3 June 2013

A visit to Sanjay Gandhi National Park

We frequently visit SGNP, but we head straight to the Jain temple in the National Park and we are back.. But with my daughters vacation last month, we played a visit for her. After long long time we were going in that toy train, which we used to enjoy as kids. A visit to the park needs at least half a day to explore.

The park notified in 1974, lies on the northern fringes of Mumbai covering an area of 104sq km. It is one of Asia’s most visited National Parks with 2 million annual visitors and claims to be the largest park in the world located within city limits.

Sanjay Gandhi National Park
Main entrance to the National Park

We reached there by 2, we headed to the toy train. Being a weekend, there was lot of crowd. The train starts from Krishna Giri station, drives through the forest, crossing Teen Murti station and back at the Krishna Giri. My daughter had fun, as this was her first journey in a toy train.. 
Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Sanjay Gandhi National Park
Maanvi enjoying the drive

Sanjay Gandhi National Park
There is also boat ride near the toy train, which we didn't try. Next we headed to the Lion and Tiger Safari, there was a big queue with more than 50 in the ticket counter and another 50 in the queue to board the bus, which would drive us through the Safari.. Getting ticket and then into the bus took almost an hour.. But this wait was quite worthy as we got to see a lion and two tigers, in which one was white. A bus with grilled windows drive you through the jungles. While there was some renovation going on in the tiger Safari and the tigers were caged.. This was our second visit to a Safari in a week, after our previous weeks visit to Safari at Silvassa. 
Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Sanjay Gandhi National Park
By then it was already 4:30 and we headed to Kanheri Caves, which was supposed to close at 5pm. A 7 km drive within the National park leads you to Kanheri caves.. 
Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Kanheri gets its name from Sanskrit meaning black mountain or Krishna giri. We always postponed our trip to Kanheri caves thinking we would have to trek like in Karla Caves or any Buddhist caves, and a trek with my daughter sounded impossible. After reaching there we realized, its just few steps climb that leads you to the caves.. 
Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Sanjay Gandhi National Park
There are 109 Buddhist caves chiseled out of volcanic rock. There are small chambers called viharas(cells for monks). And few larger and deeper chambers known as Chaityas(for congregational worship). 
Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Sanjay Gandhi National Park

The main one has colossal figures of standing Lord Buddha, 7m in height, on each side of the entrance porch, a colonnade of 34 pillars surrounding the interior halls and a over topped stupa at the far end, all carved into existing basaltic rock. These caves are dated from1st century BC to 9th century AD. (The below pic i downloaded from Wikipedia as my camera was out of battery).
Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Image courtesy Wikipedia
And then a visit to the Teen Murti Jain temple. There are three huge idols of Adinath, Bharatha and Bahubali, along with smaller idols of 24 theerthankaras. 
Heading back we visited Mahatma Gandhi Memorial. This place at a high altitude gives you a beautiful view of the National Park. Artificial ponds with lotus and fishes attract kids.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Mahatma Gandhi Memorial (Image courtesy Wikipedia)
If you are planning a visit, below is some useful information,
Location: Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Borivali(East) is 1km from the Borivali station.
National Park(Main entrance):
Entry Fee: Adult Rs. 33/-, child Rs.17/-
Vehicle Entry fee: Four wheeler Rs. 110/-, two wheeler Rs. 28/-
Timings: 7:30am to 6pm
Mondays Closed
Toy Train:
Entry Fee: Adult Rs. 28/-, child Rs. 11/-
Timings: 9am to 5:30pm, train schedule every half an hour.
Boat Ride
Entry Fee: Rs. 33/- per person for small two seater boat and Rs. 66/- per person for four seater boat
Timings: 9:30am to 5:30pm
Lion and Tiger Safari:
Entry Fee: Adult Rs.55/-, child Rs.22/-
Vedio Camera Rs. 1050/day
Timings: 9am to 12:30pm and 2pm to 4:30pm
Kanheri Caves:
Timings: 9am to 5pm
Entry Fee: Adult Rs. 5/-
BEST buses run from National Park to Kanheri Caves: return journey Rs. 60/-

Linked to Our World TuesdayTuesday Around the WorldOutdoor Wednesday

60 comments:

  1. Great tour!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  2. I would like to ride on that train.

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    Replies
    1. Its fun Fun60:) Must try, if your are in Mumbai sometime...

