Camping + Photography at Bhigwan Bird Sanctuary
Did cooking apart from photographyWith my friend Sanjay Malusare
Bird’s love helped me make this overnight fun stay come true. I plan it with my friend and we started on our camping journey on one Saturday afternoon.
We started a little early for this camping and I was riding literally slow to enjoy the pleasant weather and calm roads. The view on either side was so soothing that we were totally lost in it.
We reached Kumbhargaon, which is a few kilometers ahead of Bhigwan by 5:00 pm and I was so indulged in photography that we couldn’t realize its dark. We were at Ujani dam backwaters and this time the dam was full of water and it was reaching almost till village houses.
The next thing we have to do was to find a suitable place for a tent, cooking and fire photography. But before that, we need a cup of tea and we went to our guide Sandip Nagare’s home, who runs the business (Agneepankh Flamingo) of stay, food, and boats taking tourists to birds sites for photography.
We came fully prepared for barbecue and other kinds of stuff. We started our camping by putting our tent and light. Next was the challenging thing since we don’t do this regularly, we have to light the fire and certainly, it happened in another 5 a min, we did carry some wooden blocks, newspaper and Cow-dung 🙂 to lit the fire. Otherwise, it was a challenge to get the fire up most of the time. Seems, we were on time for everything we planned for.
As soon our fire was up I started Mutton curry preparation and parallel on the other hand kept some marinated chicken on fire. I also put some of the potato’s on fire, if you haven’t tried this you must do it sometime, it tastes amazing when burnt in the fire. I carried some coal also which was required to keep our mutton curry on mild heat for a longer time. I love cooking every time in a different way and different taste to challenge myself and this makes me perfect in it.
Our dinner for this camping was filled with Barbecue Chicken, Champaran mutton handi, and Indrayani rice cooked in earthen pots. Delicious Barbecue chicken made us full and we needed a break before we jump over the main course. Food was so tempting and its aroma make me so attracted to it.
So we took a small break from eating and went for Slow shutter photography, which needs a bigger area to conduct it. We spent an hour and a half on this and it was such fun doing this type of photography, my friend helped me to do this.
Even a villager staying nearby visited us enjoyed chicken and shared some stories with us. He was so surprised by our setup and was asking are you from the city? Later another 2 folks from Sandip’s team enjoyed our food.
We went to bedpost at 12 am however the surrounding was not so quiet and lots of noises keep me awake most of the night.
The next morning at 5 am we wrapped up our tent and belonging and kept them in the car by 6.15 have we started the boat ride, and got to see lots of water birds such as flamingos, ibis, herons, crates, etc. They were in very huge number and had a very close sighting.
The guide was none other than Sandip’s brother and he was extremely knowledgeable. His attitude was very positive and wanted to ensure that I had a maximum sighting. He really helped me to get some close shots. He was also helping with the flying Flamingo’s, fortunately, we got a view of 100s of flamingo’s flying over us 🙂
After Around 2 hrs my boat ride ended and I saw so many species of birds like gulls, flamingos, terns, snipes, spoonbills, storks, ibis, ducks, cormorants, stilts, plovers, terns, wagtails, pratincoles, godwits, etc. which I never knew about. This place is a paradise for sure and I would go there again and again.
Some breathtaking images are still now uploaded here.
After I finished my boat ride, I came back to my car, picked my belonging, and left for Pune. Obviously with a camera full of pictures and lifetime experience of duo camping and photography trip.
In this article, I will try to explain everything from the first person experience point of view. Before you plan lake camping at Bhigwan Bird Sanctuary definitely read this article.One visit is must for this place
Bhigwan is a small dusty town located on the Pune-Solapur Highway in Solapur district in Central Maharashtra, India. Bhigwan Town is known as mini Bharatpur or Bharatpur of Maharashtra, famous for bird watching and wildlife photography. This small town has the backwaters of Ujani Dam and it is the winter home for a list of migratory birds such as Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Spoonbill, Bar Headed Goose, Collared Pratincole, and the Osprey, a bird of prey. BHIGWAN is also home to the fastest bird in the animal kingdom – the Peregrine falcon.
Best time to visit
The ideal time to visit the sanctuary is between November and March. During this period, one can see a lot of migratory birds and the weather is also pleasant.
How to Reach?
The distance between Pune city and Bhigwan is 105 km. One can travel to Bhigwan by various means of transport. State Transport Buses bound for Solapur and onwards from Pune take you to Bhigwan in 3.5 hours. The obvious advantage of the ST bus is that one need not drive.
However, Bhigwan is a vast area. The birding spots are as far away as 9 to 10 km from Bhigwan’s main town. So this mode is not convenient. There is also a train station at Bhigwan. However, both the ST bus and train are not convenient. Personal transport is the best way to explore the Bhigwan region.
What to Carry?
Take your camera with an extra battery, good lens, Sunshades, Water, Tripod, and lots of patience in a bag-pack to enjoy the humongous number of birds.
This camping gave me such relief which you often miss while you are busy in the city life. Surely, it is worth a visit.
Highlights of Bhigwan CampingIt works, trust me
- Paradise for Bird Lovers
- Photographers can do wild life photography at night also
- Best place for Camping
- Villagers are super cooperative and staying in tent is very safe
- Must try this place between Nov – Mar with camera gears
- Excellent location but choose early morning or evening for best shots
- Stay and Food is also available in the village so you can plan overnight also
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