Are you a nature lover or a birdwatcher looking for a peaceful and serene destination? Then Salim Ali Lake & Bird Sanctuary in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, is the perfect place for you! The sanctuary is named after the famous Indian ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali and is home to over 100 species of birds, making it a paradise for birdwatchers.
Salim Ali Lake & Bird Sanctuary is located in the heart of Aurangabad, a city famous for its historical significance and tourist attractions. The sanctuary covers an area of about 12.5 hectares and was established in 1988 to protect the rich biodiversity of the region.
History of Salim Ali Lake & Bird Sanctuary
The Salim Ali Lake & Bird Sanctuary was named after the renowned Indian ornithologist, Dr. Salim Ali, who was also known as the “Birdman of India.” The sanctuary was established in 1988 to protect the lake and the surrounding ecosystem, which was under threat due to urbanization and other human activities. The sanctuary was declared a protected area under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
The Salim Ali Lake & Bird Sanctuary is home to a rich diversity of flora and fauna. The lake is surrounded by lush greenery, including trees like the Indian banyan, Indian fig, and neem. The sanctuary is home to over 100 species of birds, including migratory birds like the northern pintail, common teal, and gadwall. The sanctuary also has several species of reptiles, including the Indian monitor lizard, Indian rock python, and Russell's viper.
Birdwatching in Salim Ali Lake & Bird Sanctuary
The Salim Ali Lake & Bird Sanctuary is a paradise for birdwatchers. The best time to visit the sanctuary is during the winter months, from October to March, when several migratory birds arrive in the sanctuary. The sanctuary is also home to several resident bird species that can be seen throughout the year. Some of the commonly sighted bird species in the sanctuary are the common kingfisher, Asian paradise flycatcher, Indian cormorant, and purple sunbird.
Activities in Salim Ali Lake & Bird Sanctuary
Apart from birdwatching, Salim Ali Lake & Bird Sanctuary offers several other activities for visitors. The sanctuary has a nature trail that runs along the lake and is a great place for a peaceful walk. The sanctuary also has a watchtower that provides a panoramic view of the lake and the surrounding area. The sanctuary also organizes boating trips for visitors who want to explore the lake.
How to Reach Salim Ali Lake & Bird Sanctuary
Salim Ali Lake & Bird Sanctuary is located in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, and is easily accessible by road. Aurangabad is well-connected to major cities in Maharashtra and has a domestic airport and a railway station. The sanctuary is located about 3 km from the Aurangabad railway station and can be reached by hiring a taxi or an auto-rickshaw.
Best Time to Visit Salim Ali Lake & Bird Sanctuary
The best time to visit Salim Ali Lake & Bird Sanctuary is during the winter months, from October to March. During this time, several migratory bird species arrive in the sanctuary, and the weather is pleasant, making it an ideal time for birdwatching.
Entry Fee and Timings
The entry fee for Salim Ali Lake & Bird Sanctuary is Rs. 50 for Indian citizens and Rs. 300 for foreign nationals. The sanctuary is open from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM on all days of the week.
Accommodation Near Salim Ali Lake & Bird Sanctuary
- Vivanta Aurangabad – A luxurious 5-star hotel located just 3.5 kilometers away from the sanctuary.
- Hotel Preetam – A budget-friendly option located just 1.5 kilometers away from the sanctuary.
- The Manor Hotel – A mid-range hotel located 4.5 kilometers away from the sanctuary.
- WelcomHotel Rama International – A 5-star hotel located 6.5 kilometers away from the sanctuary.
These are just a few of the many options available in Aurangabad. It is always recommended to book in advance, especially during the peak season, to avoid any last-minute hassles.
Other Attractions Near Salim Ali Lake & Bird Sanctuary
Apart from Salim Ali Lake & Bird Sanctuary, there are several other attractions in Aurangabad that are worth visiting. Some of them include:
- Ajanta and Ellora Caves – These UNESCO World Heritage sites are located about 100 kilometers from Aurangabad and are famous for their rock-cut caves and ancient temples.
- Bibi Ka Maqbara – This is a mausoleum located in Aurangabad and is often referred to as the “Taj Mahal of the Deccan.”
- Daulatabad Fort – This 14th-century fort is located about 16 kilometers from Aurangabad and is known for its impressive architecture and history.
- Aurangabad Caves – These 6th and 7th-century rock-cut caves are located just 3 kilometers from Aurangabad and are known for their intricate carvings and sculptures.
Salim Ali Lake & Bird Sanctuary is a paradise for birdwatchers and nature lovers. With its serene surroundings and diverse range of bird species, it offers a unique experience to visitors. If you're planning a trip to Aurangabad, make sure to add Salim Ali Lake & Bird Sanctuary to your itinerary. And, don't forget to visit the other attractions in Aurangabad to make your trip a memorable one.
- Is photography allowed in Salim Ali Lake & Bird Sanctuary? Yes, photography is allowed in the sanctuary, but you need to take permission from the authorities before clicking pictures.
- Can I bring my pets to the sanctuary? No, pets are not allowed inside the sanctuary as it can disturb the natural habitat of the birds.
- How much time should I spend in the sanctuary? You can spend 2-3 hours in the sanctuary, depending on your interest in birdwatching.
- Is there a guide available inside the sanctuary? Yes, you can hire a guide inside the sanctuary for a fee to learn more about the bird species and their habitat.
- Are there any restaurants near Salim Ali Lake & Bird Sanctuary? Yes, there are several restaurants and cafes located near the sanctuary that serve local and international cuisine.