Bhigwan, a town on the border of the Pune, Ahmednagar, and Solapur districts of Maharashtra state in India, is a bird watcher’s paradise. Bhigwan is a famous visiting place for numerous migratory birds, especially flamingos. This makes this place a must-visit place for wildlife photography enthusiasts and travelers. It is also well-known for authentic Maharashtrian spicy fish delicacies, Kadak fish fry of Chilapi fish being very special.
This birdwatcher’s paradise is situated on the backwaters of the Ujani dam, constructed on Bhima River. Shallow wetland created by water from the Ujani dam is the major reason behind numerous birds visiting this place. Due to the arrival of thousands of migratory birds, this place is also known as mini Bharatpur.
Ujani Dam & Backwaters
Bhigwan is host to flocks of migratory birds such as herons, ducks, raptors, egrets, and waders but the main attractions are flamingoes. Huge flocks of flamingos can be seen during the migratory season. Sometimes the number reaches a thousand or more.
Bhigwan receives nearly 230 species of migratory birds, including bar-headed storks, painted storks, demoiselle cranes, and bar-headed geese. Most of these birds arrive and remain here in the winter season and between December and March.
Birds At Bhigwan Bird Sanctuary
Greater flamingos, collared pratincole, Eurasian spoonbill, and osprey visit the backwaters of Ujani Dam along with the peregrine falcon, the fastest bird.
Lizards, snakes, frogs, and other amphibians along with numerous species of fish can be found in Bhigwan due to the presence of swamps, dry grasslands, wetlands, woodlands, and backwaters.
Though visitors can travel to Bhigwan any time of the year but to watch flocks of Flamingos, the winter season is the best time of the year. Due to decreased levels of water, these birds can easily spot fish, their favorite meal, and are available in abundance between December and March.
Flamingos At Bhigwan Bird Sanctuary
Bhigwan has many village homestays that visitors can check-in. This place receives a large number of professional photographers and wildlife experts who study the migration process of Flamingos and other birds. This place also provides a break from hectic life for common tourists who can spend some quality time in the lap of nature and pollution-free environment.
Mornings and evenings are the best time for bird watching and photography as you can see the maximum number of birds. Bird watchers and photographers can capture amazing formations made by birds during these times.
Bhigwan is well-connected by road from Solapur and Pune. Government buses ply on these roads regularly. Visitors can also travel by their own vehicles as most of the birding spots are 10-15 km from Bhigwan main town.
The nearest railway station is Pune. Many trains stop at Bhigwan such as Pune Sur Demu, Chennai mail, Hyderabad Express, and Shidheshwar Express.
Taxi services are the fastest way to reach Solapur from Bhigwan and the journey is about 2.5 hours.
Bhigwan is just 25 km from Baramati, another town in Maharashtra state.