Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary of Khed talukas is the best weekend getaway near Pune and Mumbai, also the natural habitat of the Indian Giant Squirrel or Malabar giant squirrel. The hill roads, diverse flora, sparkling waterfalls and green forest offers best monsoon photography along with unique birds and nature.
Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary is recognized as one of the biodiversity hotspots in India and home to the state animal of Maharashtra.
Area – 131 km2 (51 sq mi)
Range – Sahyadri Ranges
Established in – 1984
Location – Ambegaon and Khed Talukas
The distance of Bhimashankar from Pune is about 110 km via NH60 and MH SH 54.
One route to Bhimashankar from Pune is via Manchar.
Second route to Bhimashankar from Pune is from Rajgurunagar (alias Khed).
Private cabs travel to Bhimashankar from Pune to Khed (Rajguru Nagar) to Manchar to Taaleghar and Bhimashankar.
Distance from Mumbai to Bhimashankar Wildlife Reserve: 94 km
Distance from Pune to Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary: 138 km
Distance from Nashik to Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary: 155 km
By Air – Pune is the nearest airport to Bhimashankar.
By Rail – The nearest railway station to Bhimashankar is the Pune Railway Station.
Bhimashankar Temple is dedicated to one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva and also the place is source of the Bhima river.
Indian Giant Squirrel (Ratufa indica) is the largest species of tree squirrel, endemic to evergreen forests of peninsular India.
The best time to visit Bhimashankar is between October and February.
Monsoons offers the best of Bhimashankar, waterfalls, lush green hills and trekking.
The sanctuary remains open all the times for tourists but people does not allow to enter sanctuary after 7 PM.
The only fees required to enter into the sanctuary is vehicle charges plus number of person.
Two wheeler: 20/- per person
Four wheeler: 50/- per person
Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary is home to Indian Giant Squirrel, carnivores wild animals like Leopard, Jackal, Hyaena and Indian Pangolin.
The sanctuary is also an important bird area, like Black Eagle, Spotted Eagle, Small Sunbird and Malabar Grey Hornbill.
Bhimashankar is also home to list of Sacred groves of India.
There are list of good hotels and resorts near Bhimashankar that offer vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisines.
Blue Mormon Jungle Holiday Resort
Bhimashankar is a must visit monsoon place near Pune and known for list of near by tourist places and attractions such as Hanuman Lake and Chaskaman Dam.
Gupt Bhimashankar Temple
Lenyadri host one of the Ashtavinayak temple dedicated to the god Ganesha, located about 5km north of Junnar. Bhimashankar is located around 38 KM away from Junnar.