Theme-based New Year tours attract Mumbaikars

Trecking, stargazing, fishing and camping –Mumbaikars are getting innovative when it comes to ushering in the New Year.

Sensing the penchant for adventure among residents of the Mumbai Metropolitain Region (MMR) and its periphery, tour organisers have come up in recent years with short, theme-based outings that promises different experiences for the participants.

Such tours will be spread over two weekends this time around, as the New Year’s eve falls on Wednesday. Tour enthusiasts will have Dec 27-28 and Jan 3-4 to try various themes.  “People are looking for short trips, something exciting, something informative and real value for money,” said Kiran Bhoir, the founder of   Virar-based KMC Holidays & Offshore Pvt Ltd.

“They are looking at village tourism, rural tourism, fishing in ponds, river crises and so on,” Bhoir noted, adding that the concept of New Year celebrations have changed over the years.

Next Sunday, the BNHS-India has organized a trek to the highest point of Mumbai – located inside the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) spread over Mumbai, Thane and Palghar districts.

“Starting from the Kanheri caves, this medium-grade trek leads you through fine forest and narrow trails in the mids of thick Karvi bushes that open out to a magnificent view of the city and the three lakes Tulsi, Vihar, and Powai,” said Atul Sathe, Manager-Communications, BNHS-India.

The Gaimukh plateau along the way is known for raptor sightings, while the trail should afford the participants excellent views of forest birds like White-browed Bulbul, Puffthroated Babbler, Purple Sunbird, Indian Grey Hornbill, Brown-headed Barbet, and Greater Rackettailed Drongo.

“The skies are clear between November and March, which encourages lot of amateurs take up star gazing,” said Suhas Naik-Satam of Nehru Planetarium, Mumbai, adding, "Several groups organise sky shows during this period."

Manasi of LetsCampOut, who conducts camps in Lonavla in Pune district and Kashid in Raigad district,  sees a high preference for camps.

“We have tents lined up, where people stay in the night…there is campfire and people enjoy,” she said. Barbeque and bonfire are integral part of the camping experience, she added. 

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