The Manpada trail into the Sanjay Gandhi National Park is near my place of residence, but since it is set way back from the main roads, it is not so well known.
As soon as one enters after paying the nominal entry fee,(humans prohibited after 6 p.m.) one comes across the huge poster showing the fauna inside the forest and a request to keep the forest clear and clean since it is the "lungs" of Mumbai city.And almost immediately thereafter, one comes across a very deep pond. One can take any of the numerous trails that seem to branch off but we chose to go up and around this water body
From high up, one could see fresh water fish moving around in the water, and the water looked clean! Around the pond we went, a steep climb which eased out gradually as we ascended to the top of the hillock
Clumps of bamboo and a nice place to sit down and take a swig of water for the hot season is approaching fast
We followed the dried bed of a rain fed stream in the faint hope of coming across any wild inhabitant but no one seemed to be around, even the monkeys although there were lots of birds, more heard than seen :)
Various branches of the trail eventually connect to those which originate from Borivali, cutting right across the 104 sq km forest but it was too late to attempt that, apart from the fact that it is preferable to have trained forest guides around, for there have been incidents of panthers mauling people.
Another day then, another time!