Weather :

Timings : The dam gates are closed before sunset for safety concerns, although the lake can be visited anytime through different routes

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : No entry fee

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Gobind Sagar Lake, Bilaspur Overview

The unparalleled scenic view of rolling hills and plains overlooking the azure blue tint of the man-made reservoir of the Gobind Sagar lake is an alluring vista to gaze upon. The gigantic reservoir is formed on the Sutlej river by the Bhakra Dam, one of the highest gravity dams in the world. Built in 1963, The Bhakra dam stands as an iconic marvel of dam engineering. The multipurpose dam has given birth to a mighty artificial lake that encompasses an area of 170 square kilometres and is 90 kilometres long. Owing to its location and proximity to the Himalayan ranges, the lake is surrounded by lush greenery and an aura of tranquillity at every turn.

Gobind Sagar Lake is renowned for being the third largest reservoir in the country which stands as a lifeline to Himachal Pradesh and several other North Indian states such as Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab, providing millions of cubic tonnes of water for irrigation to over 10 million acres of fields across these regions. The enormous lake is named after Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth guru of the Sikhs. There is a sense of repose and calmness that Gobind Sagar lake welcomes you with. The views of the artificial lake from the lofty dam or the elevated areas around are enchanting and worth a visit. Famous for recreational activities such as water sports and picnicking and obviously the scenic beauty, large number of tourists frequent the vast water reservoir for a jaunt. There are hardly any reasons for you not to stop by!

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Water Sports in Gobind Sagar Lake

Water sports are mainly restricted to certain months of the year, usually August to January when the levels of water are at a high. A series of regattas (boat races) is organized by the Tourism and Civil Aviation Department. Boating, rowing, sailing, etc. are popular water sports activities held here for recreation during this period. Ferry rides are a common sight here and speed boating is another primary attraction for tourists. Also, kayaking, canoeing and white water river rafting on the rapids of the Sutlej river are slowly gaining attention among adrenaline-heads.

During the active tourist season, courses are conducted at three different levels - beginner, intermediate and advance. To promote further activities, the Tourism Department of Himachal Pradesh has constructed a large well-equipped water sports complex at Luhnoo Grounds in Bilaspur which includes lodging and boarding.

The spine-chilling waters of Gobind Sagar Lake and the adjoining Sutlej river offer a plethora of water sport activities paralleled by few other destinations.

Submerged Temples in Gobind Sagar Lake

There are temples that lie below the water and only rise when the water level lowers. The village has submerged, but the superior construction of these temples have made it possible for them to stand erect. The base of the four temples persist. Every year when the water recedes during winter and the early summers, the Gobind Sagar Lake exposes the ruins of ancient temples that remain submerged the other time of the year. It evokes the historical times of Himachal Pradesh. 28 temples were submerged as a result of Bhakara Dam Reservoir out of which 12 are of great importance belonging to the 8th and 19th century AD.

Things To Do at Gobind Sagar Lake

The Bhakra Dam is an absolute must to witness, and with its sheer size, it is a real treat to experience along with the enormous and scenic Gobind Sagar reservoir. The verdant surroundings of the lake add to the beauty of the region. The Nangal Dam is 15 km downstream from its other half, which together is called Bhakra-Nangal Dam. Fishing, recreational and commercial, is commonly practised in the lake since there are 50 plus species and subspecies of fish found here.

History of Gobind Sagar Lake

The construction of the Bhakra dam was commissioned and started by Sir Louis Dane, the former Lieutenant Governor of Punjab in 1948. As a symbolic initiation of building the dam that gave way to creating the artificial lake, former prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru poured the first bucket of concrete in the dry riverbed of Sutlej on 17th November 1955. The Gobind Sagar Lake was formed in 1976, as a direct outcome of the erection of the Bhakra Dam which was completed in 1963.

Best Time To Visit Gobind Sagar Lake

Any time of the year would be fantastic to visit the Gobind Sagar reservoir for its breathtaking quaint views, but the months from June to August tend to be pleasant and bring in rainfall. This is the time when the lake is at its idyllic best.

The Department of Tourism promotes watersports and recreational activities when the water level is at its peak in the months from September to December, so look forward to visiting at this time of the year if you are an adventure junkie.

Tips For Visiting Gobind Sagar Lake

1. It is mandatory for visitors approaching the Bhakra Dam to obtain an entry permit from the town of Nangal, by presenting a valid identity card.
2. Photography is prohibited in and around the dam for security concerns.
3. Swimming is allowed in the lake in certain areas but at your own risk. Always beware of hazards such as whirlpools and deep waters.

How To Reach Gobind Sagar Lake

The Bhakra Dam is a mere 13 km away from the town of Nangal in Punjab and can be reached easily by hiring a taxi/cab at a reasonable fee. You can alternatively travel to Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh, which is well connected by road to major tourist spots like Shimla and Chandigarh. Bilaspur is only 50 km away from Gobind Sagar lake.

Trains are available to the Nangal dam railway station on the outskirts of the town of Nangal from major junctions such as New Delhi, Haridwar, Amritsar, Kolkata and Ambala.

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