In Search of Migratory Birds @ Maharana Pratap Sagar – A Photo Journey

Maharana Pratap Sagar (महाराणा प्रताप सागर), also known as Pong Dam Reservoir or Pong Dam Lake was created in 1975 building the highest earthfill dam in India on the Beas River in the wetland zone of the Siwalik Hills of the Kangra district of the state of Himachal Pradesh, in India. Named in the honour of the patriot Maharana Pratap (1572 –1597), the reservoir or the lake is a well known wildlife sanctuary and one of the 25 wetland sites declared in India by the Ramsar Convention. [Source Wikipedia].

This reservoir is an artificial ocean in itself, vast and unending. The dam is built on the State Highway-27 and if it stops functioning, electricity woes in Punjab state will become fatal, if they are not already. Crossing over the dam is not allowed in night and all the vehicles take a detour through an alternate route at night. Even in the daytime they do not allow you to stop and click photographs because stopping and photography are strictly prohibited unless you have special permission. You have to cross the high security zone within fifteen minutes and if you are unable to do so, you better be prepared with a good explanation. You can’t fool them because at both the checkposts they note down your entry/exit timings.

In Search of Migratory Birds

As photography is not allowed you cannot capture the beautiful dam or reservoir in its full view. However, there is still a lot to see beyond the secure zone. There is a place called 52 Gate named so because the barrage has 52 gates for controlling the water level. This place is the easiest spot to capture birds. One side of this barrage lies in Punjab whereas the other in Himachal, you must be in Punjab if you want to get hold of different sorts of birds resting in the deep backwaters of the reservoir. There is a Water Sports Center as well located just next to the security check post. Special permissions can be obtained from Talwara Office for photography and sightseeing. Nagrota Surian and Dhameta are two best places to find birds. Best time is early in the morning or late in the evening.  

You too have a look.

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