Monsoon is the best time to step out of the cozy comfort of your home and witness Mother Nature as she adorns her green garb and shows off her magnificent beauty by playing hide and seek between rain showers.
I love monsoons, and I am in love with everything about monsoon, the distinct earthy fragrance of first rain, aroma of grilled corn, wet roads, thousands shades of green color dispersed till the horizon is a refreshing sight; it instantly de-stresses you.
What best time than Mumbai monsoon to introduce my daughter who is all of 4.5 years to Mother Nature and her splendid beauty, she is always excited at the sight of butterflies, keeps looking out for caterpillars, and is exhilarated at the sight of a rainbow.
Therefore, we decided to take her for a Nature Walk at Godrej Mangroves, Vikroli, organized by Ghumr Events, and conducted by expert botanist and naturalist from OikoEssence. The fact that it was going to be in city limits was comforting in a way.
Benevolence of Godrej
On a rainy, humid Sunday Morning of July 16, we set out for the Nature Walk at Godrej Mangroves, Vikhroli. An interesting trivia about these Mangroves, which are almost parallel to Eastern Express Highway, these are the only privately owned Mangroves in India, they belong to Godrej who bought the land in an auction in 1941.
Today, Soonabai Pirojsha Godrej Marine Ecology Centre conserves these mangroves. Well diversified and well protected, these are the last- quality mangroves in the city. The vast expanse of these mangroves is one of the largest green patch in North-eastern Mumbai. And Soonabai Pirojsha Godrej Marine Ecology Centre is committed to preserve it through various measures as part of social and environmental responsiblity.
Exploring flora and fauna
Ms. Gauri a botanist and naturalist along with Dr. Shreya kept everyone engaged with their knowledge about the bio diversity of the mangroves. We saw many wild edible vegetables, which exclusively grow during monsoons and many more wild flowers that are seasonal like Abhali. Beautiful Amaltas, also known as Bahava in Marathi was in abundance alongside regular Gulmohar and Sonmohar.
The wetlands of mangroves also act as an important stopover for over hundred species of migratory birds including magnificent flamingos, gulls, terns, avocets and curlews. And we observed many species of butterflies, insects and birds under the guidance of Gauri and Dr. Shreya.
We saw butterflies such as common crow, yes it is the name of a butterfly species. Then there was egg winged butterfly and many more vibrant species.
A Sunday beautifully spent amidst of nature, it was a learning experience for her as well as for us, as she surprised us all by walking for three hours and completed her first nature walk without any fuss.
Though we are a late starters, nevertheless our first adventure to take her out in nature, away from malls, and covered play areas was successful. Many thanks to Ghumr Events and OikoEssence for organizing such a lovely event in the heart of the city.
It is a kid friendly walk, just few things to remember
- Make them wear fully covered clothes
- Carry Mosquito patches and repellent
- Water bottle
- Dry snacks
- Rain wear
- Gum boots preferably