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Timings : 24 hrs

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Dipor Bil, Guwahati Overview

Located in the Kamrup district of Assam, 18 km southwest of Guwahati city, Dipor Bil (also spelt Deepor Beel) is a freshwater lake in the former channel of the Brahmaputra river. Sprawling over a vast area of 40 sq. km, the lake was declared as a Bird Sanctuary in 1989 owing to its rich biodiversity and heritage. Home to a vast variety of exotic bird species, Dipor Bil is a major tourist attraction of Assam. Well known for its pristine beauty and biodiversity, the area offers a spectacular view of the fascinating wetland and rich forest ecosystem. As many as 19000 different species of rare and endangered birds can be seen every day at the spot, which draws tourists in hordes from far and wide.

In 2002, Ramsar Convention listed it as a Ramsar site due to its vast variety of flora and fauna and its wetland characteristic. Winter season is the best time to visit the spot as the weather conditions attract hibernating birds from far west and south countries. Considering the density and diversity of breeds flocking the place annually, Birdlife International has also declared it as Important Bird Area (IBA) and adequate measures are taken to preserve the rich culture and environs.

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History of Dipor Bil

The name Dipor Bil has been derived from a Sanskrit word ‘Dipor’ meaning ‘elephants’ and ‘bil’ meaning ‘wetland’ or ‘lake’. It is believed that the lakeside was once and important dockyard for the Tai- Ahom and the Mughals. At one point in time, Kampitha and Rambrai Syiemship (political authority of Meghalaya) had control over this site.

Flora and Fauna at Dipor Bil

Dipor Bil boasts of an enormous variety of flora and fauna, rich biodiversity and varied wildlife. The lakeside has divergent species of plants- water hyacinths, water lilies, aquatic grasses, marshy lands and vegetation patches. As per research 18 varieties of phytoplanktons have been found at the site. Also, rare plants like Euryale Ferox, potamogeton crispus etc have been spotted.

Needless to mention, Dipor Bil is a proud abode of a sweeping number of very rare and endangered birds. Harbouring close to 19000 birds on a single day basis, the lake is a dwelling of approx 220 bird species out of which 70 are migratory. Some endangered birds found here include Spot Billed Pelican, Lesser Adjutant Stork, White Bellied Eagle, Siberian Crane etc. A total of 20 amphibians, 12 lizards, 18 snakes, 6 turtle and tortoise species have been listed here. Considering the aforementioned factors, the area attracts a lot of researchers, students and wildlife photographers other than the regular tourists.

Utility of Dipor Bil

Dipor Bil also serves as the source of fresh water to the villages and districts in the precinct, providing them with clean drinking water. Close to 14 villages (approx. 1200 families) are dependent on the lake for livelihood, directly and indirectly. Besides providing water, the lake is a breeding ground of freshwater fish which not only provides a vital diet of proteins to the locals but their trading also helps the fishermen upkeep their sustenance. Known to be the largest lake (beel) in Brahmaputra valley of Western Assam, Dipor Bil has also been classified as representative of wetland type under Burma Monsoon Forest biogeographic region.

Conservation of Dipor Bil

Dipor Bil is managed and maintained by the Tourism and Forest Department of Assam. The fisheries department is responsible for the conservation and preservation of fish as this is the prime source of livelihood for the people. The Bird Sanctuary is responsible for the protection and conservation of birds at the lake. Since, a large number of endangered birds visit the arena, extreme efforts are made to save these birds from extinction.

For the same purpose, Ramsar Convention declared the area as a Ramsar site to take adequate conservative measures for the wildlife preservation. Shooting of birds, hunting and trapping for pleasure is prohibited in the area. Tall towers have been constructed for efficient and convenient bird watching without disturbing the avifauna.

Best Time To Visit Dipor Bil

Dipor Bil witnesses a high humidity climate all through the year which is also called as Mesothermal climate. Summers can get exceedingly hot and humid. And monsoons are known for the heavy rains and swamping. Winters ( October to March) are the best time to visit the lake since the lake size reduces in area and a little cultivation is also practised. Besides, the temperature is at its best with very pleasant weather conditions.

How To Reach Dipor Bil

Located on the National Highway 31 (NH 31) around 14 kms from the city of Guwahati on the Jalukbari Khanapara pass, Dipor Bil can reached by hiring a private taxi cab or driving down to the place.

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