Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"A day out in forest reserve of BNHS"

All set for a thrilling trip to the forest reserve adjoining Borivali National Park on Saturday morning. I had to get up early morning at 5 so I can reach goregaon station at 7:30 from where Bombay National History Society (BNHS is one of the largest NGO in India) green color bus was waiting for us to take us to the forest reserve. We crossed film city, where we saw some sets and few small screen actors getting ready for their shooting. A few meters on way, we saw a Warning sign “Leopard Area” Entry restricted so that was the first sign that we have entered Forest reserve and we reached base of BNHS at about 8:30, though bit late from the schedule. We received warm welcome from Mr. Rushikesh Chavan, Conservation officer and few other members of his team. We wandered for sometime inside the center, looking its library, publication house and sat near the reception, chatting about the surroundings. While we were talking, one of my friend’s eyes fell on a big skull. We came near to touch it, and then we heard one of the members saying from behind, that it’s a real skull of an elephant.

After some time we were instructed to be in the “Center Room” for the introductory briefing from Mr. Rushikesh. He took us through some of the national park that India has from Jim Corbett to Kanha National Park, from Western Ghats to Himalayas. And also shared one statistic that India is lucky enough to be among the worlds largest country to have hundreds of bird species and rich flora and fauna. Shortly we had breakfast, and we were all set to go out in the forest and trek to the Salim Ali point which is the pinnacle of the BNHS reserve, offering a panoramic view of the reserve and the adjoining National Park. Our education officer Priti gave some tips of dos and don’ts in Jungle and to keep silent if we wanted to see Leopard…! Yeah, she said about a fortnight ago about this time in the morning one of the group had seen Leopard who generally stay in the interiors of National Park to avoid the heat in the day time. She showed us Butterfly garden, where the information about different species was written.

At 9:30, we started our trekking, passing different species of plants on both of our sides; the path was a bit rocky and comparatively clear. Then we stopped to see Ghost tree which is white in color and looks a bit scary during the night. Just next to it were the climbers, the same which were used by “Mr. Mogli” of Jungle book to cross from one tree to another. Yeah they do exist. Moving along our way, we saw a sign board which read “Leopard point”, and then we all stopped at once and requested Priti to lead us. Our neck moving 360 degree, but we were lucky or rather unlucky to not have seen Leopard. Then, a bit more trekking for about one and half hour, and we reached Salim Ali point. What a panoramic view it gives of Vihar Lake and National Park. We clicked some pictures and sat there to enjoy the scenery. We trek down for about an hour and came back to the base of BNHS and had our lunch. Then we were given presentation on the history of BNHS and the global issue of climate change. We all were divided in to groups and had to share our experience (through poster presentation) of our forest trip.

At the end, to summarize the trip we calculated individual’s carbon-footprint, most of us were way ahead than the world average. Then, we were told the ways of how to reduce carbon-footprint and greener ways of living. Finally, we all bid our goodbye to the team of “BNHS” for the amazing experience that we had and a promise to come back again and left to reach back to the “Outside World”…..


Madh said...

Dear Atul, good to note you had much fun and learning on this trip. Please could you mention how this trip was organized, whom to contact etc ? I not from Mumbai, and I am trying to organize a similar trip for my nieces in Mumbai, so any details would be helpful

Thanks and regards

Atul Jain said...

Extremely Sorry for replying late, This link should help- http://bnhs.org/bnhs/