Park Timings: 7:30 am – 6.30 pm for ticket holders.
5.30 am – 7.30 am for pass holders, morning walker
Entry Fee : Rs 40
Lion & Tiger safari, boating, cycling, trail walks, butterfly garden, & Kanheri caves charges extra.
Area of Park : 104 sq km.
Geology : Deccan Trap
SGNP (Sanjay Gandhi National Park) popularly known as Borivali National Park or just National Park is the only park in the world located completely within a city limits, rich in biodiversity. Being living in Borivali myself, I decided to post my experience for the fellow netizens. The park has notorious name associated with it, as being a park with nothing much to see, which in my opinion is quite the contradictory to what the park actually offers. With proper utilization of the resources it could be turned into a wonderful place to visit, especially the zoo.
As soon as you enter into the park there is the bus stop for private
vehicles to the Kanheri caves, a little ahead is the BEST bus stop. On the other side of the road there are bicycles available on rent. Further moving ahead you will see there is a nursery/nature information centre(NIC) which has the 3D map of the national park, it is worth the visit. NIC is the important place to know more about the park, it also organises the trails inside the restricted areas of the park, there is a museum and one can buy books regarding butterflies and other animals here. There is a theatre inside NIC. Also ahead of this there is an open garden where most of the school picnic students assemble. From here the road bifurcate’s, on the left it leads to the lion safari and inside of the park, the straight one goes to the caves.
On the road towards lion safari you will find the mini train station, there is also a lake which has boating facility, then there is a small stream besides the road, nice place to hang out. Also, near the mini train station there are steps to go towards the Gandhi topi, which offers a panoramic view of the park, there is also a garden at the top.
Krishnagiri and Teenmurty are the two mini train stations, one can board the train from Krishinagiri only. The train passes through the mini zoo, when I was kid the train was very popular and there where lots of animals inside the enclosure, now there are hardly couple of leopards and some chitals. If this aspect of the park is brought to its original form it would be quite beneficial.
The tiger and lion safari takes you to the inner limits of the park
which are not accessible by the visitors. Here one can find lions roaming freely and white tiger inside the cages. There are 20+ lions inside the park, but only couple of them are visible at a given point of time. The park also has 20+ leopards which roam freely and sometimes are in news for encroachment of the adjoining residential areas of the park.
There are many streams originating from the park, which merge into Dahisar river. There is a small dam built across the river where one can enjoy boating. It’s also a good place for bird watching. There are series of steps from where one can enjoy the vista.
The park is rich in flora and fauna, there are over 150 species of butterflies seen in the park. Some of the trees in the park have name plates on them, lots of them can be located on the road to Kanheri caves. Karvi a local flower blooms once every 7 years in the park premises. Its area of blooming is though off-limits for general visitor, one had to have prior permission to venture deep inside the blooming area. The park houses large variety of mammals, reptiles, birds, fishes. The largest moth in the world Atlas moth resides in the park. The best times to view butterfly is at the end of the rainy season (Sept-Oct). The best time to see bigger animals in wild is during the summer season near the waterholes. Winter is the best season to enjoy long walks inside the park and monsoon is the best time to enjoy the greenery of the park. As such from my experience there is no best time to visit park, every season offers a different view of the park and its surrounding to enjoy.
There are some popular trails inside the park like Shilonda trail, Malad trail and Yeoor trail. Kanheri caves which are more than 2000 years old are located 6km inside the park. It has more than 108 caves of Buddhist nature.
The entry ticket to the park is Rs 36, from past couple of years the ticket has gone up by 10% every year without much improvement. Also, other rides inside the park you have to pay more. The park is very near to Borivali station from the east side. Also, it’s just besides the Western Express highway.
All in all its a nice place to visit with one’s family and friends.