Karnala Bird Sanctuary Timings, Photos, Entry Fees, How to reach

by Surojit Palmal
Karnala Bird Sanctuary

Who doesn’t enjoy the beauty of nature? And animals and birds are the best products of nature I feel. It would be one of a kind of an experience to enjoy them in their most natural habitat right? To see small colourful birds chirping, nesting and flying here and there would be a sight in itself. Along with that the lush greenery everywhere, would be a paradise for nature lovers. Furthermore nature can give you a lot of relief and make you relaxed which is something we all are looking for somehow. So if you are in Mumbai or anywhere near then the Karnala Bird Sanctuary can be a great option for you to have a good time.

The Karnala Bird Sanctuary is a sanctuary designated for birds and it is also one of the popular tourist spots in Mumbai. Other than being a sanctuary one can also enjoy trekking, climbing, jungle safari along with picnics here. So what are you waiting for? If you are anywhere nearby you need to include the Karnala Bird Sanctuary in your itinerary. Keep on reading this article as I have mentioned almost everything that you would need to know about this sanctuary to plan a perfect trip there.

Karnala Bird Sanctuary

Location of Karnala Bird sanctuary: National Highway 66, Karnala, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra

Timings: The Karnala Bird Sanctuary timings are from 7 am to 4 pm on all days

Karnala Bird Sanctuary entry fees:

Rs. 60 per person. There is an additional charge of Rs. 195 for a professional camera. And for parking there is a charge of Rs. 195.

How to reach Karnala Bird Sanctuary

By air

The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai is the nearest airport to reach the Karnala Bird Sanctuary that is 58 km away. From there you can easily take a cab or hire a car to reach the Karnala Bird Sanctuary in about 1 hour and 51 minutes.

By train

The Panvel Railway Station is the nearest railway station to reach the Karnala Bird Sanctuary. Panvel to Karnala Bird Sanctuary distance is about 12.9 km and you can reach the sanctuary in about 20 minutes.

By road

You can drive through your own vehicle or hire a cab to reach the Karnala Bird Sanctuary. You can also reach Panvel first and from Panvel many state tourist buses ply on this route every 30 minutes. Furthermore you can also take 6 seater auto rickshaws to reach the Bird Sanctuary as well.

Overview of Karnala Bird Sanctuary

Karnala Bird Sanctuary Overview
Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

Spread across an area of 12. 11 sq km the Karnala Bird Sanctuary Panvel is one of the rich bird sanctuaries known for its bird species. This is also a popular tourist spot in Mumbai that the visitors enjoy visiting. Located in the Raigarh District outside Mumbai it is a little away from the Mumbai Pune Expressway. Furthermore the Karnala Bird Sanctuary Mumbai is the first bird sanctuary established in Mumbai. Even though the sanctuary is small in size it boosts varieties of bird species that are spotted here.

Established in 1968, with efforts by Dr. Salim Ali this sanctuary was started with the idea of conservation of birds in the country. At that time the area of the sanctuary was only 4. 45 sq km which was later extended to 12. 11 sq km. Not just as a bird sanctuary housing birds, the sanctuary is also quite popular for trekking and climbing to the Karnala Fort. It is one of the popular spots for trekkers, hikers, picnickers, climbers and birdwatchers.


What’s more?

Additionally, what makes this more intriguing as a spot is the strategic designing of the sanctuary. It is made up in such a way that it caters to the needs of all sorts of visitors. After buying the entry ticket you will have to enter the sanctuary through the main gate. At first you will come across a conservation centre. Furthermore this conservation centre is unique. Here you will have to pay for each of the plastic items that you are carrying inside the Karnala Bird Sanctuary. The best part is the amount will be refunded, but only after you return back with all those plastic items. 

This process further maintains that there is no littering of plastic waste inside the sanctuary and that way plastic wastage can be regulated. Technically this is one such rule that should be adopted almost everywhere to control plastic wastage.

Best Time to visit the Karnala Bird Sanctuary

According to the weather you would be able to know which time is perfect to visit here. According to that, the ideal time to visit here is from October to April. It is the time when the weather is cool and therefore it would help you to explore the whole area well. The summers can be hot and uncomfortable with temperature sometimes reaching up to 40 degrees.

Furthermore the monsoon season is a complete mood dampener. The area receives heavy incessant rainfall of 2500 mm to 4000 mm and the weather remains very humid too. So avoid visiting here during monsoon.

