Tourism in Borivali National Park
Borivali National Park or Sanjay Gandhi National Park has the distinction of being the only National Park in Mumbai. Notified in 1974, it is set in hill ranges around the suburb of Borivali in Mumbai. Borivali National Park plays host to various wildlife species like the panther, antelope, mouse deer and wild bear. Children particularly enjoy riding the colourful toy train here, as it winds its way through the vast Borivali National Park. In the Lion Safari Park, visitors can view lions as close as six feet away, from the special park vehicles.
Borivali National Park is a paradise for the lovers of avifauna and it is difficult for them not to be attracted by their charm here in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park.
Borivali National Park is located in Borivali, east of the Thane district, at distance of 40 km north from Mumbai. The Borivali National Park extends from the latitude 190°21' in the North to the longitude 720°58' in the East. Mumbai is the largest metropolis in India and located on the Arabian Sea in the Indian state of Maharashtra. The city is well connected to all parts of the county by air, rail and road networks. Mumbai also has the highest number of international flight connections in India.
The climate of the Borivali National Park is pleasant during winter (November-March) and hot during summer. The temperature is on the rise from the month of March until the monsoons break here in mid-June, and goes on till September. October offers relief from the humidity and heat.
The forest cover in the Borivali National 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 Borivali National Park is awash with the rainbow hues of the flowers that bloom here and all over the Western Ghats.
The Borivali National Park is a paradise for the bird watchers of Mumbai. Despite receiving the highest number of visitors, 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, drongos, swifts, gulls, egrets, and herons have also been seen here.
In total 251 species of birds have been seen at Borivali National Park according to the wildlife experts that include water and land birds.
The Borivali National Park is known to sheltering wildlife right from the time urbanization began in Mumbai. One can have encounters with several of the 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 Borivali National Park despite its nearness to an urban settlement. One can also encounter here a hyena or four horned antelope. Reptiles have also made this park their habitat and one can see crocodiles in the Tulsi Lake, and pythons, cobras, monitor lizards, Russell's viper, bamboo pit viper and Ceylonese cat snake here.
Kanheri or Kanhasela, as the two inscriptions from the place have named it, is the biggest Buddhist monastic establishment on the Konkan coast. It is situated in the heart of the Borivali National Park and is one of the better-known sites in Mumbai.
FACTS & FIGURES
|Area||87 sq km|
|Languages Spoken||Marathi, Hindi, and English|
|Altitude||30 to 480 metres above sea level|
|Best time to visit||October to May|
Borivali National Park is a part of Greater Mumbai and Mumbai is one of the largest metropolises in the world and definitely the largest in India. 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.
REACHING BORIVALI NATIONAL PARK
The nearest airport is Santa Cruz at a distance of 16 km for domestic air travel. This airport is connected to almost all the major Indian cities with regular flights.
The nearest international airport is Sahar at a distance of around 20 km from the park.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) at a distance of 40 km is the nearest railway hub connected to almost all the parts of India by regular trains. Borivali Station is the nearest railway station connected to Mumbai CST and Mumbai Central Railway terminuses.
The park is connected to all parts of Mumbai and other places in Maharashtra with very good road connections. Buses ply on Sunday's and holiday's from Mumbai to the Park. Chartered vehicles are available to the park on all days from Mumbai.
STAYING AT BORIVALI NATIONAL PARK
Four rest houses and two camp sheds are available within the park area for the visitors to reside. One can contact the wildlife authorities for bookings daily from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.