Karnala Bird Sanctuary: One-Day Picnic Spot Near Mumbai

Karnala Bird Sanctuary

Like most kids Devansh loves the indoor play areas and activity centers in malls. But we want him to have a connect with nature and enjoy outdoorsy picnics as well. Karnala Bird Sanctuary provides one such haven for nature lovers and it’s not too far from Mumbai. We have been taking Devansh to Karnala Bird Sanctuary since he was some 7-8 months old. Despite its name, you don’t get to see many birds here that easily, but it’s lovely for its greenery and the many nature trails.

How to Reach?

Karnala Bird Sanctuary is along the Mumbai-Goa highway, which is around one-and-a-half hour drive from my house in Mumbai. There’s parking available near the ticket counter at the Entry gate. Panvel is the closest railway station if you wish to go there by train. From there, you can catch an auto or a taxi to Karnala.

The fun begins

After buying the entry tickets, and paying for camera and parking charges we start walking down the main tar road. There’s a small play area for kids just 5 minutes down the road and kiddo insists on playing there for half an hour at least before we’re allowed to proceed. After we manage to drag him away from the slides, swings, and jungle gym we again proceed down the same tar road. There are a few cages along the way that house some birds like rose-ringed parakeets and peacocks, and some rabbits. I personally am not a big fan of caging animals and birds, but kids get a rare chance to view the birds so close and therefore enjoy watching them. We then proceed towards the canteen.

Canteen

The canteen is in huge demand on weekends, so it’s better to reach there early to get a table and food on time. We love the Maharashtrian snacks and lunch you get there, from Poha to Bhajis and Vada Pavs. They also serve veg thali, egg bhurji-pav, chicken/fish curry with rice. The canteen is run by the local ladies and is a big hit with the visitors. There’s one more canteen very close to the entry gate but the one inside is more crowded always.

Central area around the canteen

There’s an information center and some benches at the central area where people loiter around. It’s also a great place to click pictures of monkeys as they’re on the lookout for food from the visitors. I wish people would stop giving them processed food like biscuits and chips though.

Nature trails

After we’re done eating we start exploring the many nature trails inside the sanctuary. You get to see different kinds of butterflies, spiders, chameleons, garden lizards, caterpillars. My husband and I encourage the kiddo to observe as many of these creatures as he can. He is extremely interested in photography much like my husband, and we make many stops in between for the two of them to click snaps. The snaps of signboards in this post are all clicked by the sonny boy.

Trek to fort

After we’re done eating we start exploring the many nature trails inside the sanctuary. You get to see different kinds of butterflies, spiders, chameleons, garden lizards, caterpillars. My husband and I encourage the kiddo to observe as many of these creatures as he can. He is extremely interested in photography much like my husband, and we make many stops in between for the two of them to click snaps. The snaps of signboards in this post are all clicked by the sonny boy.

Fruitful day

Much like I need to drag kiddo away from the play area at the start of the day, at the end of the day I need to drag the husband away from the sanctuary. Being a photography buff, he gets carried away clicking monkeys, spiders and their intricate webs, whatever fascinates him really. We leave there feeling like it was a day well spent, recharged to face the hustle bustle of city life.

Photos of Nature Trails, Monkeys, Butterflies, Spiders from Karnala Bird Sanctuary

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