A recently conducted ecological survey has found the presence of 18 highly protected species in the alignment of Thane-Borivali Link Road (TBLR) which involves constructing twin tunnels under the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP)
About Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP):
- Location: It is located within the suburban region of Mumbai, Maharashtra. The park covers about 20% of Mumbai’s geographical area.
- It is popularly known as “Krishnagiri Upvan” or “Borivali National Park”.
- The 2400-year-old Kanheri caves are sculpted out of the rocky cliff lies within the park.
- Flora: Kadamba, Teak, Karanj, Shisham, and species of acacia, Ziziphus, euphorbias etc are found in this National Park.
- Fauna: Chital, Rhesus macaque, Bonnet macaque, Black-naped, Bengal Tiger etc.
Key facts about the Kanheri caves:
- The Kanheri Caves are a group of caves and rock-cut monuments cut into a massive basalt outcrop in the forests of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park.
- The Kanheri caves comprise more than 110 different rock-cut monolithic excavations and are one of the largest single excavations in the country.
- These excavations were primarily undertaken during the Hinayana phase of Buddhism but also have several examples of the Mahayana stylistic architecture as well as a few printings of the Vajrayana order.
- The name Kanheri is derived from ‘Kanhagiri’ in Prakrit and occurs in the Nasik inscription of the Satavahana ruler Vasisthiputra Pulumavi.
- They contain Buddhist sculptures and relief carvings, paintings and inscriptions, dating from the 1st century CE to the 10th century CE.
- The earliest reference to Kanheri is ascribed to Fa-Hein who visited India during 399-411 CE.
Q1) What is a National Park?
A national park is a large area of land which is protected by the government because of its natural beauty, plants, or animals, and which the public can usually visit.