“Details of top 5 plus butterfly gardens in Mumbai Vicinity to spot various species of these little wings of butterfly. Locations at Thane Ovalekar Garden, Maharashtra Nature Park, Borivali National Park, Somaiya School Vidyavihar, Byculla Zoo and more. Seeing bunch Butterflies who plays a vital role in pollination process is rare and uncommon in Mumbai now. The required factor to spot these colourful wings in group is lush greenery with colourful flowers and variety of plants that attracts this tiny creature with smell and other flower and plant essence and food. Mumbai being fast developing concrete city lacks such green gardens, parks and zones easy and commonly which are ideal for this tiny sensitive and soft species like caterpillars who grows up to fly as butterflies. Yet their are few hotspots gardens and greenery locations little far of the main interior of city which is heaven and gives shades to more then 150 such butterfly species. Below are list of those gardens and green zone places to spot them for which best educators and guides of BNHS are required. Contact such activists and NGOs who periodically keeps bird and butterfly watching events in city..”
Gardens and Locations to Spot Butterflies
Mumbai Zoo : Yes, our very own byculla zoo (Jijamata Udyan) is one great place to spot few species like striped tiger and others. Planned (Not sure if already done) are 2 dedicated butterfly gardens inside this zoo which is part of revamp process.
BNHS CEC : Bombay Natural History Society, an active and renowned NGO of Mumbai has a location called Conservation Education Center (CEC), one of the best locations to spot Butterflies apart from getting educated on various other things related to Nature and Environment. This 33 acres of forest land is connected and integral part of Sanjay Gandhi National Park at Goregaon. Every year team BNHS opens gate of CEC to public one or more time for birds and butterfly watching, Nature environmental studies and awareness program with some minimum fees worth to be part of.
Address : Between Borivali National Park and Goregaon Aarey Jungle Location, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400065.
MNP : Mahim (Also Called Maharashtra) Nature Park makes you feel miraculous and feel cool due to greenery and forest feel once you enter their gates. This nature park of Mumbai is open to public throughout year and Spotting about 35 to 40 species of Butterflies is very common sight here. It a lovely place to be if you love nature, reptiles, butterflies etc. and it has great story on how it started on garbage dump yard near Dharavi slums.
Address : Mahim Nature Park, Dharavi, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400017
Ovalekar Butterfly Garden : Commonly known as ‘Ovalekar Wadi’, A private garden owned by a Maharastrian person whose second name (Surname) is Ovalekar, located in Thane district very near and connected to Mumbai city. Although i have not written anything about this garden, i am very keen on visiting this place and witnessing some real bunch of butterflies with my eyes and getting some clicked to be uploaded here on this blog.
Address : Ovalekar Wadi, Owala Village, Takkarda Road, Ghodbunder Road, Thane, India, Thane, Maharashtra 400607.
Borivali National Park : SGNP (Sanjay Gandhi National Park) is the largest green belt park of about 100 square kilometres in western suburb called Borivali in Mumbai. Just get into the woods and spot this tiny creatures all around. Many species of caterpillars in bushes, near lakes and forest area can be seen. Guided tour is recommended at national park, and for same BNHS and other active bird and butterfly lovers like Priyanka Kumari, BNHS members, Photographers and naturalists like Yuwaraj Gurjar write and can guide you for same as and when organized and declared in leading newspapers like Mid-Day and Hindustan Times.
Address : Borivali East, National Highway 8, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400066. 10 Minutes walking distance from Railway station.
Somaiya School Campus : Located ta Vidyavihar Station in Central Railway Route of Mumbai city, This is the first school who planned a dedicated butterfly garden just for kids and school children. Early this year 2015, the pre-monsoon planning done by Somaiya Centre Of Experimental Learning have now attracted about 20 to 25 species of butterflies to lay their eggs and get attracted to the flower honey. Somaiya education trust have also welcomed other schools to explore this beautiful garden and educate children and create love and affection towards birds, plants and mother nature. Common species like striped tiger butterfly are seen along with some other species like Grey Pansy etc flying on their specially planted Passion Flower, Vica and Lantana, Ficus Racemosa and more such plants. Mumbai school kids should be taken by teachers and principles to visit this butterfly garden and should be educated to this soft natural world in the concrete city.
Address : K. J. Somaiya Rd, Vidyanagar, Vidya Vihar East, Vidyavihar, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400077
Other locations : Mahabaleshwar and Matheran hill station are few other spots to find some big size (Large Butterflies) as these are cool mountain locations with dense forest lush greenery in monsoon and other seasons. Big size butterflies like Blue Mormon can be spotted here. These species are also called ‘Papilio Polymnestor’ and was declared as Maharashtra state butterfly, and is among other 150 to 160 species found in Maharashtra. Another location within city limits is at Green Hope at HDIL Dreams on LBS Marg, Bhandup West.
Species of Butterflies Found
As per our Butterfly lovers, BNHS NGO, and other activists in Mumbai as listed above, About 150 to 160 different species can be spotted at above gardens and park locations. Some of them are Dark Blue Tiger (Tirumala Limniace), Blue Mormon, Tawny Rajah (Charaxes Bernardus), Striped Tiger (Danaus Genutia), Orchid Tit, Common Jezebel (Delias Eucharis), Tawny Coster (Acraea Violae) and Restricted Spotted Flat.
Best time / months of year to visit all these gardens and other park locations are between August and November. During November winter begins and those cold nights gets this beauties out early to get their required sunlight to get the day started. So, early hours before 9:00 am are best, although spotting them throughout day is possible.