Karnala Bird Sanctuary is situated in Panvel Taluka of Raigad District of Konkan Region covering an area of 4.27-sq-km. This sanctuary is located at the bottom of the Karnala fort, which lies between Pen and Panvel. The sanctuary is around 25m high from the sea level, while the fort itself is 370m from the sea level.
The vegetation type is moist deciduous forest. The tree species found here are Koshimb, Mango, Nana, Kulu, Kalam, Asana, Umbar and Teak in the top canopy. The sanctuary is very rich in avifauna as the ecological conditions of the tract favour a large variety of bird populations. A casual walk through the forests is an unfailing source of joy, with the list of bird-song ringing in the air
Rich with natural habitats the sanctuary abounds in bird
life with various kinds of resident and migrant birds. One can find around
150 species of birds of resident and 37 species of migratory birds that
visit the sanctuary during winters. It has two distinct seasons for bird
watching. In the monsoon season one can watch Paradise Flycatcher, Shama
or Magpie, Robin, and the Malabar Whistling Thrush, which are some of the
most melodious avian songsters.
A variety other birds Racket-Tailed Drongo, Red Vented Bulbul, Horn Bill, Myna, Owl, Ashy Rain War Blur, and two rare birds Ashy Minimet and Spotted heart Woodpeckers have been sighted here. The Racket-Tailed Drongo skill in the air and felicity to mimic the call of other birds make it a great favourite amongst the bird-watchers.
In winter, the migrants take over and the pattern of bird life changes. The migrants include a variety of birds such as the Blackbird, Blue-Headed Rock-Thrush, Bluethroat, Blackheaded Cuckoo-Shrike and a host of others.
The forests are also ideal as a harbourage to wild animals. Though this sanctuary is principally a bird sanctuary, many other interesting forms wildlife like Panther, Wild Boar, Four-Horned Antelope, Muntjak, Common Langur and the African Monkeys are also seen here.
Karnala is worth visiting all year round except between March and June. Bird watchers are advised to bring powerful binoculars to avoid disappointment.
The fort of Karnala located 370m from sea level is a trekker's paradise. Its steep rocks are a challenge for trekkers. Beautiful golden sand beaches of Tondavali, Tarakali and Vengurala are with in a distance of 10-km from the sanctuary area.
Air: Nearest airport is
Mumbai , at 70-km
from the sanctuary.
Rail: Nearest railway station is Panvel, at 12-km on Diva-Panvel section of Central Railway line.
Road: Mumbai to Karnala is 60-km, by road. One can reach Karnala from Mumbai via Thane creek and Panvel. Karnala is 120-km away from Pune and 13-km away from Panvel. State Transport buses ply regularly from Bombay Pune Station, Panvel, Khopoli, and Pen.
There is rest house available for accommodation at the Karnala sanctuary with 2 suits in Class I and 4 suits in Class II.