the great indian bustard images

Nannaj bird sanctuary, Solapur: The Great Indian bustard sanctuary!

Nannaj bird sanctuary or The Great Indian bustard sanctuary or is one of the important sanctuaries in Maharashtra as well as India. It is a home to rare bird – the great Indian bustard.

Best Time To Visit:  Tourists can visit this sanctuary all year round. October to April is the best time to visit the sanctuary when the growth of grass vegetation remains less.

Weather: The temperature of this region varies between 16°C to 43°C. On an average, this sanctuary receives 450 to 600 mm rainfall every year.

Location:  Madha, Mohal, Karmala, Solapur District, Maharashtra (India).

Nannaj Bird Sanctuary Information

The great Indian bustard sanctuary was formed in 1979 with a sole purpose of conservation of the great Indian bustard ((Ardeotis nigriceps) having an area of 8496.44 Sq kms. The main aim of this bird sanctuary was to protect the rare bird: The Great Indian Bustard (GIB). These birds are locally popular as “Maldhok (माळढोक)” in Marathi. Apart from GIB’s, there are many other bird species in this sanctuary!

This bird had almost extinct in the past. However, the great Indian bustard sanctuary in Nannaj did a very hard work towards its conservation of Bustards. Due to the dedication of sanctuary officials, today many GIB’s are present over here. Tall watch towers are there inside the Nannaj bird sanctuary to observe birds & animals. Forest officials will happily help you to spot Bustard if you ask them!

the great indian bustard images


Other Wildlife 

  • Fauna (Animal Species): Animals like Foxes, Hares, Blackbucks, Wolves, Hyenas, Jackals, Porcupines and many other animals live in this sanctuary.
  • Bird Species: Many other bird species like Francolins, Hornbills, Doves, Golden Orioles, Larks, Coursers, Pipits, Quails, Munias, Shrike, Lapwings, Raptors & Plovers also present in the great Indian bustard sanctuary.
  • Flora (Plant Species): It mainly comprises of Southern tropical thorn forest. Trees of Babul, Neem, Dongri, Sissoo, Babul, Sheda, Tarwad, Henkal, Kusali Pavanya, Marvel and Bor are main plant species of Nannaj bird sanctuary.

About The GIB

The Great Indian Bustard [Choriotis Nigriceps (Vigors)] bird is one of the rarest birds in India. It is presently living in just a few regions of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. Bustard is a brown colored & buff bird which lives in Bushes & Scrub Plains. It is very hard to spot this bird as it can easily hide behind the bushes.

nannaj wildlife sanctuary images photos

©Kiran Amrute

Anatomy & Physique

The full grown male is about 3.5 Feet tall & female is 2.5 Feet tall. They have white neck & stomach and black crested crown & gorget. Its standing height is over 1 meter with a wingspan of 2.5 meters and they weigh about 18 kg. This bird is a good runner but it can’t fly at a high height due to its more body weight. The male has more than 1 female partners with them.Their egg is pale brown in color. The birds give only 1 egg a year and incubation takes 2 days.

These birds do not have the nest like homes so eggs always remain at risk of spoliation from other animals. And because of this reason, the population of these birds increases at a very slow rate. They have long bare legs along with long neck like a young Ostrich. These birds live in open country having tall grasslands and bushes. Small shrubs, grass, bajri, groundnuts, rats, and other small insects are their favorite food.

the great indian bustard sanctuary

©Sanjana Raj

Geography Of The Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary

This sanctuary has spread in Madha, Mohal & Karmala Talukas of Solapur as well as Karjat, Srigonda & Newasa Talukas of Ahmednagar district. However, the great Indian bustard sanctuary is not a continuous stretch of a wildlife reserve. It consists of various land plots owned by the government as well as private owners in between. GIBs roam over this huge area of the sanctuary and it becomes difficult to spot them. Even if you don’t spot the GIB, other birds and animals will surely cross they path nearby you. They are generally spotted nearby their favorite food like a farm of Bajri or groundnut. Nannaj bird sanctuary is a great spot for wildlife photographers to capture nice shots of birds!

The huge stretch of grassland also attracts few migratory birds in a winter season. Migratory birds visit Hipparga lake nearby the sanctuary. Tourists can see grasslands while proceeding towards Nannaj from Solapur. Tourists are not allowed to roam freely inside the core area of Nannaj bird sanctuary. There is an observing hut like structure few hundred away from the main gate. It has peep holes along with desks and sitting benches for observing the wildlife. Tourists cannot go ahead beyond this point. 

nannaj bird sanctuary images photos

©Vishwatej Pawar

Current Status & Future

The Great Indian Bustard at this spot was first recognized by identified by Mr. B.S.Kulkarni. He took a hell lot of efforts to save this rare bird. Because of his dedication, Dr. Salim Ali visited this place and helped him to save this species. According to wildlife census of 2009, there are total 21 GIB’s in Nannaj bird sanctuary. Out of them 13 were females and 8 were males.

Considering the today’s constraints, the future of sanctuary is in danger. A large number of private farms have been set up nearby the sanctuary area. The protected core area where a majority of birds & animals live is very less. So when the grass lands and water end in summer months, they have to move out of the protected area. So they face life threatening incidents. Forest department must try to restrict the construction sites around Nannaj bird sanctuary area.


Entry Fees: Tourists need to enter the sanctuary from Nannaj. Forest office in Nannaj issues passes to enter inside the sanctuary.

Contact: Nannaj of Solapur District and Rehekuri of Ahmednagar District have the headquarters of this sanctuary. You can go there and contact forest officials regarding your queries!

How To Reach

You can reach here via Solapur city. Solapur is connected to various cities by road and railway. The sanctuary is 22 km away from the Solapur city.

  • By Road: A large number of MSRTC and tourist buses regularly ply to Solapur from various cities in Maharashtra. Solapur is 231 km away from Kolhapur, 337 km from Aurangabad, 379 km away from Nashik, 401 km away from Mumbai and 646 km away from Nagpur.
  • Nearest Station: Solapur junction railway station is the closest railhead to reach Nannaj bird sanctuary. Tourists can catch private vehicles outside the station to reach up to the destination.
  • Nearest Airport: Solapur has a tiny airport with very less number of flights. Pune airport is the convenient airport to reach this sanctuary. The distance between Pune airport and Solapur is 256 km. There are plenty of transportation options outside the airport.

Accommodation / Staying Options: Forest rest houses have accommodation facilities for tourists. However, their service is not prompt and facilities are average. You can book your room in advance from Pune or Solapur forest offices to avoid inconvenience on the spot. It is advisable to stay in Solapur as it has plenty of accommodation options. Tourists prefer to stay in Solapur as it is just 22 km away.

Eating Stuff:  There are no restaurants in the sanctuary. You have to carry your own food and water while visiting Nannaj bird sanctuary. (Kindly do not throw the litter inside the sanctuary area. Carry plastic material with you and dump them at appropriate place.)

Map To Reach:

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Nannaj bird sanctuary is a nice spot for bird watchers and nature lovers. They can get some really nice snaps of wildlife in this sanctuary!