Pong Dam: Maharana Pratap Lake
Maharana Pratap Sagar, also known as Pong Dam Reservoir or Pong Dam Lake was created in 1975 building the highest earth fill dam in India on the Beas River in the wetland zone of the Shivalik Hills of the Kangra district of the state of Himachal Pradesh, in India.
The Maharana Pratap Sagar has been declared “Ramsar site-wetland of International Importance” by the Ramsar Bureau, Switzerland.
Nestled in the sylvan surroundings of the Kangra valley, the sprawling Pong Dam wetland has emerged as a major habitat for migratory birds in the country as also an attraction for bird watchers.
Known as an outstanding town of paradise for birds watchers, the wetland has rich bio-diversity with meager forests round the Pong Dam Wetland having several tree species which serve as edible fruits for the migratory birds. Keeping in view the natural beauty of the wetland, the area has been developed as national wetland and has been included in the list of internationally known wetlands
Water Sports in Pong Dam
A regional water sports center has been established in the Pong dam reservoir which offers focused activities such as canoeing, rowing, sailing, and water skiing, apart from swimming. Training programs are organized in water safety and rescue measures with three tier water sports courses – the basic course, intermediate course and advanced course. It is said to be the only centre of its type in the country.
The Lake Sanctuary
This lake sanctuary is a big attraction for migratory ducks from Siberian region during winter. One can see thousands of ducks in the swamp area between Shahnahar barrage and Pongdam and the surrounding shallow waters of the lake. Clean blue water all around with the panoramic view of Dhauladhar Ranges and Kangra Valley make the visit to Ransar Island an unforgettable experience. Black buck and Cheetal on the island along with Surkhab, Cranes, Pintails and variety of water birds welcome the visitors on the Island.
How to reach Pong Dam
The best access option is the rail-road combination. The place is at a distance of
170 kilometers from Chandigarh
110 kilometers from Amritsar
55 kilometers from Dharamshala.
The nearest Airports is Chandigarh. The closest railway stations are Mukerian – 30 kilometers and Pathankot 32 kilometers. The rail stations Pathankot and Una are connected to Delhi by express trains.
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