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Magadi Bird Sanctuary

Built on Magadi Tank, the Magadi Bird Sanctuary is Karnataka’s Gaddag district’s Shirahatti Taluk. It has been nearly ten years now that migratory birds from as far as Central Asia come to this spot. The Bar-headed Goose is the most popular bird of this sanctuary. The local villagers are well-equipped guides and the lack of factories nearby has kept the natural habitat of the birds intact, allowing them to rest and go around undisturbed. The villagers have learnt their way of peaceful coexistence with the birds and they are proud and happy to show the tourists around.


The Magadi village is situated in the district of Gadag in Karnataka and this sanctuary is at a distance of 26 kilometres from Gadag. The Magadi Tank is also locally known as the Magadi Kera and is spread over an area of 134 acres of land with a catchment area of 900 acres. The Kaveri flows beside the sanctuary, thus giving it a calm and serene feel.

Flora and Fauna


The Magadi Tank is a man-made reservoir of sorts to preserve rainwater and hence it has developed as one of the important biodiversity hotspots of the state. Magadi is a village, much like any other in Karnataka and most of its land is used for agricultural purposes. There are coconut grooves here and there. The main items of agricultural produce include groundnut, wheat, pulses, jowar, cotton and chillies.


While there have been reports of 5000 Bar-headed Goose being present at one point of time at this sanctuary, there are many other kind of birds which come down here every year as well. Some of these include – the Greater Flamingo, the Purple Heron, the Grey Heron, the Painted Stork, the Oriental Ibis, the Comb Duck, the Eurasian Spoonbill, the Black Winged Stilt, the Woolly Necked Stork, the Ruddy Shed Duck, etc. Though these birds are expected to feed on fishes, molluscs and snakes, what is surprising about these migratory birds at the Magadi Sanctuary is their habit of feeding on the agricultural produce such as barley, rice and wheat. This often ends up ruining the crops but the villagers have learnt to adjust with it.

Best Time to Visit

The ideal time to visit the sanctuary would be between November and March, that is, when the birds migrate and rest in the village and the surrounding areas.


Magadi Bird Sanctuary does not have any lodging or dining facilities. However, there are plenty of options for accommodation at Lakshmeshwar, Shirahatti and Gadag.

Visitor Information

  • The Sanctuary and Tank are maintained by the Karnataka State Forest Department.
  • A three-storeyed watch tower meant for providing a better view to visitors has been built by the authorities.
  • The ideal time to see the birds is around 9 am since they return around that time post their food hunting sessions.

How to Reach


Bangalore is the nearest airport for domestic and international flights and it is placed at a distance of a little more than 350 kilometres.


At a distance of 26 kilometres, Gadag is the closest rail station.


Magadi is located on the Gadag-Bangalore road and is 11 kilometres from Lakshmeshwar, 8 kilometres from Shirahatti and 26 kilometres from Gadag.

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