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  • Prakriti Bird Watchers Club

Bird Watching

Ropar Wetlandbird watchers club prakriti farms

7 kilometers from the PRAKRITI Farm is one of Punjab’s prized possessions, the Ropar Wetland. As the winter gets more severe in the northern plains, 21wetlands across Punjab gear up to welcome migratory birds from Siberia, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan and the North-West Frontier province of Pakistan. Swarms of these birds settle across the sprawling lakes and marshy lands from December to March, beckoning wildlife enthusiasts for spectacular sightings of an enchanting variety of the migratory as well as resident birds.

Also named Ropar Lake, is a man-made freshwater riverine and lacustrine wetland. The area has at least 9 mammal, 154 bird migratory and local, 35 fish, 9 arthropod, 11 rotifer, 9 crustacean and 10 protozoan species, making it biologically diverse.

This vast, shallow water body has been created by the damming of the Sutlej river at Ropar, 42km from Chandigarh. The serenity is occasionally ruffled by the flutter of water fowls. The walking trail along the river bank and the log hut near the Sadavarat forest are vantage points for birdwatchers. Nearby is the Dr Salim Ali track, named after the famous ornithologist.

Visit between October and March to see over 25 varieties of migratory birds from Siberia and Tibet. Spread over 1,365 hectares, the wetland is one of the three international Ramsar sites.

You can spot Mallard, Ruddy Shelduck, Wideon, Shovellors, Gadwall, Common Teal, Red-crested Pochard, Coots and the endangered Bar-headed Goose. This important ecological zone is located in the Shivalik foothills of the Lower

Himalayas and was created in 1952 on the Sutlej River, in the Punjab state of India, by building a head regulator to store and divert water for beneficial uses of irrigation, drinking and industrial water supply. The endangered turtle Chitra indica and the threatened snake Python molurus “at lower risk”, as per IUCN Redlist, are reported to be resident in the wetland.

Considering the wetland’s diverse and rich biodiversity, Ramsar Convention has included Ropar Wetland listed as Ropar Lake as one of the Ramsar sites among the 21 sites listed under India, for “the conservation of global biological diversity and for sustaining human life through the ecological and hydrological functions they perform.”

The wetland is a popular tourist attraction for bird watching and boating. A tourism complex called the ‘Pinccasia’ is located within the wetland boundary, which is run by the Punjab Tourism Development Corporation. A Boat Club is also functioning.

The wetland area has also a modern history in respect of Anglo – Sikh relations. On 26 October 1831, sitting under the shade of an old ficus tree on the bank of Sutlej River, Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Lord William Bentinck, the British Governor General signed an agreement defining the Anglo – Sikh relations and territories.

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