The Sanjay Gandhi National Park aka Borivali National Park, is a park that tops couples list specially during monsoon. It attracts more than two million tourists a year and is one of Asia’s most visited parks. It has a great historic, geographic, ecological and artistic significance. From a tiger resident population to over 2,000-years-old Buddhist caves, to being haunted there’s almost nothing this park doesn’t have. Here are some facts you didnt know
01. It’s huge
Covering an area of 104 kilometers squared (40 square miles), the Sanjay Gandhi National Park is considered to be the largest park in the world located within city limits. This dense forested park features elevations ranging from 30 meters (98 feet) to 480 meters (1,570 feet). Its lush green cover counters much of the air pollution in Mumbai, leading to it being called the lungs of the city.
Two of the city’s largest lakes – Vihar and Tulsi – are located within the national park. Vihar was built in 1860 after acute water shortage problems in Mumbai led agitated citizens to protest. Tulsi was built years later in 1897 primarily as a backup to Vihar. The two lakes together meet a significant portion of South Mumbai’s water requirements. Both are also popular tourist destinations, offering scenic views as well as featuring crocodile parks.
03. Historic Significance
Tucked away within the lush greenery are the Kanheri Caves, about 109 rock-cut cave temples dating to the first century B.C.E. These caves, believed to have once been Buddhist shrines and places of meditation and study, are adorned with paintings of the Buddha and ancient Indian carvings. The park itself dates back to the fourth century B.C.E. when it was part of the transit route of the ancient port town of Sopara (in present-day Thane), and Kalyan which traded with Mesopotamia among other ancient civilizations.
04. Home to tigers and lions
If the lakes, greenery or historical sites don’t interest you, maybe the park’s wildlife will. The park claims to be home to more than 20 lions and about four tigers housed in separate semi-confined areas. Visitors can opt to take a 20-minute lion or tiger safari to observe these fascinating creatures. The park also features a large number of leopards as well as a range of other indigenous animals including the spotted deer, Indian flying foxes, Hanuman langurs and sambar deer.
05. Jain Temple
The park is also home to a temple for followers of the Digambara school of Jainism. The temple features three huge idols ranging around 30 feet in height. Locally known as the Trimurti Digambar Jain Mandir, the temple frequently hosts Jain saints and organizes religious ceremonies.
06. Toy train
The park has its own toy train or tram, called Van Rani (jungle queen) which runs on a narrow gauge railway. Over 25 years old, the train was discontinued in 2001 due to its poor condition, upsetting much of the city. Luckily service resumed in 2004 after renovations. The tiny train, with a seating capacity of about 25, goes through various bridges and tunnels by part of the jungle inhabited by deer.
With so many leopards and tigers in Sanjay Gandhi National Park haunted you’ll be lucky if they don’t feast upon you if you’re within this park after dark. However, if you manage to escape them, you still may not be quite safe yet. This is because there are some restless souls who were unable to live or die peacefully within the city of Mumbai. So, if you are within the boundaries of Sanjay Gandhi National Park haunted at night you may see them for yourself.
One of these apparitions is that of a phantom, female hitchhiker who’s dressed in all white. She is said to ask anyone who drives by her to give her a ride. While you may think that this is caused by the dense forests, wildlife or old caves that are found within this area (all of these things making the area an active ground for paranormal activities), the guards who work there at night claim that the Sanjay Gandhi National Park ghost really does exist there.
Address :Borivali East, Mumbai 400066, India
Ticket price :Per person charges have been increased from Rs.20 to Rs.30 (Entry Fees to be paid on main entrance gate in west). Rs.100 per head for nature trails and safari cost. Car Parking and Entry costs Rs.100 compared to Rs.50 Previously.
Timings :7 am to 6:30 pm (Those who overstay inside the park after 6:30 are fined Rs. 100/person) SGNP is closed on Mondays. Park entry fees: Rs. 33/Adult.
Original source credits: theculturetrip.com
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