With today's stressful work lives, all of us have a need to unwind and relax when we get the opportunity. There is nothing like heading out for a picnic with your family. It lets you unwind and spend some quality fun time with your near and dear ones.
Mumbai has an array of charming picnic places for tourists as well as locals to visit. The many gardens, heritage sites, parks and more make an outing with your family absolutely fabulous and one that everyone will remember for a long time. Here is a guide to the five picnic spots in and around Mumbai.
1. Sanjay Gandhi National Park
Who would have thought that it is possible to enjoy the beauty of wildlife and nature at a national park right in the middle of Mumbai? The Sanjay Gandhi National Park is an oasis amongst the city concrete. The lush greenery here includes more than 100 ancient hand-carved Buddhist caves, a tiger sanctuary, tiger and lion safaris, a recreational zone for kids and cottages and camping facilities. It is also possible to go trekking and ride a toy train here. With air so clean and a wide variety of animal and plant life, you will quickly forget there is a city of 20 million people just outside its boundaries.
Lions on the road.
Photo Courtesy: sujit jagdale
2. Hanging Garden and Kamala Nehru Park
Looking for a picnic spot that's centrally located and doesn't require a lot of traveling to get to? Head to picturesque Hanging Garden and Kamala Nehru Park. The Hanging Garden is blessed with plenty of shady trees, and a lookout that provides a dramatic view of Marine Drive and Chowpatty Beach. Children will love the giant shoe-house that they can explore. On the other side of the road, the sprawling Kamala Nehru Park has plenty of lawns and it is easy to find a quiet spot to enjoy a picnic with your family.
Children enjoying in the shoe-house at Kamala Nehru Park.
Photo Courtesy: 25 Cents FC
3. Elephanta Island
The Elephanta Island requires a one-hour ferry ride from the Gateway of India and is home to seven ancient caves hand-carved out of rock in a similar manner to that of the Ajanta and Ellora caves. The main cave has a number of stunning large sculptured panels depicting the Hindu god, Lord Shiva. If you're feeling energetic then go trekking up to Cannon Hill, named after the old cannon that stands there. Do be sure to choose your picnic spot wisely though, or else be prepared to go into battle for your lunch against the gangs of unruly monkeys that run amok here!
Explore the caves of Elephanta Island.
Photo Courtesy: Christian Haugen
Jump on a boat from the Gateway of India and in less than hour you'll find yourself at Alibag beach. This fishing town is popular for its dark brown sandy beaches, but should you venture a little further south you will discover the less frequented Akshi, Nagaon, and Kihim beaches. There are some fascinating old forts and ornate temples to explore here. Head out to this coastal region with your family for a fun-filled picnic.
Admire the ruins of Kolaba Fort at Alibag.
Photo Courtesy: Abhiram Katta
5. Aarey Colony
This relatively unknown natural gem has provided the background scene for many Bollywood movie song sequences. It's tucked away inside the expansive parklands of the Aarey Milk Colony and is a great family destination. You'll find a small lake with row boats and paddle boats, attractive gardens and colorful flowers, lotus pond and plenty of places to relax and enjoy. Those wanting to spend some quality fun time with their family should head out here .
A cover of greenery at Aarey Colony.
Photo Courtesy: Elroy Serrao