Saturday was family time and so wrapped up all our daily chores and headed out by 9.15 am to go to a fort called Sinhagad. Just as we were about to reach the highway to take the detour to Sinhagad, we changed our mind due to some thoughts and decided to go to Bhigwan.
Bhigwan is a small dusty town on the border of Pune and Solapur district in Central Maharashtra, in India. It is located on the Pune-Solapur Highway around 105 km from Pune on the backwaters of Ujani dam. It is also home to some of the exotic migratory birds like Flamingos, Seagulls, Painted Storks, Grey Herron and more, during the months of December to March.
Very few of us know of this place and is a great surprise for many who have lived all their lives in Pune or Maharashtra that such a place exists.
The road from Pune to Bhigwan on the Solapur Highway is great and is a smooth ride. It takes about 1.30 minutes to reach the Kranti Flamingo Point. The only discomfort could be the last stretch of about 5 kms which is through a village, has narrow roads and is bumy.
We reach the flamingo point at 11am and went and parked near the main area. Don’t get hoaxed and park your cars ahead of the main point. Since there are many people who try to coax you in paying and parking much ahead. As we reached, we sipped some tea from a small café there (which was just too sweet). I recommend you carry your own nick nacks or snacks to much on when you reach. Its best to also carry your own food if possible and have a picnic (best if travelling with family and a group).
We opted for the motor boat ride which costs Rs. 1000/- for a boat which could house about 8 members. As we started the ride, we were so amazed by the size of the water body and kept asking our very responsive boatman several questions. My father in law also learnt a few more words of Marathi through the conversation.
The boatman then stopped at the other end of the bank of the lake and took some dead fish with him. He again started the boat to move to another bank of the lake where he said there were many varieties of birds and we can feed them some fish so we can get a closer look at them.
As we approached the area, he stopped the motor boat and started rowing so that we don’t scare the birds. He started showing us the various birds and telling us a lot about them. It was great to see the kind of knowledge he had on the different species.
But the highlight of our boat ride was the Flamingos which were absolutely stunning with their pink blush surrounding them. The flamingos were about 3.5 feet in height and were so beautiful when we saw them taking a flight up and that too the perfect coordination and symmetry in which they flew.
The sight was a paradise for all photographers and nature lovers. Will never forget this beautiful experience and would highly recommend this place to be visited during the season of the migratory birds.
Although I feel the place could be much developed and maintained by the Maharashtra government. This should be a great plus point for developing tourism in Maharashtra.