karnala bird sanctuary images

Karnala Bird Sanctuary: Great Place To Spot Birds Near Panvel!

Karnala bird sanctuary in Panvel is a wildlife reserve near Mumbai. It is also popular as a trekking spot among hiking lovers!

Location Address: Karnala Sanctuary, 14 km from Panvel, near Panvel-Goa Highway (NH-17), Maharashtra (India).
Best Time To Visit:
There are two discrete seasons to visit this sanctuary– 1.Monsoon, and 2. Winter to early summer months (October to March) is the ideal duration to visit the sanctuary. It becomes difficult to spot birds during heavy rains and summer heat!

Karnala Bird Sanctuary Review

Spread over a region of 12.11 sq. km., Karnala is a beautiful bird sanctuary 14 km away from Panvel city in the Raigad district of Maharashtra. It is largely popular for bird watching and trekking activities. The protected jungle of Karnala is situated around Karnala Fort amidst mighty Sahyadri Mountain Range. There is a large variety of bird species and wild animals inside this sanctuary. Many migratory birds also visit over here in the winter season.

In post monsoon season, one can experience pleasant climate, lush greenery, and amazing wilderness amidst the wood of Karnala. Due to its scenic beauty, Karnala bird sanctuary in Panvel has now also emerged as one of the popular trekking destinations in Maharashtra.

karnala bird sanctuary photos
The red whiskered bulbul!


There is also a small enclosure room near the forest department rest houses. The treatment and care of wounded or orphaned birds are taken care over here by the forest department. Injured birds are kept in cages till their complete recovery. It is one of the best sanctuaries in Maharashtra.

Karnala Bird Species & Wildlife Information

  • Birds: Close to 150 types of local birds stay in the vicinity of Karnala bird sanctuary. Apart from them, 37 types of migratory birds visit the sanctuary throughout the year. One can spot many migratory birds during the winter season. 3 rare migratory birds found in Karnala bird sanctuary are Three Toed Kingfisher, Trogon and Ashy Minivet. One can see birds like Racket-Tailed Drongo, Hair-crested Drongos, Magpie Robin, The Paradise Flycatcher, black-headed cuckoo-shrike, Leaf Warblers, Nilgiri Wood Pigeons, Blue-headed Rock Thrushes, Grey Drongos, Chloropsis, Orioles, Tree Pies, Sunbirds, Babblers, Mynas, Tree Pipits, Grey-headed Mynas and The Malabar Whistling Thrush. Colorful migratory birds like blue-headed rock thrush, red-breasted flycatcher, blackbird and many other flocks to the sanctuary in winters.
  • Animals: Apart from the bird species, various animals like Leopard, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, 4-Horned Antelope, Mongoose, African Monkeys, Muntjak and Common Langur live in the Karnala bird sanctuary.
  • Flora: The jungle of Karnala bird sanctuary in Panvel mainly consist of deciduous trees like Teak, Putranjiva, Mango, Kalam, Nana, Kulu, Jambhul, Asana, Lokhandi, Umbar, Koshimb, Anjani, Kinjal, Jamba, Alu, Umbar, Karpa and Surangi.

karnala bird sanctuary birds

©Nitin Gurav

Karnala Fort Trek

The trek of Karnala fort is very much famous among hikers. You can spot many bird species while hiking to the top pinnacle of the fort. The chirping of birds, greenery, wildlife and serenity of environment gives you a good experience. A thumb-shaped peak of Karnala fort stands in the middle of a sanctuary at a height of 475 m.

The forest department has labeled various trees inside the Karnala bird sanctuary so that visitors can know about them. Several endangered species such as the serpent eagle, king vulture, and peregrine falcon are seen in this sanctuary.

karnala bird sanctuary images
Three Toad Kingfisher!

©Kunal Telwane


Karnala Bird Sanctuary Timings

Sanctuary remains open for tourists between 09:00 am to 06:00 pm. It is advisable to leave the sanctuary before getting dark because wild animals start roaming around the sanctuary thereafter.

Time Required: 3 to 4 hours are sufficient to see the sanctuary properly.

How To Reach Karnala

  • By Road: The sanctuary is quite close to Mumbai and NH-17 (Mumbai-Goa Highway) passes through it. You can catch any bus going towards Karnala from Panvel. Otherwise, all vehicles going to Pen, Alibaug, Murud and Goa have a halt at the gate of the sanctuary. It is easy to get the vehicle till Karnala. State Transport buses are also available from Mumbai Central to Karnala.
  • Nearest Railway Station: Panvel is the nearest railhead to Karnala bird sanctuary. The station is about 14 km away from the sanctuary. Share auto-rickshaws, private taxis and buses are available from Panvel up to the Karnala.
  • Nearest Airport: Mumbai airport is the closest airport to reach the sanctuary. You can hire taxis outside the airport in order to reach the sanctuary.
Entry Fees / Ticket Charges:
  • Adults:30 per person.
  • Children:15 per person.
  • Still Camera:100 per person
  • Video Camera:150 per person.
  • 2 wheeler Parking:15 per bike.
  • 4 Wheeler Parking:50 per vehicle.

Karnala Bird Sanctuary Resorts / Staying Options:

There are rest houses owned by the forest department in the jungle of Karnala. These rest houses are just 5 min away from the main road entrance. Otherwise, you can stay in Panvel city.

Restaurants / Eating Options:

Forest guest houses provide meals on request. Otherwise, you can have food on the Dhaba’s on the way to the sanctuary. A small stall near the entrance of the sanctuary serves Puri-Bhaji and lemon water. However, it is advisable to carry your own food and sufficient water while visiting this sanctuary.

Nearby Attractions:

Map To Reach:

 [mapsmarker marker=”135″]

NOTE: Karnala bird sanctuary in Panvel is really a natural treat for tourists. Please do not throw any litter inside the sanctuary and help to maintain the good natural habitat for wildlife.