Nature Experiences Not To Miss in Mumbai

By Ayshwarya

mumbai nature

When someone says Mumbai, you start picturing this bustling metropolis by the sea with tall skyscrapers, overcrowded streets, and blinding lights – a city that never sleeps. However, nestled within this urban jungle are hidden treasures of nature, inviting you to discover a side of Mumbai that is remarkably eco-friendly – from enchanting forests and ancient caves to lush green parks and a coastline teeming with diverse marine life. These havens of nature offer a tranquil getaway from Mumbai’s hustle and bustle and an opportunity to connect with local communities.

mumbai nature experiences
Mumbai Marine Drive (image by S.Mazumdar/Unsplash)

While Mumbai is my hometown, it took me several years to uncover these gems. Having spent 7 years in Brazilian seaside cities, the gorgeous cityscapes, abundant green spaces, vibrant beaches, and active lifestyles deeply impacted my way of life.

As a result, I became more conscious about nature and its delicate ecosystems, and my connection to them. Regular nature walks became a part of my routine, and public parks evolved into sanctuaries of profound appreciation. Taking public transport or walking to destinations became the norm. Now, I aim to keep my impact minimal, i.e., leave no footprints, and find ways to stay connected to nature, no matter where I live. Here are my top four nature experiences in Mumbai:

1. Mumbai Nature Shorewalks with MYOM

Did you know that beneath Mumbai’s surface exists a secret underwater world full of diverse creatures? Think colorful sea sponges, sea urchins, corals, sea slugs, anemones, coralline algae, and more!

The Marine Life of Mumbai (MYOM) organises shorewalks – your gateway to the secret underwater world of Mumbai’s beaches – along the city’s coastline. I discovered MYOM when I went on a dockside walk at Sassoon Docks during St+art, Mumbai’s urban art festival. As I joined their shorewalks, I learned about a world teeming with life – a sea urchin, a sea star, sea slugs, and cup corals.

Walk on Juhu Beach at sunset (image by A.Pareek/Unsplash)

Keen on tagging along for the next Mumbai nature shorewalk? Then keep an eye out for MYOM’s announcements on Instagram.

Locations: Napean Sea Road, Girgaon Chowpatty, Haji Ali, Bandra Bandstand, Carter Road, Juhu Beach, Erangal (Malad), Madh.

How to get there?: The Mumbai local train can take you to most locations (Girgaon Chowpatty, Haji Ali, Bandra, etc.). Duration: 1.5 hours | Cost: INR 700-800 per person (±USD 8).

2. Nature and Community Experiences with LYP Mumbai

How do you feel about yoga classes, art workshops, or farmer’s markets in Mumbai’s public places?LYP (Love Your Parks) Mumbai curates free arts and sports events that bring local communities together. LYP Mumbai collaborates with local artists, civic bodies, community groups, and entrepreneurs to organise these events at Mumbai’s iconic public parks.

Picture the lively atmosphere and community spirit as you engage in cultural activities and fitness sessions, or just grab your favourite book and read under a canopy of trees. Follow their official Instagram page for updates on upcoming events.

Locations: Pushpa Narsee Park and Kaifi Azmi Park (Juhu), Joggers Park and D’Monte Park (Bandra)

How to get there?: Take the Mumbai local train to Bandra or Santacruz stations, and then hop into a bus or an auto. Duration: 2-3 hours (on average) | Cost: Free.

3. Nature Escapades in Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP)

Fancy an early morning hike to a 2400-year-old group of caves and monuments, or wandering through serene trails in an evergreen forest? Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in Borivali is the perfect destination. It is the only protected park in India within city limits, spanning 68 sq. km (the equivalent of 6000+ football fields) in Borivali.

I had a fulfilling Sunday morning when I caught an early train to Borivali, walked to SGNP, and took the bus to the base of the caves. As I climbed up and explored the numerous caves carved out of volcanic rock, it felt like I’d been transported to another era. That is, until I reached the top, from where you get a view of the entire city in all its glory, bathed in the soft morning light.

mumbai nature walks
Sanjay Gandhi NP (image by Avinash.A/Unsplash)

That’s when I learned that SGNP also offers guided nature trails, such as the Kanheri Caves Trail, Shilonda Trail, Nagla Block Trail, and more.

You can join SGNP’s official WhatsApp group (run by their Nature Education & Extension Officer) to stay in the loop about upcoming treks. Follow SGNP’s latest announcements on their official Instagram page.

Location(s): Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivali East

How to get there?: Take any Mumbai local train that goes to Borivali, which is the nearest train station. Timing: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (every day, except Mondays) | Cost: INR 85 onwards (±USD 1).

4. Bird Walks with BNHS (Bombay Natural History Society)

Did you know that Mumbai is also home to various species of birds (resident and migratory)? One organisation has been taking notes and working towards conserving them since 1883. 

Meet the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) – one of the oldest wildlife research and conservation NGOs in India. Since the primary goal of BNHS is to spread awareness on nature conservation, they conduct several nature trails – tree walks, bird walks, flamingo and wetland walks, etc. which are wonderful and educational Mumbai nature experiences.

mumbai nature parks
Walk with the BNHS

For instance, their early morning bird walk involves exploring the BNHS Reserve forest in Goregaon – home to birds such as the brown-breasted flycatcher, Indian scimitar babbler, rufous woodpecker, and the Taiga Flycatcher. 

Meanwhile, their tree walk takes you through Dadar’s Five Gardens or Shivaji Park. While strolling amidst the trees early in the morning, you’ll learn about their history and significance – cultural and environmental.

Follow their official Instagram page for updates on upcoming nature trails.

Location(s): BNHS HQ at Hornbill House in Fort and the BNHS CEC in Goregaon East; BNHS also takes you through other areas in Mumbai (Dadar, Carter Road, Nerul, Girgaon) depending on the activity type

How to get there?: The Mumbai local train can take you to most locations (Fort/CST, Dadar, Goregaon). Cost: Rs 700/- for BNHS members and Rs 800/- for others (on an average).

Travelling Around Mumbai With the Local Train 

As mentioned earlier, you can get around Mumbai by taking the local train – I recommend travelling during the off-peak hours or on weekends. You can use the m-Indicator app to find out the best route, along with train timings, platform details, and fares.

mumbai public transport app
M-indicator app


Ayshwarya creates content for tech companies, while loitering around green landscapes and luminous skies. Her love for travel, the sea, and languages blossomed after a life-changing move to Brazil in 2013. Since then, she’s embraced the role of a slow, solo traveller, exploring beautiful islands and cities with enviable coastlines.

Now, with a heart full of wanderlust and solo-travelling experience under her belt, Ayshwarya aspires to share her passion with her 86-year-old grandmother. Together, they’re exploring accessibility-friendly places in India, creating timeless memories and celebrating a precious bond that spans generations. Connect with Ayshwarya on Instagram | LinkedIn

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