Mumbai is more than just a commercial city of some 22,000,000 people. It also has some of the best wildlife you can find in any urban centre in the world. When visiting Mumbai, we highly recommend people take the time out to enjoy the nature within the city the limits. Below, we have listed some of our favourite places to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the City of Dreams and relax with nothing but our cameras (or usually attached to our smartphones) in hand.
1. Rani Baug, Byculla
Rani Baug also called as Jijamata Udyan is situated in the Byculla area of South Mumbai. Rani Baug means Queens Garden and was formerly called Victoria Gardens during the British reign. Laid out in 1861, it is one of the oldest zoos in India. The zoo is spread out over 48 acres and has plush gardens. It houses many various endangered species of birds and animals. The latest addition is the Humboldt Penguins. While entering you can view the Clock Tower that has its roots in the Italian Renaissance.
Timings: 09:00 AM to 17:00 PM except for Wednesday.
• Byculla (Central Line)
• Mumbai Central (Western Line)
2. Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivali
Sanjay Gandhi National Park formerly Borivali National Park is one of the largely protected areas in North Mumbai for wildlife animal. Even though this park has over 2 million visitors every year, it’s more than 104 sq. km. of greenery and caves, including the famous Kanheri Caves, provides ample room for visitors to forget their in the middle of one of the largest cities in the world. The region has hilly areas and encompasses two lakes – Vihar Lake and Tulsi Lake. Enjoy the tiger safari, toy train ride and also the chance to see some beautiful birds and leopards as well.
Timings: 07:30 AM to 17:30 PM every day.
Nearest Station: Borivali (Western Line)
3. Essel World Bird Park, Borivali
India’s first interactive bird park is becoming of the of the best tourist attractions in Mumbai. This bird park gives you an amazing opportunity to immerse yourself in bird watching. There are a variety of birds that you can spot – Flying birds, Aquatic birds, and Terrestrial birds. The bird park has a rainforest habitat which helps the birds to develop their natural instincts.
Timings: 10:00 AM to 17:00 PM every day.
Nearest station: Borivali (Western Line)
4. Karnala Bird Sanctuary
Karnala Bird Sanctuary is situated almost 12kms from Panvel off the Mumbai-Pune Highway towards Goa. This is a popular destination for bird watchers and hikers as it houses an old Karnala Fort. it is estimated that the sanctuary is home to over 222 species birds of which 161 are resident species, with the rest being either migrant or vagrant species of birds that can be seen at only select times of the year. The Sanctuary is also an Important Bird Area (IBA) satisfying A1 (Globally threatened species) and A2 (Restricted-range species) criteria.
Timings: 06:30 AM to 18:30 PM Weekdays only.
Nearest Station: Panvel (Harbour Line)
5. Taraporewala Aquarium, Chowpatty
If you are an Aquaphile then you should visit the Taraporewala Aquarium. It has recently been renovated in 2015 and re-opened to the public. It is one of the oldest aquariums in India and one of the stops on the Mumbai Darshan tour. It hosts marine and freshwater fish. After viewing the aquarium, you can also spend some quality time at Marine Drive, the best road to check out the Mumbai skyline, and Girgaum Chowpatty, a beach in the center of the city. One thing to keep in mind is when you buy a ticket, it will only be valid for 1 hour of purchase.
Timings: Open for visitors from 10:00 AM to 20:00 PM (weekends) and 10:30 AM to 20:00 PM (weekdays) for Ground Floor only. Monday closed.
• Charni Road (Western Line)
• Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Central Line)
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