Wildlife Karnala,Maharashtra,india

Published: 19th January 2011
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It has a protected wildlife park on the Konkan coast and it"��s tiny sanctuary, barely 4.8 sq km is home to over 150 resident bird species and about 37 types of avian migrants. The monsoons rouse a number of feathered musicians, amongst them the paradise flycatcher, magpie robin and the Malabar whistling thrush. This is the season when the stillness of the forest in the Karnala Bird Sanctuary is ruffled by the melodies of these songbirds and the antics of the racket-tailed drongo as it mimics the calls of other birds! Winter heralds the journey of migratory birds as they flock to Karnala - the ashy minivet, red-breasted flycatcher, blackbird, black-headed cuckoo-shrike, blue-throat, the blue-headed rock thrush and many others. The four-horned antelope, wild boar, common langur, are amongst the commonly seen wildlife at Karnala Bird Sanctuary.

Historically Speaking
The Karnala fort was built during the 12th century. Karnala was of strategic importance because of its command of the highroad between Bhor Ghat and the rivers of Panvel and Apta, watching the trade route. Between 1248 and 1318, it was under DevgYada and from 1318 - 1347; it was under Daulatabad

Muslim rulers. Subsequently it was with the Gujarat rulers, with the help of Portuguese. It changed hands many times between Shivaji, the Mughals and Peshwas. In 1803, it came under Bhaji Rao and it was in 1819 that the British took control of the fort.

There are very few things to buy here, unless you''re into plants. Two nurseries on the highway sell pots, frames, wrought iron furniture and other gift items. At the Yusuf Meherally Centre you can buy nature-based products such as neem oil, sandalwood soap, and other natural products.

Night Out
At the entrance to Karnala Sanctuary is Hotel Ekvira, where you get vegetarian or non-vegetarian meals, cold drinks and snacks. Hotel Karnala, also offers a similar fare, including vadas, poha and omelettes.

Slip into your most comfortable walking shoes and explore this lovely sanctuary on foot. Trek through the picturesque hills while trying to spot a variety of flora and fauna.

Visit the Karnala fort , once a Maratha bastion that changed many hands, which now reigns over the forest area. A half hour trail takes the trekker 450 m above the forest to the fort, where the Karnala Pinnacle sticks out like a crooked thumb. From this Pinnacle in the Karnala Bird Sanctuary,

you get a bird''s eye view of the Mumbai coastline, the tree canopy that shades the woods and the Sahyadri hills in the distance. This is a particularly pretty climb during the monsoons when the peak is veiled in mist and the entire forest is a lush green. Karnala Pinnacle offers refuge to endangered birds like the peregrine falcon, king vulture and the crested serpent eagle. The Karnala Bird Sanctuary is bisected by the Mumbai-Goa Highway. The sanctuary is permanent home to about 150 species of natural aviators, but is also temporarily visited by another 40 species of migratory birds.

How to get there by Air
The closest airport is Mumbai 49 kms away.

How to get there by Rail
There are several Central Railway trains from VT Station to the nearest railhead at Panvel, 12 km from the sanctuary; from here you can hop on to autorickshaws, taxis and buses. State Transport buses run from Mumbai Central to Karnala.

How to get there by Bus
From Panvel, take a right turn onto NH17. The entrance to Karnala comes up on your left 10 km down NH17, past Palaspe Phata and Shirdun. If you are taking a bus, almost every long-route bus to the Konkan from Mumbai stops at Panvel. Hire an auto (Rs 75-100) to Karnala.

Best time to Visit
The sanctuary is open to visitors throughout the year. The resident bird and animal population can be seen at any time of the year, especially the monsoons, while the best time to see migratory birds is from October to April.

Resorts in Karnala
Shalom Resort, overlooks the Karnala Fort. Prices range from Rs 1500 upwards. Panaroma Resorts The resort is spread over 17 acres of landscaped gardens offers cottages and is in close proximity to the Bird Sanctuary. Prices range from Rs. 2600 "�" 5000. MTDC offers tents, the Forest Department

has a Rest House and cottages near the highway. Food is available at small highway restaurants. Accommodation arrangements have to be made in advance.

Nearby Places
Shiva Temple -Further down NH17 towards Pen, just before the toll booth, a small left turn leads to a modern Shiva temple, built in the shape of a shivaling and has a landscaped garden. The phallic dome is just above the idols of Shiva and Parvati.

For more information for this Destination please check india Travel Guide

budget hotels in Hyderabad

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