Sunday, 21 December 2014

Trip to Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary and Revdanda

After trip to Blackbuck national park Velavadar, I wanted to visit one more wildlife sanctuary. Due to lack of leaves, I decided to visit to Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary on weekend with office colleagues. As Revdanda and Korlia Fort were in my wish list, we decided to visit that location as well.

Travelers for this trip me, Harsha, Rohan and Darshan

Indian Valture
Indian Valture

About Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary and Revdanda:
            Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary is a bird sanctuary in Raigad district, Maharashtra. It is spread across area of 52 Sq. km. Although it is mainly a bird sanctuary; a few spices of mammals like giant squirrel, Indian fox, Bonnet macaque, Indian Civet, Langur, Sambar, wild cat, deer and leopard can also be spotted. However it is very difficult to do so. This Sanctuary was formed in year 1986.

Revdanda is a small village towards the south of Alibag. This place is famous for untouched beautiful beach along with a Portuguese fort known as Revdanda beach Fort.

To reach Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary, the route is Pune – Join mulshi road from Chandani chowk – Tamhini ghat – Kolad (Do not take left turn of Nijampur MIDC area) – At kolad, join highway and take left for Roha – After Roha, drive till Talekhar village – At Talekhar village, look for sign board of Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary on your left.
Another route is Pune – Join Bangalore-Mumbai National highway – Drive towards Mumbai via express way – Cross khandala – Take khopoli exit – Pen – Alibag (No need to enter in the city) – Take left turn for Naogaon/Revdanda – Cross bridge on creek after Revdanda – Take left after bridge- Drive for around 7-8km and look for sign board of Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary on your right.

Day 1: 20th Dec 2014: Trip to Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary:
          We woke up by 5.30 AM and left home at 6:30 AM. We chose the route via Tahmini – Kolad. A freezing cold weather welcomed us in Tamhini Ghat. We took a pit stop for breakfast at Hotel Quick Bite. It was a pleasant journey till Talekhar village. It was 10.30 am in the clock and we were ahead of our plan. We decided to visit Korlia Fort in the town of Korlia. This fort was built in 1521 by the Portuguese with the permission of Burhan Nizam.

Korlia Fort

Steps for fort behind Light house

            Korlia was initially known as the “Rock of Chaul”. In 1594, there was a chaotic situation after Burhan Nizam died. The Portuguese tried to take advantage of this by building fortification. But Hussein Nizam perceived the danger and decided to fortify this mountain himself. The Portuguese opposed this and they signed a treaty. It was decided that inseam would not build a fort and the Portuguese would not pose him any threat on the seas. Second Burhan Nizam succeeded in building a fort there. Sardar Fattekhan cannoned the walls of Revdanda fort soon. The Portuguese were short of soldiers, and ordered more army. They then attacked the fort by invading the base village. They won the fight and captured Korlai fort. In 1684, Sambhaji Maharaj made an unsuccessful attempt to capture the fort. In 1739, Chimaji appa (From Maratha emperor) made a strong attack on the fort and captured it.

Entrance of Korlia Fort

              You can visit this place to see Lighthouse and Fort. By paying nominal fee, lighthouse engineer explains the functionality of lighthouse, Radar system and how the entire system communicates with the ships and the control room which is in Mumbai. After a quick visit to the lighthouse, we went on fort. Proper stone steps are laid till the top. It takes hardly 15-20 mins to reach on the top. The fort is mainly divided into 6 parts. Top most point is known as Balle killa and there is an old church. If you entered in from the steps on the lighthouse side, then you are in the 5th section. On your left i.e. towards West side, you can see the storehouse for ammunition and place to park ships at that time. Start your trail till Church and then come back to visit last section which is on the western side.

storehouse for ammunition and place to park ships

Shiv Temple

               Entrance door to different section of fort are quite interesting whereas there are 5 bastions on the fort. You can see old cannons placed in bastion facing Revdanda fort. There is small temple of lord Mahadev on fort and church. View of the sea from fort is breathtaking and this is the best place to witness the sun on horizon spreading orange-red color all over the sky.

