About Gilbert Hill
Seated amidst the lush greenery and overlooking the entire suburban area of Andheri West, lies the heritage structure of Gilbert Hill. With its origins embedded in the Mesozoic era, the black basalt rock structure is one of its unique kinds.
Along with two other national monuments situated in Wyoming and California, Gilbert Hill is the third one that stands as a testimony of having stood against the depredations of age. The holy shrines of the Gaondevi and the Durga Mata located on the hilltop serves as a special attraction for the visitors.
A visit to this iconic place can be easily scheduled during any time of the day and serves to be an easy getaway from the din of the main city. A scenic ride or an enjoyable trek can be surely planned along the mesmerising trails of the hill.
The hill lies flanked with two routes- one route will take you to the bottom of the hill and the other route happens to be the entrance of the Gaondevi temple. The latter route is more accessible for tourists and ensures an easy climb. If you want to catch a glimpse of an age-old rock standing firm from the bygones times of history, then this place will surely be worth a visit.
The recent degradation of the hill alongwith the rampant growth of slum dwellers and builders around the hill has surfaced as a crucial issue, thereby destroying the aesthetic beauty of the impressive monument. Government interventions led to the banning of quarrying and other activities in the area and seeks to foster the integral value of this heritage monolith column.
History of Gilbert Hill:
With its ancient roots dating back from 66 million years ago, the 200 feet monolith column of Gilbert Hill stands proud with its rich history. Travelling back to the pages of history when volcanic eruptions had swept away all forms of life on this planet, archaeologists believe that Gilbert Hill originated during that period.
It happens to be one of the most amazing geological wonders of India with its volcanic origin and has been deemed as a monument of national importance.
Named after G K Gilbert, the vertical columns of the hill resemble the Devils Tower National Monument and Devils Postpile National Monument in Wyoming and California respectively. These three structures are the significant remnants of a large volcanic bubble that froze and turned itself into a gigantic rock structures.
Being one of the world’s oldest basalt rock formations, Gilbert Hill has stood the ravages of time and serves as an intrinsic symbol of the earliest forms of life on Earth.
If you have been wondering about the presence of black soil and the infertile plateau found in this region, then Gilbert Hill with its intriguing legacy might help you to seek some answers. On the summit of the hill, lies the abode of the Hindu Goddesses- Gaondevi and Durga Mata which also attracts tourists from far and wide.
Best Time to Visit Gilbert Hill
The best time to visit Gilbert Hill is during the early mornings and evenings. Avoid the summer months as the sultry weather can make the uphill trek really difficult. Though Mumbai receives heavy downpour during the monsoon months, you can still embark upon a trek to Gilbert Hill.
The fascinating view of the lush greenery around will surely leave you in absolute awe. The winter months lasting between October to February is the ideal time to visit Gilbert Hill.
The pleasant weather will offer you a remarkable journey and the scenic vistas around will be a welcome change.
What Not to Miss at Gilbert Hill
Places to Visit near Gilbert Hall:
If you are planning a visit to Gilbert Hill, then do not miss out on these amazing nearby places.
1. Gaondevi Temple beside Gilbert Hill - The Gaondevi temple is one of the main shrines located on Gilbert Hill and is well known for its structural elegance and historical legacy. To reach the temple you have to take the stairs that have been beautifully carved out of the rock.
While you climb up, the lush greenery around will surely be a welcome change for every city dweller. The temple timings happen to be from 7am to 11 am in the morning and the evening hours are from 4pm to 6 pm. Visit the temple during the early mornings to avoid the rush.
2. Sion Fort - The Sion Fort atop the hillock is a significant heritage monument that used to serve as a boundary between the islands inhabited by the Britishers and the Portuguese during the colonial period of India.
Although the fort now lies in ruins, overrun by trees, yet it will surely give you the essence of the deep history that lies embedded in its ancient walls. A trip to Sion Fort will indeed turn out to be mesmerizing and can serve as a perfect weekend getaway.
3. Kanheri Caves - The Kanheri Caves are a fascinating chain of caves and rock-cut mountains that lies nestled within the enchanting forests of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. The Buddhist sculptures, carvings, paintings, and inscriptions render an aesthetic touch to the caves and lures many visitors especially Buddhist devotees every year.
Shrouded in peace, the caves have a mystical aura and will give you a perfect time if you are seeking for some solitary escapade. Explore around the caves, behold the beautiful carvings and seek some enriching moments. Easily accessible from the city, a visit to the Kanheri Caves will surely be worth your time.
4. Snow Kingdom - Want to seek some thrilling moments with your friends and family? Snow Kingdom in Mumbai happens to be one of the largest snow themed parks and offers you some exciting snow rides along with some chilly fun-filled moments.
Young and adults alike can enjoy themselves and ride the sledges and engage in a hearty snowball. The visit to this pristine snow-white wonderland will help you to escape the monotony of your daily schedule and is a must-visit attraction which promises some quality moments for your young ones and family. Enjoy the cold gust of wind and beat the heat as you embark upon this unique experience.
Other Essential Information About Gilbert Hill
Location- Gilbert Hill, Sagar City, Andheri West, Mumbai, Maharashtra, 400047.
Timing- Visitors can make a trip to Gilbert Hill at any time of the day.
Price- No entry fee required for entering the premises of Gilbert Hill.
Tips for visiting Gilbert Hill:
While planning for a trip to Gilbert Hill, keep these important factors in mind:
-The paths along Gilbert Hill, are extremely narrow and filled with potholes. Thus, tourists are strictly advised not to take their cars. Local transport are easily available and one can even take their two wheelers.
-The routes can sometimes be confusing, hence feel free to ask people in case you end up in any kind of dilemma regarding which path one should take to reach the hilltop.
-Wear comfortable clothes and proper shoes to enjoy a memorable trek.
-Carry some light refreshments and sufficient water to recharge yourselves at intervals.
-Do not forget your cameras, as the stunning scenery along the hillside will surely be captivating enough and you would love to capture the incredible sights.