Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary
A splendid place for nature lovers, Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary has one of the densest populations of wildlife around Mumbai. Though the sanctuary boasts of several species of fauna including leopards, it is more known for its birds, both resident and migratory
Popular for its feathered residents, the sanctuary houses over 720 species of flora and 279 species of fauna that include mammals, birds, snakes, butterflies, etc. Situated in the state of Maharashtra near the Konkan coast, Phansad is 140 km from Mumbai.
Spread over just 52 sq km, the sanctuary is one of the lesser visited sanctuaries in the country. Nonetheless it offers a lot in terms of biodiversity for nature lovers and photographers.
The coastal woodland ecosystem of the Western Ghats can be found in the sanctuary. The sanctuary is popular destination for trekking and birding. Four major trails run through the sanctuary.
A trek through the sanctuary provides the chance to spot sambars, barking deer, panther, wild boar and hyenas. Giant Indian squirrel is a major attraction of the sanctuary. Leopards can also be spotted in the sanctuary.
The sanctuary is home to over 150 species of birds that include Malabar piped hornbill, Asian paradise flycatcher, yellow footed green pigeon, plum-headed parakeet, green billed malkoha, etc. Migratory birds visit the sanctuary during November-January. Phansad is also home to over 31 species of snakes that includes russell’s viper, Indian rat snake, Indian rock python, etc.
The sanctuary once served as the hunting ground for Siddi Nawabs Murud-Janjira. The Nawab constructed roads and water bodies within the forest.
In order to preserve the rich biodiversity of the region, the forests were declared as wildlife sanctuary in 1986.
Where to stay
There are limited accommodation options in the wildlife sanctuary. Budget accommodation in tents, PWD rest houses and s inspection huts are available in the park. Since Phansad is a one-day destination, many tourists prefer staying at Kashid (10 km) where there are more accommodation budget and mid-range options available. Alibag also has more options to stay.
Where to eat
There are no places to eat in Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary. Small eateries can be found outside the sanctuary gates. Kashid, 10 km from the sanctuary, has several shacks which offer scrumptious seafood. Kashid has several resorts which have restaurants that serve Indian, Chinese, Continental and Italian delicacies.
Best time to visit
Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary is an all weather destination. However, summers could get a little difficult because of the heat and humidity. Migratory birds visit the sanctuary between November and January. November to March is the best time to visit the sanctuary.