nearly Rs.98 lakh. Krishnapuri Upavan in Mumbai is a small zoo which is located inside this park. This is actually a Reptile Park where different kinds are crocodiles are found. Also, many safari guides are present in the forest. Also, boating facilities to the lakes present here is also available here.
Vanrani narrow gauge train in Sanjay Gandhi National Park
This park provides a toy train named Vanrani which allow one to travel through different place of the park. This train is running in this park for nearly 25 years. The trains travel 2.5 kms in a circular path and takes 15 minutes to complete a round. The fun in ridding this this is awesome.
Tiger Safari and Lion Safari in Sanjay Gandhi National Park
The Lion and Tiger Safari is the most liked park of the journey to Sanjay Gandhi National Park. This is actually a 20 minutes safari in green caged buses for protection from Tigers and Lions. There are nearly 25 lions and lioness in the forests of this park. There are 2 lions kept for visitors to see, and others are kept far away from road in a fence. And only 4 tigers are there to be watched by the vistors and others are kept aside.
Walking trails in Sanjay Gandhi National Park
In this park, there are several routes which are especially made for walking. The walk through Ashoka Van trail gives you a walking path through the deep trees of Ashoka. You can even use Gaumukh trail which will allow you to see the volcanic rock and then you can even return to Kanheri caves. The View point trail is a best one to choose for photography as it provides picturesque scenery.
Jain Temple in Sanjay Gandhi National Park
In the middle of the forest, there is a very popular Jain temple which is called Trimurti. This Mandir is mostly visited by the Jain community of India. Many of the Jain saints even resides here to preach the followers.
Kanheri caves in Sanjay Gandhi National Park
The Kanheri caves are popular amongst all in Sanjay Gandhi National Park. These were once a leaning centre of Buddhists. Kanheri is a Sanskrit word which literally means Krishnagiri or Black Mountain.
How to reach Sanjay Gandhi National Park
* By Roadway -
The entry of the park is from the eastern part of Borivali. The National Highway 8 passes through the entrance section of the park. The government buses are also available on holidays and Sundays from Mumbai to park.
* By railways -
The entrance of the park is just 0.9 km from the main Borivali Station. From Borivali Station one can either walk or hire a taxi to reach Sanjay Gandhi National Park. The local trains keep coming here in every 5 minutes.
* By airways -
The nearest airport to Sanjay Gandhi National Park is Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport which is just 18 km from the Park. One can easily get taxi from there to the park.
Hotels near Sanjay Gandhi National Park
* Palms Hotel Tower and Villas
169 Aarey Milk Colony Goregaon Mumbai, Maharashtra 400065 India
* Hotel Paradise
Saki Vihar Road Mumbai, Maharashtra 400087 India
* Ramada Powai
Saki Vihar Road Before Nitie, Powai Mumbai, Maharashtra 400087 India
* Grand Sarovar Premiere
AK Plaza, Junction of SV Road & Flyover Goregaon (West) Mumbai, Maharashtra 400062 India