Visit Radhanagari wildlife sanctuary (Dajipur forest)
Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary also called as Dajipur Wildlife Sanctuary is near 50 km from Kolhapur. This wildlife sanctuary is declared as natural World Heritage Site of category ix and x since 2012 in Maharashtra state, India. It lies at the southern end of the Sahyadri hills in the Western Ghats. It is notable as the first declared wildlife sanctuary in Maharashtra, notified in 1958, as Dajipur Wildlife Sanctuary and is popularly known as the “Bison Sanctuary.
If you really like to spend time away from the hustle of cities and in nature, trees and river then this is the best place near Kolhapur and very economical to stay as well.
You can also visit Radhanagri Dam which was built by Shri Shahu Maharaj in the year 1907. I did not know that this was the first dam built in India.
Dajipur Jungle Sanctuary is amongst the first wildlife sanctuaries of Maharashtra. Established in 1958, the sanctuary has various wild animals, apart from the Indian bison.
This is a natural World Heritage Site notified by UNESCO as Sahyadri sub-cluster of Western Ghats. There are five rivers following through sanctuary area are Bhogavati River, Dudhganga River, Tulshi River, Kallamma River and Dirba River and they join Krishna River.
Dajipur Bison Sanctuary, one of the forest reserves, situated on the border of the Kolhapur and the Sindhudurg District. The sanctuary is surrounded by dense as well as thick forests. The sanctuary is home to various small mammals, reptiles and wild animals such as the Indian bison, deer, monkeys, wild boars, bears, and chitals. The sanctuary also has a watchtower near the Manora watering hole.
Even various different varieties of species and birds are observed in this Dajipur Wildlife Sanctuary. Dajipur jungle safari jeeps are available.
Safari to the wildlife sanctuary
21 km into the thick forest takes you to the heart of the sanctuary where a sighting of the bison, wild deer, chital, bison and the barking deer is quite common.
Dajipur wildlife sanctuary visiting timings
The best time to visit Dajipur wildlife sanctuary is February, March, September, October, November, December. There are 6 tourist places in Dajipur, which can be explored by tourist. Local attractions can be visited at any time of the day, be it early morning, afternoon, evening or night, as suitable for travelers. Sightseeing in Dajipur can be done by travelers, which will take half a day or one day, but to see all sightseeing places, travelers need to stay in Dajipur for 2 days to 3 days.
Tourist can also visit Dajipur to learn about places to visit, browse through photos & pictures, explore Dajipur using a map and read sightseeing reviews. Recently reviewed tourist attractions in Dajipur, which are great places to visit. Dajipur can be visited in summer, monsoon or winter.
How to reach Dajipur forest
The nearest railway station is at 50 km in Kolhapur.
For stay, there is a forest rest house, dak bungalow, and a dormitory managed by the Deputy Conservator of Forests – Wildlife, Bindu Chowk, Ganji Galli, Kolhapur. 416 002 India ( 91-231-2542766). (these are old numbers)
There are two rest houses for the visitors.
One at Dajipur and the other on the top of a hill. The entry passes are issued from 7 am to 2:30 pm. However, the entry inside the sanctuary is allowed from Sunrise to sunset. The private cars/jeeps are permitted inside the sanctuary. The roads are narrow and made by water bound macadam (WBM), so they are closed in a rainy season. The vehicles are permitted up to the Shivrai sada, which is a large open ground with a water pond in the center. The wild animals visit the pond for water during sunrise and sunset.
Visit Radhanagari Dam
One of the scenic beauties with surrounding lush green forest is Radhanagari Dam.
This dam was one of the Engineering beauties in the year 1907 constructed by visionary Shri Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj on a Bhogawati river near Radhanagari in Maharashtra. This is the first ever built dam in India.
The Dam was constructed in the year 18 February 1907. Dam is being used for irrigation as well as hydro-electricity power generation. Dam is located amidst scenic surrounding in the backdrop of thick forest cover. I was bit delighted to read how our earlier Indians were visionary and thought about future generations at the time where there were no technological advancements.
The math of Swami Gagangiri Maharaj
The math of Swami Gagangiri Maharaj is the holy abode of Gagangiri Maharaj, a yogi, renowned for his vision and miraculous powers. Located in the center of dense forests and top of the mountain surrounded by thick green vegetation near Dajipur and the math is frequented by visitors and pilgrims.
You can go by drive until the foothill of the mountain and further you can climb some around 200 steps to reach the math. After the “Arti”, at 1 p.m.there is prasad (simple food) every day.
As the math is located in the forest there are no any other facilities ( don’t know about current situation) . The view is very scenic from top of the mountain and it is worth to visit. The road to Gaganbawda is good with fields on both the sides. There are a lot of monkeys around so need to be careful with belongings.
Visit Phonda Ghat
Every monsoon lots of people visit Phonda ghat especially to take a view of valleys and small waterfalls and a majestic view of the Konkan. The walk through the ghats is quite an exciting option with beautiful views of the valley and sparkling waterfalls and streams.
From the Dajipur Sanctuary, walk towards Gagangiri Maharaj Ashram. Behind the Ashram, a route towards the top of the Fort can be seen. An easy walk will lead you to the top of the fort. As the path goes through the thick forest, it is advisable to take local guide before trekking to Shivgad fort and not advisable to go without knowing.
Shivgad fort is located at Ghonsari village in Phondagat area in Maharashtra. This fort is a popular spot among the adventures, mountaineers, and trekkers.
In order to reach the fort, one has to travel through the Dajipur forest. The Shivgad fort was built by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, is partly in ruins but even now retains its grandeur.
How to reach Shivgad fort
Shivgad Fort is a fort located 89km from Kolhapur, in Kolhapur district, of Maharashtra. This fort was an important fort in Kolhapur district as a watch over for the Phonda ghat trade route from Kolhapur to coastal ports. The fort is surrounded by thick forest and hill slopes.
The nearest town is Radhanagari which is 61km from Kolhapur. The base village of the fort is Dajipur which is 32km from Radhanagari. The fort can also trek from base village Gadgesakhal which is below Phondaghat. It takes about 2 hours to reach from this village. There are good hotels at Radhanagari, now tea and snacks are also available in small hotels at Dajipur and forest check post at Thakyachapada. The trekking path starts from the hillock west of the forest check post. The route is very safe and passes through dense jungle.
It takes about an hour to reach the entrance gate of the fort. There is no water on the fort so, the night stay on the fort cannot be made. The villagers from the forest check post make night stay and food arrangements at a reasonable cost.