Right in the heart of the bustling, crowded, noisy megapolis that is Mumbai, lies a green oasis: The Byculla Zoo.
Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com takes us on a tour.
Located in the heart of the city, the Byculla Zoo, as it is fondly called, opened its gates to the public last month after being shut for almost a year.
The zoo is part of the Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan (named after Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's mother).
While the zoo is home to many animals, it also boasts of a rich variety of flora that includes over 3,000 trees belonging to 276 species as well as over 800 kinds of plants.
Take a look.
IMAGE: That's Shakti, the star of the zoo. He's a Royal Bengal Tiger. All photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com
IMAGE: And even he's feeling the Mumbai heat :)
IMAGE: These leopards are in a playful mood.
IMAGE: The evergreen Sita Ashoka tree flaunts its bountiful blossoms.
IMAGE: Take a deep breath. You should be able to smell the fragrant, ripening, jackfruit.
IMAGE: Is that in Mumbai? Yes, this lovely walkway is part of the Byculla zoo.
IMAGE: Wonder who Shivani, the sloth bear, is calling out to!
IMAGE: Anarkali, we're told, doesn't like to share her food.
IMAGE: These hippos have the right idea to beat the soaring heat.
IMAGE: This little tortoise, on the hand, is blissfully soaking in the sun.
IMAGE: If you stop by, do say hello the cute Humboldt penguins. (This picture was taken four years ago, when penguins had first arrived at the zoo. You can meet the other penguins here
IMAGE: A lovely spot for a selfie... right at the entrance to the zoo.
Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/Rediff.com