Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary is a UNESCO world heritage which is a thick, lush forest reserve situated in the heart of Satara district of Maharashtra. In the year 1985, the Government of India declared this preserved forest region as a Wildlife Sanctuary. It is situated in the Western Ghats with ample of water flow and abundant vegetation. Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary stretches an area of 423 square kilometres and ranges in altitudes between 600 meters to 1000 meters.
The Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary is nourished by many water bodies, among which rivers Kandati, Koyna and Solashi are main water sources. An extensive variety of flora and fauna has been found in Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary and are preserved by the Government and Forest Development Authority. Some of the most magnificent species found in Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary include Royal Bengal Tiger and King Cobra.
Also proclaimed as the 'lifeline of Maharashtra,' Koyna Dam is one of the largest dams in Maharashtra. Koyna Dam is definitely a lifesaver for the several towns and cities of Maharashtra. This magnificent structure stretches across 891 square km. Tucked in the Sahyadris in the Western Ghats, Koyna dam is genuinely blessed with exceptional scenic beauty. The majestic Koyna Dam takes the stream of the Koyna River at the Shivajisagar Lake. The rich, thick forests, rich green meadows, and sparkling waterfalls get together to make this place one of the most peaceful and delightful views.
The chief purpose of Koyna dam is hydroelectricity with some irrigation in neighbouring areas. At present, the Koyna Hydroelectric Project is the largest hydroelectric power plant in India having a total installed capacity of 1,920 MW.
Nehru Garden is built in the memory of our first prime minister of independent India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. This garden is famous in the Western Maharashtra region. It has an audio-video interpretation centre that gives information about the history of the Koyna dam. Nehru Garden at Koynanagar & waterfalls at Kumbharli ghat are the main attractions of Koynanagar area. Nehru garden is a landscaped garden from which you can have a look at Koyna dam. Entry fee is Rs. 5 & you will meet first monkeys at the parking point of the garden. Garden is well maintained & has unique trees inside it for medical use. Don't forget to see a movie clip of the Koyna dam hydro-electric project after you enter the garden; it will take 30 minutes. Canteen facility is available inside the garden.
Ozarde Waterfall is one of the biggest waterfalls in Sahayadri which is located in Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary of Satara District. The height of Ozarde Waterfall is 200-250 meters. Circled by lush, dense forests, it is a perfect destination for one day picnic. As, Ozarde waterfall in the national forest preserve area, it is loaded with many Ayurvedic plants, trees, and herbs. This waterfall runs in monsoon as well as summer, and one has to trek through thick trees to get near it. One has to walk for 3 kilometres and climb over hill slopes to witness this waterfall. It is very alluring, and the water is clean, refreshing and medicinal.
Shivsagar Lake is formed when the Koyna Dam was constructed. It extends up to 50 kilometres in the Koynanagar proximity and is about 80 meters in depth. It is the primary catchment area of Koyna Dam. Boating facilities like scooter boating, speed boating are also available in the lake at reasonable rates, and one can even enjoy a trip around the sanctuary, experiencing the glory of woods. If you are lucky, you will encounter the wild animals. During the boat ride, one can sometimes spot wild animals like tiger, leopard, wild pigs, etc. Travellers can also make quick getaways to villages of Bamonoli and Tapola situated near the banks of Shivsagar Lake. The Koyna wildlife sanctuary surrounding the lake is rich in flora and fauna.
As the name indicates ghatmatha is the highest peak in Sahyadri Hills, This points connects kokan and Ghat. Cool breeze and Sunset point view are the attraction here. This point is just 15 minutes away from Koynanagar.
The Vasota Fort is one of the famous forts in the Sahyadri. It is also known as Vyaghragad. Located in Satara, the height of Vasota Fort is 3,842 feet above sea level. As Vasota Fort is situated near Konya Wild Life Sanctuary, this fort is encircled by dense forests and shimmering rivers which make the Vasota Fort an ideal destination for hikers and trekkers to probe into its beauty. Vasota trek in Maharashtra is said to be as one of the best treks of this region. Vasota trek offers a breathtaking experience as you would be hiking through a thick forest with beautiful picturesque. This fort still has its historic charm from the great Maratha history which makes the history lovers explore the fort. Vasota fort also offers an enchanting view of the Konya Backwaters and Koyna wildlife sanctuary.
Standing tall in the Koyananagar region is the magnificent Bhairavgad fort. This 2500-year-old fort 1145 meters in height. Bhairavgad fort comes under Kalsubai-Harishchandragad Wildlife Sanctuary; therefore, it is surrounded by dense trees. The Rajas of Panhala build this fort. A narrow pathway of 30 yards separates it from the cliff on the east, which rises some 300 feet above it. The hill has on the east a temple of Bhairav hence the name. The temple is roofed with earthen tiles is in a state of good repair. It was repaired in 1957. Bhairavgad fort has few ruins and remains on the top of the fort. On the top of Bhairavgad fort, there are two big caves, the one is a shrine of Lord Bhairavnath, and the other one is used by trekkers and visitors to stay. The idol in the cave is beautifully carved, painted and this shrine is well maintained by the villagers of Shirpunje.
Chaphal is at the distance of 35 kilometers from Satara district of Maharashtra. Chaphal is very famous for its ‘Shri Ram Temple.’ This temple was built by Ramdas Swami who was the spiritual guru of great Maratha warrior Shivaji Maharaj. Shri Ram Temple is one of the unique temples in that region. Its located on the banks of river’Maand.’ Lord Rama Temple is gorgeous and charming. The temple is built in marbles and has an excellent architecture. Swami Ramdas retrieved the idol of ‘Lord Surya’ from Angapur Pond and established the same in this temple. The idol of Lord Ram is very special. It is originally the idol of ‘ Lord Surya, ‘ but Ramdas Swami worshiped the idol as ‘Lord Ram.’ And that is why; Lord Ram is without a bow. The idol has lotus both hands.
Shri Ram Temple includes “Dhyana Gumpha,” a Mediation Cave where Shivaji Maharaj and Samarth Ramdas Swami used to meet. In front of Shri Ram Temple is the Temple of Lord Das Maruti and at the other side is Veer Maruti temple, it is an 8 ft tall idol of Lord Hanuman, wearing ornaments as described in the Hanuman Stotra.
This project is located at Vankusvade about one drive from Koynanagar. It is one of Asia's largest wing energy parks. There are about 2500 windmills generating pollution free energy.
Located at 25 to 30 km away from koynanagar. One can visit the beautiful Shivmandir located in the waterfall. Dategad fort is also nearby. This fort is famous for mandir and a well dug in the shape of sword.
Koyna is the doorway to the beautiful Konkan Region. Konkan is only 40 kms from the hillstation of Koynanagar.