is 120 km from Pune and 13 km from Panvel. Between
Pune and Panvel lies the Fort Karnala.
Just 10 km off the busy Mumbai-Pune
highway a sign welcomes visitors to the Karnala
Bird Sanctuary. As the road winds up a little
ghat on Mumbai-Goa highway, travel-weary visitors
feel a sudden freshness in the air as they enter
this pocket-sized Eden.
Karnala is dominated by a fort,
which rises up from the sanctuary at its base.
The sanctuary is around 82 ft high from the sea
level. On a clear day, the Mumbai coastline, 30
km away is absolutely visible from the peak of
the fort. To the east of the fort, on the bank
of the River Patalganga, is village Apte, on the
west is Ransai while on the north is Vichwan.
The whole area is lush green and rich with natural
habitation of various birds like Red Vented, Bulbul,
Horn Bill, Myna, Owl, Robin McPie and many others.
Karnala is a bird watcher's paradise and even
the casual picnicker is rewarded with sights of
colourful bird species.
The best time to visit the place is between November
to February for bird watching.
The fort of Karnala and its steep rocks have always
been a challenge for trekkers. Its close proximity
to Mumbai makes Karnala an ideal spot for a one-day
picnic. During the monsoons, the pathway leading
to the pinnacle of the fort is almost permanently
wreathed in wisps of cloud and mist, giving you
an absolutely exhilarating feeling.