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Located on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Taudaha Lake is a famous freshwater lake surrounded by hills covered with dense forests. The lake is full of fishes and is also a heaven for birdwatchers because of the migratory birds in the area. As per a legend, Taudaha is one of the lakes that were formed from the waters of a large lake after a mythical character cut the hill behind it and let the water flow away.
Legend states that there was once an enormous water body where Kathmandu now exists. This water body was believed to be home to mythical creatures that were a part serpent and part human and were recognized as the Nagas. Manjushree, a bodhisattva who was associated with Mahayana Buddhism, is believed to have cut through a hill located in the south of the Kathmandu Valley and let the water drain away to expose the land underneath to use it for human settlement. The water, however, did not drain off entirely and smaller ponds and lakes were formed in and around the region. One of these is believed to be the Taudaha Lake.
The Nagas were left homeless after the water body no longer remained and their King, Karkotak set out in rage to take revenge. To calm the king, the people who settled near Taudaha Lake built a magnificent palace underwater, studded it with precious stones and offered it to the Naga King. He was extremely pleased with the gesture but put forth a condition that nobody would disturb the biodiversity of the lake if they wanted him to rule the Nagas harmoniously underwater. The people agreed, and ever since, no fishing or swimming is allowed in the Taudaha Lake.
Probably no one knows if the legend is true, but it has very well helped the settlement maintain the biodiversity of the lake which is home to a number of plant, bird and animal species. Researchers have found that the place is home to 17 species of resident birds, two summer migrants and about 20 species of winter migrant birds. On any occasion, one can easily spot the Oriental Magpie Robin, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Bulbul, Myna, Black Drongo, Kites, etc. If one is visiting during summer, they can spot the Barn Swallow and the Indian Cuckoo while during the winters, Northern Shoveler, Mallard Ducks, Northern Pintail, Ruddy Shelduck, Great Cormorant, Common Teals, etc. can be easily spotted around the lake.
The lake waters provide an environment apt for fishes like Barbs, Snakeheads Catfishes and Large Carps like Silver Carp, Common Carp, and the Bighead Carp. Many species of animals like the Indian Grey Mongoose, Golden Jackal, rodents, Oriental Garden Lizard and Checkered Keelback also thrive in the dense forests all around the water body.
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