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Review of Sanjay Gandhi (Borivali) National Park

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User Rating 3 Star Rating (3 Reviews)

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Review of Sanjay Gandhi (Borivali) National Park

Kanheri Caves, Sanjay Gandhi National Park.

Steven Lam/Getty Images

The Bottom Line

The Sanjay Gandhi National Park may not be as large or exotic as some of the other national parks in India, but its accessibility makes it very appealing. It's the only protected forest to be located within the limits of a city. To find tranquility amidst teeming Mumbai, this is the place to come! The park is also a great family destination, with plenty to keep the kids amused. However, it's best to plan your visit well as many attractions close over lunch, and adequate tourist information is scarce. In order to fully appreciate the park, you'll need to pack a picnic lunch and spend a full day there.

Pros

  • Conveniently located on the northern fringes of Mumbai.
  • Has a wide range of attractions.
  • The ancient Buddhist hand-cut caves are a highlight of the park.
  • Great for families with small children.

Cons

  • Attractions are spread out.
  • Difficult to get around the park without transport.
  • Attractions inconveniently close for lunch.
  • Lack of food stalls.

Description

  • Located near Borivali East train station, 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Mumbai city center. Ph: (022) 2886-0362/0389.
  • Attractions include tiger & lion safaris, toy train, boating, trekking, rock climbing, and hand-carved Buddhist caves.
  • Park is 104 square kilometers (65 miles) in size. Open daily from 7.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Entrance fee is 20 rupees (50 cents).
  • 30 minute tiger & lion safaris operate from 9 a.m to 1 p.m. and 2.20 p.m. until 5.30 p.m. Closed Mondays. Cost is 30 rupees.
  • 15 minute boat rides are offered on the lake from 9 a.m to 12.30 pm and 1.30 p.m. until 5.30 p.m. Cost is 15 rupees.
  • Kanheri Caves are 7 kilometers (4.4 miles) inside the park and are open daily from 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Cost 100 rupees.
  • A shuttle bus runs from the park entrance to the caves every 20 minutes until around 1.30 p.m. Cost is 20 rupees one way.
  • Last shuttle bus back from the caves is at 4 p.m.
  • The Vanrani toy train takes visitors on a scenic circuit around the park. Cost is 15 rupees for adults, 7 rupees for kids.
  • Park also has a Jain temple, Yeoor hiking trail, and nature walks organized by the Bombay Natural History Society.

Guide Review - Review of Sanjay Gandhi (Borivali) National Park

On one side of the busy Borivali road, roaring with traffic, is a huge bridge. On the other side is the entrance to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. It's a stark contrast to Mumbai's sprawling development.

The park is operated by the government, so I shouldn't have been surprised to find its attractions closed for lunch, and minimal tourist information and facilities available. The only food on offer was from enterprising children selling bottled water and packets of crisps. Many signs are written in Marathi, the language of the state, and there aren't any park brochures available for visitors. This makes it unclear how to best get around the park.

At park the entrance, I was met with an offer of private transport to all the attractions for 850 rupees ($20). For that relatively expensive price I decided to walk, not realizing how spread out everything really was. As a result, I haplessly wandered around, relying on the sparse sign boards and people for directions.

My untimely arrival during the park's lunch time also greatly hampered my plans. I had to pay the driver of the shuttle bus to the Kanheri Caves three times the fare to delay his lunch break and take me there, or else wait two hours for the next service -- but was glad I did.

The magnificent Kanheri Buddhist Caves are worth a visit on their own. There are 109 of them in various sizes, scattered over a hilltop and hand-carved out of volcanic rock. The largest has a deep chamber for worship and towering sculptures of Buddha.

The park's lion & tiger sanctuaries are also a big attraction, but don't expect to see wild animals in this caged environment.

Despite the few inconveniences, the Sanjay Gandhi National Park really is a haven to be enjoyed. It provides a wonderful opportunity to spend time in nature without having too travel far. To see it easily, bring your own transport if possible.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 4 out of 5
Village in a Metropolitian City, Member Maheshdw1

""Amazing Place to be visited in the raining season. Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai is a walkable distance from Borivali Station and located on the western highway. The entry fees is around Rs. 30 /- per head and for Bike they charge Rs. 25/- and for Car Rs. 50/- extra. One of the best place to be visited by family rather visiting Big Malls and Movie Theatre for just a waste of money and Obesity. A whole family can visit the place to be in the nature and to enjoy the trees and gardens. Its a place where you can take things like bats, balls, badminton racket, football, skipping rope, etc and play games like hide and skeep, langadi, pakada pakadi etc which were played before and a whole family can sit together to enjoy, talk and sing...... In rainy season, I bet the place is as good as we all go to distant places to enjoy water fall. There are lots of water fall and small rivers to enjoy with the beauty of the nature with lush green grasses and climate. The roads at time do get bad in rainy seasons but an attempt is made by the authority to make it better but roads till Kanhery caves is in bad shape till date. There are Cycles aviliable on rent Rs. 30 /- per hour and if we have own cycle then we do get discount of Rs. 5/- on entry ticket and no charge for cycle. Nice place for cycling in the nature and enjoying the ride between the trees with less traffic. There is Tiger safari for Rs. 50/- per head and good expereince for childrens but there are less visible animals. The only attaction is the new born 3-4 cubs of tiger that has added the fun in the safari but are not visible many a times as only lucky ones are only able to see. There is kanhery caves at a distance of 7 km from entrance and is one of the best place to be visited to see the ancient buddisht caves and is among one of the place visited by Buddha and has a important part in the ancient history and is among the best place for water fall with lots of caves....... Please do visit for peace and silence rather visiting malls and theatres every weekend.""

53 out of 54 people found this helpful.

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