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Sanjay Gandhi National Park Borivalli, Mumbai

Borivali National Park is the miraculously preserved green oasis in the center of urban sprawl. This national park is "one of the very few" that is surrounded by a metropolis like Mumbai , yet sustaining sizable population of big cats like panthers. It is hard to believe that with in just less then an hour and half from Gateway of India, one is transported from hectic and fast life of Mumbai city to a serene and tranquil atmosphere of pleasing verdant wilderness. 

Biodiversity:
The rich and diverse forest holds more than one thousand species of plants, 40 species of mammals, 251 of birds, covering migratory, land and water birds, 38 species of reptiles, 9 species of amphibians besides a large variety of fishes. 

Flora
:

The park is a tree lovers delight in all seasons with the great amount of bio-diversity, ranging from Adina cardifolia (kadamb), Albizzia lebbek (Shirish), Pongamia pinnata (Karanj),  Tectona grandis (Teak) Dalbergia latifolia (Sishum) to Acacia, Zizyphus and evergreen  patches of Euphorbia .
In the dry month of February to May, spectacular flowering of Butea monosperma (Flame of Forests) is a real feast to eye. Flowering of Bombax malabaricum (Semal) and Erythrina indica (Indian coral tree) add colour.There are large patches of Bamboo, which make the feel of the jungle even better. The forest has a lot of Liana (woody climbers), a remnants from wetter evergreen past, many species of orchids and a large variety of shrubs. Every monsoon is a riot of colors from violet 

of Zingiberaceae species to the stark white of costus species. Among the many spectacular sights one that is definitely is most worthy, is seven years mass flowering of Strobilanthus species (Karvi). Thousands and thousands of these flowers cover the hill slopes giving purple touch to this beautiful landscape.  

Fauna:

The national Park is a bird watcher paradise. From the tiny Tickell's flower pecker (small bird in India), many species of sun bird (humming birds) to the majestic white bellied sea eagle, it is virtual visual feast with birds like paradise flycatcher, the elusive Trogon, many species of Kingfishers, Woodpeckers, and Drongos. The continuous calling of large large green barbet, the wildly screeching parakeets,the metallic calls of the Racket-trailed  Drongo, the musical call of the Blue flycatcher or the extremely melodious some of the Malabar  whistling thrush or the familiar refrain of the Spotted babbler are just a few facets of nature's symphony in this forest.The Reptilian world is well represented from Crocodiles in Tulsi lake to Monitor lizards to Pythons, Cobras, Russess' viper, Bamboo pit viper and the extremely rare Ceylonsese cat

 snake recently discovered by the staff of Bambay National History Society. Smaller reptiles add to the wonder of this part. The invertebrate world from Crabs to Spiders to insects, Giant wood spiders, Signature spiders, Black wood spider with their large webs in monsoon are a real treat. The insect world from Silk cotton bugs to Beetles to various kinds of Mantis.
The Butterfly world is represented in such a fascinating range of sizes and colours, from the spectacular Blue Mormon to the phenomenal artist of camouflage the Blue Oak leaf, the bright jezebels and Large Yellow and White Orange tips, Monarchs, Egg flies, Sailers are some of the many attractive butterflies one can find here.

Archeological Features: 

The Kanheri caves located well within the park area is a major point of interest, presenting a accessible and interesting glimpse of the history and the culture of Buddhist India. Most of these 109 Buddhist caves, chiseled out of the volcanic rock are simple small chambers, known as viharas (cells for monks). A few are larger and deeper chambers known as chaityas  (for congregational worship). The main one which has colossal figures of standing Buddha, 7 m. in height, on each side of the entrance porch, a colonnade of 34 pillars surrounding the interior halls and a overtopped stupa (shrine) bat the far end, all carved from the stone in place. These caves are dated from 1st century  B.C. to 9th century A.D., 

indicating a well organized Buddhist establishment of monks existed on an ancient trade route connecting a number of trade centers & Indian ports. In this area there are nearly more than 100 inscription, out of these, three are in Pallavis, two in sanskrit, one in Devnagri & rest are in Brahmi script.

Tourist Information

Best Time to Visit:
Park is unique in nature to call a particular time as the best time. For sheer enjoyment of greenery, wilderness, tiny waterfall and stream, monsoon is best time. For bird watching and general viewing November to February is ideal. Serious mammal tracking is possible in April -may when water supply is limited. 

 



Cottage and camping facilities:  
Four rest houses and two camps sheds are available for visitors on prior reservations, which can be done between 1000 hrs to 1700 hrs IST on working days.

How to reach
Nearest Airport:
Mumbai -15kms.

By Rail:
Mumbai to Borivali is 30 kms by train on western railway route. Sub urban trains to Borivali are available on Western Railway on every 5 minutes.

Nearest Road way:
Borivali is near Mumbai octrai post on Mumabi - Ahemdabad highway.

Timings:
Park is open to visitors from  0730 hrs  to 1830 hrs. on all days.

 

 
Recreational Zones:

S.N.G.P. Map
S.N.G.P. Map

"Krishnagiri Upavan" with an area of approx. 5.5 sq.km. is reserved as recreational zone inside the park, to cater educational and recreational needs of the people.

Amongst the several attractions of the Krishnagiri Upavan, the "Lion Safari" is the most famous. The twelve hectare Lion Safari Park with crisscrossed roads, offer close encounter with the majestic king, from special buses.

One more attraction of the park is new "Tiger Safari" established on 20 hectare area in recreation zone. It offers opportunity to the visitors to see and understand this majestic animal "The Tiger".

There are other attractions like "Gandhi Smarak", boating in the lotus filled lake, gardens and children parks.

 

Address and Telephone numbers: Deputy Conservator of Forests, Sanjay Gandhi National Park,