Vihar Lake Overview

Vihar Lake is the largest lake in Mumbai. It is located within Sanjay Gandhi National Park near Vihar village on the Mithi River. The lake was built from 1856 to 1860 by the British government to overcome the drinking water woes of the people of southern Mumbai. It gets its water from The Powai-Kanheri hill ranges in the catchment area.

Today, the lake meets about 3% of Mumbai's drinking water needs and has evolved into one of the most alluring picnic spots in Mumbai. The scenic beauty of the lake makes it a great spot to hang out with friends and family and enjoy some Kodak moments with a picture-perfect backdrop. In the evenings, eateries, restaurants, and cafes around the lake serve piping hot food taking every visitor to the lake on a food tour.

This beautiful lake has a dense population of Khair trees that invite a lot of migratory birds. It looks glorious during the monsoon season. A creepy fact about Vihar Lake is that it is indeed filled with a good number of freshwater crocodiles, also known as Mugger or Marsh crocodiles.

One can visit the Crocodile Park near the lake to witness these reptiles in various sizes and forms. Also, the lake has strong currents when full and hence, visitors are strictly warned from venturing into the waters here. Entry to Vihar lake is restricted since 1993, and one needs to seek prior permission from the authorities of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park.    

How To Reach

From Mumbai Airport-

Vihar Lake is just about 16 km from Vihar Lake and the fastest and most convenient way to cover the distance is by a cab/taxi. It takes close to an hour to travel from Mumbai Airport to Vihar Lake during the peak hours.

Best Time To Visit

Vihar Lake can be visited all round the year. However, to enjoy the beauty of the lake in its full glory, visit the lake during the monsoon months from July to September.

Other Essential Information

Location: Within Sanjay Gandhi National Park at the about 30 km from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

Timing: Restricted entry. One needs to seek permission from the park’s office to enter Vihar Lake.

Price: Free

Tips for Visiting Vihar Lake

There are a few things that you should keep in mind before visiting the lake:

- Being a lake with restricted entry, seek prior permission from the authorities of the park before stepping in.

- Carry a camera to freeze your moments at this scenic location.

-The lake has strong currents during monsoons and hence, never venture into the lake. There have been several instances of people getting drowned here.

-The lake is infested with crocodiles and many of them can be seen along the shoreline. Do not try to feed them as the situation might turn grave.

-Always travel in groups while visiting the Vihar Lake.

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Vihar Lake FAQs

Is Vihar lake open to the public?

No, Vihar Lake is not open to the public as there are frequent instances of people drowning in the lake. However, one can get special permission from the park’s authorities to visit the lake.

2. Does Vihar lake have crocodiles?

Yes, it is true that there are freshwater crocodiles, also known as Marsh Crocodiles, in Vihar Lake. On a bright sunny day, one can spot many crocodiles soaking in the sun.

Are there any places to eat near Vihar Lake?

Being one of the most popular picnic destinations in Mumbai, there are many restaurants, food joints, and cafes around Vihar Lake. The prominent ones are The Boston Butt, Hotel Durga Prasad Restaurant, Hungry Head and The Chocolate Room.

Can we do boating at Vihar Lake?

No, boating is not allowed at Vihar Lake.

Is Vihar Lake artificial?

Yes, this largest lake in Mumbai is man-made and was constructed in 1860 on the Salsette group of islands. Vihar Lake is the first-ever piped reservoir in Mumbai and was built to serve as a source of water supply for the people of Mumbai.

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