Sinhagad Valley birding

Asian Paradise Flycatcher – Female

It is every photographers dream to capture this beauty in their camera at least once. This dream can be fulfilled only in Sinhagad Valley. If you are still struggling with the name of this beauty then let me elaborate, it is Asian Paradise Flycatcher. This bird is so beautiful that the shutterbugs cannot resist the urge to click the photograph. Watching Asian Paradise Flycatcher playing in water is treat to the eyes. This bird is called “Swargiya Nartak” in Marathi. That means heavenly dancer. It is really amazing experience to watch this beauty fly in and out of water body with long beautiful tail and bright colours. This amazing thing can be experienced in Sinhagad Valley.

Sinhagad Valley is amazing place for Bird watching and bird photography. It is famous for variety of Flycatchers . These tiny little colourful birds are very beautiful and active during early morning time. Since these birds are hyper active, they are difficult to photograph But in Sinhagad valley it is made easy by creating perfect spots / Perches to capture this beauty.

Asian Paradise Flycatcher Male

I have visited this place in Jan 2019 and once again in Feb 2020. We were lucky to see the pair of Paradise Flycatcher but could not capture the image first time but clicked lots of Flycatcher variety. In my second visit in Feb 2020 I could capture this beauty very well.

You can easily reach this place once you reach Sinhagad fort base. There is village called Atkarwadi where you will see fork shape road. One road to right goes up the fort and to the left it goes to Sinhagad valley.

This place is regular for many migratory birds. We spotted Red whiskered bulbul and many varieties of flycatcher and other local birds like spotted dove and red vented bulbul etc.

Oriental Magpie Robbin

Black Naped Monarch OR Black Naped blue Flycatcher

Tickels blue Flycatcher

Above images are Oriental Magpie Robbin and Black Naped Monarch or Black Naped Blue Flycatcher. These are tiny but amazingly colourful birds.

In the above images you can see the perch created for the birds and the photography enthusiasts waiting for the birds.

You can see various moods of Asian Paradise Flycatcher female in the collage below. In one picture she is sharing perch with Oriental White Eye.

You can also walk around after the bird watching/ Photograpgy to see the paddy fields in the valley. Nice view of Sinhagad fort can be seen through valley. Below pics show the fields around the valley. You can also click other common grassland birds around these fields.

Following is the list of birds sighted in Sinhagad Valley.

Best time to visit this place is post monsoon. Normally the migratory birds arrive here during Dec – Mar in the year. If you are planning to visit this place on Saturday / Sunday or any public holiday, please park your vehicle outside the entry lane. You may have to walk little bit but you will be able to save yourself from the traffic jam. Normally it is expected that you reach this place by 6.30 am in the morning so that you can watch or photograph the birds.

Happy clicking.

Naneghat trek – Amazing monsoon experience

The day I heard about Naneghat, I decided to visit this place but twice it got postponed due to heavy rains. This time I was firm on my plan in spite of warning from IMD for very heavy rains in the ghat sections near Pune. So finally as per plan we left Pune on Saturday early morning That is 3rd Aug 2019. left my house for Naneghat. We had planned two days trek, so that we can also visit Darya ghat. Night stay was planned close to Naneghat in a resort called Naneghat valley heritage resort. We were group of 8 friends. We took two vehicles and drove to Naneghat.

Reaching Naneghat fromPune –> Pune — Narayangaon — Junnar — Naneghat. First you have to reach Junnar which is 90 kms from Pune and then from Junnar you have to drive towards Naneghat for 16 kms. Road till Junnar is good but onward it is not in good condition. Junnar taluka receives heavy rains during monsoon every year. Hence it is advisable to check the weather forecast before you leave, since during rains it is covered with dense fog and the visibility is very poor. In such situation it is difficult to enjoy the scenic beauty of this place.

Once you reach Junnar, you can see Shivneri fort and then Chavand fort and Jeevdhan fort can be seen on the way further. Complete travel till Naneghat is through the forest and you can enjoy the water flowing down from the forts and hills. It is mesmerizing to see combination of lush green hills with water flowing on the rocks.


Shivneri Fort

Across the road from Junnar to Naneghat you will see all the paddy fields and the farmers planting the rice plants. It’s a awesome view to see paddy fields full of muddy water and farmers wearing colourful raincoats planting the rice saplings and on the backdrop is the beautiful view of water streams rushing down from mountains.



