When you are in Maharashtra in West India, you know that you have so many things to see and do. The state would keep you occupied with many tourist attractions. Forts, temples, malls, soaring skyscrapers, forests, parks and sanctuaries- all these mingled with the natural beauty of the state have made it a popular destination all over the country. Sagareshwar sanctuary is one of the important tourist spot that is visited by people from every nook and corner of the city. It is a man-made sanctuary that offers amazing opportunities to the visitors.
The sanctuary is endowed with immense archaeological and religious significance. The name of the sanctuary is derived from an ancient Shiva temple. The temple is a huge architectural structure that consists of a complex of 51 small temples, all of which are from the Satvahana period.
This is an artificially cultivated forest. The sanctuary was first categorized as a park and then as Sagaroba Game Reserve in the year 1980. Five years later in 1985, it was declared as a wildlife sanctuary. At that time almost 52 wild species were set free in the area. One of the interesting features of the sanctuary is that it doesn't have any perennial source of water.
Area and location:
The sanctuary spreads over an area of 10.87 sq. km. It is located at the trifurcation of three Tehsils namely Khanapur, Walva and Palus Tehsils of Sangli district in Maharashtra.
One of the interesting features of the sanctuary is that it doesn't have any perennial source of water. It was established with a planned afforestation program. Most of the wildlife species were artificially introduced here.
Flora and Fauna:
Although the Sagareshwar sanctuary is very small in size, it is able to attract huge number of tourists because of its rich flora and fauna. The sanctuary is covered with grassy hill slopes. Southern dry mixed deciduous and southern thorn forests are the main vegetation. Much dry deciduous fire can also be found here. Important trees species introduced by the Forest Department are- Dhavada, Sisoo, Neem, Khair, Tamarind, Acacia, Shiras, Char, Nilgiri and Acacia. The density of the forest crop in the sanctuary is less than 0.4%.
It is unfortunate that there are no major carnivores in the sanctuary. Small carnivores like Fox, Porcupines and Hyena are found. Deer like Sambar Deer, Chital, Blackbucks and Muntjac; Wild Boar, Peacocks; and many other species of Reptiles, Python and Amphibians also find refuge here. Many of the animals are allowed to regenerate in order to maintain the ecological balance.
Where to stay?
You can stay in the Forest Rest House or in the Dak Bunglow.
When to visit?
August to February remains the best period to visit the sanctuary. As such oodles of tourists come to the place to enjoy the wildlife here.
Kolhapur at a distance of 85 km is the nearest airport.
The nearest railway stations are Sangli, Miraj Rail Junction, Kirloskarvadi, Takari which are 30km, 34 km, 15 km and 2 km away from the park respectively. All express and superfast trains halt at Sangli and Miraj railway stations. You can take buses or private vehicles from Sangli and Miraj that will take you to Sagareshwar.
Karad, Sangli, Pune and Mumbai are at a distance of 35 km, 47 km, 220 km and 380 km from the sanctuary.
You can go for hiking to the top of the hill in the sanctuary. If you reach the top, you will watch the Krishna River flowing through the fields of sugarcane and grapevine. This is an amazing sight to view. Krishna Valley Wine Park is a sheer delight for the travelers.
In order to pay a visit to a man-made refuge for wild animals, you must plan to tour Sagareshwar sanctuary in Maharashtra. Come you must to this wonderful place to enjoy the bounties of Mother Nature.