5 Best Wildlife Sanctuaries Near Pune Which Are Perfect For A Quick Weekend Getaway!

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Apart from being one of the most important cities in Maharashtra, Pune has soon become an essential metropolis in India. The beauty of Pune lies in the fact that, unlike another metropolis, Pune is not devoid of any natural beauty. As the entire city is impeccably clean, living there is way more comfortable than other places. The town is quite historically significant as well because it was the home to the Maratha rulers. It also holds a strong position in India’s struggle for independence. But apart from all these, Pune also offers its travelers the view of the beautiful Sahyadri mountain ranges from any corner of the city. Another fact that makes Pune unique is that it is lucky to be located close to some of the most beautiful places in Maharashtra. Apart from the weekend spots, there are many wildlife sanctuaries near Pune which offer an escape to nature.

5 Wildlife Sanctuaries Near Pune

Here are some of the best wildlife sanctuaries near Pune which one must visit to enjoy a great time away from the hustle bustle amid the greenery and wildlife.

1. Karnala Bird Sanctuary – 120 Km From Pune
2. Mayureshwar Wildlife Sanctuary – 77.9 Km From Pune
3. Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary – 131 Km From Pune
4. Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary – 149 Km From Pune
5. Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary – 179 Km From Pune

1. Karnala Bird Sanctuary

looking forward to a day of quietude and bird-watching

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If you are looking forward to a day of quietude and bird-watching, Karnala bird sanctuary is for you. Not only does the protection have more than 222 different species of birds, but it is amazingly beautiful as well. You will feel an immediate sense of calmness when you visit there. With the chattering of the birds and the relaxed atmosphere of the forests, the trip will be memorable to you for several years. Some of the most beautiful birds visible out there are Nilgiri woodpigeon, Vigor’s sunbird, Malabar lark, White-cheeked Barbet, Three-toed kingfisher, and many more.

The best thing about visiting the sanctuary is that it is located quite close to the famous Karnal fort that holds high historical significance in India. You can reach there by embarking on a four-hour trek from different places in Maharashtra. In case you are visiting from Pune, you will be able to reach there within three hours at most.

The distance of Pune from the wildlife sanctuary: 120 kms
Location: NH 66, Karnala, Maharashtra 410206

Must Read: 5 Best Wildlife Sanctuaries Near Pune Which Are Perfect For A Quick Weekend Getaway!

2. Mayureshwar Wildlife Sanctuary

Mayureshwar is one of the smallest wildlife sanctuaries

Image Credit: Siddheshp for Wikimedia Commons

Mayureshwar is one of the smallest wildlife sanctuaries near Pune and also in the entirety of India. Despite being small, this sanctuary is home to some of the most endangered birds and animals in India. As the area of protection is only 5 square km, you will be able to explore the city in one day quite easily. Due to the small area of the forest, the chances of seeing any wild and rare animal are quite higher, unlike other massive forests and tiger reserves.

Some of the animals that can be seen out there are Indian Gazelle, Hyena, Indian wolf, Indian fox, White-bellied minivet, and many more. The endangered and rare birds that can be seen out there are short-toed snake eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, and many more.

The distance of Pune from the wildlife sanctuary: 77.9 kms
Location: Kutwalwadi, Maharashtra 412204

Suggested Read: 22 Monsoon Trekking Destinations Near Mumbai & Pune You Must Plan In 2022

3. Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary

most beautiful places in Maharashtra

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Bhimshankar wildlife sanctuary is one of the most beautiful places in Maharashtra. Not only is it home to several endangered animals and birds, but it is a perfect place to spend your weekend as well. The area surrounding the sanctuary is so gorgeous that you will be amazed. As the forest is located close to the Krishna river, the entire area is covered by the lush greenery of forests. The wildlife sanctuary is spectacularly famous for giant squirrels that can only be found here in India. Apart from the said species of animals, you will be able to view other wild animals, including Barking deer, Mouse deer, Golden jackal, wild boar, leopards, Hyenas, and many more.

