“The transformation of the small ‘Tasso River’ into a medium-side tulsi lake between 1872 and 1897 was one of the fresh drinking water sources for South Mumbai during the British era in what was then called Bombay. Adjacent to Tulsi is Vihar Lake, both located in the dense forest reserve area of Sanjay Gandhi National Park.”
Tulsi Lake Reservoir
One of the oldest fresh drinking water source now, Tulsi Lake is located about 2.5 to 3 kilometers inside Borivali National Park, deep inside the public-restricted forest area. If you are able to reach the Kanheri Caves Table Top, you can see this lake.
This lake also has a dam, which usually overflows once ample rainfall is observed in Mumbai. This small dam opens and faces the west of Mumbai, and the water flows through the Borivali National Park forest and connects the Poisar River (now a Nullah) that finally goes to the Arabian Sea.
This restricted and unexplored 1.35 square kilometer surface area of Tusi Lake has numerous species of local and migratory birds visiting throughout the year, as well as fish and other reptiles like crocodiles and snakes growing peacefully in the lush greenery around. It is said that the lakeside areas are very beautiful and also have a variety of flowering plants. Butterflies are seen throughout the year.
Wild animals like panthers, leopards, and groups of deer often visit here for drinking water, and forest officials do keep note of the same as they are often sighted near this lake.
In total, 3 lakes are adjacent to each other, the first being Tulsi (deep inside the forest), and next to it is Vihar Lake, which is another drinking water source in Mumbai, is located inside the forest reserve of Goregaon (another station in western suburban Mumbai).
Between Borivali and Goregaon, there are 2 more stations named ‘Kandivali’ and ‘Malad, which have no access or pathway to any of these water reservoirs. Vihar Lake is well connected to Mithi Nadi.
Connected to Vihar Lake is Powai lake (Non-Drinking Water Reservoir), which has public access and is connected to road transport, is in the vicinity of Powai village, opposite Hiranandani, an affluent residential complex in Mumbai.
How to reach this lake
The road to this lake goes ahead from Kanheri Caves, which has Kanheri Forest Chowki. As said, the gates are closed and are restricted for public access as it is not a regular tourist attraction in Mumbai.
Reaching Borivali National Park (east side of the railway station) is possible. From here, you go deep inside to one of the main tourist attractions called Kanheri Caves, and from there, the nearest Kanheri Table Top is the beautiful view of the lake. This is the maximum one can do to get a glimpse of it.
The tabletop area might be restricted. You must take care as it is a deep forest area and be with a known guide or contact a forest official before exploring that location.
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