korlia Beach 

Light House

              After a quick visit to the fort, we came down from western side of fort and left this beautiful, untouched fort. Our journey began and soon we reached to Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary. We had already booked a tent for 4 people. This location is within sanctuary with 4 tents and 1 dormitory. Group of ladies from nearby village serve tasty veg and non-veg meals. Tents have capacity of 12 people. It was 2 PM in the clock and we had our tasty meal. We took a walk inside the forest for around 1 km and then came back for rest. We didn’t see any bird activity as such.

Phansad Forest Map
Phansad Forest Map

Tent at Phansad Forest
Tent at Phansad Forest

            We decided to explore the forest area next day morning. To save time, we booked a bullock cart to drop us at Chikhan Gaan area. There are few points where water is available in ponds through water springs. In local language such place is known as Gaan (गाण). Different points in the forest are Dharna chi Gaan, Sabas Gaan, Phansad Gaan and Chikhal Gaan. Among these Chikhan Gaan is famous point to spot forest birds. This forest consists of more than 160 spices of birds and 17 spices of mammals.

Information board
By 4 PM, We left the Sanctuary and went to our next destination, Kashid beach. Our intention to visit this place was to see the sunset. Due to weekend, the beach was crowded and people from Pune and Mumbai were enjoying watersports. We had a walk towards south of the beach where there were hardly any tourist. Kashid Beach was very clean, white sandy curvy beach. We spent some time on the beach and then witnessed the beautiful sunset. Watching the sun sinking into the sea at the horizon spreading a red tint all over the sky…. my favorite activity on the beach. After sun set we had some snacks on the beach. There were too many food stalls to offer lots of tasty snacks items.

Crowded Kashid beach on weekends

Beach Games

Sunset at Kashid beach

Time to sail back...Sunset at Kashid 

               We left Kashid beach by 7 PM. We had small halt in Nandgaon village to buy water and fish for meal. There are no shops available near Phansad Sanctuary. We ordered veg meal and king fish meal for night. It was very good experience to stay in a tent and close to forest area.

Menu card at Phansad Forest
Menu card at Phansad Forest

Expenses:
  • Car Petrol: INR 2500/- (approx. 35 Lit at average INR 69/lit)
  • Breakfast: INR 310/- for 4 people at Quick bite
  • Car parking at Light house: INR 20/-
  • Entry fee at light house: INR 10/- per person
  • Camera fee at lighthouse: INR 20/- per camera
  • Coconut water at Fort: INR 30/- per coconut
  • Phansad forest entry fee: INR 30/- per person and INR 15/- for child
  • Phansad forest Camera fee: INR 100/- per camera
  • Car Parking chargers: INR 100/-
  • Snacks at Kashid beach: INR 110/- (Maggi-INR20/-, Burji: INR 30/-, Tea-INR 10/-)
  • Small size King fish: INR 80/-
  • Sea food preparation: INR 80/-
  • Veg meal: INR 100/- per person
  • Extra Bed for tent: INR 30/- per person

Day 2: 21st Dec 2014: Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary – Revdanda - Pune:
             We woke by 5.15 AM and were ready for morning trail. The bullock cart came to pick us at 6 AM sharp and we went in the forest. It was pitch dark outside and the ride was a thrilling experience. We decided to visit Chikhal Gaan area to spot birds. This place is also a home of giant squirrel. It is 6km from the tent location. After 45 min of the bullock cart ride, we reached at the spot. We spent around 2 hours in forest exploring birds. Unfortunately we were unable to capture birds in camera but saw birds like Minivet, oriole, Asian paradise, ashy drongo, Rufose Woodpecker, Lesser Golden-backed Woodpecker and many more other birds. We were hearing only the chirping but the overall experience was amazing.

