Saturday, February 27, 2016

Mumbai - To Do (27Feb2016 Mumbai - Sanjay Gandhi National Park)

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Mumbai - To Do
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Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Getting There:
Grab a Tuk Tuk (Three Wheel). It cheaper than the standard cab and takes about 15-20mins to get there (pending traffic of course) and its a dead simple route. Its straight down the road. 

Base Price starts at 18rupees and my ride on the way up was 96Rupees and return 104Rupees. Distance to the park from my recollection was about 7km. Pay according to the meter and make sure they run it! Quite the experience.
 Getting around in the Park Itself.
Walking - You're very limited. The place is so large and hilly its impossible to cover that much ground. Its about a 7km hike from the entrance, just to get to the caves and its elevation is 700m. No easy feat.
Cycling - There's a deposit of 400rupees and its 80rupees to rent some really old and damaged bicycles. (Scam cases of renters claiming form your deposit due to damaged bicycles not done by yourself. Its advisable to bring your own bicycle to explore the park)
Public - There's public transport payable inside, but its totally ad-hoc and will only go or don't go based on a minimum number of passengers. 
Tour - With Raj +199757055467 (Whatsappable)
There's no price comparison with other bike riders in there, but hey there was ease of communication and tour as we rode through the park and a free Hindi lesson to boot.
650Rupees for a 'guided tour' (on a bike for 1 pax/ or car for more can be arranged). Tour does not cover token charges to enter each of the attractions
and the park itself. 

- 'Safari'58Rupees , Kanheri Caves 125Rupees, Outskirt of national park at a 80year old Hindi Temple (Free) and drop off of your choice. I elected to take a look at the lake for water rides and drop off at the main entrance to call it a day.

Pretty much the main attraction, besides the serenity of the park, is undeniably the Kanheri Caves, with over 110caves. There's a basic entrance into the park of 44Rupees and each of the attractions a token charge. 
"Safari" 58Rupees
*What more can you expect for the price. There's supposed to be a free ranging Lion in the large enclosure but depending on your luck you may or may not see it. There are two other tigers in cages for your viewing enjoyment. The whole round about drive takes about 15mins. and like most transports, require a minimum number of people before it'll set of on its journey.*
 Kanheri Caves 125Rupees
 (Given about 45-1hr here which was sufficient, especially under the Mumbai heat. Toilet facilities and water are available on site.)
This is by far the most worth while visit when in the park. There are 110 caves in total. Many of which are merely cut out shelters in the mountain. However, there are a few unique ones not to missed on the main walk way in. Elevation stands at 700m offering beautiful panoramic views of the reserve.
*The peak offers a panoramic view of the nature reserve*
 *Couple being interrupted by a passing monkey*
*At the very top*

Loads of photo opportunities over here and the caves seems very popular with the youth and families. Many of them couples and groups of friends hanging out. There are loads of water collection points among-st the caves which serve as drinking water for the indigenous people there. 
Hindi Temple
"The pond"
 *Yeap they offer rides*

*Check this park security. Just like a Bollywood Star.*
 *The park also has a train that goes around a hill. More of a kids thing*
The caves and view from 700m high definitely takes the cake and worth the tour/transport just to get there. The park itself is popular among couples and families. Largely used for wedding pictures and a venue for both wedding and arranged marriages


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