My ebullient neighbour Mrs. SK has been talking about the beauty of the hills for so long, that we had to make this little trip. Adding to the motivation was the nearness of these hills. We see it daily through our kitchen window…yes, its that close. So early this morning, K and me hopped on the bike and sped off to Yeoor hills.
Part of Bombay’s Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Yeoor has the highest density of leopards in India apart from 78 species of birds and 12 species of animals.
Groups regularly go there for bird-watching; others go there for loud New Year rave parties or “rain dances”. Unfortunately, we found hordes of gated and walled bungalows, ugly monstrous houses doubling up as restaurants with faux “jungle” themed names on bright flex signboards and what not. This was no jungle, certainly no part of a National Park…it was just a hill with regular corporation buses, private, gated land, and restaurants. Birds and trees were mere props. Terribly disappointing.
My verdict: The rampant deforestation, vehicular traffic and the illegal encroachments left us hugely disappointed. But if you are interested in birdwatching…definetly yes. There is a lot to discover especially if you are/with a knowledgeable person. If you are looking for a place to party away…STAY AWAY.
More on Yeoor. This week’s TOI carried an article on a PIL filed by local original residentsto reclaim their land from corporators, landgrabbers and their ilk. Will things change?