Bhigwan: A Paradise near Pune

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Bhagwan, 19th February 2024: Bhigwan, situated on the border of the Ahmednagar, Pune, and Solapur districts, is renowned for its breathtaking birdwatching opportunities, particularly for flamingos, and wildlife photography enthusiasts. Additionally, it boasts a rich culinary heritage, with its authentic Maharashtrian ‘Machhi Thali’ and abundant fish offerings drawing visitors from far and wide. Located approximately 100km from Pune on the Pune-Solapur Highway, Bhigwan rests on the serene backwaters of the Ujani Dam.

At Bhigwan, a mesmerizing array of ducks, herons, egrets, raptors, and waders, accompanied by flocks of hundreds of flamingos, captivates visitors. At certain times, the spectacle includes an impressive 1,000–1,200 flamingos. However, the number of birds has seen a decline due to low rainfall and water levels in the recent past. Still, more than 230 species of migratory birds, including painted storks, bar-headed geese, and demoiselle cranes, still grace the area, particularly during the winter season between December and March. These avian visitors often migrate via marine routes, with adult females departing from their breeding grounds.

Transport options to Bhigwan include road travel from Pune, which typically takes around 2.5 hours, or via Solapur-bound trains from Pune. The main birding spots are situated at distances ranging from 5 to 10 km from Bhigwan’s town center.

The optimal time to experience the wonders of Bhigwan is during the months of December to March when flamingos flock to the area, preferring the shallow water-bodies for fishing during the winter season. For accommodation, several village home-stays cater to tourists, providing an authentic and immersive experience amidst the natural beauty of Bhigwan.