Location: Borivali, Mumbai, Maharahstra
Attractions Within The Park: The Kanheri Caves, Lion Safari, Tiger
Safari, The gardens, And Trekking
Nearby Attractions: Gateway of India, Prince of Wales Museum,
Best Time To Visit: Throughout the Year
Sanjay Gandhi National Park, better known as "Borivali National Park"
is set in hill ranges around the suburb of Borivali in Mumbai.
Notified in 1974, it offers a pleasant change from the usual sights
and attractions of the big city. It is hence common to see the park
teeming with school picnics, college picnics and other organized
The undulating green lands of the Borivili National Park are just the
kind of surroundings to which one would love to retreat for some
moments of quiet introspection or meditation. The great panoramic
views of hills, valleys, lakes and open expanses can actually have a
therapeutic effect on mind, body and soul. Rising from an elevation
less than about 30m above mean sea level, the terrain park culminates
in a series of peaks dispersed throughout the park - the highest, near
the Kanheri Caves, being 468m.A Natural Wonder Of Wilderness
The Sanjay Gandhi National Park is unique because it can be visited
all round the year. In the hot, dry summer months the jungle is a riot
of colour as Goolmohar known as "The flame of the forest" and the
flowering silk cotton give the otherwise harsh brown forest a crimson
Borivali in the rains has a charm of its own. The entire forest is a
carpet of green and streams, swollen with rainwater tumble and meander
down the slopes. The rains automatically draw trekkers, bird watchers
and nature lovers of all ages to this verdant paradise. Visitors to
Mumbai are rather surprised to see that there are 104-sq-km of virgin
forest within its borders, just waiting to be explored.
The recreational area of this park includes the Kanheri Caves, the
Tulsi and Vihar Lakes, the Lion Safari, the Deer Park, the Samadhi of
Mahatma Gandhi and the gardens.
The park is a tree lover's delight at all times of the year, with
every changing season offering up its own distinctive beauty. The
forest cover in the park can be divided into two main categories i.e.
South Indian moist deciduous and semi-evergreen.
These two types can be further classified into four subcategories and
they are moist teak-bearing forest, mangrove scrub, southern moist
mixed deciduous forest, and western subtropical hill forest.
The region has good biodiversity and major trees and plants include
Kadamba, Teak, Karanj, Shisam, and species of Acacia, Ziziphus,
Euphorbia, Flame Of The Forest, Red Silk Cotton and many more
varieties of flowers. During the monsoon, almost the entire park is
awash with the rainbow hues of the flowers that bloom here and all
over the Western Ghats.
Among the many breathtaking sights, a sight not to be missed is the
seven-yearly mass flowering of the "Strobilanthes" (Karvi). A
distinctive feature of the Western Ghats and of the park is that
tourists can watch thousands and thousands of these wonderful flowers
covering the hilltops, bathing the landscape in a magical purple.
The park is known to shelter wildlife right from the time urbanization
began in Mumbai. One can have encounters with several species
including Spotted Deer, Black Naped Hare, Barking Deer, Porcupine,
Palm Civet, Mouse Deer, Rhesus Macaque, Bounet Macaque, Hanuman Langur,
Indian Flying Fox, and Sambhar.
One is surprised by the density of leopards in this park despite its
nearness to an urban settlement. One can also encounter here a Hyena
or four horned antelope.
The reptilian world has 38 species to show off. Tourists can see
crocodiles in the Tulsi Lake, and Pythons, Cobras, Monitor Lizards,
Russell's Viper, Bamboo Pit Viper and Ceylonese Cat Snake here.
The invertebrate world has a wide representation - Crabs, Spiders and
Insects of all kinds thrive within the green glades of the park. The
Giant Wood Spider, Signature Spiders, Black Wood Spiders with their
large net-like webs in monsoon is a fascinating treat.
Last, but certainly not the least, are the 150 species of beautiful
winged creatures that represent the amazing butterfly world.
The National Park is known as a real Bird Watcher's Paradise. The park
is the nesting ground for 274 kinds of birds - that's almost a quarter
of all bird species found in India. The park has a large number of
bird species like Jungle owlets, Golden orioles, Racket-tailed drongos,
Minivets, Magpies, Robins, Hornbills, Bulbuls, Sunbirds, Peacock, and
Woodpeckers. At many times, migratory and resident birds like Paradise
flycatcher, Kingfisher, Mynas, Swifts, Gulls, Egrets, and Herons have
also been seen here.
ATTRACTIONS AT THE PARK
Archeologically speaking, the Kanheri Caves located well within the
park area is a major point of interest, presenting an accessible and
interesting glimpse of the history and culture of Buddhist India. 109
Buddhist caves are situated in the central part of the park and are
evidence of the existence of monastic settlements in 2nd to 9th
A pleasing area of approximately 5.5-sq-km has been reserved, as a
recreational zone inside the park, to cater to the educational and
recreational needs of tourists. Amongst the several attractions of the
Krishnagiri Upavan, the Lion Safari is the most famous. The 12-hectare
Lion Safari Park with crisscrossing roads offers tourists a
face-to-face rendezvous with the king of beast from within the safety
of special buses. Another more recent attraction of the park is the
new Tiger Safari spread over a 20-hectare area in the recreational
zone. Here, you have the opportunity not just to see, but get a better
understanding of the tiger species, including the white tiger.
Though there is a sustainable population of crocodiles as part of the
park's aquatic world, it is very difficult to spot them. For easy
sighting of these animals, there is a crocodile park where one can
view these reptiles of different sizes all at one place.
Then of course, there's the Vanrani, the mini train, which is a
favourite with young visitors. The fun train ride of about 15 minutes
takes you along the foothills of the Gandhi Memorial, traverses a
couple of bridges and tunnels and passes over the Deer Park. Besides,
one can also visit the Gandhi Smarak, indulge in some boating in the
lotus filled lake, or enjoy the gardens and children's park.
The Sanjay Gandhi National Park is a part of Greater Mumbai and Mumbai
is one of the largest metropolises in the world. The main highlights
of the city are the Gateway of India, Prince of Wales Museum,
Elephanta Island, Flora Fountain, Haji Ali's Tomb, Kamla Nehru Park,
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Nehru Planetarium, Nehru Science Centre,
and Marine Drive