Nandur Madhmeshwar wildlife sanctuary is situated in the Niphad Tehsil of Nashik District in Maharashtra. This sanctuary is a hub for thousands of resident and migratory birds. The sanctuary comprises the catchment area of the dam which was constructed across the Godavari River just below the confluence of Kodwa and Godavari rivers at Nandur Madhmeshwar. The water released from Gangapur and Darana water reservoirs is stored at Nandur Madhmeshwar dam and is subsequently released from here through canals for irrigation purposes. Due to this the water level is always fluctuating at Nandur Madhmeshwar dam. The sanctuary is spread over a protected area of 10000 hectares.
There are more than 230 species of birds found here out of which 80 are migratory species. Other than birds many other interesting forms of wildlife can also be spotted in this sanctuary. Nearly 24 species of fishes have been recorded in the reservoir.
The entry fee for the sanctuary is Rs. 30/- per head and Rs. 30/- for vehicle. They will issue a fanciful receipt which does not state any department or authority but simply says “Receipt for Payment to Government”. There are few machans erected by the department from where you can stand and watch the birds. But these were not of much use to us as the water level was too low and we have to walk few kilometres to reach the water body to see the birds.
How to Reach:
The nearest airport is Aurangabad at a distance of 180 km.
The nearest railway station is Niphad at a distance of 12 km on Mumbai-Bhusawal line.
The sanctuary is approachable by road from Nashik on the Aurangabad highway which is 30 km away from Nashik via Niphad. It is very near to Vinsur MIDC Naka.
There are tents available for stay which is managed by the Forest/water department. Food can be arranged through the local villagers. But the wash room facilities are very poor. Also there is a government guest house which I was told is not very clean or well maintained. But this guest house is surrounded by lot of trees and you can see many birds around this place. A local villager Mr. Amol Darade who is a bird enthusiast himself, can arrange accommodation in a private villa if you could inform him in advance. The villa which is situated in the middle of a vineyard is really a very nice place and the caretaker a highly accommodative local guy, will arrange food from the nearby restaurant. Mr. Darade will also provide you with guides who will assist you in reaching the locations where you can spot the birds. These guides are equipped with binoculars and are really helpful in locating and identifying the birds. The charges are Rs. 400/- for a four hour trip. Mr. Amol can be contacted on 08007858599.
Also Niphad area is famous for vineyards & wineries which are very close to the sanctuary. In fact you can combine the birding trip with a visit to one of the many wineries and vineyards which are located within 15 km from the sanctuary.