Formerly known as the Borivali National Park, the Sanjay Gandhi National Park is a large protected area located on the northern fringes of the suburban Mumbai City in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Spread over 104 square kilometer area it was established as a National Park in the year 1969. Recognized as one of the few Parks existing within metropolis limits, it is surrounded on three sides by Mumbai which is one of the most populous cities in India.
It is also the largest urban Park in the world with a very rich flora & fauna attracting over 2 million visitors every year. This Park is also home to the 2400 years old Kanheri Caves sculpted out of rocky cliffs and which are located within the Park area. Nestled amidst the hill ranges around the Borivali suburb, the undulating green terrain of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park is a natural environment blessed with forests, hills, valleys, lakes and vast open expanses which are ever-willing to provide a much needed respite in contrast to the crowds and overwhelming population in the city of Mumbai. Just about a kilometer away on the eastern side of the Borivali Railway Station, Western suburban trains are running on this line from Mumbai Central every 5 minutes.
Often said to be the ‘Lung-Space’ close to Mumbai, the Park is also home to a number of endangered species of flora and fauna. Housing over a 1000 plant species, 5000 species of insects, 40 species of mammals, 38 species of reptiles, 9 amphibian species, 251 species of birds and 150 species of butterflies, there also are a variety of fish species dwelling within the water-bodies located in the Park.
The main animals in this ideal habitat include Chital, Rhesus Macaque, Bonnet Macaque, Grey Langur, Indian Hare, Muntjac, Porcupine, Asian Palm Civet, Chevrotain, Sambar Deer, Hyena, Four-Horned Antelope and Leopard. Reptiles include Crocodiles, Monitor Lizards, Pythons, Cobras, Vipers and Ceylonese Cat Snakes. The avifauna seen within these areas include Jungle Owlets, Golden Orioles, Drongos, Minivets, Magpies, Robins, Hornbills, Bulbuls, Sunbird, Peacock, Kingfisher, Swifts, Woodpeckers, Gulls, Egrets, Herons and Paradise Flycatcher. Butterfly sightings within the Park include the spectacular Blue Mormon, Blue Oak Leaf, the bright Jezebels, Orange Tips, Monarchs, Egg Flies and Sailors.