We had booked Naneghat Valley heritage Resort which is very close to Naneghat.It is a good place to stay and even the food quality is better. It is preferable to book the resort in advance so that they can make better arrangements.


On the way to Naneghat each car is checked by forest guards. It is not permitted to carry Alcohol with you.

History of Naneghat

Naneghat is a mountain pass in the western Ghat range near Junnar in Pune district of Maharashtra, India. During the reign of Satavahana ( 200 BCE-190 CE ), the pass was extensively used as a trade route between Kalyan and Junnar. Literally the name Nane means “Coins” and ghat means “Pass”. The name is given because this path was used as a tollbooth to collect toll from traders crossing the hills. ( Source : Wikipedia ) Even today the large pot called “Ranjan” is seen there which was used to store coins collected as toll.

You can see the cave with proper doors which waas used as Toll Office in Satwahan days. View of Konkan region looks very beautiful from the caves.

When you reach Naneghat, the vehicle is to be parked at the parking lot. From parking it is approximately 400 meters distance to walk. But this walk is not so simple due to heavy wind flow coming up from the valley. There is a ventury effect created due to level difference of deep valley and narrow opening. This opening is created by breaking the big hill which is called Nanacha Angtha in Marathi. That means Uncles thumb. The hill looks like thumb from one side.


Nanacha Angtha

Highlight of the Naneghat trek is reverse waterfall. You need to walk towards the Jeevdhan fort form Naneghat parking area. It is half an hour walk through the table land. From distance you see water vapours flowing slowly over the Jeevdhan fort and at the backdrop you see Vanarlingi Sulka. It is a mesmerizing view.


Some more pics below show the amount of rainfall in the Naneghat area.


Sinhagad Fort : Must visit in monsoon

If you are looking for a weekend gateway near Pune, Sinhagad fort has to be on top of your list. “Walking in the clouds on the top of the world” is what you experience here.

Sinhagad Fort is well known place for Punites. Hence it is needless to mention how to reach this place. Normally everyone follows the famous route vis Sinhagad Road – Kadakwasla Dam & then onwards to Sinhagad fort. However I follow  a different route which is completely scenic & through jungles.

The route – Drive on Satara Highway for 6 KM from Chandani Chowk –> Then Turn Right towards Khed Shivapur Kondanpur Road –> After 1.7 KM turn right onto Sinhagad Ghat Road  and then you reach Sinhagad Fort parking place. Total distance from house in Kothrud is 36 KM. Once you turn onto Khed – Shivapur – Kondanpur road, you are all the time accompanied by lush green fields, green cladded hills and clouds touching the hill top. Complete Road is full of scenic beauty. Some of the photographs clicked on the way are posted below.

Once you park your vehicle in the parking lot, many hoteliers will chase you for food order. But you get all the items even on the top of the fort. Hence no need to order anything here. Before you start the climb, look for the valley seen from the parking level. Beautiful view of lush green hills is visible. You can click some pictures & then proceed to climb.

Then you start the little climb on to the top of the fort. It is just a walk uphil & not really trekking. There are nice steps to climb. First you encounter Pune Darwaza 1 You can enjoy hot Bhutta or roasted corn here. This is favorite photo stop for all the visitors. If you are visiting on Sunday or on a public holiday then you encounter a traffic jam here like Mount Everest. See the pics below.

Once you reach plateau, you experience the low visibility due to clouds at low level. It is really exciting to walk in the clouds. Here you can spend some time walking across the ends. The end of plateau you see deep valley once again green hills. It’s a treat to eyes to watch different shades of green and yellow. Once again a photo stop here and then you can walk towards the Kalyan Darwaza. The walk is once again through the clouds surrounded by beautiful architecture of the fort.

Once you are back from Kalyan Darwaza and all other places of interest on the fort, you can enjoy delicious Kanda bhaji and Hot Pithala Bhakari. It is amazing experience to enjoy your hot meal sitting in the fog and watching the rain showers.

While returning home you can go via Khadakwasla dam and enjoy the view there.

Historical background of Sinhagad – Sinhagad is a hill fortress located at around 35 km southwest of the city of Pune, India. Some of the information available at this fort suggests that the fort could have been built 2000 years ago. The caves and the carvings in the Kaundinyeshwar temple stand as proofs for the same. Wikipedia.

