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Nagzira Tiger Reserve

INTRODUCTION
The Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the popular tourist places, known for its biodiversity conservation. The sanctuary is home to diverse vegetation and serves as a 'Green lung' in order to maintain the equilibrium in the ecosystem. The sanctuary has 36 species of mammals and 14 out of these are endangered. There are around 49 species alone of butterfly along with common mormon, common Indian crow, lime butterfly and black rajah. This small wildlife sanctuary covers an area of 152 sq km in the north east corner of Maharashtra in the Bhandara district. Nestled within the Vidarbha mountain range, it is often referred to as the ‘green oases of the region. Its rocky and undulating terrain is covered with thick Teak forests that support healthy populations of some of India’s most endangered floral and faunal biodiversity. The scenic beauty of this park is absolutely mesmerizing, as one drives through thick and lush green vegetation, with a view of tall mountains in the backdrop. sightings of animals such as the Bengal Tiger, Common Leopard, Jungle Cat, Mouse Deer, Indian Gaur, Sloth Bear, four horned Antelope, and the Spotted Hyena to name a few mammals. The charm of Nagzira lies in the forest department's simple accommodation located on the banks of the central lake. In the absence of electric supply, basic lighting is provided by solar energy. But this has meant that there is no loud music and only the interested and motivated tourists come here. So if you are thinking of a great wildlife holiday, you should really consider Nagzira. Birding in Nagzira holds a special magic with a number of birds flocking to the lake side by the afternoon. A number of eagles descend on the waters for a drink, while orioles, drongos and ground thrushes can be seen bathing. The calls of the hungry chicks of the resident grey headed fish eagle need to be experienced once in your life time. There is a Naag Temple in the mddle of Nagzira and a temple of Mahadeva too. A village named Nangthana is also in the forests. The name of Nagzira comes from this temple and Zira in Marathi means a perennial source of water that comes out from a hill in Pongezara, Nagzira.

HISTORY
Nagzira history revolves around Gond tribal people. They have good presence in this forest areas of Central India. The forest was ruled by Gond Kings in the vicinity of Bhandara. 116.54 km2 are declared as a wild life century in 1970. The state government announces to merge this century in another National Park in 2012 to include in saving Tiger project. The Sanctuary is part of the proposed Nagzira-Navegaon Tiger Reserve, and is an important forest area that provides connectivity to the southern forests of Maharashtra. It is among the lesser known forests of Central India, and therefore not severely affected by large scale tourism. It currently attracts only hard core wildlife lovers and wildlife photographers, who enjoy observing the wildlife as much as the pristine landscape, and simply being one with nature. This century has a great importance from bio diversity conservative point of view. This sanctuary is locked in the arms of nature and adorned with picturesque landscapes, luxuriant vegetation and serves as living outdoor museum to explore and appreciate nature. It is really a boon to us and we should realize the real worth of nature. Nagzira is often referred to as the Green Oasis of Vidharba. While visiting this forest area, we have the option to enjoy Nagzira jungle safari. During jungle safari drives, we have the chance to see prominent Nagzira mammals like Tigers, Leopards, Dholes, Jungle cats, Sloth bears, Hyenas, Jackals, Wolves and herbivores like Indian Gaur and Sambar etc at their natural habitat.

Nagzira Wildlife

WILDLIFE
The Nagzira wildlife sanctuary is a miraculously preserved "Green Oasis" in the easternmost part of the Maharashtra State and has a great importance from bio-diversity conservation point of view. This sanctuary is locked in the arms of nature and adorned with picturesque landscapes, luxuriant vegetation and serves as living outdoor museum to explore and appreciate nature. This wildlife sanctuary is indeed nature’s priceless asset and beckons one and all to enjoy its picturesque landscape, its scenic beauty, its pure and fresh air. It is really a boon to us and hence we must realize the real worth of this marvelous treasure house of nature and must protect it as a part of our national heritage. It has got immense potentials from bio-diversity conservation point of view and its values are discussed below. Navegaon Tiger Reserve has nearly 209 species of birds, 26 species of mammals, 9 species of reptiles and number of fishes. This sanctuary is better known for its bird sanctuary as you would get to see different migratory birds that fly above the lake.
Mammals Nearly 34 – species of mammal belonging to about 8 natural orders and 16 families are seen in this sanctuary, out of which about 14 species are of endangered status. A strong herbivore population of Spotted deer, Sambar deer and Gaur has supported a healthy predator presence. Tigers and leopards can be frequently spotted – but the main appeal of this forest lies in understanding their presence. Pugmarks on the mud roads, droppings by the roadsides, territory marking on trees and bushes – similar to that the dogs do on the tires and poles, indicate the presence of big cats. Often the alarmed calling Deer, Langurs and peacocks tell us that a predator is on the prowl. They keep the jungle denizens posted of the lurking danger. This calling can also lead you to a lucky sighting of an exclusive big-cat.
Invertebrates It is the home of innumerable other insects and other species. Approx 49 species of 9 families belongs to this sanctuary. The important species among them are Common Rose, Common Mormon, Lime Butterfly, Common Sailor, Common Indian Crow, and black Rajah etc.
Birds Birding in Nagzira holds a special magic with a number of birds flocking to the lake side by the afternoon. A number of eagles descend on the waters for a drink, while orioles, drongos and ground thrushes can be seen bathing. The calls of the hungry chicks of the resident grey headed fish eagle need to be experienced once in your life time. Over 166 species belonging to about 16 different orders and 47 families have been recorded here. Also as many as 15 species of migratory birds and about 42 species of local migrants are reported. There are 13 bird species of endangered status including peafowl and the birds belonging to "Accipitridae" family.
Reptiles About 36 reptile species are found in Nagzira wildlife sanctuary area in which 6 of the species have been listed in endangered list i.e. Indian Cobra, Russel's Viper, Indian Rock Python, Checkered Keelback, Dhaman and Common Monitor.

