With temperatures dropping, now might seem ideal to schedule jungle trail into the many nature reserves and wildlife sanctuaries across Maharashtra

While North Indians might scoff at what we call winters, come November and most of Maharashtra experiences pleasant weather. It's also when hundreds of migratory birds fly down to the nature reserves in Maharashtra.

The Great Indian Bustard

From November through February, you might want to wear your wildlife hat as you tie up your jungle boots and head jungle ward, especially if you don't fancy doing the drill during the unforgiving summer. Maharashtra has nearly 30 wildlife sanctuaries and the entire span from the Western Ghats is a hotspot for various species of animals and endemic and migratory birds.

Malabar Pit Viper. Pic Amit Panariya / Sanctuary Photo library

In the wild spot
"Amboli in Sindhudurg is a great place to spot small life forms such as butterflies, frogs and snakes. At Bhimashankar one can spot the Giant Red Squirrel," says Shardul Bajikar, Deputy Director, Science, Natural History and Photography, Sanctuary Asia.

Though many mammals found in our habitats are nocturnal and parks close after 6 pm, if very lucky one can even spot the Honey Badger and Wild Hogs," says Nikhil Bhopale, Program Officer, Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).

Bhopale says that while summers provide better visibility to spot animals because of lesser foliage; winters are a great time to spot migratory birds such as the Waders. Both Bajikar and Gokhale list Tadoba, Chandrapur and Nagzira as must visits for tigers.

Bhopale points out that along with the tigers one can also spot Sambars, Nilgai and the Spotted Deer at Tadoba. Nannaj at Solapur is also the home to wolves and the Great Indian Bustard.

By road from Mumbai
> Bhimashankar: 247 km
> Amboli: 502 km
> Tadoba: 701 km
> Chandrapur: 927 km
> Nagzira: 967 km