Nestled in Ghodbunder Road -Thane, Ovalekar Wadi Butterfly Garden, is a delightful getaway for the nature lovers, photographers and bloggers. As you step in, you feel as though you've landed in a village, far from the hustle and bustle of the city life. You will feel close to nature and kids will love it. They can connect with their school chapters based on butterfly life cycle and take home lots of learnings and beautiful memories. If you haven’t visited this green paradise, then charge your cameras and book your flight tickets to Mumbai and experience nature at its best.
1. Classroom in Ovalekar Wadi Butterfly Garden
Mr. Rajendra Ovalekar, the creator of this unique garden, explained to us about the different stages of a butterfly life cycle; eggs, caterpillar, pupa and butterfly. He told us that planting lime trees, curry leaf plants etc where there is direct sunlight attract butterflies. To give importance to these colourful beautiful creatures, Maharashtra declared the 'Blue Mormon' as its State butterfly.
2. A Caterpillar in Ovalekar Wadi Butterfly Garden
Mr. Rajendra Ovalekar displaying a caterpillar. It is the second stage of a butterfly life cycle after the eggs, surprising isn’t it? He advised us that we shouldn't spray pesticides in our garden as they kill the caterpillars. He also shared with us his experience when he was bit by several Fire ants while he was observing how the caterpillars feed on the ant eggs. He jokingly commented that was the day, when he realised the true meaning of 'fear'!
3. A Pupa in Ovalekar Wadi Butterfly Garden
Mr. Rajendra Ovalekar showing a Pupa. Can you believe how a Caterpillar evolves into a Pupa, the third stage of a butterfly life cycle, well it’s nature’s way of surprising us!
4. A plain tiger butterfly in Ovalekar Wadi Butterfly Garden
Time to celebrate a butterfly birthday party, the fourth and last stage of a butterfly life cycle! We all sang happy birthday song as the Plain tiger butterfly was transformed from a Pupa and was ready to take off.
5. Butterflies feeding in Ovalekar Wadi Butterfly Garden
Famished butterflies feasting on fruits and getting energised.
6. The Red Pierrot butterfly in Ovalekar Wadi Butterfly Garden
One feels good to see someone enjoying their meal, right? Take a look as the Red Pierrot butterfly sucks nectar from a beautiful flower. Butterflies are cold-blooded and come out only when there is enough sunlight.
7. Chocolate Pansy butterfly in Ovalekar Wadi Butterfly Garden
A Chocolate Pansy butterfly wandering through the garden.
8. A Striped Tiger butterfly in Ovalekar Wadi Butterfly Garden
A Striped Tiger butterfly caught basking in the sun and relishing nectar.
Note: You can't spot butterflies during rains as they cannot fly when their wings are wet and heavy. Butterfly season is between March and May and between mid September to mid November
9. Educational trip in Ovalekar Wadi Butterfly Garden
Groups of nature enthusiasts observing the colourful butterflies, capturing them through their lens and satiating their wanderlust.
10. A Common Crow butterfly in Ovalekar Wadi Butterfly Garden
A Common Crow butterfly experiencing solitude, perfect bliss, isn’t it?
11. Lemon Emigrant butterfly in Ovalekar Wadi Butterfly Garden
Spot the Lemon Emigrant butterfly. Did you? Difficult to spot right? Well, this is their defense mechanism against predators which include spiders and birds
12. A Striped Tiger butterfly and a Common Crow butterfly in Ovalekar Wadi Butterfly Garden
A Striped Tiger butterfly and a Common Crow butterfly chit-chatting about their stardom and major attention being received from the human race. Reminds us of the fiction films right?
The life span of a butterfly is usually 3- 4 months, but they live life to the fullest, spreading their myriad of hues in our incredible universe
Photographer: Vijaylaxmi Thakur