About: Water Management at Kanheri

In ancient times, the major source of water at Kanheri was either water springs in the basaltic hill or stored rainwater. There is evidence of a magnificent water harvesting system at Kanheri. The rainwater was stored in tanks and cisterns which were dug near the cells and on the hilltop. Many of the cisterns were excavated with the help of donations as mentioned in the inscriptions. Most of the cisterns and tanks are interconnected with a network of small channels. An inscription on a boulder opposite cave-41 offers the earliest evidence of the construction of the reservoir in Maharashtra datable to the second century CE.

(Source: Archaeological Survey of India, Mumbai Circle, Mumbai)

About: Lakes of Sanjay Gandhi National Park

From this vantage point, one can see three lakes – Tulsi, Vihar, and Powai – towards the southern end of the Park. All three lakes were built in the last three decades of the 1800s by the British to supply potable water to the city of Mumbai. Marsh crocodiles or muggers inhabit these lakes and many migratory water birds visit the lakes in winter. The lakes still partially meet the city’s water demand and the preservation of SGNP is crucial to ensure water supply to these lakes.

Tulsi Lake: This is the northernmost of the three lakes and the water from the lake is directed into the Vihar lake that lies to its south. It is surrounded by forest.

Vihar Lake: This is the largest of the three lakes and is created by damming the Mithi River that flows through suburban Mumbai and empties into the Mahim Bay. There is a water filtration plant on one side of the lake which purifies the lake’s water and makes it fit for supplying to the city.

Powai Lake: Though built to supply water to Mumbai, Powai lake is no longer used for that purpose. It is used for recreational purposes and fishing. The campus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) is located on its shores. Much of Powai lake is surrounded by the city.

(source: display-board)

How I reached Kanheri Caves from the Main Gate?

There are two options available for Kanheri Caves at the Main Gate of Sanjay Gandhi National Park.

1. Best Bus

2. Maruti Van

We opted for Maruti Van. The driver of the Maruti van said – The distance between Main Gate to Kanheri Caves is 7 km.

The cost for a Maruti Van journey was Rs. 50 per person.

While returning from Kanheri Caves, we walked for 2 km in the national park and then requested the coming Best bus to stop so that we too can travel to the Main Gate.

For two people I paid – Rs. 12 to the bus conductor.

Bus Timings: 9 am to 12:30 pm / 2 pm to 5:30 pm (minimum 15 people are required for departure of the bus)

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