I was planning to visit Mayureshwar Wildlife Sanctuary for a long time since this was the only place near Pune famous for Chinkara deer, finally visited in Nov 2019.
Mayureshwar wildlife sanctuary is located near Jejury in Pune district. Forest here is dry and bush type. This place is famous for Indian Gazelle also called as Chinkara deer in local language. Other animals found here are hyena, Indian grey wolf and Indian fox. It is also home for variety of birds.
How to reach Mayureshwar WLS :
To reach Mayureshwar wildlife sanctuary easy way is Pune – Hadapsar – Drive further on Solapur highway for nearly 60 km. Take a left turn at Kedgaon and drive for 20 km towards Supe village. Look for the Forest office located at right hand once you reach Supe village. Alternatively you can drive to Solapur highway via Hadapsar from Pune and reach Choufula point and then turn right towards Supe village. The road for next 20 km is not so good but you can manage with slow speed.
Once you reach Forest office, you need to buy permit from this office before visiting the sanctuary . Hiring a guide for safari is not compulsory but advisable since the charges are reasonable and you can also help locals to earn their livelihood.
Since I visited this place just after the monsoon, it was all lush green and the water bodies were full. You can the scenic landscaping in below photographs.
You can drive in the forest which is 1.5 Km away from the forest office and this drive through rough road will take you inside the forest. There are two water trenches inside the forest used by animals as drinking water source. I visited these places in the hope for sighting of Chinkaras but did not see any. However on the way we saw many groups of Chinkaras gazing and watching us from a distance. These animals are scared of us and they run far away once they see our vehicles. Hence you have to be very careful and maintain safe distance so that you can click beautiful photos using Telephoto lenses.
There is muddy and rough road inside the forest with huge grassland and some areas with shrubs, very good area for Chinkaras and other grassland birds. Following pictures show the inside view of the forest.
We spent almost 3 hrs in the forest. There are no restrictions and you can move around freely. We could see group of Chinkaras gazing openly watching us cautiously. Apart from the mammals mentioned above you can see variety of grassland birds in this forest. Commonly seen birds are Grey necked Bunting, Grey Wagtail, Yellow wagtail, common Hoopoe, common Kestrel, Small Minivet, Asian Koel, Scaly breasted Munia, Long tailed. Shrike, Red breasted flycatcher, White throated kingfisher, Laughing dove, black Drongo and Yellow wattled Lapwing.
If you are visiting for the first time please take guide from the forest office. You will get to know the geography of the forest. The upkeep of the forest in not well maintained in terms of facilities but good place to spend half a day.
Happy wandering and exploring.