Early August walk along the Yeoor Trail

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Flag of India  , Maharashtra,
Wednesday, August 5, 2009

If you enter the Sanjay Gandhi National Park from the Borivili East gate, the Yeoor trail commences from just before the forest  rest houses near the junction of Kanheri caves road and Tulsi lake road. 





About 50m down this path, is a narrow monsoon fed stream.  After you cross this, the main Yeoor trail begins, going steadily uphill through mixed forest for approx. 5km, traversing a few monsoon fed waterfalls, eventually leading to a large grass covered rock plateau. 



From here a short path leads to Gaumukh - an illegally constructed temple over a natural water source, probably the source of the Mithi, Dahisar or Oshiwara rivers. 

From Gaumukh you can take another path descending to Yeoor in Thane city.

From the plateau, you can see all the way to the Arabian Sea.  This was the look out point for the ancient port of Sopara, present day Nala Sopara. 


Crossing the plateau, you can take the rough hewn path to the Kanheri caves and exit from there.  We preferred to return along the same route we came in on.

The first thing that struck us was the relative dryness.  In August, the forest ought to have been much more lush and green.  Most of the watercourses had barely a trickle of water flowing through them.  A serious situation caused by the poor monsoons.  If it does not rain adequately, there will be a water problem in the coming year.

Blue commelina flowers carpeted the forest floor, interspersed here and there with small impatiens klenisformis. 



The pathway was lined with Leea asiatica and their attendant bees and butterflies - mostly baronets and eggfly. 

Wild turmerics were in late bloom - again due to the lack of rain.  
Pretty pink Neanotis lancifolia [Neanotis Montholonii] carpeted the top
of the plateau and multitudes of rock begonia [Begonia crenata] covered
the rocks en route.



Biting buchees were also around, in full force.  We learnt first hand that Odomos simply does not repel them.   By the time we returned to our starting point, more than 5 hours later, we were covered in itchy bites!   I am going to use fresh aloe vera mixed with neem oil the next time.  It will be stinky but it ought to work.



For Mumbai residents, the SGNP is an excellent place for a monsoon outing.  Without travelling far, one can enjoy nature at its pristine best.  The park was packed with visitors that day, most headed to the Kanheri caves, but we did not come across anyone else on the Yeoor trail.

Tip:  Sturdy walking shoes / sandals; Walking stick/bamboo & above all - a strong insect repellant!





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