Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Maharashtra Nature Park

When I was in college, I often travelled to Bandra by bus to meet a friend. One evening, as I was returning home, a lady sitting next to me pointed to a vast stretch of green on one side of the road and said, "This is the Mahim Nature Park. Have you heard of it?"
I shook my head indicating a 'no'.
"It's a pity that people in Bombay are unaware of the green spaces that exist...They just complain about the pollution and the cramped spaces but they do not take the effort of finding and visiting parks and gardens that are around," she grumbled.
I did not tell her anything but I decided to pay a visit to this place whenever I get time. Since we were relatively free from work this week, Sanika and I decided to explore this nature park. It is now known as the Maharashtra Nature Park. The location is particularly fascinating - it is situated right in between the over-populated, crowded slums of Dharavi and the highly industrialized area, that is Bandra-Kurla Complex.


Reaching the park is not a hassle - you can take any bus that goes to Dharavi Depot; or you could commute there from Sion Station. As soon as I reached the place, the words spoken by the woman on the bus echoed in my mind - apart from the two of us, there was only one other person present. The Nature Park is not very big - one can see the Mahim Creek alongside it. There were lots of butterflies and many flowers in bloom. It was fun chasing butterflies and trying to capture them on camera! I really felt like the child in me had awakened!
 
 
  
There were bushes that had wild berries. We discovered an oil tree and a peepal tree.We even spotted a reptile which, according to Sanika, was a chameleon. We did not spot a lot of birds but towards the end of our trip, as we were walking out of the gates, we found a few storks. 

  
Later I came to know that in order to spot a lot of migratory birds, one ought to visit the place between October and March. The park also has an open-air amphitheater, an audio-visual hall, a library - all these are powered by solar energy. There were also four friendly dogs who continued to follow us wherever we went.
The Maharashtra Nature Park is only open till 3:30 p.m. I wish it would remain open for longer hours. It is a place which I would recommend to all nature-lovers and people who are fond of photography. Just be sure to rub a lot of Odomos to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes!

This week I enjoyed visiting some new sites in Mumbai - it was a lot of fun and it rekindled my love for exploration and travelling. I hope to continue this journey of discovering new destinations all around me - what's the point of touring the world if you are clueless about the beauty that is already around you?

28 comments:

  1. WOW!!

    This is such a lovely park..never knew about this. Next time I visit Mumbai this one's on my list...lovely pictures!

    Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. You are welcome :) Let me know how your visit went :) :)

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  2. Nice narration. Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing.

    I just have one question. How come you always say "Bombay". I thought everyone in India call the city "Mumbai". Any special reason?

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    1. Mumbai is the new name...I still prefer calling it Bombay - it was Bombay when I first visited the city and somehow it is that name that remains stuck in my head...In any case, one can call it 'Mumbai' or 'Bombay' - but it is always going to remain the 'City of Dreams'

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    2. Thanks for your reply. Just curious. What is the reaction of other people (friends, relatives, colleagues, strangers) in Bombay when you say "Bombay" instead of "Mumbai". When I was visiting Chennai, I called it Madras and I had strange reactions.

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    3. I think it depends from person to person...my friends don't mind but there is a political angle involved in calling a place Bombay instead of Mumbai :P It doesn't bother me - I stay as far away from politics as I possibly can!

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  3. 'what's the point of touring the world if you are clueless about the beauty that is already around you?'
    Absolutely!! I feel the same way ..
    There is so much joy in exploring new places .. Enjoy!!
    Lovely photographs again :)

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    1. Thanks :) :)
      And I am glad you feel the same way - there are so many people who keep going on world-tours but ask them to go to a local tourist-spot and they are completely unwilling...I find that to be a rather strange phenomenon :P

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  4. A beauty in our own backyard - I make it a point to visit it whenever I can. I hope it remains as beautiful as it is now.
    Nice pics! esp The tailed jay butterfly ...they are not so easy to capture! :P

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    1. Glad you liked the pictures :) :) This was my first time there - I really found no birds there except those storks but I had heard and read that there are lots of birds in that area...I hope to find more the next time I visit that place :)

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  5. Seems interesting. Will let all my friends in Bombay know :) And please remove the captcha if possible Divya

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  6. Another destination:)It is true that Mumbai does have its green belts, just that they should be advertised a bit more to raise awareness and also they need to be maintained. I like the area surrounding the Powai lake a lot. The IIT campus is also a favourite. Places like Panvel and Nerul are very beautiful too.

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    1. The only negative aspect of advertising a place is that the crowd increases and then maintenance falls short - the result is that the place gets littered and is no more clean and green...My friend has a beautiful house in Nerul and the view from the balcony is just splendid..I have never gone to Panvel or the IIT campus - Powai Lake, I do like :) :)

      From your surname, you come across as a Bong - since when have you been in Mumbai?

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  7. Lovely. Visiting new places is a fun. Like ur spirit. Its true that we dont search for places in your area but plan to visit distant places. Good to know mumbai has such places. As u said in your blogs u love making new friends, can i be ur friend? I like ur profile and way of life a lot.

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    1. I am glad you like my profile and the way I live my life :) :) I love interacting with people and spending time with them :) Why don't you look around you? I am sure you'll be able to make more friends if you allow yourself to meet more people :) :) :)

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  8. I was in Mumbai from 1999 to 2003. I also have frequented the city as a child as many close relatives lived there and still do. S is from IIT Powai, so I usually visit the campus whenever in town.

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  9. I recall the place you mention from my days in Mumbai ( used to be called Bombay those days)but I have never really ventured inside. But one of the things that I have observed about the city is that people DO appreciate and enjoy open spaces unlike other cities where parks are often left unfrequented and neglected! Lovely pics.

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    1. Thanks :) :)
      Yes, I think I know what you mean - I remember parks in Bangalore that were almost always completely deserted...

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  10. Verdant lush greenery....comes alive in monsoons. Lovely.

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  11. This was just beautiful Divya:) Never knew of its existence!!Thanks for sharing

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