The Sanjay Gandhi National Park is a tropical wilderness within the limits of Mumbai, virtually
unknown to most people outside the city. A protected area of almost 9,000 hectares, the park is
fringed by a burgeoning population of more than twelve million people and is possibly India’s
most visited nature reserve.
With over 200 stunning photographs, City Forest: Mumbai’s National Park is a visual celebration
of the forest’s remarkable biodiversity, offering a glimpse into the secret world of its wildlife. The
park is home to 274 kinds of birds, just under a quarter of India’s avifauna; 42 kinds of mammals
of which the most renowned is the elusive leopard; 150 species of butterflies and nearly 8,000
species of other insects; and so much more. It has a floral extravagance of nearly 800 species of
flowering plants from humble herbs and woody climbers to sturdy teak trees, and a diversity of
A veritable field laboratory teeming with an amazing variety of life forms – much of which has yet
to be documented – the forest is threatened by the inherent problem of an encroaching
population. An ideal getaway from the polluted city, this peerless wilderness also provides people
with a unique opportunity for nature study, and environment and conservation education.
About the Author
Sunjoy Monga is a naturalist, writer, wildlife cinematographer and photographer with a deep
commitment to the environment and natural history issues. Second-prize winner in the 1991 BBC
British Gas International Photographer of the Year competition, he was a cameraman and
consultant for Channel Four’s documentary series In Search of Wild India, as well as the Indian
consultant for Sir David Attenborough’s BBC natural history project The Trials of Life. He is also the
author of Wildlife Reserves of India (IBH), The Mumbai Nature Guide (IBH) and City Forest:
Mumbai’s National Park (IBH).