Weather :

Time Required : 2-3 hours

Entry Fee : No entry fee

Timings : 10:00 A.M - 6:00 P.M

Harike Wetland and Bird Sanctuary, Amritsar Overview

Considered to be the largest man-made wetland in northern India, Harike Wetland, also known as ‘Hari - ke - Pattan’ is situated on the border of Tarn Taran Sahib district. Sprawling over 4100 hectares of land area, the wetland is spread over Amritsar, Kapurthala and Ferozepur in Punjab. The highlight of the wetland is the gorgeous lake called the Harike Lake, that is situated in the heart of the region and that draws a large number of tourists to the place. There is also a bird sanctuary in the wetland that is known to attract hordes of birdwatchers and nature lovers.

Constructed in 1952, the wetland actually came to exist when a barrage was built at the confluence of rivers Beas and Sutlej. Boasting of a rich biodiversity, the park is considered a haven for birdwatchers as the wetland is home to a large number of exotic and endangered migratory birds who come here during the winter season. Till date, around 375 species of birds have been recorded here. Among the most popular wildlife include birds like crested pochard, common pochard and tufted duck, reptilian fauna like Indus river dolphin, smooth-coated otter and seven species of rare freshwater turtles, and mammals like Indian otter, the jungle cat, jackal, Indian wild boar and the common mongoose etc. The wetland was declared a sanctuary in 1982 and also a Ramsar site by the International Body of Wetlands under the UNDP in 1990. You are expected to take prior permission from forest officials for entry.

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Wildlife at Harike Wetland

Harike Wetland is known for its rich wildlife and boasts of several varieties of birds, amphibians, turtles, snakes, fish and invertebrates etc. To be precise, around 7 species of turtles and 26 species of fish have been found at the sanctuary. Among the popular breeds are testudines turtles, smooth Indian otter, catla, channa, rohu, chitala chitala, puntinus, ambasis and cyprinus etc. So much so, that the Indus dolphin was reported extinct before it was spotted here again. Terrestrial animals to be spotted here include Indian wild boar, common jackal, jungle cat and mongoose etc. Besides, the wetland also has a rich green cover with several plant and tree species.

Migratory Birds at Harike Wetland

Besides everything, Harike Wetland is known for its diverse species of avifauna and birds. There are reportedly around 200 species of birds that visit here annually during the winter season. It is believed that these birds fly down from far off regions like the Arctic and Siberia. Among the popular bird species are cotton pygmy goose, tufted duck, Pallas's gull, brown-headed gull, black-headed gull, yellow-footed gull, Indian skimmer, yellow-crowned woodpecker, yellow-eyed pigeon, water cock, hawk, Eurasian hobby, white-winged tern, white-rumped vulture, hen harrier, Eurasian tree sparrow, horned grebe and black-necked grebe etc. In addition to this, you can also find close to 45000 ducks during the peak season.

Harike Bird Sanctuary
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Tips

Wear comfortable footwear as you will have to walk around a lot. Wear full sleeved, basically be fully clothed, as the wetland may have several insects and mosquitos that might bite you. Remember to carry your binoculars to watch the exotic birds and avian species. Also carry mosquito repellants and a basic first aid kit. Do not litter. Use trash cans or dustbins to dispose off any waste.

Best Time To Visit Harike Wetland and Bird Sanctuary

The most ideal time to visit Harike Wetland is during the winter season, i.e. between the months of October and February. During this period, a lot of migratory birds visit the wetland which is a treat for birdwatchers and nature lovers.

How To Reach Harike Wetland and Bird Sanctuary

Nearest town to the wetland is Makhu(Ferozepur) Railway Station and Bus Stand is situated 10 km south of the Harike town, which connects to Ferozpur, Faridkot and Bhatinda by the National Highway.

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