The Navegaon National Park located in Navegoan, Arjuni Morgaon Taluka of Gondia District, Maharashtra state, India. Gondia is one of the most popular forest resorts in the Vidarbha region. And was established at the beginning of the 18th century. Spreading over an area of 135 sq km, it consists of a deer park, an aviary and three well-maintained beautifully landscaped gardens and Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. it has a watchtower from where one gets the bird’s eye view of the entire forest. In addition, there is a small museum and a library.
A picturesque lake with crystal clear water presents a scene of sparkling loveliness especially on a moon-lit night, stretching over an area of 11 sq. km is set in the midst of hill ranges and can be approached through a series of winding trails.
There is an interesting legend about Navegaon Lake. It is said to have been built by one Kolu Patel Koli at the beginning of the eighteenth century. He is now defined as Kolasur Deo and his shrine is on one of the peaks surrounding the lake. The peaks are known as ‘sat bahini’ or the ‘seven sisters’. It is believed that these deities helped Kolu in building the lake. On the fringe of the lake is an idol of Hanuman, the deity of strength, whose feet are said to go below the embankment.
The island in the middle of the lake is known as “Maldonger” and was used by the villagers as a refuge from the marauding ‘Pindaris’ (A tribe of professional robbers). The area around the lake is known as the Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, in memory of the noted ornithologist. Best time to visit this sanctuary is between October to June and every winter.
Navegaon National Park flora and fauna
A number of migratory birds can be seen here during winter. Stand quietly by the lakeside and watch as a fish-eating bird suddenly dives down to snatch an unwary fish. In fact, you should make sure you take your binoculars with you! Walk the trails beneath the majestic trees of the forested area. Besides the teak trees, you will see Haldu, Jamun, Kawat, Mahua, Ain, Bhel and Bhor. and other varieties of deciduous trees.
The fauna consists of leopard, tiger, panther, sloth bear, fishing cat, four horned antelope, sambar, nilgai, python, peafowl, and migratory birds. There is a lake in the park which attracts a large number of migratory birds during the period from January to April. In fact, almost 60% birds of entire Maharashtra are visible are Navegaon National Park.
The Jungle Safari is one of the major attractions when in this park. Strolling through the woods of this beautiful forest with crossed paths against wild animals, watching them leisure in their natural habitats is also no less than an engaging attraction. A day spent over the forest, in the treetop house, built in an amazing manner over the top of a tree is one of the most unique experiences of life one can have here in the Navegaon National Park.
Places of interest around the national park are Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary (60 km), Itiadoh Dam (20 km), Tibetan Camp at Gothangaon (15 km) and Pratapgad (15 km).
Navegaon National Park Timing
Navegaon National Park is open from 4.00 am to 7.00 pm. .