Sanjay Gandhi National Park was called 'Krishnagiri Park' before 1947 and 'Borivali National Park' from 1947 to 1990. The park was spread over a relatively smaller area of 20.26 square km till 1969, post which it was increased to 104 square km by acquiring various forest reserves adjoining the park. The name was changed again in 1990 and it was rechristened 'Sanjay Gandhi National Park' in the memory of Sanjay Gandhi (son of ex-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi), who was killed in a 1980 plane crash. The entrance fee for an adult or a child is Rs. 10/- and the park stays open from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM from Tuesday to Sunday. Safari starts from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The nearest airport is Santa Cruz situated at a distance of 16 km while the nearest railway station is located at a distance of 40 km. Vihar Lake and Tulsi Lake in the vicinity of the park are the 2 largest lakes in the city and are also popular tourist destinations.
Flora & Fauna
Every visitor who comes here enjoys the great panorama of the lush greenery with a remarkable collection of birds, butterflies and various kinds of fauna including the wild leopard. This reputed park is a natural habitat for 36 varieties of mammals, 62 species of reptiles, 5,000 kinds of insects and 800 diverse flowering plants. One would find a varied collection of wild animals including Bonnet and Rhesus monkeys, Indian Hare, Sambar deer, Gray Lungur, Chital, Macaque and many more. Another major attraction of this place is the presence of Atlas Moth, world's largest moth. Karvi, an exotic variety of flora is also found here which blossoms only once in eight years.
Lion And Tiger Safari
Authorities of the park also arranged tiger and lion safari which attracts about 2 million tourists every year. Special buses equipped with safety precautions are provided for the twelve hectare long crisscross roads for the safari. This Park houses about 25 lions and 6 tigers. The thick cover of the dense forest is home to different types of plants and trees including khair, kusum, teak, bamboo and many others.
It is indeed an interesting experience to see wild animals in their natural habitat. The active forest of this park is home to many rare species of plants also. It's definitely a must-see location in Mumbai.