The winters are relatively the more comfortable period to visit the Karnala Bird Sanctuary. Temperature remains around 28 degrees and below and that makes it comfortable to explore the area. In the cool dry weather the birds will be spotted well. Also many migratory birds especially visit the sanctuary during the winter months. And therefore it can be a paradise for bird watchers to visit the sanctuary during that time.

Also before the beginning of the monsoon season a variety of birds also nests in the sanctuary which can be quite enjoyable to witness. These birds include Shama, Paradise Flycatcher, Malabar Whistling Thrush etc. So you can plan your visit accordingly.

Birds in Karnala Bird Sanctuary

With around 222 species of birds the Karnala Bird Sanctuary is rich in its variety of bird species. You can also find 8 endemic species of Western Ghats. These are Small Sunbird, White Cheeked Barbet, Malabar Gray Hornbill, Vigor’s Sunbird, Malabar Lark, Gray Fronted Green Pigeon, Malabar Parakeet.

Some endangered species like Three Toed Kingfisher, Rufous Bellied Eagle, Malabar Trogon, Ashi Minivet, Slaty Legged Crack are seen here. Also the winter season is the time for migratory birds and many migratory birds from different areas come and visit this sanctuary. These are Blackbird, Ashi Minivet, Blue Headed Rock Thrush, Black Headed Cuckoo, Red Breasted Flycatcher etc. Because of such a rich variety the Karnala Bird Sanctuary is also one of the designated Important Bird Areas (IBA).


Flora and Fauna

Even though the Karnala Bird Sanctuary is mostly known for their bird species, the flora and different kinds of fauna cannot be ignored here. Almost around 114 species of butterflies are seen here as well as many animals. Wild Boar, Four Horned Deer, Langur and Montjak, Leopard are spotted here.

In terms of flora you can find trees like Mango, Kulu, Nana, Kalam, Asana, Umbar, Teak etc here. The weather condition, topography and the landscape provides a good ground for the flourishing of flora and fauna here.

Trekking Trails in Karnala Bird Sanctuary

One of the amazing experiences that you can enjoy here is the Karnala Fort Trekking Trail. Just trekking through a forest trail with nature blooming all around can be one of the most interesting things to enjoy. Furthermore this activity will also let you explore the entire Karnala Bird Sanctuary to its best. Roughly around 3 hours of time is required for this trek to the Karnala Fort. The distance of this trail is around 5.3 km and 5.7 km.

Actually, there are 2 ways to climb up to the Karnala Fort. One way is through the Water Pump House which is majorly preferred by first time trekkers. It is an easier way to complete this trek up to the fort. The other one is the trail that goes through the forest covering the man made steps of the Jungle. Furthermore this second way is more challenging and involves more strength.

Things to remember for Trekking

·         There is an additional charge of Rs. 60 for trekking in the Karnala Bird Sanctuary to the Karnala Fort.

·         You must carry your own bottle of water along with you. It would be advisable to carry adequate water because it is highly advisable to stay hydrated throughout your trek.

·         The trek is a little long but doesn’t have much difficulty. Furthermore even for first time trekkers and beginners this trek is perfect.

·         You can carry your food along with you while going for the trek. Even though there are around 2-3 stalls that sell some food, the quality there is questionable. So it would be better any day to carry your own food.

·         Do carry your necessary medicines and a first aid kit in case of any medical emergency.

·         Take care and be extra cautious while clicking pictures or taking videos as the trail is steep. After all, safety comes first.

·         You can carry some bananas or fruits for some high energy instantly. Also you can carry glucose along with you for some instant energy after the trek.

·         You must wear comfortable light clothes and shoes with better grips. Also do carry sunglasses and huts along with you for some respite from the sun.

Nearby Places to visit from Karnala Bird Sanctuary

·         Karnala Fort

·         Prabalgad Fort

·         Manikgad Fort

·         Chanderi Fort

·         Balleswar

·         Central Park Kharghar

·         Orion Mall Panvel

·         Parsik Hill

·         Smart Eco Park

·         Kalavantin Durg

·         Matheran

·         Irshalgad Fort

Wrapping Up!

I am sure after checking out the Karnala Bird Sanctuary photos you would be convinced about how beautiful this sanctuary is. A paradise for birdwatchers this is the ultimate location for a perfect day amidst nature. So if you are someone who loves knowing about a variety of bird species, then this is the ideal spot for you to visit. Do not think twice and plan up a trip to this bird sanctuary now. I am sure you would be delighted with spotting so many birds here. Let me know when you are planning a visit to this sanctuary. Also do not forget to tell me if this particular article was helpful for you in planning a trip to the beautiful Karnala Bird Sanctuary.

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