Koyna Nagar remains a hidden jewel in the Sahyadri’s crown. It is synonymous with the Koyna river and the Koyna dam which is the largest hydroelectric project in Maharashtra. The Koyna river eventually merges into the Krishna, which is one of the three largest rivers in southern India.
Not many people have yet discovered the peace and quiet of the Koyna forest reserve. Its entire 422 sq. kilometer expanse is a trekker’s delight. There is a wide variety of trees and medicinal plants to be found here. This belt of Maharsahtra is part of the Western Ghats which have been declared one of the top ‘bio-diversity hot spots’ by the UN. There are forts, backwater, lakes and a secluded picnic spot at Tapola which is often referred to as ‘mini Kashmir’ because of the panoramic views which it provides.
STD Code: 02372
Climate: Koyna Nagar is nestled in the Western Ghats and hence has a tolerable climate for most of the year. However, one can enjoy nature at her best from June to October. Cottons are the recommendation attire. Don’t forget to pack a strong pair of trekking shoes.
Getting There & Away: How to reach Koyna Nagar
Road: Koyna Nagar to Kolhapur is 150 Km (approx) and Koyna Nagar to Chiplun is 38 Km (approx). State transport buses ply from Karad to Chiplun and halt at Koyna Nagar.
Rail: Nearest railway stations are Chiplun and Karad.
Air: The nearest airports are Kolhapur, 151 Km and Pune, 200 Km.
Tourist Attractions in Koyna Nagar
Ram Mandir - Chaphal: Situated just 35 km away from Satara and 15 km away from Umbaj (Pune – Bangalore highway), Chaphal invites you to experience the beautiful temple built by Samarth Ramdas Swami, reflecting his architecture ingenuity. Unlike other idols, the idol of Lord Ram here has a lotus in both his hands replacing the ‘usual’ bow, which is common in other representations. KUBDI TEERTH, a place close to Chaphal, unfolds a story where Sant Ramdas performed a miracle of originating a stream by thrusting his wooden kubdi (a y-shaped sacred implement) under a nearby stone. This miraculous stream flows even today, despite scorching summers and is a boon to pilgrims.
Chalkewadi: This place is close to Satara and is on the international map of renewable energy resources for its windmills which are a pretty sight across the plateau. These 100 windmills do not just add to the visual splendor around the horizon of the nearby hills but have also generated as astonishing 1507 million units of power giving Maharashtra a place in the world of environment friendly technology.
Koyna Forest Reserve: Pointed as Wildlife Sanctuary in 1985 and declared as World Heritage Site in the year 2012 by UNESCO, Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Satara district of of Maharashtra. Centered in the Western Ghats. this dense green forest reserve is covering an area of around 423.55 Sq Km and is plentiful water flow (rivers like Kandati, Koyna and Solashi) and enriched vegetation, proving to be a prosperous environment for animals to survive in.
Wide variety of mammals like Bengal Tigers, Indian Leopards, Indian Bison, Sloth Bears, Sambar Deer, Barking deer and Indian Giant Squirrels, many species of birds like woodpeckers, Asian fairy blur bird, long tailed nightjar and among reptiles, Indian python and King Cobras are found here. An endemic frog Bufo koyanansis has its only habitat in this protected area.
October to March is best time to visit because of moderate temperature and stable climatic conditions. To avoid crowd, one can opt monsoon season as well.
The jungles of Koyna are so thickly wooded, that you would rarely see any sunlight filtering through. The Koyna reserve has three sections: Vaosta, Maharkhor and Indavli Met. All the major forest of Indavli, Kusavli, Sindhi, Bavla and Morvi Valley has been included in this park. The lake supports a large variety of animal life. Tigers, Leopards, Bears, Bison, Wild Cats, Wild Boars, Saayal, Heynas, Monkeys, Hares and many small species of wildlife.
Sajjangad: Samartha Ramdas Swami, an ardent devotee of Lord Ram and spiritual guru of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj stayed here with his disciples and preached the Rashtra Dharma (duty towards nation). The place is 55 km from Koyna nagar.
Vasota Fort: This fort lies deep in the forest of the Koyna at a height of about 3840 feet above mean sea level. The fort is covered by thick forests and a number of water bodies. Its history dates back to Raja Bhoj in 1170, when Raja Bhoj of Kolhapur’s Shilahar dynasty constructed it. This fort was captured by Chhatrapati Shivaji in 1665. During the Peshwa rule, the fort was used to imprison British soldiers.
Jungli Jaigad: This is a small and little known fort near the Koyna dam. It is situated in the thick forests with abundant wild life. From Mumbai one have to proceed to Karad by rail or by bus. Take the morning bus from Karad to Chiplun and alight at Koyna Nagar. Then head to Navja (11 km). From Navja walk northwest to a rain gauge which is about 15 m long and 1 m wide. There is a large crack due to the earthquake. This is the entrance to the fort. The Kumbharli ghat joins Chiplun to Helwak and Karad by a motor able road.
South of Jungli Jaigad and the Koyna dam lies the most unknown and dense forests in the range. Immediately after the Karad- Helwak-Kumbharli ghat-Chiplun road, lays Bhairongad. Going further south, it goes all along through some of the thickest wild life areas. The track goes from Helwak to Bhairongad 12 Km, Patharpunj 5 Km- Rundiv 13 Km, on a kuchha road along the ghat to Chandel 15 km – Ghote 12 Km – Udgir 15 Km to Lavala 16 Km. Lavala is on the Kolhapur-Kalkapur-Ambe ghat-Sakharpa Rd. South of the road is the Panhala – Vishalgad range.
The southernmost motor able road is Phonda ghat, south of this range. It is a relatively unknown and un-spoilt area, ideal for adventure trekkers.