A tiny bit of untamed wilderness, however small it may be, is such a joy to be in. Mayureshwar Wildlife Sanctuary near Supe (near Pune) is one such place. When ever you feel like a drive out of the city into the lap of nature, Mayureshwar is nearby. And being a grassland area, it has its own charm.
Mayureshwar can be reached from Pune in about 2 hours. It’s barely 67 km away. The drive is nice, on the new Solapur Highway, and you have great places to eat on the way as well. We left at around 6:30 am and took our time. Stopped a couple of times and reached the gate of the snactuary, from where you have to buy an entrance ticket and are allowed to take your car in. The sanctuary itself is extremely small, and once inside, you can walk on the trails. Be careful of snakes.
We were greeted by a bunch of Grey Necked Buntings. After spending some time photographing and observing them we moved deepr into the sanctuary only to catch a glimpse of an Indian Fox chasing an Indian Hare. It was so quick, we could only manage a glimpse. The little commotion made some Chinkara run into our gaze. Following the direction of the Fox, we walked deeper into the grasslands. It was by now deserted, and not an animal in sight. But pkenty of birds. Suddenly the grass moved and we saw in the distance an Indian Grey Wolf. The largest predator of this forest, he was a bit surprised to see us, but gracefully walked away.
With only an area of 5.1 sq km, Mayureshwar is a refuge for many species like the Chinkara (Gazelia bennetti), Indian Grey Wolf (Canis lupus), Hyaena (Hyaena hyaena), Indian Fox (Vulpes bengalensis), Indian Hare (Lepus nigricollis) amongst the mammals. There are also birds like the Yellow Wattled Lapwing (Vanellus malabaricus) amongst others. It’s extremely humbling to see how in so little nature can sprinkle abundance of life form and purpose. We need to ensure these protected regions stay protected and grow for ourselves and our future generations.
When to Visit: Just after monsoons (August) or Winters (November till February) are a good time to visit. Mayureshwar becomes blazing hot in the summers.
Where to stay: Since Mayureshwar Wildlife Sanctuary is close to Pune, the best stay option would be in Pune.