Where: Dadar West, Mumbai, Maharashtra ? 400028
Opening time: Open 24 hours
The Shivaji Park, one of Mumbai?s largest parks, has a close connection to the social and political culture of the island city. Spread in the area of 28 acres, the park well known for its huge Shivaji Statue and the massive cricket grounds. The Shivaji statue hosted here is probably the most identified statue of Mumbai. Referred to as the cradle to Indian cricket, this place is home to more than 5 big cricket clubs of India. Players like Sachin Tendulkar, Dilip Sardesai, and Sunil Gavaskar have trained here and went on to playing at the national level. Apart from cricket, the Shivaji Park is also the practice grounds for several football and tennis clubs. Shivaji Park, founded in 1925, has witnessed several political gatherings prior and after independence. Visitors, especially sports enthusiasts, can feel the addictive energy of the place. During early mornings, the serene environment surrounding the park can be very relaxing. Apart from that, the street food vendors around the park sell great tasting street foods. One should try them, for an out of the world experience.
Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary
Where: Shahapur, Thane ? 421601
Opening time: 9.00 am ? 4.00 pm
Close to Mumbai, the Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most stunning locations for bird watching. Home to several endangered birds and animals, the wildlife sanctuary is an ideal place to spend the weekends. Travelers, who love to explore offbeat places, should visit the Tansa for a beautiful experience. Comprising the area around the Tansa Lake and forests of Shahapur, Vaitarna and Khardi, this place is home to more than 50 species of animals and 200 species of birds. One of the biggest attractions of the place, Malabar Trogon and Painted Francolin, can be seen living harmoniously in the moist deciduous forests of Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary. According to experts, early mornings are the best time to go for bird watching. Nature photographers and bird watchers can visit the place during winters; witness the wildlife sanctuary in its full glory. One should staying back at the forest rest houses to enjoy the night sky of the region. The beautiful company of the stars at the night can make the trip to the wildlife sanctuary more memorable.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park
Where: Borivali East, Mumbai, Maharashtra ? 400066
Opening time: 7.30 am ? 5.30 pm
Located close to the suburbs of Mumbai, the Sanjay Gandhi National Parks is an important biodiversity area of the city. Home to more than 100 species of birds and animals, the spot is a big attraction for people looking for some green spaces in the Mumbai cityscape. Spread in the area of 104 sq km, the national park is has two artificial lakes, some small hills and a forest, which was once an important location during 4th century B.C. The Kaneri Caves, located at the center of the forest, were an important center for learning. These caves were chiseled out of huge rock structures, and reflect the craftsmanship of the people during those ages. Some of the major attractions of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park are the Lion Safari, boating at the artificial lakes of the park and riding the toy train. Cycle on rest initiative, aimed to reduce pollution within the park, has been quite popular among tourists. The view of Tuisi Lake and Vihar Lake, two artificial lakes inside the park, with the backdrop of the Western Ghats is a mesmerizing sight. Ideal location for nature photography, this place gives the tourists a welcome change from the noises of the city.
Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan & Zoo
Where: Byculla, Mumbai, Maharashtra ? 400027
Opening time: 9.30 am ? 5.50 pm (Wednesday closed)
Founded in 1861, the Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan & Zoo is one of the oldest zoological parks of India. Spread in the area of 50 acres, this zoo is home to more than 150 mammals and birds. Apart from that, the zoo is home to a diverse range of trees and shrubs. Built by the British colonizers, the park is located in the prime districts of the city. Some of the important attractions of the zoo are the black spotted deer, elephants and tigers. Other than that, the zoo is home to stripped hyena, rare albino crows and peacocks. Recently a group of penguins were added to the zoo. They group consisting of 3 males, 2 females and 2 children, flown in from South Korea are specially liked by kids. Apart from animals, within the Jijabai Bhosale Udyan & Zoo complex, the natural history museum of Dr Bhau Daji Lad is established. Some of the important exhibits of the museum are the recovered structure of monolithic elephant and copperware utensils used in the past. For tourists interested in spending a day with exotic animals and birds should come to this place.
Where: Malabar Hill, Mumbai, Maharashtra ? 400006
Opening time: 5.00 am ? 9.00 pm
Situated on the top of the Malabar Hills, the Hanging Gardens is one of the serene locations that provide a stunning view of the Arabian Sea. Founded by Ulhas Ghapokar in 1881, this tiny space of greenery is close to the important landmarks of the city. Also referred to as Pherozeshah Mehta Gardens, this place is ideal for morning walks and pleasant evening strolls. The terraced garden is decorated by several flowering plants that enhance the beauty of this place. Also, the numerous topiary (art of creating animals shapes thought clipping twigs of trees and shrubs) exhibits can be found in the garden. Trail for the walkway, surrounding the park, is laid out in letters PMG in cursive writing. When viewed from the bird?s eye view, it looks very interesting. The view of sun setting in the Arabian Sea from the garden cannot be defined in words. Visitors looking for some fresh air should visit this place.
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