Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary in Gujarat

Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary in Gujarat

Are you a bird lover? or do you get excited by watching flocks of birds flying over you? or just the idea of Migrating thousands of km across the ocean is unbelievable to you? or you are tired of watching birds in Zoo behind the bars? then Nal Sarovar is the place for you my friend, to enjoy the beauty of nature in its natural habitat. Nal Sarovar is famous for Migrating birds especially Greater Flamingoes and Lesser Flamingoes.

Flamingoes Patroling | Riteeka Rathod
Flamingoes Patroling

About Nal Sarovar

Nal Sarovar bird sanctuary is located 63km west from Ahmedabad on Sanand – Nalsarovar Road in the Gujarat state of India. Nal Sarovar is one of the largest wetlands in India. It is home to nearly 200+ bird species. It is a very important flyway stopover site for migratory birds in central Asia. The record states that on average 174,128 birds visit during the winter and 50,000 birds visit in Summer. Nalsarovar was declared as a Ramsar site on 24 September 2012. A Ramsar Site is a wetland site that has been given international importance by the Ramsar Convention.

Egret Drying wings at Nal Sarovar | Riteeka Rathod
Egret Drying wings

For me, the major attractions are definitely the Flamingoes but you will see many migratory birds like great white pelicans, white storks, brahminy ducks, and herons. You will find different birds during different seasons.

This sanctuary consists of various kinds of trees, including the locally famous ‘pilu’ trees which harbor a red berry type edible fruit. Also, the water here is crystal clear due to Zero Plastic Waste rule and continuous effort by the government to keep the area clean for the natural habitat.

Birds at Nal Sarovar

Flamingoes at Nal Sarovar
Greater Flamingoes Flying over Nal Sarovar
Rosy Starling at Nal Sarovar
Brown-headed Gull at Nal sarovar
Black-winged stilt at Nal sarovar
Western Swamphen at Nal Sarovar
Golden Duck Flying over Nal Sarovar
Flamingoes Patroling
Great White Pelican at Nal Sarovar
Gloden Duck at Nal Sarovar
Flamingo at Nal Sarovar
Flamingoes at Nal Sarovar

List of Birds I sighted during my visit to Nal Sarovar

Little CormorantGodwit
SeagullBrown-headed Gull
Australian seagullGarganey 
Black duckGreater Flamingo
Common cootGreat White Pelican
PelicanPurple Swan hen 
Grey heronLarge Egrate
Sarus Crane Lesser Flamingo

Activities to do at Nal Sarovar bird sanctuary

Flamingoes and Golden Duck at Nal Sarovar | Riteeka Rathod
Flamingoes and Golden Duck
  • Bird watching is the prominent activity at Nal Sarovar, where you will find over 210 varieties of birds. Other than birds this wetland is also home to Indian Wild Ass which uses this area in Summer. Blackbucks are also found on this land.
  • For the enthusiast who is looking to learn more about the species of birds, an Information center is provided. Which has models of bird species along-with their history, origin, food habits, unique attributes, etc. A map is also provided in this center so that a tourist can easily identify the location of his/her favorite bird. The history of Nal Sarovar can also be learned from here.
  • Boat rides allow for deeper exploration of the Nal Sarovar bird sanctuary and offer better chances of spotting a rare species of bird. On certain islands, watchtowers have been constructed to enjoy the view of the land.
  • For the Foodie person like myself, there is Kathiyavadi village-style food points where authentic Village food such as “sev tameta nu saak”,”Oodo”,”Bateta nu saak” with Bajara no rolto (Millet bread), buttermilk, jaggery is served by the local and offered with a full heart and served with a big smile. The cost is150 per plate, the price may vary.
Great White Pelican Flying over Nal Sarovar | Riteeka Rathod
Great White Pelican Flying

Best time to Visit Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary

Migratory birds start coming at Nal Sarovar in the month of October and remain till April. However, the time you would want to visit would probably range from the month of November to January because at, that time, the migrated population is at its peak. When March ends, Great flamingo and Lesser flamingo arrive here in thousands.

Pro Tip: Please check the water level before visiting, as the birds do not come if water level is more than 4ft. Check in the local newspaper they always updates about the situation.

How to reach? Timings and Packages

Boats and Temple in background at Nal Sarovar | Riteeka Rathod
Boats and Temple in background at Nal Sarovar | Riteeka Rathod

Bird Sanctuary is open 6:00 am – 5:30 pm every day, baring the festive days may affect timings. Links:  Website |  Map

If you are staying in Ahmedabad you need to start early in the morning around 4:30 am or 5 am to reach the site. You can also opt to stay at resorts, there are many options available on Sanand – Nalsarovar Rd. I have been to a few resorts there and will recommend you to check out, 100 acres club and Suramya Abode Resort.

Public transportation is not available so you can opt to book a taxi via Zoom car or Hire a cab or choose to go by your own car (we choose). As we are going for bird watching the best time to go there is early morning before sunrise, so that lake is calm and quiet and a flock of birds waiting for their regular food.

Nal Sarovar Entry Fees
Sr. No.DetailsMon-FriSat-Sun
1Entry Fees (Indian) + Maintenance ₹ 75.00 ₹ 85.00
2Entry Fees for foreigner$10$12.50
 3 Camera Fees : Indian ₹ 200₹ 200
 4 Camera Fees : Foreigner$20$20
 52 Wheeler Parking₹ 10₹ 10
 63/4 Wheeler Parking₹ 20₹ 20
 7Bus / Truck Parking₹ 50₹ 50
850% off for children of 5 to 12 years  

Nal Sarovar Boating Charges
Sr. No.DetailsPrice
11 Person₹ 220
22 Person₹ 440
33 Person₹ 660
44 Person₹ 880
55 Person₹ 1,100
66 Person₹ 1,320
7Personal Boat (Up to 6 Person)₹ 1,320

Things to keep in mind while visiting Nal Sarovar bird sanctuary

  • First on my list is please hire government boat ride only and do not get enticed by any boatman who says they will show more spots than government ferry. I have learned my lesson the hard way but passing on the true experience. All the 6 spots they claim to cover will come on the way to the trip to the island and back. If you want you can give tip to the boatman as a reward for giving you a wonderful experience. Thank me Later!! 😉
  • Please, please please don’t give food to the bird! Our food and their food is different and can cause them serious health problems. Boatman will ask you to throw some snacks in water to attract Seagull but please understand and act wisely. You can do your research on this.
  • Very Important! Check the water level condition in a local newspaper before planning a trip to Nal Sarovar, as I have found that sometimes due to high water level Migrating birds don’t come here. they prefer water level up to 4ft.
  • Carry a water bottle as this will be 2-4 hours of ride and also empty your tank 😛 (I mean go PeePee) before you start your boat ride.
  • Carry binoculars, pair of sunglasses, and cameras to enjoy the ride.