Himachal Tourist Guide

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Dalhousie, Chamba, IndiaDalhousie is a hill station full of colonial charm that holds lingering echoes of the Raj. Spread out over five hills. Named after Lord Dalhousie...


Dharamsala, Kangra, HimachalDharamsala is bea- utiful & peaceful town, surrounded by forests of pine. Up there is Suburb of Dharamsala called Macleodganj or Little Lhasa...

Introduction to Maharana Pratap Sagar

Also called Pong Dam Wetland

Pong Dam Wetland, KangraHistorical Kangra, sheltered to the north by the snow-capped Dhauladhar range, is endowed with much more than mountains, temples and forts alone. This fertile hilly district becomes the annual home to tens of thousands of migratory birds every year. Set amidst the ancient, lightly forested Shivaiik Hills, Pong Dam, named Maharana Pratap Sagar, creates one of the most important wetlands in Northwest IndiaThe reservoir was formed in the 1970s by the construction of a large dam created to generate power, regulate the supply of irrigation water to Rajasthan, and lastly to control monsoon flooding in the Punjab. Maharana Pratap Sagar (Pong Dam) Reservoir, with its ever-fluctuating water levels has coincidentally become a haven for migratory birds at a time when other wetlands in South Asia are under various threats. 

Maharana Pratap SagarFor the survival of many migratory water birds from Russia, Siberia and Central Asia, Maharana Pratap Sagar Wetland plays a vital role as the winter habitat for multiple percentages of whole populations of certain species. The muddy shores and fields are the winter home for up to 10,000 Bar-headed Geese that breed and summer on the Tibetan plateau. Equally impressive are the numbers of Great Cormorant from Central Asia that spend winters feeding on the lake's fish, and can be seen every evening flying in their thousands towards their roosting sites along the Beas River. Ducks from Russia and Siberia such as Northern Pintail, Common Teal and Eurasian Wigeon winter here in numbers ranging from thousands to tens of thousands. The addition of various exotic species such as Ferruginous Duck, Red-crested Pochard and Purple Swamphen, make this scenic wetland a paradise for both birders and nature lovers.

Maharana Pratap Sagar, Pong Dam, KangraMaharana Pratap Sagar wetland, situated in the North Himalayan range, is surrounded with rugged ridges, forested glades and streams that cut through valleys and canyons. Slate roofed structures of mud, brick and stone gather to form clusters of villages, amidst rich green fields and grooves of forests. Pragpur have been declared as heritage villages.

The wetland is home to a considerable percentage of asian water birds like the Bar Headed grese as well as threatened species such as the Greater spotted Eagle, White Rumped vulture, Red Necked Falcon, Sarus Crane and the Painted Stork. The surrounding areas are also home to many other birds like the Red Jungle Fowl, Hoopoe, Blue Whistling Thrush, Asian Pied Flycatcher and Whistle Throated Kingfisher. Apart from bustling with nature and wildlife, the Maharana Pratap Sagar Wetlands have their share of ancient temples too. Noteworthy amongst these are the unique monolithic Masoor temple, the Dadasiba temple and Bathu Temple. An ideal destination for avid nature lovers as well as hikers and trekkers. Pragpur Garli, provides several essential services such as tailors and shoemakers, along with traditional craftsmen who are involved in weaving and silver work.

A Regional Sports center offers boating trips to Ransar Island along with recreational sports activities. Tourists may carry their fishing equipment too, as fishing in the vicinity of the Dam is allowed. The weather and the bird population is at its best between November and March. While avid bird watchers can spot many exotic birds during April/May and September/October.


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