Harike Wetland also known as “Hari-ke-Pattan”, with the Harike Lake in the deeper part of it, is the largest wetland in northern India in the border of Tarn Taran Sahib district and Ferozepur district of the Punjab state in India.
Experience rich biodiversity, including:
1. 200+ species of birds
2. 16+ types of floating flowers and vegetation
3. 26+ types of fishes, endangered turtles, Otters and more
4. Indus river dolphins (endangered species)
5. Ghariyals (critically endangered)
The wetland and the lake were formed by constructing the headworks across the Sutlej river, in 1953. The headworks is located downstream of the confluence of the Beas and Sutlej rivers.
The rich biodiversity of the wetland which plays a vital role in maintaining the precious hydrological balance in the catchment with its vast concentration of migratory fauna of waterfowls including a number of globally threatened species (stated to be next only to the Keoladeo National Park near Bharatpur) has been responsible for the recognition accorded to this wetland in 1990, by the Ramsar Convention, as one of the Ramasar sites in India, for conservation, development and preservation of the ecosystem.
This man-made, riverine, lacustrine wetland spreads into the three districts of Tarn Taran Sahib, Ferozepur and Kapurthala in Punjab and covers an area of 4100 ha. Conservation of this Wetland has been given due importance, since 1987–88, both by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India and the Punjab State Government.
Getting to Harike
The place is 45 minutes drive from Amritsar city and you can hire a bus (Rs 50) or a Taxi (Upto 2000) to get to this place.
Travel Tips / Hacks for Harike:
1. Get a permit for bird watching from forest officer before 4pm (Free of cost, needs identify proof)
2. Carry bird watching binocularsfor bird watching experience
3. Plan your route back at a decent time as the place lacks hotels. Locals depend upon a well maintained gurdwara for the rest.
Got any images / tips / hacks for Harike? Feel free to post them below.