If you prefer quiet places with natural beauty over crowded markets and tourist spots, Salim Ali Lake is one of the best tourist spots in Aurangabad for you. Surrounded by lush vegetation, this large body of water is a delight for nature lovers due to its serene aura, where one can hear the uninterrupted music of nature.
A large variety of birds can be found in the bird sanctuary around the lake, making it a favorite spot for bird watching for a large number of bird lovers. Whether you want to spend your day admiring the natural splendor of the lake, capturing it on your camera or exploring it by boat, this place is a must-see.
Salim Ali Sarovar (Marathi – Pakshimitra Salim Ali Sarovar) is located in front of Himayat Bagh, Aurangabad, one of the many gates in Aurangabad, near Delhi Gate. It is located in the northern part of the city. During the Mughal period it was known as Khiziri Talab. It is named after the great ornithologist, naturalist Salim Ali and known as the bird of India. The office of the Divisional Commissioner Aurangabad Division is nearby, as is the Collectorate of Aurangabad District.
During Aurangzeb’s reign, a large marsh or tank extended the entire length of the northern wall, (extending from the present day Salim Ali Lake to the Begampura/mausoleum) but the breathing and dampness became unhealthy and Aurangzeb immediately removed it in front of his palace. Ordered the part. (Kila-e-Ark) should be filled and converted into a farm. This reclaimed area was later developed by an officer of Aurangzeb’s court into a Mughal garden (now known as Himayat Bagh), which contained many fruit trees of various varieties for the royal court and its officials. The rest was known as the Khijri lake which lies beyond the Delhi Gate. Another small tank, the Kanwal or Loti Lake, (near the present Aam Khas Maidan between Qila-e-Ark and Begampura) was fed by a spring and enclosed in a hollow between Aurangzeb’s palace and Mecca Gate, but was deliberately destroyed to save the city from flooding.
Salim Ali Talab as it is known in present day also has a small bird sanctuary and the area around the lake is good for bird watching in winter when many migratory birds come to nest. The park is maintained by the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation. Boating facilities are also available during monsoons and winters when the lake is full. Recently it was dredged to increase its water holding capacity.
Salim Ali Lake and surrounding area is a rare and rich biodiversity site in the city with around 16 species of trees, 11 species of shrubs, 8 climbers, 32 terrestrial herbaceous plants, 10 types of algae, There are 12 aquatic plants, 16 aquatic insects and insects. Crustaceans, nine types of fish, 15 types of reptiles, seven types of rodents and mammals and 102 types of insects. Efforts are underway by environmental activists and bird lovers in the city to conserve the historic Salim Ali Lake as a biodiversity hot spot by closing it to the public.
- Place : Chhatrapati Nagar, Aurangabad
- Time : 8 AM to 5 PM
- Entry Fee: Free Entry