Dear friends of mine live in Kandivilli East, and I have been visiting them on many of my trips (infrequent thought hey are) to Mumbai. This time as I took an Uber to their place and looked at Google maps to assess the distance, it struck me how large the Borivilli National Park (that is how I always remember it), in the heart of the city was and how close to Kandivilli East it was. I should remember a visit to the Kanheri Caves in my childhood, because I know that we did go – but my memory totally fails me! The park (officially the Sanjay Gandhi National Park now) has been frequently in the news because of man-animal conflicts – it is still home to leopards that once in a while stray outside the park. I decided to take my morning walk in the park and a three wheeler took me to the gate in 10′.
It was nice to see the large number of people walking in the park – although only the proximal parts of it are open to the public. There is a safari (6 tigers and 3 lions I was told) which has 3 trips on all days except Monday, and which takes you into the restricted areas. There is a whole village settlement inside, and one edge of the park is along residential homes. The park itself has well laid out gardens and plenty of bird life – I saw a Nature Education Center. It was not open, so I am not sure how active they are. There is also a bike renting facility near the entrance. I am glad I made the trip – it was far more interesting than walking in Thakur Village!
Later in the day I had my return flight to Delhi – and had my first exposure to the new, much talked about T2 terminal. And I must say, that it is by far the best Indian airport I have seen – the closest to world class! Few national carriers are using this terminal – and so its still quiet and unrushed. It has lovely spaces, great architecture, good shopping area, a decent food court, a ‘garden’ which has real plants (as against the greenery at the entrance) – and excellent toilets. And you get to meet the Mahatma, too!
I had heard a lot about the art – and was disappointed initially as I could not see any. But as I walked towards the gate I finally caught up with that too – so it was a good experience!