Wandering destination: Around Mumbai

Greater Flamingo at Shivadi

IIT Bombay campus hosts innumerable varieties of birds, flowers, trees and butterflies. However, it has natural and ecological limitations. Every living species around Mumbai cant be seen in the campus. Some of the species are jungle dwellers and prefers thick, unattended forest. For example some butterflies species like Baronet, Tinsel, Western centaur Oakblue are seen in the jungles of SGNP and Tungareshwar WLS but IITB Campus. To explore more wonders about nature, apart from campus, there are some immediate destinations near Mumbai sub-urban. Here is consolidated information about one-day return spots.

Lungs of Mumbai, SGNP
Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP): Campus shares some of its boundaries with SGNP. SGNP, a  protected are of about 104 sq. km., spreads from Borivali to Thane.  An estimated 800 types of flowering plants; 284 kinds of birds; 5,000 species of insects; 36 types of mammals; 62 reptiles and 150 species of butterfly can be found. some distinguished features of the park are nature trails, Karvy flowers blooming after every 7/8 years, Kanheri caves. Ticket for individual is 20 Rs and park can be accessed from 6 AM to 6 PM. From IIT, BEST or NMMT buses drops you at the very entrance of the park. Private vehicles are allowed inside the park with some fees. For trekking and nature trails, prior permission is required.

Jungles in SGNP

Shiwadi bird watching spots
Shivadi: Famous for Flamingo's. Many other water birds (gulls, waders, snipers, herons,etc) can be seen in the mangrove forest. Best time of the day would be morning to visit. The are plenty of spots to seat calmly and watch bird activities. Take a train from Kanjur to Shiwadi, with one change over at Dadar. Start walking towards sea coast and ask for Jetty. Jetty is the best spot among many. Siwari fort could be an attraction for some, Colgate gate is another point to watch birds closely.  

Yeoor Hills: This is entry to SGNP from Thane. Buses from IIT Main gate to Mulund and then catching bus towards yeoor takes about 45 minutes to reach the destination under normal circumstances.

Tata power plant at backdrop, Shivadi

Map of Nagla Block
Nagla: Another extension of SGNP. Its far from the disturbances by the tourists. For butterfly lovers, there can be few surprises post monsoon season. Some exotic species of butterflies like Silver streak Blue, Chocolate Albatross, Orange Awlet, Acacia Blue are often sited. To reach Nagla, take a bus from Main gate to Mulund and then from Mulund to Hotel Fountain. Walk about a kilometer towards Ahmedabad on the highway and there u are. On right side there are some houses and thats the way in to the Nagla block.

Mahim Nature Park: Situated in the midst of city and spread over a large area on the banks of Mithi. Very well maintained and can be good starting point to watch nature closely and comprehensively. It hosts every natural element : birds, butterflies, flowers.Entry fee is 10 rs. Permission required to take photos. A bus from Gandhinagar bus stop drops very near to MNP.

By Paresh Kale

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