Sanjay Gandhi National Park is one of the most popular national parks in India. It covers twenty percent of the geographical area of the city of Mumbai, Maharashtra. Named after the ex-prime minister of India, Sanjay Gandhi, this national park is a treat to every visitor.
Maharashtra is one of the coastal states of India. It houses diverse natural beauty. Being a coastal state one can find an abundance of both terrestrial and aquatic life forms here. In addition to this there also exists a decent number of amphibian population here too.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park is squeezed between the suburbs of Mumbai and Thane. It is a popular retreat from the busy and hectic city life. Not only localities but tourists from other states as well as countries make sure that they visit the park.
More about Sanjay Gandhi National Park
Sanjay Gandhi National Park was formerly known as Borivali National Park. It is spread across an area of. It is under the Government of Maharashtra. An estimated two million visitors visit this park every year. Sanjay Gandhi National Park is famous for its dense evergreen forests, bird population, tigers as well as butterflies.
Historical Background of Sanjay Gandhi National Park
Sanjay Gandhi National Park was named Krishnagiri National Park during the pre-independence era. At that time only 26 square kilometers of land was available for this forest. Then in the year 1969 the park was expanded. Later on an independent unit of the Forest Department, Borivali National Park was set up in this area. Then in 1981 it was renamed Sanjay Gandhi National Park in the memory of Sanjay Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India.
In the 4th century the forest area housed in this national park was an important trade route between India and Mesopotamia. In addition to this the famous Kanheri Caves are also situated within Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Kanheri Caves were an important Buddhist centre between the 9th and 1st centuries BCE. So, a visit to this park makes one wonder about the magical past of this very area.
What to do when at Sanjay Gandhi National Park
Sanjay Gandhi National Park is a full package of fun filled experiences. It is one destination which has the ability to amuse people belonging to all age groups. This park has something or the other in store for each and every one. Sanjay Gandhi National Park has a rich floral and faunal beauty and in addition to this there also exists other amusing attractions.
The toy train which runs across the length and breadth of this park is a delightful experience. This vintage toy train is known by the name Van Rani or the jungle queen and it offers a 15 min ride. It takes along the foothills of the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial and across bridges and tunnels. This place has a decent population of deer. One can find deer roaming freely around the huts of native people.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park houses two artificial lakes in it namely Vihar Lake and Tulsi Lake. These are have the magnificent western hills on one side. One can also enjoy boating with friends and family here.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park offers a panoramic view. The most striking view is that of the Western Ghat hill range. Monsoons accentuate the beauty of the hill range. One can find clouds touching its lofty peaks.
Another major attraction of Sanjay Gandhi National Park is the Lion and Tiger Safari. It was started with the motive of promoting eco-tourism. The safari lasts 20 minutes. It is ticketed at Rs.64 for adults and Rs.25 for children. Visitors get the unique opportunity to see these wild animals in close quarters.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park with its eco-friendly approach has started the initiative of a cycle rent service. One can rent a cycle at Rs.10 for every hour and explore the park. The cycle routes are restricted.
A Tourist’s Guide
Sanjay Gandhi National Park is located on the northern part of the city of Mumbai. It is open on all days of the week from 7 am to 6:30 pm and the Kanheri Caves housed in it is open from 9 :30 am to 5:30 pm. Entry at Sanjay Gandhi National Park at Rs.48 for adults and at Rs.25 for children above five years of age. The nearest railway station from here is Borivali Railway Station and Churchgate Station. They are just an hour away from here. One can easily find public transport to reach this place including bus facility, auto and cab service. The nearest airport from Sanjay Gandhi National Park is Santa Cruz Airport.
One must visit Sanjay Gandhi National Park when in Mumbai it is a worth it. This beautiful national park is our nation’s pride. It’s well managed and maintained. The quiet of this place is a lovely escape from one’s busy life. The picturesque beauty of this place is spell bounding. One can also take some wonderful pictures when in here. Sanjay Gandhi National Park has a bounty of memorable experiences for its visitor. A visit to this park will definitely be a breath of fresh air.