The Nagzira Tiger Reserve locked in the arms of nature is a beautiful tiger reserve rich in bio-diversity. Situated between the Bhandara district and Gondia district of Maharashtra, it is a place of real scenic beauty. The sight of freely roaming animals in the area astonishes you. The pure and fresh air of the region is nature's priceless gift. A trip to this place will mesmerize you with the picturesque landscape and the natural vegetation.
The Nagzira Tiger Reserve area encloses five protected areas: New Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary, Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary, Koka Wildlife Sanctuary, Navegaon Wildlife Sanctuary and Navegaon National Park. The Nagzira Wildlife sanctuary is a home to a number of fishes, 166 bird species, 34 mammal species, 36 reptile species and four amphibian species. It is a preserved "Green Oasis" of Vidarbha in the eastern part of Maharashtra.
These forests, in the vicinity of Bhanadara were once ruled by the Gond kings and were later declared a Wildlife sanctuary in 1970. In 2012, the government decided to include this sanctuary in Tiger Project and so it is now also known as Nagzira Tiger Reserve. It is popularly known as NNTR, Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve. A temple of 'Nag' (snake) is situated in the middle of Nagzira. Nagzira got its name from this temple. The suffix 'zira' in the name actually means a perennial source of water (zara) in Marathi. This water flows down from a hill in Pongezara in Nagzira.
For most part of the year, the temperatures are moderate. The summer temperature may rise to 45 degree centigrade and the winter temperature may minimize down to 6.5 degree centigrade.
This small reserve covering 152 sq. km is open to visitors from October to June. Due to maximum wind velocity during the rainy season, the sanctuary is kept closed for visitors. But enthusiasts can visit it in any other season, although February to May is considered the best. During these months the flora of the biodiversity is in full bloom and the tourists get to see a variety of species of flowers and plants. NNTR remains closed from June 16 to September 30.
Clean and comfortable guest houses and resorts within the proximity of the Nagzira Tiger Reserve gives you a pleasure to relax and enjoy the adventures of the jungle. The Nagzira Tiger Resort is the best place for accommodation if you want to cherish the view of the village, the forest and the visiting birds. The Indian food, recreation and hospitality of the staff will truly impress you. A rejuvenating walk in the nature's lap around the Nagzira Resort will keep you fresh.
The reserve is helps in maintaining the environmental balance specially in the eastern part of the country. It acts as a "Green lung" for the adjoining human settlements. This sanctuary is a repository of many economical, medicinal, aromatic and ornamental plant species. Presence of diverse vegetation in this region leaves you amazed. More than 200 tree species can be found in this forest. The flora of the sanctuary includes Dhavda, Ain, Bija, Tinsa, Garari, Surya, Teak, Tendu and Bamboo. The fauna includes leopards, tigers, panthers, sloth bears, bisons, sambar, civet cats, four headed antelope, jackals, barking deer, jungle cats, blue bulls, hare chital, spotted hyena, mouse deer and a number of species of ants, butterflies and insects. The sanctuary also supports a healthy population of birds. Some of the commonly seen birds are Grey Jungle Fowl, woodpeckers, grey headed fish eagle, orioles and the Red Spur Fowl. The location is a treat to bird watchers as the variety of bird species is sure to offer them a great bird watching experience. The "Bar-headed Goose" migrates from Ladakh and Tibet during the winters. One can catch the sight of this bird if they plan their trip during winters. Apart from birds, Nagzira Tiger Reserve inhabits 49 butterfly species. Common Rose, Common Mormon, Common Sailor, Common Indian, Crow, Lime Butterfly, Black Rajah are a few of the important species amongst them. The sight of the colorful butterflies is an enthralling experience. There are about 36 species of reptiles present in the sanctuary. Indian Rock Pyhton, Checkered Keelback , Dhaman, Russel's Viper, Indian Cobra and Common Monitor are the 6 species of reptiles that have been declared endangered. Varieties of frogs in the forest include Bull-frog, Six-toed frog, Ramanelia Montana etc. Innumerable fishes can be found in the Nagzira lake and other water bodies that are present in the surroundings of the sanctuary.
Though one can spot a unique mixture of tree species in the area, the major forest type of the sanctuary is "Southern tropical dry deciduous forest". Terminalia, tomentosa, lagerstromia parviflora, Anogeisus latifolia, Pterocarpus marsupiu, Dispyrus melanoxylon, Tectona grandis, Bombax ceiba, lannea grandis, Boswella serrata, Adina cordifolia, Xlia xylocarpa, Terinalia arjuna, Terinalia Chebula, Syzyguim cumini are the major tree species found in the forest. Teak forests occur on hill slopes and can be seen placed at intervals with the natural forest. The grasslands in Nagzira are of small size. The species of grass include Themeda quadrivalvia, Cynodon dactylon etc. The occurrence of bamboo is in abundance. They are often present on the slopes. The cutting down of bamboo on a large scale has become a threat. Because of this reason, bamboo is either absent or of very low quality. The climbers found in the forest include Combretum decandrum, Zizyphus oenoplia, Calycopteris floribunda, Butea superb, Bauhinia vahlii, Smilax macrophylla, Mucuna pruriens, Acacia pinnata etc.
So if you are planning on a jungle trip, the Nagzira Tiger Reserve has all to offer you. Also, it is the cheapest of all the wildlife sanctuaries in Maharashtra. So just pack your bags and get ready to enjoy a great journey amongst the flourishing flora and fauna of the region. Nagzira is truly a great lifetime experience you'll hold forever.
The Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary is situated deep inside the forest covered by lush green trees and surrounded by mountains. Geographically, the area of this sanctuary comes under the Nagpur Circle of the State Forest Department. The reserve is located between the Bhandara district and Gondia district of Maharashtra. Nearly thirty thousand tourists visit this place annually.
Air: If you wish to travel by air, the Nagpur airport which is 122 km away from the destination is the nearest air port.
Rail: Gondia junction is the nearest railway station which is just 50 km away from the reserve. Also, the Bhandara railway station is 75 km from the sanctuary. Soundad and Tirora both are 20 km away from the destination.
Road: After reaching the airports or railway stations, you need to hire a taxi to drive to the reserve. It is a three-four hour drive from the Nagpur airport and a one-two hour drive from the Gondia or Bhandara railway station. If you are travelling by bus then Sakoli(22 km) is the nearest bus stand. Hardly an hour's drive from Sakoli on National Highway 6 will take you to your destination which is the amazing Nagzira Tiger Reserve. Nagzira gate is the main entrance of the sanctuary which can be reached via Pitezari from Sakoli. There are seven other entrances to the park namely, Murpar, Kosamtondi, Balapur, Murdoli, Mangezari, Pongezara and the Chorkhamara gate. So if you are planning on a jungle trip, the Nagzira Tiger Reserve has all to offer you. Also, it is the cheapest of all the wildlife sanctuaries in Maharashtra. So just pack your bags and get ready to enjoy a great journey amongst the flourishing flora and fauna of the region. Nagzira is truly a great lifetime experience you'll hold forever.