In The Outskirts Of Indore, MP’s Sirpur Wetland Is A Ramsar Site & A Biodiversity Haven

Sirpur Wetland is a haven for a diverse array of plant and animal species.

by Tejashee Kashyap
In The Outskirts Of Indore, MP’s Sirpur Wetland Is A Ramsar Site & A Biodiversity Haven

Spread across a vast expanse, Sirpur Wetland is a natural gem. With its diverse flora and fauna, serene landscapes, and rich cultural significance, this wetland in Indore is special since it’s an urban lake that was destroyed and then painstakingly rebuilt.

A Man-Made Lake

Sirpur Wetland, the third designated Ramsar Site in Madhya Pradesh, is special since it is an urban lake that has been meticulously restored after falling into complete disrepair. Established about 130 years ago, this wetland is a 670-acre lake created by Maharaja Shivajirao Holkar to supply water to the city of Indore. The lake’s history dates back to the late 19th century when the former Holkar kings had it constructed. It is located on Dhar Road, a short 2 kilometres from the bustling Gangwal Bus Stand. It was located far from the bustle of the city and surrounded by farmland and forests.

However, the wetland faces numerous challenges that threaten its existence, underscoring the need for concerted conservation efforts  Currently, an urban population surrounds the lake and it is under extreme strain inside its catchment areas. The Nature Volunteers, an NGO founded by ardent environmentalists in Indore, has been devotedly fighting for the preservation of Sirpur Lake for the past 28 years. To raise public knowledge of the wetland and its significance, the NGO organises events and programs. A few examples of these include birding camps, workshops on biodiversity protection, water testing drives, and bird count surveys.

Also Read: Jharkhand’s Udhwa Bird Sanctuary Hopes To Bag The Prestigious Ramsar Site Status

Rich Flora & Flora

Sirpur Wetland is a haven for a diverse array of plant and animal species. The wetland supports a rich vegetation cover. It includes aquatic plants such as water lilies, lotus, and water hyacinths, along with terrestrial species like grasses, shrubs, and trees. These plant communities provide food, shelter, and nesting sites for a plethora of wildlife.

Sirpur features an amazing blend of open fallow land, scrub jungle, aquatic environment, and a garden with large, ancient fig, tamarind, and gulmohar trees. It is home to a sizable resident bird population as well as a winter refuge for migratory species. A birdwatching path around the lake’s bund is ideal for up-close views of several resident and migratory bird species.

The wetland teems with avian life, attracting migratory birds from various parts of the world. Species such as bar-headed geese, northern pintails, Asian openbills, and Sarus cranes flock to Sirpur during the winter months. Additionally, the wetland is home to resident birds like kingfishers, herons, egrets, and jacanas, which thrive in its marshy habitats.

Its breathtaking landscapes, diverse flora and fauna, and rich historical legacy make it a treasure trove of biodiversity and tranquillity.

Cover image credits: Wikimedia Commons

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