As we boarded the bus, the honking of vehicles, glittering street lights, sounds of breakfast sellers, morning walkers faded away to a thick envelope of trees and foliage. Wading through the way, I realized my mistake of not carrying a jacket along. It was cool, windy inside Mumbai’s very own jungle – Sanjay Gandhi National Park.
We had joined the nature trail to the park’s highest point. Our guide Nilesh made the 6 km uphill trek a pleasant discovery of the national park and its expanse:
Bamboo Hut Walk – A dense walk earlier, bamboo trees give 60% more oxygen than regular trees.
Ashok Van: I associated this name with an area around the park. The trail showed me, it’s a dense area with ashoka trees. So thick that the temperature can be 3-4 degrees lesser in this part, sun rays barely pass through to the ground.
Ghost Tree: It reflects moon light and keeps peeling itself to become white. Can be seen from the highway, resembles a lady in a white saree. Insects and birds flock to this tree for mating.
Karvee Trees: They flower once in 7 years. Flowers grow together, die together. Tribals use these trees to make huts.
Kanheri Caves: The Park has over 100 caves and was a Buddhist city of trade once upon a time.
The nature trail brought alive a city landmark, which otherwise lays confined to our textbooks. More so, it made me aware of the need to explore my city as a tourist and equally appreciate the surrounding nature.
What have your experiences of rediscovering your city?