Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pandoh Lake


   19 km from Mandi, on National Highway 21 which leads to Kullu and Manali.

Targeted at the generation of hydel power, an earth and rock-fill dam has created this lake from where a tunnel diverts the water of the river Beas and pours it into the river Sutlej and the combined waters feed the Gobind Sagar. Fishing and boating are available.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Chamera Lake


   In district Chamba, this the reservoir of the Chamera dam built over the river Ravi.

   Phase 1 of the project generates 540 Mega watt of electricity. Phase 2 which is under way will add another 300 Mega Watt. The lake offers a variety of water sports.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Gobind Sagar



   This vast reservoir lies in the district of Bilaspur and Una. The town of Bilaspur is 83 km from the railway station of Anandpur Sahib.

   The Gobind Sagar over the river Sutlej is the result of the huge hydel dam of Bhakra and is named in honour of Gobind Singh the tenth Sikh Guru. One of the world’s highest gravity dams, the Bhakra rises 225.5 m above its lowest foundations. Under the supervision of the famous American dam builder, Harvey Slocum, work began in 1955 and was completed in 1962. Incidently, Slocum had no formal training as an engineer, but his conceptions and designs had been proven successful. To maintain the level of water, the flow of the river Beas was also channeled to the Gobind Sagar by the Beas-Sutlej Link which was completed in 1976. Today, this dam feeds electricity and water to several states of north India. Its reservoir – the Gobind Sagar is 90 km long and encompasses an area of approximately 170 sq km.

   As far back as 1962, the Gobind Sagar was declared a ‘Water Fowl Refuge’ and even today, hosts a variety of water and shore birds, fishing is a regular activity and fifty-one species and sub-species have been recorded. The varieties found, include Labeo dero, Tor putitora,mystus seenghala and mirror carp and allied species. Fishing licences may be obtained from the Department of Fisheries at Bilaspur.

   Water sports are available – as are speed – boat and ferry rides. In October and November, when the water level of the reservoir is at its peak, a series of regattas are also organized by the Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation. Water-skiing, sailing, kayaking and water-scooter racing become available at this time.

Other Attractions

   Connected by a rope-way, the shrine of Naina Devi overlooks the Gobind Sagar. The adjoining wildlife sanctuary holds sambhar, wild boar, barking deer and red jungle fowl. Several old forts and the towns of Swarghat and Bilaspur are near the Gobind Sagar. Bilaspur has a large sports complex. The mirror carp hatchery is also accessible from the lake.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Maharana Pratap Sagar

Maharana Pratap Sagar
Maharana Pratap Sagar. 450 m above sea level.

   Maharana Pratap Sagar is 32 degrees North and 76 degrees East. In District Kangra. 170 km from Chandigarh, 110 km from Amritsar, 55 km from the district headquarters at Dharamshala. The closest railway stations are at Mukerian-30 km, and Pathankot-32 km. The settlements of Nagrota Surian and Jawali-which are located on the Sagar’s periphery-are connected by the charming narrow gauge Kangra Railway Line that connects Pathankot to Jogindernagar. The closest airport is at Gaggal-40 km. the lake is well served by a network of roads.
   Named in honour of the great patriot Maharana Pratap, the Maharana pratap sagar was once known as the Pong Dam Reservoir. India knows the Maharana Pratap Sagar was once known as the Pong Dam Reservoir. India knows the Maharana as a man who struggled valiantly for his kingdom of Mewar-as for the principle of independence. In the words of the chroniclers James Tod and William Crooke,”Hespurned every overture that had submission for its basis”. Over the river Beas, the ‘Pong Dam’ was completed in 1976. Its reservoir has an area of about 45,000 hectares at maximum possible flooding-the level varies with every season and overages around 30,000 hectares. Over 200 villages with a population of over 85,000 people lie along the wetland.
In 1983, the Sagar was declared a wildlife sanctuary and over 220 species of birds belonging to 54 families have been sighted over the waters and the fringing mud-banks-these include black-headed gulls, plovers, terns, ducks, water-fowl and egrets. The first sighting in the region of the red-necked grebe was made at the Sagar. The wetland’s location at the head of the Indian plains has made it a suitable habitat and stopover for migratory birds that enter India from central Asia.
   The land portion of the sanctuary has barking deer, sambar, wild boars, nilgai, leopards and claw-less otters.
   Twenty-seven species and sub-species of fish belonging to six families have been recorded in the Sagar’s waters. Some of the important commercial varieties are-Labeo dero, Labeo rohita, Labeo calbasu, Tor Putitora and Mystus seenghala. Since 1976, fishing has been a major economic activity in the area and today, this provides employment to some 1,500 fishermen and the annual catch is valued at over a crore rupees.
   There is a branch of the Directorate of Mountaineering and Allied Sports at the Sagar and year-round activities include swimming, water-skilling, surfing, kayaking, rowing, canoeing and sailing. The Directorate of Tourism and Civil Aviation provides equipment at Sagar this includes sail boats, paddle boats, speed aero boats, life buoys, water scooters, speed boats, rafts, life jackets, water skis and wet suits. Various courses-beginners, intermediate and advanced-are also conducted at the Sagar.

