Here’s a complete guide on Karnala Bird Sanctuary. Nothing beats the monotonous exhaustion of city life than a vacation spent in the lap of nature. It not only imbibes you with refreshing positive energy but also takes you close to nature.
Karnala Bird Sanctuary is a rich, dense forest with scads of bird species. It is considered to be a paradise for bird watchers and every year flourishes with tourists travelling from all the parts of the country, seeking the adventurous ride it offers.
About Karnala Bird Sanctuary
Located in the Raigad district in Panvel, the Karnala Bird Sanctuary is a small yet dense wildlife getaway from Mumbai. Occupying an area of about 12.11 square kilometres, the sanctuary also encompasses the famous Karnala Fort along its periphery.
Tourists from Mumbai and other neighbouring regions visit the place seeking the delightful natural scenic beauties and hikes on the hilly terrain.
The sanctuary is home to about 222 species of birds, among which 161 are resident species, and 46 are winter migrants. With seven species of passage migrants, five species of vagrant species and three species of breeding migrants, the Sanctuary attracts bird lovers from all over the country.
Some of the endemic species of the Western Ghats are also found in the Karnala Bird Sanctuary like the Grey Fronted Green Pigeon, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Three-toed Kingfisher, etc. The sanctuary also serves home to about 114 species of butterflies.
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Karnala Bird Sanctuary Trekking
As the Karnala Bird Sanctuary is located on a hill, it attracts numerous tourists for the rough environment favourable for trekking and hiking. The Karnala Fort is located on the top of the hill, and it takes about a hike of one hour to reach the top of the hill.
The Forest Department is very active there, and they have constructed five resting places for the hikers, on their way.
Trekking during the season of monsoon is a thrilling experience as the environment becomes tougher and the forest adjoining lushes with greenery. Iron railings are built around the climbing steps to ensure the safety of the hikers.
There are some local shops near the sanctuary that provides food and breakfast for the travellers and hikers. The Forest Department guest house has arrangements to provide first aid.
Karnala Bird Sanctuary Timings
The Karnala Bird Sanctuary remains open from 6.30 am to 6.30 pm and is open on all weekdays.
The sanctuary can be visited at any time during the opened hours, but the most exciting time is during the sunset when the view is just magical.
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Karnala Bird Sanctuary Entry Fee
The bird sanctuary is often flooded by visitors travelling from local or far places, and thus the entry fee has been kept at a minimum. The entry fee for an adult Indian traveller is Rs 30 per person, and for a kid of Indian origin, it is Rs 15.
If any foreign national wants to visit the sanctuary, the entry fee is Rs 60 for adults and Rs 30 for kids. Parking is charged at Rs 25 for two-wheelers and Rs 100 for four-wheelers.
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Best Time to Visit Karnala Bird Sanctuary
The best time to visit the Bird Sanctuary is during the months of September to April when the weather remains very comfortable for exploring the forest and trekking.
Summers should be avoided as the temperature remains really high and the birds remain embedded in the shade of the trees.
How to Reach Karnala Bird Sanctuary
The nearest airport to Karnala is the Mumbai airport. After you reach Mumbai airport, you can take a private taxi or cab and drive to the Karnala Bird Sanctuary, which is located at a distance of 56 km.
If you are travelling on the Mumbai-Goa National Highway, make sure you reach the little village “Shirdone” after you leave Panvel. Right after “Shirdone”, Karnala area starts.
The nearest railway station to Karnala is the Panvel station. As Panvel is well connected with the main station Mumbai, you can get frequent trains to and from here. After you reach Panvel, take a taxi or auto to reach the bird sanctuary.
Places to Eat Near Karnala Bird Sanctuary
As the Karnala Bird Sanctuary is a popular tourist spot, there are a number of shops present outside of the sanctuary premises. There is one shop that provides breakfast of poha, vada pav, and tea and is located just at the entrance of the sanctuary.
The pricing of the food items are reasonable, and the shop is run by local women. A second shop is located right at the start point of the Karanala Fort.
Places to Visit Near Karnala Bird Sanctuary
Located within the premises of the Karnala Bird Sanctuary, the Karnala Fort was constructed before 1400 by the Devagiri Yadavas and the Tughlaq rulers. It is actually a complex of two forts, one built on a higher side of the hill than the other. In the middle, there is a watchtower of about 125 feet in height which was used to keep an eye on the Bor Pass and is commonly called “Pandu’s Tower”.
There is a small temple dedicated to Goddess Bhawani, located just before the fort. It is believed that the Goddess gave a sword to Shivaji, who then conquered most of the parts of the neighbouring area to create a Hindu nation.
Located at a distance of 12.8 km from the Karnala Bird Sanctuary, Central Park is one of the biggest parks and has a large artificial lake, where ducks and other aquatic birds can be seen often.
With lots of green open fields, there are numerous games you can play and enjoy the greenery wrapping the park around. There is a large amphitheatre located in the centre of the park. You can spend a lovely, relaxing evening at the park, enjoying the scenic beauty.
Central Park is perfect for helping you spend some quiet time alone or with your loved ones, in the midst of nature.
One of the toughest and challenging trekking sites of the Western Ghats, the Kalavantin Durg is a 2,250 feet peak located in the Western Ghats. Believed to be built for the Queen Kalavantin, the sculpture is a high peak with numerous steps leading to its summit. It is a 3 km hike from the nearest village of Thakurwadi.
Due to frequent accidents and deaths of trekkers, the administrations have made strict laws on trekking in this place.
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