Blackbucks are a much loved species; they’re rarely sighted in the wild and a true delight to watch if one is into wildlife. We’ve all heard stories where the Bishnois of Rajasthan go to great lengths to protect them. Similarly, in Maharashtra, there’s a special park for the blackbucks called the Rehekuri Wildlife Sanctuary; a deciduous scrub forest that makes for a perfect habitat for these elusive animals.
Situated in the Karjat taluka of Ahmednaga, Rehekuri Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over a huge area and draws nature lovers and adventurers due to its wide variety of flora and fauna. Apart from the blackbucks the most commonly seen animals here are the chinkaras, wolves and the Indian fox.
Interestingly, the park only had 15-20 blackbucks in the 1980s, but have steadily gone on to be home to more than 300 blackbucks as of today. In Maharashtra, the blackbuck is referred to as ‘kalvit’ and the striking feature of a male blackbuck is its long spiral horns, which it uses to impress the females and makes it stands out from among a group of antelopes.
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The area inside the park is mostly grassland, therefore, walking through the sanctuary is a pleasure. There’s a huge variety of antelopes inside the park, and the best way to spot them is by lurking around the trees, waiting fr them to come out and graze. You can take a train to Karjat from Mumbai and then proceed by road to Rehekuri. The distance is roughly 260km from Mumbai.
There are some other attractions near Rehekuri Wildlife Sanctuary that you can visit. That includes the Bhigwan Lake which is one of the best locations for watching water birds, both migratory and resident, as well as many flamingoes. You can also visit the Great Indian Bustard Wildlife Sanctuary which is spread over the two districts of Ahmednagar and Solapur. For those interested in temples, there’s a big one called the Siddhivinayak Temple in the remote village of Siddhatek in Karjat. It is one of the prominent temples dedicated to Lord Ganesha in the area.