Other Attractions

   The sagar is close to several places of Hindu pilgrimage-Jawalamukhi, Chamunda Devi, Chintpurni, Brajeshwari Devi, Mahakalesar, Bagolamata and Naina Devi. The seat of his holiness the Dalai Lama at Mcleodganj and the Namgyal monastery are a short drive away. The other Buddhist monasteries at hand are Tashijong and Bir-Billing.
   The Kangra area is rearded as amongst the best in this part of the world for Paragliding. There are many sites of architectural importance, old forts and palaces that are close to the Sagar. For example, the forts of Kangra, Mangarh, Tira(Sujanpur) and the monolithic temple of Masrur.
   This area was the cradle of the Kangra school of miniature painting. Near the Sagar is Haripur-Guler which was a major centre of the art. There are rare exhibits at the Kangra Art Gallery at Dharamsala.
   The area has several trek routes for which the sagar can act as the base camp.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Lakes of Himachal Pradesh

   Light blue diamond’s set amidst the lush green of low rolling hills, or deep sapphires placed by stark snow and acres of bare rock on high mountain tops, Himachal has dozens of large and small lakes spread over the state. The state has geographical area of 56,000 sq km of which one percent is covered by lakes. Some are natural bequests that may well date back millions of years to the time when the region was a vast inland sea. Today, they are fed by streams of pure snow-melt or by ground-water springs. Practically without exception, they are held sacred- or at the very least, have fascinating legends merging with their crystal-clear waters. Other lakes are for more recent, and are man-made reservoirs. As a collection of precious jewels adorning a beautiful body, they have enhanced Himachal’s varied landscape. Many are sources of the rivers that start as tiny streams and grow to become the mighty rivers that feed the fertile valleys of the state and the genetic plains of north India. Several are home to variety of resident and migratory birds and a host aquatic life. And, these water-bodies have also opened a tremendous range of activity that includes boating, swimming, canoeing, water-skiing, kayaking, sailing, surfing and fishing.

  •  Maharana Pratap Sagar
  •  Gobind Sagar
  •  Chamera Lake
  •  Pandoh Lake
  •  Renuka Lake
  •  Dal Lake
  •  Khajjiar Lake
  •  Karyali Lake
  •  Karaeri Lake
  •  Kumarwah Lake
  •  Rewalsar Lake
  •  Prashar Lake
  •  Brighu Lake
  •  Ghadhasaru Lake
  •  Nako Lake
  •  Suraj Tal
  •  Chandra Tal Lake
  •  Mahakali Lake
  •  Chander Naun
  •  Dashir
  •  Lama Dal
  •  Manimahesh Lake
  •  Seruvalsar Lake