Tungareshwar : A Wildlife Sanctuary Near Mumbai

That Mumbai lies at one end of the Western Ghats can be seen from the beautiful hills just outside this large mega-city. Barely 50-55km from Mumbai, after Sanjay Gandhi National Park ends lies the beautiful forest of Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary. Located on the hills, the highest point here is about 660 metres. We had driven down during monsoons, and it was foggy with low lying clouds. But the dense greenery and the local bio-diversity is amazing.

A mountain plateau, Tungareshwar’s abetting the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai means it has a small population of Leopards, Bonnet Macaques, Rusty Spotted Cats, Common Palm Civet, Barking Deer, Langurs and many bird species including Common Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, . Camera traps showed about five resident leopards.

However the park is under tremendous anthropocentric pressure. The Tungareshwar River flowing through it is polluted. Unethical and insensitive local picnic-ers leave tonnes of plastic garbage behind. An ashram inside the forest casts its own pressures. Rampant road widening has resulted in soil erosion.

Despite these pressures, its a beautiful forest. If we can all raise concerns about saving these small forests that we have then maybe some motivation hence a little stricter action would help.

Small Waterfall in Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
A tiny stream becomes a small waterfall in the monsoons. These forests also act as catchment areas for water security. These small streams become our rivers and lakes.
Wildflower in Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
A tiny wildflower.
bead of water on a leaf at Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
Water, more precious than diamond, sits on a fresh leaf.
Wildflower in Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
Beetle on a wildlfower.
Leaf eaten by insects at Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
Note how the leaf is eaten by caterpillars…
Ground Foliage in Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
Vegetation on the forest floor. Monsoons breathe a new life into these forests…
Wildflower in Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
More tiny wildflowers…
Foliage in Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
Looking up at a tree, so beautiful in its spread with lush green leaves.
Moth in Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
A moth basks on a fresh green leaf.
Caterpillar in Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
…and a caterpillar underneath a leaf…
Grasshopper in Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
A Long Horned Grasshopper in Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
Weevil in Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
A Weevil (Episomus lacerta) hugs a leaf…
Parasitic Wasp with Katydid in Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
A Parasitic Wasp carriers a paralysed Katydid (bsh cricket) to its nest, where it’s hatchlings will eat it when they come out from the eggs.
Parasitic Wasp with Katydid in Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
The Parasitic Wasp drags the paralysed Katydid into its den…
Misty driving into Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
Monsoon meant low lying clouds which fogged the trails…
View from Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
View from Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary. Maharashtra is a beautiful state and I hope we don’t lose this beauty to random over development. Scenic beauty is a non-renewable resource.

How to reach Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary: The Sanctuary is located barely 50-55km outside Mumbai on the NH8 highway (towards Ahmedabad) somewhere parallel to Nalasopara. There is an entry to the forest from the highway side, but it is over crowded because of a Shiva Temple there. We went around took a right into Vajreshwari Road, and after crossing Usgaon, took the Tungareshwar Road into the forest. It’s less crowded.

What to do at Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary: Enjoy the nature. Take walks, observe the tiny life all around you, soak in the nature, try and identify trees and shrubs. But do not litter, do not leave garbage behind.

How to prepare? : Carry bottles of water with you. We have aluminium water bottles that are light and reusable as many times as we want. Carry some food with you if you want, but avoid eating inside. Also do not give any food to the birds and animals inside. Wearcomfortable water-resistant shoes with good grip. I would suggest ankle length shoes, full length trousers and shirts (to protect from insect bites and scratches from bushes).

5 thoughts on “Tungareshwar : A Wildlife Sanctuary Near Mumbai”

  1. It is sad how people still didn’t learn how to respect nature and how to care about the environment. I think it is amazing to have places like this near big cities because they represent a chance to get away from our busy urban lives.

  2. Wow! you have taken very amazing photographs, these are all very beautiful and I would like to explore this park. Thanks for letting us know about it.


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