Pong Dam Lake Wildlife Sanctuary

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Pong Dam Lake Wildlife Sanctuary


Pong Dam Lake (also known as Maharana Pratap Sagar) is a manmade reservoir formed due to the construction of Pong Dam on Beas River in the wetland zone of Shivalik hills in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. The Pong Dam is the highest earth fill dam in India and was constructed in 1975. The catchment of the lake spreads up to 12562 sq. km and total geographical area of the lake is 207 sq. km mainly up to 1410 ft. Pong Dam Lake was designated a Ramsar site in 2002 under the Ramsar criteria 5 and 8. More than 420 bird species belonging to 56 families have been recorded in the lake.
This wetland possesses all the merits which the children, students, authors, poets, saints, environmentalists, anglers, tourists, adventurists and sportsmen require. This lake is one of the best Bird’s Paradise in the world. Pong Dam Lake Wildlife Sanctuary.



The Pong wetland harbours more than 420 species of the birds belonging to about 56 bird families out of 77 families of the birds recorded in India. Avifauna includes the resident birds of jangle fowls, peafowl, Grey partridges, Black Partridges etc. Among the waterfowl’s main species are Bar headed geese, Pintails, common pochards, coots, Grebes, Cormorants, Herons, Storks, Ruddy shellduck, common Teal, Shovellers, Moorhen, Stints, Lapwing, Plovers, Shank, Snipe, Gull, Terns, Kingfishers, Kites, Mallards, Gadwall, Egrets, Marsh Harriers etc.
The total number of Birds recorded during the counting exercise is 117022 comprising of 108 species. Out of the total number, the water dependent migratory birds are 105497 of 59 species; water dependent resident birds are 10393 of 29 species and other birds recorded are 1132 of 20 species. The total population of the flagship species, Bar-headed Geese is 50263.
There is a Vulture café in Pong wherein cattle carcass is dumped inviting the Vultures to scavenge upon them.

Amphibians and Reptiles :

The commonly found species of amphibians and reptiles contain 4 species of frogs, 4 species of turtles, 4 species of lizards, 18 species of snakes (of which venomous snakes are Spectacled Cobra, Common Krait, Common Indian Krait, Russel’s Viper, and Saw Scaled Viper).


24 species of Mammals have been recorded in Pong. Common species are Common Leopard,Sambher ,Wild Boar ,Porcupine ,Mongoose-Small Indian Mongoose ,Common Indian Mongoose,JungleCat,Civets -Common Palm civet,Small Indian civet, Blue Bull , Indian Smooth Otter ,Jackals , Monkeys and Langoors, Three Striped Squirrels, and many species of rats, mice and other rodents.

Bird Watching
Short Trekking
Spiritual tours

Spiritual Attractions :

Bathu temples, known locally as Bathukiladi , is a cluster of temples in the Kangra district of Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, with the main temple dedicated to goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva. These temples were submerged in Maharana Pratap Sagar, a reservoir created by Pong dam in the early 1970s. Since then, these temples are only accessible from May to June when the water level decreases. The temples are accessible by boat from Dhameta and NagrotaSurian and accessible by road from Jawali. There are several small villages near the temple site, which includes Guglara, Sugnara, Harsar, Jarot, Bajera, Katnor, Khabal, Ludret, and Bhial.

According to common local belief, it was built by local king who ruled the region. Many stories about the origin of the temples are famous among the folklore. Other beliefs say that temple was built by Pandavas. The folklore tells a story dating back to Mahabharata when Pandavas attempted to build a staircase to ascend to Heaven at monolithic Masrur Rock Temples located at the opposite of the lake but Indira intervened. But, successfully built the 'Stairway to Heaven' at 'BathukiLadi' temples where that staircase still exists even today and one can climb to the top most part to have a feel. The central temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Submerged 'BathukiLadi' temples can be visited in winters when water recedes.


Hindi, English, Punjabi are understood and spoken by the people engaged in tourism trade.

Clothing Essentials

Cotton clothes in Summer and lightwoollens in winter.


In winter the temperature get quite low and summers are hot.



Book Your Forest Rest Houses/Inspection Huts
Pong Dam Lake Wildlife Sanctuary

How to Reach

By Air Gaggal Airport at 36 km
By Rail Pathankot-Jogindernagar narrow gauge railway line 66 km from AmbAndaura Railway Station
By Road here is a well laid network of roads all around the Pong wetland. The distances by road for some important places are as under;
a) Hoshiarpur –Dehra -- 60 Km.
b) Pathankot – Guglara -- 45 Km.
c) Talwara – Pong dam -- 06 Km.
d) Talwara -- Dhameta -- 18 Km.
e) Gaggal- NagrotaSurian -- 36 Km