(Last Updated on : 11/06/2014)
Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Roha and Murud talukas in Raigad district of the Indian state Maharashtra
. It was declared as a wildlife sanctuary by the Government on 25th February 1986 in order to preserve the coastal woodland ecosystem belonging to the Western Ghats
. In 1994 it was handed over to Wildlife Division of Thane for wild life management and protection. Spanning over an area of 6979 hectare, it mainly comprises wetlands, grasslands and forests. Previously the place served as the hunting reserves for Siddi Nawabs of the princely state of Murud-Janjira
. The roads and water bodies in the forest were constructed by these Nawabs. The sanctuary is a paradise for nature lovers having one of the densest populations of wildlife. In addition to a vast variety of fauna, the place is famed especially for a fascinating array of birds, both native and migratory.
Geography of Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary
Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary mainly hosts four trails including Phansadgaan, Chikhalgaan, Gunyacha Maal and one along the waterholes. The place has a typical climate with regular and abundant rainfall during monsoon. Following the summer season, south west monsoon can be experienced from June to September. Average rainfall in the sanctuary has been recorded to be 2500 to 2600 mm whereas the temperature varies from 32 to 18 degree Celsius. The humidity of the region is 90 percent. Laterite soil
is common here whereas the terrain is hilly. The sanctuary hosts 23 water holes called as 'gan' in local language.
Flora of Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary
The sanctuary provides a spellbinding view of wildlife and natural beauty. Throughout the sanctuary pockets of open grassland, also known as 'mals
', can be found. It is the abode of more than 720 species of flora.
It is mostly covered with coastal woodland ecosystem of the Western Ghats. Flora of the forest includes Ficus, Mango
, Jamba, Hirda, Teak
, Kinjal, Ain etc. Riparian fringing forests, southern moist mixed deciduous forests and southern moist bearing forests cover the sanctuary mainly.
Fauna of Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary
Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary shelters 279 species of fauna including butterflies
, snakes and mammals. Common fauna which can be spotted here are Hyenas, Wild Boar
, Panther, Barking Deer
, Sambars and many more. One of the major attractions of the sanctuary is the Giant Indian Squirrel
are also the common residents of the sanctuary. More than 150 species of winged residents can be spotted here such as Green Billed Malkoha, Plum-Headed Parakeet, Yellow Footed Green Pigeon, Asian Paradise Flycatcher
, Malabar Piped Hornbill and many more. Between the period of November and January, a number of migratory birds visit the sanctuary. About 31 species of snakes also dwell in Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary including Indian Rock Python, Indian Rat Snake and Russell's Viper etc.
Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary is situated at a distance of 140 kilometres from Mumbai
. The sanctuary is not visited much frequently and thus still has virgin biodiversity and natural beauty. The place is a paradise for photographers
and nature lovers. Bird watching and trekking
can also be greatly cherished here. Roha, situated 30 kilometres away, is the nearest railhead. Bus services can also be availed from Roha. Mumbai serves as the nearest airport whereas Alibaug
, 50 kilometres away, is the nearest bus stand.