Way to Chikhan Gaan
Way to Chikhan Gaan

Forest routes

Mnivet Bird at Phansad forest
Mnivet Bird at Phansad forest

Goldenback Woodpecker
Goldenback Woodpecker

             When we left Chikhal Gaan, we saw some activity on a tree and when we saw carefully, it saw pair of giant squirrel. Due to dense forest, we were unable to click pictures. We preferred walking 6 km during our return journey. After walk for a km, we arrive at Vulture restro point/ Vulture restaurant point. This is small plateau where you can spot Indian Vulture. Generally forest department collect dead cattle (After examination from veterinary doctor) from nearby village and keep here as food for Indian Vulture. We saw 5-6 Indian Vultures on a tree. Spending some time at Vulture restro point we began with our return trail.

Indian Vulture
Indian Vulture

Watchtower at Phansad
Watchtower at Phansad
              We came to our tent by 1 PM and packed our luggage. We decided to have lunch on the way to Pune along with Revdanda fort. Our Next destination was Revdanda. After crossing the bridge on river kundlika, we entered in Revdanda village. It is a small village famous for Beach and Revdanda beach fort. We placed an order for sea food and veg meal at Mr Kadam’s house which is close to Revdanda fort.

Revdanda Fort was built in year 1528 by Portuguese whereas prior to that, they built a factory in year 1516. Later they built wall for the factory and then construction of fort. In July 1683, the Marathas attempted an attack on Revdanda. The Marathas besieged the fort, but had to withdraw when the Portuguese attacked Fonda. In 1806, the British took over the charge of Revdanda. Angres family conquered the fort in 1817 but the British got the fort back in 1818.
              This beautiful beach fort consist of strong fortification walls holding sea waves, Bastions, Cannon and 7 floored watch tower (Mainly known as Saatkhani i.e. 7 story tower). The circumference of the fort is around 5 km. The fortification wall surrounds the entire village. Most of land inside fort is private property of villagers hence it became difficult to explore entire fort. Near the watch tower, you can see 4-5 cannons. On right side of tower, you can see the grave of Portuguese queen. It has a symbol of Portuguese emperor which can be seen easily. After exploring fort area, we went on the beach.

Revdanda Beach fort
Revdanda Beach fort

Saathkhani watch tower
Saathkhani watch tower

Revdanda beach
Revdanda beach

Birds on Revdanda beach
Birds on Revdanda beach

Greater Flamingo at Revdanda
Greater Flamingo at Revdanda

            We spent more than hour on the beach. This beach is also famous of migratory birds like Sea gulls and Greater Flamingos. After beach visit, we had tasty lunch at Kadam’s house. It was 4 PM in clock and we began with our return journey. For return journey, we preferred Khopoli – Expressway road and reached Pune safely by 9.30 PM.

Seagulls at beach
Seagulls at beach

Expense:
  • Bullock cart ride for 12km (6km till Chikhal Gaan and 6km return) : INR 500/-
  • Breakfast: INR 25/- per person and coffee: INR 15/-
  • Tent chargers: INR 500/- for tent per night
  • Lunch at Revdanda: INR 200/- for King fish meal and INR 120/- for veg meal
  • Toll at Alibag MIDC: INR 20/- One way
  • Toll at Express way: INR 146/- One way

Contact details:
  • Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary Mumbai office: 022-25402522.
  • Nilam – Forest officer at Phansad: 9221996284. (It may happen that posting of Nilam will change after few years so contact Mumbai office)
  • Mahila Bachat Gat for meal: 9225566024.
  • Madhukar Naik, Bullock cart owner: 9273682692.
  • Kadam family at Revdanda for meal arrangement: 9209218382.

Other Travel blog on Konkan:

Thanks for reading this Travel Blog. Happy traveling.

Pritesh Kulkarni
Pune

23 comments:

  1. Hi, I am referring your blog for the second trip. Thanks for informative writing !!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much....
      Happy traveling

      Delete
  2. planning to make the trip this october. May i know how did you do the booking for tents in the sanctuary? Do i need to pay online or only at the booking office which is based in thane according to my R&D.