Morachi Chincholi


About Morachi Chincholi

Monsoon brings with itself a plethora of experiences and opens new horizons for a traveller and nature enthusiast. This isn’t surprising as it implies to all the creatures in nature as well. This is the season of procreation and reproduction for variety of different species from insects to birds. Monsoon gives rebirth to the components of ecosystem, that have been flushed out by harsh and dry summers. It’s the time for new green shoots of grass which covers entire landscapes and mountains with their lush green colour and texture. This description of monsoon is incomplete without a hot, spicy meal in the laps of nature. We can actually hear the variety of birds chirp around you and see the peacock dancing, fanning out the feathers, displaying the magnificent plumage to attract peahens. It suddenly starts to rain and as a spectator, I am enthralled to witness this epic display of nature.

This all can be actually experienced at “Morachi Chincholi”  Very popular picnic spot for nature lovers & shutterbugs. The place has lots of Tamarind Trees & lots of peacocks hence it is called as “Morachi Chincholi”  in Marathi.


How to reach

It is around 50 KM from Pune. There are two routes to reach this place.

If you are starting from Bhosari, Aundh, Nashik phata, Khadki or Chinchwad it is  around 40KMs drive.

a) Drive on Pune-Nasik highway (NH50) up to Rajgurunagar ( Khed ).  Turn right from Rajgurunagar towards Khed – Shikrapur. Drive straight towards –> Kanhesar –> Pabal –> Morachi Chincholi.

There are also other routes to reach Morachi via Alandi or via Shikrapur.


Indian Peafowl : Green Peafowl / White Peafowl

Binomial name is Pavo Cristatus. Peacocks are omnivores. They eat termites, ticks, plant parts, locusts, ants, mice, scorpions, flower petals, seed heads, and other reptiles, arthropods and amphibians. Peacocks are quite sociable birds. Peacocks can fly for short distances. A wingspan of peacock can be of six feet. A young peacock is called a peachick. Peacocks’ lifespan is up to 20 years.

The males use their sparkling tail display, containing large, small feathers, in their manly maneuver for the best mate. The train of feathers is supported by smaller, shorter tail feathers. These colorful tail feathers do not develop till the peacock is three years old, and the trains are shed yearly, usually during the winter months. Males make loud weeping cries, when detects any risk approaching.

Their sparkling tail gets shed in winter, so one can see all the peacocks without feather till February. It start developing after that & completes in rainy season when peacock marches to have a mate.

When a peacock feels like to have a mate, he will show his train and march by the nearest female [peahen], puffing out his chest and shaking his tail feathers. During mating period, the peafowl are also very vocal, making “minh-ao” cries that can sound like a kitten. Mating season coincides with the monsoon season.


Resorts in Morachi Chincholi

Once you reach Morachi Chincholi, you will be able to see lots of Agro Tourism resorts like Mayur Baug,  Mauli Krushi Paryatan, Jai Malhar Krushi Paryatan etc.

Overall this place is serene village life experience very close to urban city.

The resorts here are nice place to visit for a day with family and friends. There are many games and shows for both kids and grown up people. Food is nice with all the Maharashtrian dishes. Off course the Peacock is main attraction.

Best Time to visit is June to September. You will be able to see Peacocks with complete grown up colourful feathers as seen in above picture. All the resorts have tractor ride as a part of their package & this ride takes you to nearby places in the surrounding fields & houses. You will see lots of Peacocks & Peahens.  I got a chance to click one Peacock in flight. It was heavenly experience to watch.


We have stayed in Mauli Krushi Paryatan Kendra, it is MTDC approved Agro Tourism Resort and we were satisfied with the arrangements. Below are some pics from the resort.

Mauli Krushi Paryatan Kendra ; Contact Nos. 07507602271 & 7020652790. It is advisable that you book the resort in advance so that better preparations can be made.


Apart from dancing peafowls, you can also see lots of beautiful birds. This place has huge tamarind trees & mango trees. We could spot Oriental White Eye, Red Vented Bulbul, Indian Robbin, Brahminy Starling and Golden Oriole and White Breasted Kingfisher. You can see some the bird pics below.


Brahminy Starling & Indian Robbin

Oriental White Eye enjoying semi ripe mangoes direct from the tree.


Overall it is refreshing & energizing experience.