Dajipur

Why To Go

The mountain range of the Western Ghats on the north and the plains of Karnataka to the south and in between lies the densely forested land of Dajipur. Known as the first wildlife sanctuary in the state of Maharashtra, it is named as Dajipur Wildlife Sanctuary in 1958, where the Indian Bison or Gaur is conserved as the primary animal. Covering an area of 351 sq.km,the sanctuary is wrapped with tropical evergreen forest and contains over 400 species of plants such as Anjani, Hirda, Kinjal, Kumbha, Awala, Chandala and many varieties of medicinal plants.

Situated in the Kolhapur district of Maharashtra, it has mountains on its north, plains in the south, and the coast in the west. With an elevation of 1200m above the sea level, Dajipur is known for the various species of animals that abound in its reserve forest. These include Indian leopards, wild boars, sloth bear, dhols, sambar etc. and a wide varieties of birds. You can also spot some endangered species like Malabar pit viperDeccan ground geckoBeddome’s lacertaBombay bush frog and Humayun’s wrinkled frog.

Travel Tips

The best time to visit Dajipur will be between November and June. The temperature during this period is quite moderate, and you are not likely to have too much rain. Also, if you come during this period, you can experience the jungle safari which opens on the 1st of November and continues till June. The sanctuary remains open from 6 AM to 6 PM on all days for safari rides. As this is a wildlife protective zone you must follow some rules. Avoid going to restricted areas; avoid using flashlights while capturing shots of animals. Do not throw garbage within this zone; don’t wear flashy coloured clothes while going to forest; don’t make loud noises. Carry emergency medicines and first aid kit.

Things To Do

If you enjoy spending time in the heart of nature, far away from any mark of human civilization, Dajipur is the place for you. You can have your fill of view without any human interruption disrupting the flow. If you want to take a look at the local fauna, Dajipur Wildlife Sanctuary is quite nearby. The wildlife sanctuary, located at the border of Kolhapur and Sindhudurg districts, is known for its bison population. Other animals that you may find roaming around in the dense forest of the sanctuary include chital, wild deer, gawa, barking deer, mouse deer, wild boar, leopard, Sambhar, giant squirrels, and wild dogs. The sanctuary also abounds with a huge variety of reptiles as well as birds. The avian population includes species like vultures, jungle fowls, quails, eagles, flycatcher, warble, and plover. The charm of Dajipur Wildlife Sanctuary lies in the fact that animals and birds are as much a part of its attraction as the dense growth of trees of different kinds. The forest abounds with a large variety of valuable trees, like, Bhoma, Anjani, Hirda, Awala, Pisa, Ain, Jambul, Kindel, Kumbha, Ambha, Chandala, Umbhar, Jambha, Katak to name just a few. Also found are various types of medicinal plants, like, Kadipatta Ranmiri, Vagati, Tamalpatri, , Dhayati, and Toran. The place is also loved by trekkers. Many trek routes can be explored but you need prior permits and of course, a local guide. And of course, be sure to go for an exciting safari ride to watch the animals in close proximity.

Getting Around

If you are staying at the forest resort, you can get vehicles from there to take you around the sanctuary. You can also hire a private car from any of the local car rental agencies. That actually will be a better option in case you want to explore the surrounding locations as well. Public transportation is quite readily available. Buses leave at regular intervals. So getting around in Dajipur will not be too difficult for you.

How To Reach

FLIGHT

If you prefer to take the aerial route, you need to get off at Kolhapur, which is the nearest airport. From there you can take a cab to cover the 80 km journey. Mumbai is the nearest international airport, which is well connected to all the major airports of India and abroad.

TRAIN

A train journey to Dajipur is also quite pleasant. You can take a train to Kolhapur station from any major stations in the country. After getting off at Kolhapur, you can take a cab to complete the remaining portion of the journey.

ROAD

If you wish to reach Dajipur while enjoying the scenic beauty on the two sides of the road, you can hire a car from any of the local tourist agencies or car rental services and drive there. It is on NH17 and around 470 km from Mumbai. You can also take a bus from Phonda, which is 20 km away from Dajipur. You may also reach Kolhapur and from there travel to Dajipur via state buses.

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Surrounding Attractions

If you are planning a trip to Dajipur, make sure that you visit the Gangagiri Maharaj in Gangawada. It is an ashram which is famous as one of the two ashrams where Gangagiri Maharaj resides. Another must-visit location is the coast of Konkan, the journey being popularly called Konkan Darshan. You can walk on the white sandy beaches of the Arabian Sea, bordered by palm trees on one side and crystal clear seawater on the other. Magraj Pool is also another tourist spot of renown. The pool is known for its beautiful architecture and the majestic peacocks which inhabit the area. The Radhanagar Wildlife Sanctuary is also close at hand. Known for its population of bison and snakes, the sanctuary is also very close to the bauxite mining region. Make a visit to Kolhapur to see some of the splendid archeological buildings. The Mahalakshmi Temple at Kolhapur is another attraction in the nearby area.
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