Wetlands of India are not major tourist locations, but their natural aesthetic beauty and the exceptional biodiversity of wildlife which they have will bring the others into shame. Marshes, lagoons, swamps, and lakes are all great sources of freshwater, supports human livelihood and are home to various flora and fauna. All of these reasons are sufficient for conserving them, and hence they are on the list of protected sites under the Ramsar Convention governed by the IUCN. They are paradise on earth for bird waters and also allow adventure activities like boating, fishing, houseboat rides, water-skiing, and safaris. Here are some of the less known wetlands which are all worth visiting,
A pear-shaped lake with few islands in Orissa is a dream come true for bird watchers. Yes, it is the Chilika lake- the largest saltwater lake in Asia. Chilika has evolved to create an ecosystem that sustains flora and fauna and diverse hues and colors. Sunrises and sunsets are stunning phenomena over the lake where you can spot both native and migratory birds. Flamingos, sandpipers, and sea eagles are a few which you can place.
How to Reach: Nearest Airport is Bhubaneshwar Airport; Nearest Railway Station is Balugaon Railway Station
Ashtamudi lake is the entrance of Kerala backwaters. This brackish lagoon has an ecosystem that supports an extraordinary number of aquatic life. The backwaters are jutted with coconut trees, paddy fields, and mangroves. One of the most visited backwaters, it is famous for its houseboats. Visit Ashtamudi and explore the natural biodiversity and the rural lifestyle of Keralites.
How to Reach: Nearest Airport is Trivandrum Airport
Wular Lake, Jammu, and Kashmir
One of the largest freshwater lakes in Asia, the Wular lake of Jammu, is home to a large number of fishes and birds. Formed by the Jhelum River, this popular tourist site attracts people for adventure sports, boating, and water skiing.
How to Reach: Nearest Airport is Srinagar Airport
Harike Lake, Punjab
This manmade lake/wetland in Punjab became home to various endangered species of turtles, otters, dolphins, and other birds, amphibians, and reptiles. The confluence of Sutlej and Beas led to the formation of a wetland, which became a haven for birds crossing international borders.
How to Reach: Nearest Airport is Amritsar Airport; Nearest Railway Station is Amritsar Railway Station
Sundarbans, West Bengal
The largest forest of its type in the world, Sundarbans are home to Royal Bengal Tigers, crocodiles, pythons, and various plant species. It does not only support wildlife of terrestrial and aquatic forms but people who live here and support farming, wood and honey, and medicine gathering. Because of this, the forest has attained a spiritual value apart from ecological and aesthetics benefits, making the locals call the Sundarbans as a mother.
How to Reach: Nearest Airport is Dumdum Airport; Nearest Railway Station is Canning Railway Station
Rich in biodiversity of endemic and exotic flora and and fauna, and extremely scenic, all these destinations are a must visit. Plan your trips to one of them and learn more about nature and the world you live in.