Vasai Virar (VIVA)

Viva Wetlands is a picturesque and biodiverse haven located near Virar station, offering nature enthusiasts a delightful retreat. Spread across expansive marshlands and serene water bodies, this wetland ecosystem is teeming with a rich variety of flora and fauna. The wetlands provide vital habitats for numerous bird species, including migratory birds that grace the area during the winters & monsoons.

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Nestled in the historic Vasai-Virar (VIVA) region of Mumbai lies a hidden gem for avid bird enthusiasts. This breathtaking region boasts a rich historical tapestry dating back to the Portuguese colonial era, making it an ideal destination for those who appreciate not only cultural heritage but also a remarkable diversity of birdlife.

The Vasai-Virar region offers a unique tapestry of habitats for birdwatchers to explore. From the serene shores of Arnala Beach to the expansive Viva Wetlands & shrublands to the lush evergreen forest of Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, this region showcases diverse ecosystems that attract a wide variety of avian species.

The shoreline in Vasai-Virar serves as a vital stopover point for migratory birds, offering a temporary haven as they journey across continents. These wetlands are teeming with avian life, from elegant herons to jacanas in freshwater wetlands to sandpipers, plovers, oystercatchers, gulls & terns across the seashore gracefully traversing the waters. If you’re a bird photography enthusiast, you’ll find this region particularly rewarding.

As you venture further, the landscape transforms into the lush forests of Tungareshwar, home to numerous resident & migratory passerine bird species. The remnants of Portuguese forts and colonial architecture serve as a backdrop to your birding adventures, creating a unique blend of cultural and natural heritage.

For bird enthusiasts and history buffs alike, the Vasai-Virar (VIVA) region offers an enchanting tapestry of experiences that are not to be missed.

Birding in Viva region: Since the area is quite vast, one can choose you explore the region based on the choice of birds one is looking for.

  • Shorebirds: Bhuigaon Beach & Arnala Beach are best when it comes to waders.
  • Raptors & Grassland species: Viva wetlands & Gogte are best to explore raptors and other shrubland species like buntings, shrikes & prints. Some of these wetlands are also breeding grounds for Watercock, Jacanas and bitterns during monsoons.
  • Forest Species: Tunagreshwar Wildlife Sanctuary is just the best place to explore the forest birds, you may also choose to explore the foothills of Vajrewwari temple or the famous Nagla block trail on the banks of River Ulhas.

eBird Hotspots & Checklist:

Nearest Train station: Virar & Vasai

Target species expected: Citrine, Yellow and White Wagtails, Greater Spotted and Indian Spotted Eagles, Steppe Eagles, Imperial Eagles, Harriers, Bronze Winged and Pheasant Tailed Jacanas, Common Rosefinches, Pipits and Larks in the grasslands and wetlands. Flycatchers like Verditer, Red-breasted, Indian Paradise, Tickle’s Blue, Rusty-tailed & Balck naped. Treepies, drongos, owlets and many other forest species.

Best time to visit: November to March & June to Aug