Karnala Bird Sanctuary is a very old sanctuary located on Mumbai-Goa Highway 15 km ahead of Panvel. Surprisingly, it attracts many tourists as it’s said to be a heaven for bird photography and best place for trekking near Mumbai. It’s been a major attraction for kids, families as you spend a day with the nature in very safe manner. For visitors of Karnala Bird Sanctuary & Fort, forest department has built small shelters across the nature trails to take rest while exploring. Place is more famous for its hiking trail to the top of historical Karnala fort which is inside Karnala Bird Sanctuary. It is an easy trek near Mumbai and perfet trek for beginners. It offers commanding views of the surrounding.
How to reach Karnala Bird Sanctuary
By Road –
From Mumbai & Pune, one can drive till Panvel. Next, Panvel to Karnala bird sanctuary, drive 12 km on Mumbai- Goa national highway i.e. NH66 and you will reach the destination.
By Rail –
Panvel is the nearest Railway Station. Else, get down at any major stations of Mumbai and catch local train to Panvel (the last stop of harbour line). Take the auto till base if you are in hurry, else go to Panvel Bus Stand which is 5 minutes away from the Panvel Station. There are many buses available as Karnala Sanctuary entry gate is on highway.
By Air –
Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj airport of Mumbai is the nearest. You can hire direct Taxi from airport till the sanctuary.
Karnala fort images
Karnala fort trek
It is a one day trek near Panvel. Karnala Fort Trek requires permission at the base. Entrance remains the same for both Karnala bird sanctuary and fort. You need to start before first half as forest officials don’t allow in the second half. As there are no stay options available inside the forest, one has to opt for one day trek only. Ascending is very easy except one rock patch, but that also has railing for safety purpose. Within 2 hours one can reach to the top of Karnala Fort. No water & food stall available on the way. Please carry at least 2 litres of Water and energy bars. There are many organisers which regularly arrange Karnala fort Trek on weekends.
Karnala Bird sanctuary timing
Karnala Bird Sanctuary remains open on all days from morning to Evening i.e. 7 AM to 6 PM. If you are going for a hike then it is preferable to start in the first half itself so that you can return before time. Karnala Bird Sanctuary timings are best suited for one day picnic near Mumbai.
Karnala bird sanctuary best time to visit
Though you can visit the Karnala bird sanctuary throughout the year, Monsoon & winter is most preferable as migratory birds are seen during this season. Apart from the birds, lush greenery all around is feast to the eyes. Karnala fort is also famous for one day monsoon trek near Mumbai.
Karnala Resort for Stay
There are few famous resorts on Highway in and around 5KM range of Sanctuary. Prior booking is preferable.
- Panoramic Karnala Resort
- SK Resort, Karnala
- K Star Woods Karnala Resorts & Hotels
Food Options –
There only two local food eateries which serve Poha, Tea, Vada Paav at reasonable rates. Also, both food options (Veg & Non-Veg) that they serve are very tasty.
Entry Fees & Camera Charges
- Adult – INR 35
- Child (5-12 Yrs.) – INR 20
- Foreigner – INR 60
- Camera Charges – INR 100
Sanctuary Parking Charges
- Two Wheeler – INR 25
- Small Vehicles – INR 100
- Bus – INR 150
To summarize, only one day plan possible due to time restrictions. There are no local guides available for hiking. It is beautiful picnic spot near Mumbai for weekend getaway.
Do share your experience once you visit the Bird Sanctuary near Mumbai. Keep exploring! Keep Reading!
Also you can check out my interesting trekking blog about Irshalgad Trek – A pinnacle with the Needle Eye.