FLORA
Let us check Nagzira flora information. More than 200 plant species are found in this forest area. Here we can find vegetation from dry mixed forest to moist forest type. It is one of the exceptional attribute. This reserve has a living repository of different aromatic, medicinal, economical, and ornamental plant species. The Navegaon Tiger Reserve has particular Southern mixed dry deciduous forest while it has some main species of Bhor, Bhel, Ain, Mahua, Butea monosperma, Mallotus philippensis, Kydia calycina, Kawat, Jamun, Haldu, Bamboo, Dhaman, Sterculia urens and Teak.

LOCATION
Nagzira tiger reserve lies in Maharashtra state. It is in north-eastern region of state, close to Nagpur and Gondia cities. Although Maharashtra is counted among West Indian state but due to tiger reserve location, close to Madhya Pradesh state, we can say that it lies in Central India region, rather than West India. Its coordinates are 21°14'38North and 79°59'09'East. Its nearest township is in Bhandara. Nagzira tiger reserve area is spread over two districts of Maharashtra state i.e. Bhandara district and Gondia district.

In the North, as the result of merger of 35 princely of Bundelkhand & Baghelkhand, Vindhya Pradesh came into being in April 1948 & in 1952 an elected ministry was formed with Rewa as its capital. The state of Bhopal came into existence in June, 1949 & only in 1952 a popular ministry was formed. The state of Madhya Pradesh formed on 1st November 1956 was a conglomeration of Mahakosal, Madhya Bharat, Vindhya Pradesh, Bhopal state & Seronj sub division of the Kota District of Rajasthan. On 1st November 2001 Chhatisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh. At present comprises of 45 district which are further subdivided into 264 tehsils & is the second largest state in India.

HOW TO REACH
Nagzira tiger reserve is located in north-east of Maharashtra state in Central India. It is easily approachable from Nagpur city which lies in 160kms west of tiger reserve. It is well connected by road, from its nearby cities like Nagpur, Gondia, Raipur, Seoni, Bhilai etc. Here we have discussed about how to reach Nagzira tiger reserve by various means of transportation.
By Air:
Nearest airport for Nagzira tiger reserve is Nagpur Airport, at a distance of 160kms. It is a large airport, having good flight connectivity from important airports of India like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Indore etc.

DISTANCE CHART
LOCATION MAP
From
Distance
(in Kms)
Nagpur 150
Raipur 210
Kanha National Park 180
Pench National Park 150
Tadoba National Park 230
Jabalpur 350


By Train:
It is possible to visit Nagzira tiger reserve, by train option. The nearest railway station to Navegaon Tiger Reserve is Gondia station, at a distance of 80kms. It is connected from important cities like Nagpur, Mumbai, Jalgaon, Howrah, Bilaspur, Raipur, Visakhapatnam, Jhansi, Gwalior, Agra, New Delhi, Amritsar etc. Second best option is Nagpur railway station at a distance of 150kms.

By Road:
Navegaon Tiger Reserve is well connected by road and can be reached by using any private or public transport bus or cab. Navegaon is the nearest bus stand which is 10 kms away from the park. Other modes of transport are available from the district headquarters Gondia and tehsil headquarters of Arjuni.

BEST TIME TO VISIT
The sanctuary is open for visitors from October to June. It is closed during the rains when the wind velocity is also at a maximum. The average annual rainfall is about 1,100-1,500 mm. February to May is the best season for a visit. The summer temperature maximum may rise to 45°C and the winter temperature minimum may drop to about 6.5°C. Best time to visit is during March to May when tiger sighting probability is high in compare to other months. Park is closed for tourists from July to September. The Nagzira Lake in the heart of the sanctuary is a hotspot for birding thus many wildlife photographers visits this part of tiger reserve to get desired wildlife shots. A stop here is a must on your safari within the forest, as you can observe herds of Deer, birds, and sometimes even catch a glimpse of Hyenas, Jackals, Leopards and Tigers taking a water break!

CLIMATE & WEATHER
Nagzira tiger reserve climate is dry and hot. It lies in north-east of Maharashtra state in Central India. Here we can experience all three climatic conditions i.e. Summers, Winters and Monsoon season but summer season dominates. Here summers can be experienced from March to June month in which temperature remains 32°C to 46°C. After this, monsoon season comes from June end to September months. Sometime it may extend to October month. After conclusion of monsoon, turn is for Winter season but in October-November months, temperature once again rises 30°C to 38°C. With December month, Nagzira climate changes and in morning and late evening hours we can experience the change. Winter season prevails from December to February month.

NEXT TO NAGZIRA TIGER RESERVE
After visiting Nagzira wildlife sanctuary, tourists have many options as it is surrounded by many other popular wildlife destinations of Central India like Kanha National Park, Pench National Park, Tadoba National Park, Umred-Karandla wildlife sanctuary etc. Their are some nearby Nagzira attractions like Pratapgad (15 kms), Tibetan Camp at Gothangaon which is 15 kms away and Itiadoh Dam which is 20 kms away.

RELATED LINKS
Kanha National Park Tadoba National Park Pench National Park
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