Chasing deer at Borivili National Park

The park opens to visitors at 7:30 for visitors. We went in pretty early, so we got around forty minutes at the boating place all to ourselves. The boating is pretty popular, so later on in the day, there is a large line and four people have to share a boat. The two of us got a boat to ourselves, for as long as we wanted, because no one else was there. After the boating, we went on to snap some monkeys in the park, and the deer in the cages. The leopard was on vacation or something. There is a tiger and lion safari, although no tiger or lion has ever been spotted roundabout here, although a few years ago the pug marks of a tiger were seen. There are about fifty leopards in here, but its easier to spot them when they come out into the city looking for food, and that too at the other end of the National park, around Yeoor or Mulund, not at Borivili. The deer though, were pretty common. We ran into a small herd of Chital crossing the road. Three of them were on the other side, when we approached, and the rest of the herd stayed behind. So we tried to follow them, to capture them with the camera. The Chital were very shy, and kept moving away deeper and deeper into the forest. The stags look positively royal (bevdas, control) and the does move as sleekly as large cats. We were lucky enough to spot two tiny fawns as well - they were frolicking around the place. The Muntjacs were pretty friendly, in fact as approachable as dogs. We tried feeding them leaves, but they refused what we gave them - the tribals thereabouts though knew exactly what to feed them, and they got the leaves, and we got some good close-ups! We followed the Chital deeper and deeper into the forest, but a good photo opportunity eluded us, and we lost them in some high grass (stoneheads, control). While the rest of the herd moved away, one or two stayed back to watch, and their gaze was so admonishing that we felt ashamed of following them and giving them all the trouble. The three that had crossed the road though, joined the herd, and on their way back, they jumped across a stream to avoid us. That was when I found myself close enough to click just as one of them was jumping across the stream.





Apart from the lion/tiger trail - without lions or tigers, there is also the Silonda and Tulsi trails for those who want to explore. The pass at the gate does not allow you to access these areas, but what the hell, you probably won't meet anyone to stop you. The core area of the park is full of flora and fauna, surprising considering that the park is an oasis in the middle of the city. Plans are on for a trek across the park, going in from the Borivili end and coming out of the Yeoor end. We'll have to find our own way, it's illegal, and we simply cannot afford to get lost.

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