In the Raigad district of Maharashtra, there is the Karnala Bird Sanctuary. The place is situated on the Mumbai Goa Highway, and is about 60 Km away from Mumbai and 12 kms away from Panvel. The Sanctuary also hosts a hill fort which shares its name with the sanctuary. It is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the state, and home to more than 150 species of birds. The forest consists of moist deciduous plants. There are also wild animals in the sanctuary, like rhesus monkeys, wild boars, etc. The fort inside is also called the funnel fort, and is a good place for sightseeing. The fort was probably constructed in 1400 BCE, under the Devagiri Yadavas and later by the Tughluqs. People generally stay at Panvel when they take a tour of Karnala Sanctuary and fort. However, there are two government circuit houses too, where the tourists can put up. There are a number of dhabas on the way to the sanctuary where you can eat. It is also advisable to carry some food and water with you.
Tourism in the area has grown up around the sanctuary, where, apart from the 150 species of indigenous birds, you can see a number of migratory birds, during the winter season. This place is loved by the nature lovers, bird watchers and trekkers. The Karnala Fort is a historical sight which also attracts a number of people who plan a holiday in this region. The fort is actually a combination of two forts, the lower portion being build with basalt rock and is called Pandu’s Tower. The fort also has a Marathi and a Persian inscription. Trekking is one of the favored activities of the people visiting this area.
The weather in the place remains pleasant almost all through the year, though, summer can be a bit hot. The best season to visit the sanctuary and the fort is early winter to late spring. Not only the climate remains cold, there are a number of migratory birds visiting during this time.
It is not difficult to visit this tourism place from Mumbai, and other parts of the country because it is accessible by rail, road and air. This is thus well known for a weekend retreat. The closest airport is the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai which is about 60 kms away, and taxis can be hired from there to reach the sanctuary. Panvel is the nearest railway station, and from the station, taxis and auto rickshaws are available. The sanctuary is situated on the national highway, and you can also take a bus.