Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary & The Jyotirlinga temple called Bhimashankar temple
Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary mainly to protect Indian Giant flying Squirrels, the state animal of Maharashtra, in Pune District, Maharashtra state, India.
Bhimashankar forests of the wildlife sanctuary is spread over an area of 131 square kilometers and is part of the Western Ghats, a UNESCO world heritage site. The wildlife sanctuary has 14 sacred groves or Devrais which are known for its gene pools. There are hills, waterfalls, forests, etc, in the wildlife sanctuary. The sanctuary has the ancient Bhimashankar temple.
Indian giant flying squirrel is a Critically threatened or Vulnerable rodent Species. They are found in to India, Sri Lanka, China, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Taiwan and Thailand.
Chas Kaman Dam across the Bhima river is one of the picturesque dams in India. Backwaters around the dam is ideal for your monsoon retreat.
Innumerable forts like Kothaligad, Shivneri, Siddhagad, Padargad, etc, which lies around Bhimashankar wildlife sanctuary,which are ideal for trekking. Malshej ghat is known for its scenic beauty. Junnar caves are another historic place worth visiting.
There is also the famous jyotirlinga temple here, believed to be originally built in 12th century CE.
How Do I Go to Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary?
Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary is at a distance of 130 kilometers from Pune, the nearest city with railway station and International airport.