Quick: what is the first think you think of when I say the word ‘Dharavi‘?
Slums. Squalor. Crowds. That movie that everyone was talking about a while back…
Of all the answers you came up with, I doubt that Nature Sanctuary was one of them. But that is indeed what you will find in Dharavi, smack dab in the middle of Mumbai.
Mahim Nature Park (also called Maharashtra Nature Park) is confusingly not in Mahim as most people define it, but sits unassumingly opposite the Dharavi Bus Depot, a five minute rickshaw ride from Sion Circle. Most people have probably never heard of it because you can’t find a single swing-set, merry-go-round or snack stall inside. You will however find plenty of twisting pathways and dense foliage, countless species of plants, flowers, and bugs, all for a meagre Rs.5 entry fee.
It’s a no-frills slice of nature, and a photographer’s dream. Fantastic for a shutterbug’s Sunday out, and a great roadtest for a new camera or lens. I took my Pentax K200D out with me on its first real shakedown, and once again I am reminded that isn’t the camera that needs improvement, it’s my photography skills!
Still, out of the nearly 400 pictures I took on Sunday, quite a few didn’t suck. And here they are:
I had a blast that day despite the heat and humidity, and highly recommend it to any nature lovers & photographers in Mumbai.