    Is the sanctuary visit worth? BTW, I am a big fan of Nature and outdoors. I am planning to be there with my wife and 2 year old son.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Siddharth... yes its worth to visit forest if you like forest travelling and fan of nature. to book tents, just called on mentioned numbers and book tents by sharing your contact details. no on-line system. you have to pay them at forest office. no need to visit Thane.
      Pritesh

      Delete
  3. and thanks for the photos. They are awesome? just one more quick question. which camera did you use to capture those birds??

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks..I use Canon 600D with multiple lens. for birding, I use Canon 400mm
      Pritesh

      Delete
  4. Loved your blog post while searching for information on Phansad bird sanctuary. Thank you for your effort. Would love to meet you someday in some jungle or on the road.
    I have a blog on photography mainly, which you may like. www.photo-camera-life.blogspot.in I have some long journey travelogues in there too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much....Your photoblogs are beautiful.
      Happy traveling

      Delete
  5. Thanks for the informative post :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much....
      Happy traveling

      Delete
  6. Hello. Was hoping to know if the santucary guards allow vehicles within the space to explore it? Can the sanctuary be explored in a car is what I mean to ask.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can explore forest on foot or by Bullock cart. Private Cars are not allowed.

      Delete
  7. Hello Pritesh,
    your blog is wonderful and so as your travel journey too. I am planning to visit the Sanctuary as well as other places nearby in December. The only question i am concerned about is of security. Is it safe to travel all way along with you family?

    Thanks for the blog
    Regards,
    Pranit

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Pranit,

      Stay and travelling in Forest is completely safe with Family. enjoy your stay!

      Delete
  8. very nice detailed blog, we are planing to visit it in December.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi brother, I have few questions. Please ans


    1) How far is Phansad Wildlife sanctuary from Alibag?
    2) Is it same as Sanjay gandhi National Park or Karnala?
    3) How much time it is required to explore the Phansad wildlife sanctuary?
    4) How to explore the sanctuary? I mean by bike is it permitted?
    5) Are there any local buses from Alibag?
    6) What about stay? Can you tell me in advance?

    I will appreciate if you can share your contact information.

    Regards,
    Sameer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. Alibag to Phansad distance is 40km
      2. Phansad is different than Sanjay Gandhi/Karnala park
      3. One day required to explore entire forest
      4. Bike is not allowed. you can explore by walk or bull cart
      5. Yes, Public bus is available. Check timing at Swargate bus stand, Pune
      6. You can contact on number which i have shared on this Blog. Need advance booking. Alternate option is to stay near Kashid beach which is around 12-14km away.

      Regards,
      Pritesh Kulkarni

      Delete
  10. Where to park car safely at korlai fort and for visiting Alibag beach.
    Vishal

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is enough space at the base of fort. Its safe to park car. For Alibag, There is large paid and free parking lot available close to beach.

      Delete
  11. I couldnt find the entry to the santuary on google.. Where do we park the car to go in? Would you have any details on that?
    Is there any specific time when they allow visitors in?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Entry fee chargers are mentioned in Blog... For your ref, posting again in comment
      Phansad forest entry fee: INR 30/- per person and INR 15/- for child
      Phansad forest Camera fee: INR 100/- per camera
      Car Parking chargers: INR 100/-

      There is enough space for parking outside forest. You can explore forest on foot or by bullock cart.

      Pritesh Kulkarni

      Delete
  12. Thanks for an informative blog post Pritesh. We are planning a family trip to Revdanda and would like to stay at Revdanda near the beach. Can you please suggest us a good homestay? We want a simple but neat and clean place as we are​ planning to travel with a small kid.

    Regards,
    Anil

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello Pritesh,
    Lovely pics. Thank you for the detailed description and itinerary of the place. will definitely visit the place. You can read my travelogue on vkarande.com

    Regards
    Vandana

    ReplyDelete