Koynanagar, or Koyna, is a lakeside town that is located on the Pune-Kolhapur route. The place is well known for its dam and is surrounded by a wildlife sanctuary, which is home to a large variety of flora and fauna. The place is also well known for a large variety of birds that can be found there.
Koyna is a six-hour drive from Mumbai, via NH 66, which is lined with the Gulmohar trees; and you would notice trucks passing you by and very soon the scenery would change from Gulmohar trees to mango plantations on both sides of the highway.
The drive to reach the place is slightly tricky, which is a uphill drive and veers upwards suddenly. You may be welcomed by a sign board which reads that you have reached the small village, which is around the Koyna Dam and the Koyna river reservoir behind it.
Best Time To Visit Koyna
Koyna is a year-round destination, owing to its pleasant weather and its peaceful atmosphere.
How To Reach Koyna
By Air: The nearest airport is located in Pune, which is at a distance 192 km from here. The airport has regular flights that operate to major cities across the country such as Bengaluru, Chennai, etc.
By Train: The nearest railway station is at Chiplun, which is at a distance of 42 km from here. The station is well connected to all the major towns and cities in the State as well as in the country.
By Road: One of the best ways to reach Koyna is by road. There are plenty of buses that are operated by the State Transport Corporation regularly from Pune and Mumbai.
1. Koyna Dam
The Koyna Dam is one of the largest dams in the state of Maharashtra. The rubble concrete dam is built up on the Koyna River, which rises in Mahabaleshwar.
The major purpose of the dam is to generate hydroelectricity along with irrigation supply to the nearby areas. At present, the Koyna Hydroelectric Project is the largest completed hydroelectric power plant in the country.
The dam withstood many earthquakes, which include the devastating 1967 earthquake that had resulted in the dam developing a few cracks.
2. Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary
The Wildlife Sanctuary is declared as a natural World Heritage Site by the UNSECO. Located in the Western ghats and spread across an area of 423,55 sq km, with elevations ranging from 2000 to 3600 feet, it was identified as a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1985.
The sanctuary forms the northern portion of the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve along with the Chandoli National Park, which marks the southern side of the reserve.
The sanctuary has a large variety of fauna, which includes the Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, Indian bison, sloth bear, sambar deer, Indian giant squirrel and many more.
Apart from the animals, the sanctuary is also home to many bird species, such as the Asian fairy bluebird, varieties of woodpeckers and many more.
PC: Ram's Foto
3. The Nehru Garden
Apart from the Dam and the wildlife sanctuary, another major attraction in Koyna is the Nehru Garden, which is a botanical garden on a hilly slope that boasts of some exotic flower gardens.
The garden overlooks the Koyna dam and provides excellent views of the dam and its surroundings.