Tips on clicks :
Lays on the Western Ghats of the state of Maharashtra.
Spans on a total area of approx. 130 sq. km.
Main attractions include the wild fauna and the nearby temple of Lord Shiva.
Ideal visiting season is between October and May.
The Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary, Maharashtra - Welcome!
The Western Ghats of Maharashtra span through 3 cities of the state - Pune, Raigad, and Thane. Covering an area of about 130 sq. km in combination of all of these 3 cities, the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most valued wildlife havens in Maharashtra. Adding more of exoticness and splendor to the wild beauty of the sanctuary, there is an ancient shrine in the forest. This is known as the Jyotirlinga temple and belongs to Lord Shiva. The forest land also bears 2 main tributaries of the River Krishna originating and flowing through the forest - namely Bhima and Ghod. The Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary is actually a valley location, rich in its wild flora and fauna.
The fauna :
The place where this sanctuary is located is quite a secluded region of the state; usually the ghat regions are less visited and traveled by people. Hence, the wildlife has quite well existed in this sanctuary. The fauna is rich and exotic, consisting of varied species like Leopards, Sambar, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Langur, Hyenas, etc. The Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary premises also have a rich avifauna collection like Malabar Grey Hornbill, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Black Eagle, Green Pigeon, Wild Boar, Quaker Babbler, Grey Jungle Fowl, and so on. There is also a great Butterful Brigade in here, which gives the eyes a variety of vibrantly colored exotic butterfly species, filling the air with color and charm. Also, the place is famous for its Giant Malabar Squirrels, the largest tree Squirrel, longer than even three feet, found in Maharashtra.
The flora :
The Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary is a rich valley region, which surprises many of its visitors due to being different from other forest sanctuaries. Its lush green hills and the pasteurized land ablaze the scenery with charm and the calm. Though the flora of the forest includes Southern Typical Dry Deciduous trees, there nothing much dry about the place. Since the place is situated on the Ghats, it receives regular rainfalls during monsoons, which keeps it in jade throughout the year. It is counted among the semi- evergreen forest sanctuaries of the state and the nation. A wide and diverse plant life can be fond here, to suit the eyes and mind of the spectators. Among the trees there are Mango, Hirda, Jamun, Behda, Bamboo, etc., while smaller plans include shrubs, herbs, climbers, ferns and grass. Apart from being habitat to the animals staying in here and giving a splendid color of beauty to the location, the flora of Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary also consists of magical herbs and shrubs that are known to be of utmost benefit in curing various incurable and severe diseases.
Ideal visiting time of the year :
Since the greenery of the place is one major factor that adds to its loveliness, which also relates to the kind of avifauna witnessed here, keeping an account of an ideal season to visit the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary is a must, if you are a true traveler. Since, it is a ghat region and the sanctuary is in a valley, rainy seasons are highly unsuitable to visit, with respect to life. There have been recorded many accidents during rains. Hence, the drier months of October to May serve the best to visit this place. In winter, you can even find exotic species of migratory birds in this sanctuary.
Other attractions in the vicinity :
Apart from the flora and fauna, there are other attractions in the vicinity of the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary, like the Lord Shiva Temple named Jyotirlinga Temple. There is a picnic spot nearby called the Dimbhe Dam, spanning 40 km from the sanctuary. Another shrine named the Bhimashankar Temple, after which the forest has been named. Trekking is an important activity of adventure one can enjoy here, due to the hilly characteristics of the place. From Hanuman Khada, a superb view of the lower plains can be attained.
There are several guest houses, rest rooms, lodges and hotels nearby the sanctuary, at affordable distances. One can spend a day or night of rest in any of these luxurious and comfortable cottages.