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  3. what a lovely tour. thanks for taking me to this tour.

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  4. Wonderful place for a family outing! Your daughter looks so happy!

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    Replies
    1. Yes Sallie, she had a wonderful time....

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  5. It all sounds so wonderful. The trainride, the safari and the caves. What a great place to visit. Thanks for sharing your world, have a happy week!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you eileeninmd....True, its very rare to find all such amazing things at one place... A happy week to you too...

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  6. Reading about Kanheri caves the first time, i almost thought they were ajanta caves from a distance.

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    1. Oh really, it needs a separate visit during weekdays. There was lot of crowd... Also my camera was out of charge and i hardly clicked few... Never been to Ajanta, have to plan sometime...

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  7. The toy train ride sounds so refreshing! Glad that you could spot the tiger and the lion, however sad to know that they were caged. Wonderful pictures with crisp narration, felt like visiting the park with you. Many thanks for the tour. Btw, your daughter is very cute. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Arti, for such inspiring words....

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  8. Looks like a lovely visit.

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  9. Looks like a great place to visit. You took some good shots.

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  10. What a great tour! Great pictures!

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  11. Replies
    1. True Sophibelle, its a lovely place...

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  12. What an interesting park! Great shots, and your daughter is so cute!

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  13. So many interesting things to see! :-)

    http://tinajoathome.com/

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  14. Oh the perfect combination... A park and your beautiful daughter... This made me smile..... Michelle from Nature Notes.... Michelle

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  15. सुन्दर तस्वीरें एवं महत्वपूर्ण जानकारी.मुझे इस स्थान के बारे में आपके ब्लॉग से पता चला.शुक्रिया!

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  16. very nice and informative post Meghana !!

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  17. Thank you. This reminds me of my visit to Kaneheri Caves.

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    Replies
    1. Oh is it.... We couldn't explore Kanheri caves properly, needs another visit....

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  18. Lovely informative post with lovely captures!!

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  19. Looks like there's a lot to do around here. :)
    Kanheri caves sounds inviting. I'd love to see some caves like that. It seems like ages since I visited Ajanta.
    I'd love to see Kanheri.

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    Replies
    1. True, lot to explore at one stop... Am yet to visit Ajanta, Thanks for dropping in dear...:)

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  20. beautiful captures...lovely place to visit.

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  21. truly, wonderful post with beautiful picture collection!
    thanks for sharing your information about national park and Buddhist caves. but, I have also more information about Indian national parks and Buddhist pilgrimage tour. To know, please visit.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Ercotravels... Sure, will visit the site...

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  22. Dear,

    Thanks for sharing all information.

    Its help me to plan my tour with my daughter.

    Thanks and take care

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for dropping in Vikas. Happy to know my post helped you in planning your tour.

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  23. Dear.

    Thanks for sharing all information. That's help me to plan my tour with my daughter.

    (Very few people have such sense to share valuable information in detail)

    Thanks and take care.

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  25. Very nice blog post. Mumbai city has so much to explore. Sanjay Gandhi National Park Gateway of India, Juhu beach, Elephanta caves are some of the must places to visit in Mumbai. Keep writing such informative posts.

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  26. wow. Really very nice post. The picture exposes this blog very good and interesting. Thank you for sharing about this places.
    Places to visit in Mumbai

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  27. Sanjay Gandhi park is one of the famous weekend places to visit in Mumbai. Only one time I visited this park. This is the best place to spend more time with friends and family. To know more place visit

    Places to visit in Mumbai
    Places to See in Mumbai
    Tourist Places in Mumbai

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  28. A very informative post with beautiful pictures. The Kanheri caves is very famous among visitors and the lush green environment provides a very soothing aura. For more details check National park Borivali timing

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  29. Thanks for sharing this article. It is very valuable Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour.

    ReplyDelete