From the Karnala Bird Sanctuary to the Gurdwaras of Nanded… Unusual places to visit in Maharashtra


Tadoba and Andhari Tiger Reserve

Located in the heart of Maharashtra, Tadoba National Park or Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is one of the largest tiger reserves in India with over 45 tigers living in its 625 km² expanse. The reserve includes Tadoba National Park and Andhari Wildlife Sanctuary. Covering dense forest areas, ranges of hills and bodies of water like lakes, the tiger reserve is the perfect place to explore and experience nature. One can enjoy various activities like Tiger Safari, nature camping, kayak trekking, backwater boating among others. Located in the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra, the reserve is about 150 km from the city of Nagpur. The best time to visit the reserve, especially if you want to spot tigers, is during the summer months of April and May.

The forests of Amboli

Nestled on the edges of the Sahyadri hills, Amboli, situated nearly 700m above sea level in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra, is a haven for nature lovers and biodiversity enthusiasts. The biodiversity of the place is what makes it unique: almost 300 different species of mammals, birds, butterflies and reptiles thrive in the eco-hotspot. Amboli receives nearly 7000mm of rainfall every year making it one of the wettest places in India and it is also dubbed as the “Cherrapunji of Maharashtra”! The place is not an officially protected area, so tourism is run by the locals and is community driven. The scenic hill station is accessible by road (it is about 135 km from Kolhapur and 500 km from Mumbai).

Nandur Madhmeshwar Bird Sanctuary

Nandur Madhmeshwar Bird Sanctuary is a vast wetland in Nashik with over 20 lakes and ponds and is home to over 230 species of birds, 80 of which are migratory, becoming the perfect place for all avian enthusiasts. Built around the Nandur Madhmeshwar Dam, the bird sanctuary is a Ramsar wetland, one of nine wetlands in India to be declared a Ramsar site by the International Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. The shrine is located about 40 km from Nashik. A must visit place for bird lovers and those looking to explore their interests in nature.


Just 18 km from Kolhapur and at an elevation of 977 meters above sea level, this hill station presents a kaleidoscopic view of the surrounding picturesque hills. The history of Panhala is closely linked with the history of the Maratha Empire, as Chhatrapati Shivaji is said to have spent over 500 days here. Panhala Fort, considered the largest of all Deccan forts, is a major tourist attraction. The Sajja Kothi (punishment cell) is the most interesting part of the fort from where Chhatrapati Shivaji was known to heroically escape. At the entrance is the Teen Darwaza, which bears an inscription dating back to 954 AD, the only three gates that allowed entry into the majestic Fort. Considering the numerous forts found here, the hill station proves to be an ideal place to indulge in trekking. One can also join the trek that follows the escape route from Shivaji to Vishalgad.

Murud-Janjira Fort

If you have an interest in history, heritage and adventure, Murud-Janjira Fortress Island is the perfect place to spend your day. The fort dates back almost 500 years to the 16th century when the leader of a local fishing community built the fort to protect his people from pirates and invaders. The fort includes many attractions including sculptures, cannons, temple ruins, and scenic views from the fort walls. The fort is located on the coast of Murud and is accessible by ferry from India Gate and Rajapuri village (closest to the fort island).


It is a picturesque hill station surrounded by lush and majestic Sahyadri ranges, located in Palghar district. Blessed by nature with an abundance of dense and picturesque green trees, exotic valleys and a pleasant climate, it has a strong cultural ethos and a history dating back to the 14th century. Founded in 1306, Jawhar was ruled by the Munke dynasty and served as an encampment for King Maratha Shivaji and his army en route to Surat. The hill station offers a myriad of attractions including grand ancient temples such as Gramadaivat Temple and Hanuman Point, serene dams such as Jaisagar Dam and Khad Khad Dam, magnificent palaces such as the Palace of Jai Vilas also known as Raj Bari and Bhopatgad Fort, majestic waterfalls like Dabhosa Falls. , a great natural wonder, etc. One can stay at the nearby MTDC resorts such as MTDC Guest House, Shanti Sarovar Resort, etc., providing a comfortable stay.

Karnala Bird Sanctuary

Looking at daytime picnic spots in and around Mumbai, we often come to the same old options that we have overexploited! Karnala Bird Sanctuary is the perfect place for family picnics and weekend adventures. Located in the Panvel district and about 50 km from Mumbai, the bird sanctuary is home to a variety of bird species and other wildlife. Activities such as hiking and bird watching are very popular. one can also explore the Karnala Fort located within the sanctuary. The area’s resorts offer exciting daytime activities, making it a great place for families to spend time and have fun.

The Gurdwaras of Nanded

The city of Nanded is beautiful in many ways: it is an important place of pilgrimage for Sikhs; is full of life with delicious street food and has various temples and sights to explore! The city is known as the final resting place of Guru Gobind Singhji, the 10th Guru of the Sikhs and is home to the Shri Hazur Sahib, a massive complex of gurudwara. The city has many smaller gurdwaras and temples, including one jyotirlinga, the Kaleshwar temple. A few kilometers from Nanded is Nanded Fort with a panoramic view of the Godavari River and the greenery surrounding it. One can easily find appetizing food on every street corner! Located around 575 km from Mumbai, the best way to reach Nanded is by overnight train.

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Posted: Wednesday, March 23, 2022, 07:00 IST


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