Why Saina will love the Nagla Block trail
With Shuttlecock Mushrooms, Giant Wood Spiders and Geckos for company, the Nagla Trail in the northernmost tip of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park lies at the cusp between the seen and the hidden side to this green lung. The Guide finds out what's so special about this lesser-trod tract
Sixteen square kilometers of jungle. Nagla’s semi deciduous and mangrove forests come alive in the monsoon. “It’s the perfect trail for all ages; we’ve had kids and 50-year-olds walk the three-km trail (1.5 km one way). It’s suitable for everyone because there is no climb involved,” shares Amit Panariya, of Jungle Lore, the group that will be organising the trail this weekend.
The area is referred to as Nagla Block since it comes under the Sanjay Gandhi National Park but is divided by the Bassein/ Vasai Creek. The base of the trail starts of at a small hamlet called Sasupada on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway (NH-8). The trail first passes through some very tall specimens of Haldu (Haldina Cordifolia) and Teak (Tectona Grandis) and with time the trail exhibits taller trees and dense foliage. Panariya and another associate will accompany the group (they don’t intend to overcrowd the group with more than 30 participants).
Look out for all kinds of flora and fauna, particularly geckos, butterflies, insects and amphibians.
Closer to the high point of the trail, which is the path that leads one all the way up to the jetty in the Vasai Creek area, one will also be able to spot birds like the White-bellied Sea Eagle, Brahminy Kite, Osprey, Clamorous Reed Warblers along the coastline.
This apart, one will also be able to spot tracks of leopards, cheetal (spotted deer), civets, peacocks and wild boards. In fact, this trail is also where back in 2007, pugmarks reportedly belonging to a tigress were found, possibly on a detour from its home in the Tansa range, nearby.
Nagla is located on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway. Landmark: Pritam da Dhaba
Assembly point: Hotel Ramdev, opposite SGNP gate, Borivli (East).
Date: August 12; time 7 am
Approximate time of trek: 2 hours
Cost: Rs 1,000 (Travel by chartered bus, breakfast, expert guides, park entry fee)
Contact 243306658/ 9920332648