Ovlekar wadi was on our list for the next visit. But this didn’t come all of a sudden. Quite a long time we have been thinking of a visit but due to its connectivity and early morning weekend start was quite a setback each time. This time we made up our mind to finish it off.
The day started as Phone rang, messages exchanged, and at 9 am we were at the station. The Thane train had arrived but we mistook the platform and got into the Ghatkopar going train. Then what? Again change the platform at Ghatkopar towards Thane and reaching there at last.
Going by the direction outside the station we reached towards three TMT bus stands in a line. Not knowing which bus to catch the crowd at the bus stop was also not of much help in getting the information. We got into a bus going to Jamblipada. The conductor in his usual harsh tone directed us to catch the Mira road bus.
Without taking a ticket we got down at the next stop. The auto rickshaw charged Rs. 35/- per person so we felt wiser to wait for TMT bus even at the cost of getting late and that charged both of us Rs. 36/- as we got into one. Hale TMT. Not knowing where to get down we requested the conductor to inform us about our destination. Meanwhile just enjoyed the outside view which was all new to us. Yeoor hill could be easily spotted at the distance.
Getting down at Ovle stop will keep anyone from believing that there is a calm butterfly park nearby. As usual the area was crowded and noisy with vehicles just zooming on the highways and skyscrapers all around.
After getting down we had a cup of hot tea.
That relaxed us after our stressful travel. With no direction boards of the park anywhere around us we were unsure of its locality. We vaguely remembered our earlier visit and took a small lane inside. One or two people gave us directions and seeing some tourists with professional cameras walking outside the lane ensured we were in right direction.
After taking a few turns we finally reached the gate of Ovlekar Wadi.
Inside the park few were busy in photography while some children were playing. We dashed towards office hall.
Rajendra Sir’s brother over there did our registration and gave us BNHS information card about the butterflies.
He gave us an overview of the butterflies, about their various stages of growth from egg laying to hatching to larve to pupa stage by showing the specimens he had brought recently.
Afterwards he said “Thamba ek fulpakru dakhavto” (wait I show you one butterfly) and directed us to see an adult butterfly hovering over a small grilled container with some ripe and dried fruits, leaves and dried flowers inside which serves as their food. It was sitting on the container as if he was the ruler and was letting us take his photos calmly. Only later on we were to know what it takes for a good snap of a posing butterfly.
Tip: Usually the park is open only on Sundays from 8AM to 12PM and a nominal fee of Rs. 100, with an additional Rs. 100 for the information guide on the butterflies. Information of the park and its butterflies is given by Rajendra Sir in the morning. For visitors from any organizations or group visits, information is given by him.
We tried to get some more information by requesting a meet with Rajendra Sir. After we came to know that our request was granted we were excited. We waited for him meanwhile exploring the park and taking photographs.
In a nearby bushy area we found a butterfly sitting on a branch. We carefully tried to take some snaps. Even after 20-25 minutes of attempt we were still trying, as it was adamantly not giving us a chance to take a perfect snap. As we were losing out to it and started to move when it gave a pose and this was it.
Further we walked over various plantations.
There was proper watering structure.
Varieties of shrubs and flowering plants.
Flowers were blooming beautifully. Not being an expert in plant knowledge, so not much of a stress. Botany and Horticulture students must pay a visit to this unique park.
As we retreated we came near a small lawn with slide, swing and see-saw for children. It was a perfect small beautiful village type.
We were informed that Rajendra sir was available. We immediately dashed to the place. He was chatting with nature enthusiast and we joined them listening to their conversation. His conversation showed his great experience and knowledge about the nature.