Mumbai is often referred to as the city that never sleeps. Which is very rightly said, Mumbai is a city that will get you going before you even realise it. It has a way of consuming your days and nights with such charm, only leaving you to miss all the action when you’re away. However every now and then, we need that getaway so here are the top five places in Mumbai if you’re looking to get closer to nature and just take a short pause before you hit ‘Play’!
Sai Bangoda Tribal Village: Come…fall in love
Sai Bangoda is a small adivasi (tribal) village nestled in between Powai and Aarey colony in Goregaon. Not too many know of Bangoda but for those who do, they can’t seem to get enough. It’s a 20-25 minute walk into pure nature and wilderness. You can get here through a by-lane on your way to Powai. There’s a small parking area where the village starts and you can walk to it from there. Make sure you carry your picnic basket along. As you walk through, you’ll start to see little streams flowing alongside you, leading you to a pristine lake. Pick your spot and park yourself anywhere amidst the lovely shrubs and trees which form a canopy above you and gaze away at the lake. You can even go take a dip if you’d like. You can go fishing and get yourself a catch or attend one of the stargazing activities conducted occasionally which also makes it one of the great places to visit in Mumbai at night.
Karnala Bird Sanctuary: Get chirpy!
Karnala Bird Sanctuary is located in Panvel. It’s an amazing spot to chill if you want to get away from the pollution and noise in the city. It’s a nice spot for you to spot an endangered species like the peregrine falcon, king vulture and the serpent eagle. You might also catch a glimpse of four-horned antelope, wild boar, common langur, African monkeys and the muntjak or barking deer. However, the main attraction here is the Karnala Fort or ‘Funnel Hill’ as some might call it which is situated on the hill, deep in the heart of the sanctuary.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park: You just can’t get enough of it
Sanjay Gandhi National Park is easily one of the most popular places to visit in Mumbai for a one day picnic. The park is spread across a large area of about 104 square km and it’s been preserved beautifully even though the city runs just around it. Try out the lion safari, ride your bicycle and explore the greenery around or find your picnic spot and have a relaxed brunch. You can also drive down to the epic Kanheri Caves which are around 2400 years old and absolutely stunning!
Elephanta Caves: Take a trip down memory lane
Elephanta Caves is one of the oldest tourist attractions of Mumbai, that doesn’t make it any less beautiful. It’s a must visit. It’s a ferry ride away from the great gateway of India. The caves are known for the amazing sculptures of Lord Shiva the Hindu god. They were built between the 5th and 8th centuries AD which is why they make a great fun educational trip for the kids. Take the ferry back early in the evening and make it back in time to pick up a few knickknacks from the adjacent Colaba Causeway, one of the best Mumbai shopping places to visit.
Karjat: Row, row, row your raft…
Karjat is quaint little village like area on the outskirts of Mumbai – a stone’s throw away from Panvel.
It’s home to long stretches of lush greenery. The Ulhas River runs alongside so you can try river rafting if you feel adventurous or just go for a trek by yourself and enjoy the calm. There are ancient Buddhist caves hidden in the heart of Karjat. So be sure to check them out! Karjat is one of Mumbai’s points of interest due to being very easy to get to and the natural beauty just feels like heaven on earth.