Apart from being a popular tourist attraction in Mumbai, the Sanjay
Gandhi National Park also has a great historical significance dating back to the 4th century BC. In
ancient India, the SGNP served as a land route supporting trade between two ports – Sopara
(present-day Thane) and Kalyan. These ports were used to deal with the Greece and Mesopotamia
The Kanheri caves located in the middle of the SGNP were an important Buddhist learning centre in
previous times. Between the 9th and 1st century BC, Buddhist monks used the caves as a pilgrimage
site. The caves are formed from the massive basaltic rocks and handcrafted by the Buddhist monks.
The caves host beautiful, handmade paintings of Buddha and ancient Indian carvings.
Due to the Kanheri or the Krishnagiri caves inside the temple, the SGNP was originally called
Krishnagiri National Park in the pre-independence era. This park was established under the Bombay
National Park Act in 1942. Later in 1942, the Bombay Municipal Corporation acquired the catchment
areas of two lakes, Vihar and Tulsi, and included them in the present day SGNP. These lakes were
made in 1870 by the British Government to supply drinking water to Mumbai.
At that time, the SGNP park area was only 20.26 km square. In 1954, the dairy development board
started operations outside the SGNP (then Krishnagiri National Park). In 1969, a large area of 2076
hectares belonging to the Aarey Milk Scheme (now Aarey Milk Colony) was transferred to the forest
department but was not included in the Krishnagiri National Park.
In 1976, 68.27 km square of forest area was assigned to the Krishnagiri National Park and the name
was changed to Borivali National Park. After this inclusion, in 1980, the Forest Development
Corporation of Maharashtra Limited (FDCM), Nagpur, directed the Regional Manager, FDCM, Thane, to
include 2,076.073 hectares (5,130.09 acres) of revenue land from the Aarey Milk Scheme in the
Borivali National Park. The FDCM also stated that 575 hectares of the assigned revenue land be built
as a recreational zone. The remaining area (1501.073 hectares) will become a part of the Borivali
In 1981, the Borivali National Park was expanded to 82.25 km square. Later in the year, the park was
renamed Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in memory of Sanjay Gandhi, the son of Indira Gandhi (the
ex-Prime Minister of India). In the same year, the new SGNP was merged with some more forest land
from the Thane division, further expanding the park to a total of 103.84 km square (40.09 sq mi) -
its present size.
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of the national park – visit Piramal Revanta in Mulund West. With magnificent views of the sprawling
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offers new-age, luxury high-rise residences in Mumbai
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