The place is quite well-known for being the home to several rare birds as well. Some of them are Malabar whistling thrush, Green pigeon, Quaker Babbler, Grey Junglefowl, Lesser kestrel, and many more. If you visit Bhimashankar, you should also visit the Chas Kaman Dam and Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga temple out there.

The distance of Pune from the wildlife sanctuary: 131 kms
Location: Ganpati Ghat Walkway, Tungi, Maharashtra 410201

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4. Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary

most critical sanctuaries in India

Image Credit: Yathin S Krishnappa for Wikimedia Commons

Koyna wildlife sanctuary is one of the most critical sanctuaries in India. It is located in the Satara region of Maharashtra and has an area of around 423 square km. As the wildlife reserve is surrounded by beautiful rivers like Koyna, Kandati, and others, several animals live there to drink water. Due to the presence of the water bodies, viewing wild animals for travelers is comparatively more straightforward as well. Koyna wildlife sanctuary is home to exotic wild animals like the Royal Bengal tiger, King Cobra, and others. It has been included in the UNESCO world heritage site since 2012.

Apart from the animals mentioned above, some other essential animals that can be viewed over there are Indian pythons, Indian leopards, Indian bison, Sambar deer, Gray langurs, and many more. It is also home to rare species of birds, including Brown-capped pygmy woodpecker, Asian fairy bluebird, Long-tailed nightjar, and many more.

The distance of Pune from the wildlife sanctuary: 149 kms
Location: Koyananagar, Maharashtra 416212

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5. Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary

last wildlife sanctuary near Pune

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Phansad wildlife sanctuary is the last wildlife sanctuary near Pune in this list. It is located in the Raigad district of Maharashtra and can be reached from Pune within three hours by car at most. As the entire area of the sanctuary is around 52 square km, you will be able to explore the whole area quite quickly. The surrounding scenery area as the whole is quite beautiful. Phansad has been declared a wildlife sanctuary since 1986. Some of the wild animals that can be viewed out there are Hyenas, wild boars, giant squirrels, panthers, leopards, and many more.

The forest is also home to some endangered species of floras, including Hirda, Ain, Jamba, Teak, and many. There are more than 164 different categories of plants out there.

The distance of Pune from the wildlife sanctuary: 179 kms
Location: Murud, Raigad, Roha, Maharashtra 402401

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All the wildlife sanctuaries near Pune included in the list are spectacular and awe-worthy in every way. Even if you do not get to view many wild animals, you will get to see rare birds and different species of floras in there. That is why this year, try to visit all these wildlife sanctuaries to get to know India a little better. So while you plan your vacation to Maharashtra , make sure to not miss out on these places to get a peak to the wildlife.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Wildlife Sanctuaries Near Pune

What are the most popular wildlife sanctuaries located near Pune?

Pune is blessed to be quite close to some incredible wildlife sanctuaries in India. The most popular ones are Karnala, Mayureshwar, Bhimshankar, Koyna and many more

Where is the Koyna wildlife sanctuary located in Maharasthra?

Koyna wildlife sanctuary is located in the Satara district of Maharashtra. It can be reached from Pune through a three-hour drive.

What is the distance of Pune from Karnala wildlife sanctuary?

Karnala wildlife sanctuary is located 122 km from Pune. You will be able to reach there within two and a half hours by car quite easily.

When is the Mayureshwar tiger reserve closed?

Mayureshwar wildlife sanctuary closes every day at 6 pm. But you should not go there in the monsoon or the summer.

How many days do you need to explore Pune?

Pune can be visited quite exhaustively within two days quite easily. If you plan to explore the wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, you will need around ten days to study comfortably.

When is the perfect time to explore Pune?

The right time to visit Pune is between October to March because it is a hot and humid state, but in the said months, the climate is comparatively colder. You can also go there in the monsoon, but you will not be able to explore the wildlife sanctuaries.

What is the distance between Pune and Pune airport?

The distance between Pune and Pune international airport is around 11 kms.

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