Pong Dam Lake Kangra District Himachal Pradesh Tourism
Pong Dam Lake Kangra District Himachal Pradesh Tourism: Pong Dam Lake, also known as Maharana Pratap Sagar. It is an artificial reservoir formed by the construction of the Pong Dam on the Beas River within the wetland area of the Shivalik Hills in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. Completed in 1975, Pong Dam is the highest earthfill dam in India.
- Distance From Chandigarh Is Approx. 203Km Via NH503
- Distance From Hoshiarpur Is Approx. 75Km Via NH3
- Distance From Shimla Is Approx. 240Km Via NH205 and NH503
- Google Map: Pong Dam Lake
The lake covers a vast catchment area of 12,562 square kilometers, with a total geographical extension of 207 square kilometers, mainly reaching a depth of 1410 feet. Recognized as a Ramsar site under Criteria 5 and 8 in 2002, Pong Dam Lake boasts of a rich biodiversity, hosting over 420 bird species from 56 families in its serene surroundings.
This wetland embodies all the qualities desired by children, students, writers, poets, saints, environmentalists, fishermen, tourists, adventurers, and sports lovers. Recognized as one of the finest bird havens globally, the Pong Dam Lake Wildlife Sanctuary is a testament to its diverse and picturesque offerings.
Flora and Fauna around the lake:
Pong Wetland stands as a biodiversity hotspot, hosting an impressive range of avian species. Boasting remarkable diversity, the wetland is home to over 420 bird species, representing 56 of the 77 families recorded in India. The avifauna includes an assortment of resident birds such as jungle fowl, peacocks, gray partridges, and black partridges. Major waterbird species include bar-headed geese, pintails, common pochards, coots, grebes, cormorants, herons, storks, ruddy shelducks, common teal, shovelers, moorhens, stints, lapwings, plovers, shanks, snipes, gulls, terns,. Kingfishers, Kites, Mallards, Gadwall, Egrets and Marsh Harriers.
During the extensive bird census exercise, a total of 117,022 birds were recorded, representing 108 different species. Specifically, water-dependent migratory birds comprised 105,497 individuals across 59 species, while water-dependent resident birds comprised 10,393 individuals across 29 species. Additionally, 1,132 individuals of 20 species were recorded as other bird species. The dominant species, bar-headed geese, recorded a significant presence with a population of 50,263 individuals.
In an interesting conservation effort, Pong Wetland has a unique Vulture Café, where cattle carcasses are deliberately placed to attract vultures, offering a glimpse of the delicate ecological relationships within this vibrant bird ecosystem.
Amphibians and Reptiles:
The diverse range of amphibians and reptiles in Pong includes four species of frogs, four species of turtles, four species of lizards, and an impressive 18 species of snakes. Among the snake species, notable venomous species include the spectacled cobra, common krait, common Indian krait, Russell’s viper, and saw-scaled viper.
Pong has a rich mammalian fauna with a recorded number of 24 species. Common mammals identified include various mongoose species including the elusive common leopard, majestic sambar, flexible wild boar, prickly porcupine, small Indian mongoose and common Indian mongoose, jungle cat, and civets such as the common palm civet and small Indian civet. The diverse mammalian population includes the blue bull, Indian smooth otter, jackal, monkeys, and langur, three-striped squirrel as well as several species of rats, mice, and other rodents. This comprehensive list highlights the remarkable biodiversity of mammals thriving within the Pong region.
Due to the availability of adequate food and a peaceful environment, Pong Dam Lake of Himachal has become the first choice of foreign birds. Foreign birds are reaching here after flying from thousands of kilometers away. On the other hand, birds do not get suitable food in the lakes built on the water of the Sutlej River. These birds feed on fishes and other insects in the lake.
There are sufficient quantities of fish in Pong Lake. There are other lakes in the state too, but there they do not get the right environment to fly or face difficulty in searching for food. Foreign birds also reach Renuka Ji Lake in the state every year, but their numbers are much less here as compared to Pong Lake.
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