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Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary

Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary encompasses wildlife habitat and wetland ecosystem. It has become a haven for migratory birds. According to news reports, this sanctuary witnesses the arrival of more than 5000 birds of about 16 different species. This is around five times more than the presence of birds at the famous Okhla Bird Sanctuary of Delhi.

The birds include Black-Necked Stork, Painted Stork, Black-Tailed Godwit, Sarus Crane, and Black-Headed Ibis.


Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary is located on the Najafgarh drain or “nullah,” which extends to several kilometers and passes through rural part of South West Delhi near Najafgarh town.

Najafgarh drain is not actually a drain. It is the extended portion of Sahibi River and Najafgarh Lake or “Jheel.” The drain is a tributary of Yamuna River. It is 51 kilometers long. It begins at Dhansa and merges with the Yamuna River near Wazirabad. About 30 kilometer length of the drain lies in Delhi.

After a local naturalist studied the area from 1986 to 1989 and brought attention towards it, the area was recognized as a crucial wildlife habitat, particularly as a bird sanctuary. The area, sprawling across 25 kilometers and passing through the core portion of the now drained lake, is labeled under the “Wildlife Act” as “protected.”

Address: near Najafgarh town, south west Delhi

Nearest metro station: Dwarka Mor Metro Station


  • Both sides of the Najafgarh drain feature trees
  • An inspection road runs on one embankment.
  • The winter months witnesses a large number of migratory birds in this area.
  • Visitors can see wildlife all year round here.
  • The Flood Control and Irrigation Department of Delhi had widened the drain in 1960 to avoid flood. This move led to the complete drainage of Najafgarh Lake.
  • The lake was one of the habitats of the endangered Siberian Crane, which has now disappeared from the Indian subcontinent.


Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary features attractive wildlife and birds, plus lush green cover. The thick mud embankments of the drain feature dense forest cover. This acts as wildlife habitat. Visitors can catch a glance of wild cats, foxes, nilgai, hares, jackals, porcupines, snakes like cobras, monitor lizards, and other reptiles.

The place is home to several local waterbirds who nest on the trees. Visitors can admire flora and fauna of this area through their vehicles while driving on the inspection road that runs along one of the embankments of the drain.

Farmlands of the Najafgarh Lake basin area serve as a vital bird habitat. Visitors can see hundreds of Common cranes, Demoiselle cranes, and Sarus cranes in pairs here.

Best time to visit

During winter season, visitors can see a variety of migratory birds of different species at Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary. Visitors can bask under the winter sun and absorb the beauty of nature in the form of wildlife, birds, and greenery.

Entrance Fee: Free

How to Reach

Indira Gandhi International Airport is the nearest airport. It is about 14 kms from Najafgarh. Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary lies at the border of South West Delhi. Visitors can easily get city buses that ply from various parts of Delhi to Najafgarh. Cab facilities, too, are available.

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