Sanjay Gandhi National Park is one of the most visited parks in the world, situated along the northern suburbs of the metropolitan city of Mumbai.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park was earlier known as Borivali National Park. This park is spread over an area of 104 square kilometers. Its rich in Flora and Fauna.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park attracts around 2 million visitors, every year. 2400 year old Kanheri caves, on rocky cliffs, are situated within this National park. By paying the vehicle entry fee, you can take your vehicles close to Kanheri Caves. Seven Buddhist caves older than Kanheri caves were discovered recently inside this park. Vihar Lake and Tulsi Lake, source of water for the city of Mumbai, are also situated within this national park.
Trimurti or Trimurti Digambar Jain Mandir is a famous Jain temple inside the National park. Three idols of Lord Adinath and his sons, Lord Bahubali alias Lord Gommateshwara and Lord Bharata, are there in this Jain temple.
Lion and Tiger safari is available in the park. Some of the commonly seen national park animals here are Spotted deer or chital, bonnet macaque and rhesus macaque.
Black-naped or Indian hare, porcupine, Asian palm civet, chevrotain (mouse deer), muntjac (barking deer), sambar deer, Hanuman or grey langur, Indian flying-fox, leopard, etc, are some of the wild animals found inside the National park at Borivali.
172 Butterfly species are seen in this park. Reptiles includes crocodiles and snake species like pythons, monitor lizards, Russell’s vipers, bamboo pit vipers, cobras and Ceylonese cat snakes. Moths as large as sparrows, can be seen in this National park.
Flora includes Teak, Kadamba, Karanj, Shisam, etc. Karvi or karvy, a flowering plant which flowers once in seven years is seen inside this park.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park Lion Safari
Sanjay Gandhi national park lion safari is very popular among the tourists to this park. 25 lions are there inside the Lion Safari Park .This park is spread over an area of around 12 hectares. Normally, 2 lions can be seen on the Caged Bus Lion safari trip lasting around 20 minutes. Other 23 lions are kept deep inside the forest.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park Tiger Safari
There are 6 tigers, including 2
White Indian Tigers inside the Tiger safari park. Tiger safari park is spread over an area of nearly 20 hectares. The Tiger safari park has lakes, ponds and islands. The area is covered with tall grass for the big cats to roam around. Two watch towers are there inside park. 2,200 meter long protective fencing with a height of 5 meters covers the Tiger park. A total of 4 Tigers can be seen normally. The remaining two tigers are confined to deep forests.
Boating and Toy Train Inside Sanjay Gandhi National Park
Pedal boats are available for tourists inside the National park. Anyone can hire these boats. Tourists can go for a trip inside the lake from Vanrani, near the start point.
The Toy train on the narrow gauge railway line traverses a few bridges and tunnels and passes along the foothills of the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial and over the Deer Park.
How Do I Go to Sanjay Gandhi National Park alias Borivali National Park?
Borivali Railway Station terminus at Borivali East, on the Western line of the Mumbai Suburban Railway network, is the nearest suburban railway station to the entry gate, at around 0.90 kilometers distance.
National Highway 8; i.e. Western Express Highway (25.33 kilometer long arterial road from Andheri to Churchgate); passes through the main gate of the park. Goverment buses connect the park entry gate with other parts of the city.
Goregaon East, where the Wildlife research organization, BNHS India and Mumbai Film City are located, is another entry point to the park. Mulund (Vasant Garden) is the entry point on the Eastern side. Yeoor and Tikuji-Ni-Wadi in Thane are two other entry points to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park.
Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji airport (formerly known as Santa Cruz Airport), is at around 16 kilometers from this wild life sanctuary and national park.
There are many railway stations in Mumbai, which connects this historic metropolitan city with the rest of India. UNESCO World Heritage Site, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station which was formerly known as Victoria Terminus, is a major railway station in Mumbai. Mumbai Central railway station on the Western line and Kanjurmarg railway station on the Central line are two other major railway stations in Mumbai,
Sanjay Gandhi National Park Safari Trip Timings
Sanjay Gandhi National park safari is available in the mornings and afternoons. Each safari trip lasts for 20 minutes or so. Safari trip is open from 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and from 2.20 p.m. to 5.20 p.m.
Monthly and yearly passes are available for morning walkers. These passes are useful for the Mumbaikars (residents of Mumbai), especially those residing near the periphery of the park’s entry gates. The timings for morning walkers are from 5 a.m. to 7.30 a.m.