Artificial Lakes in Himachal Pradesh

Nestled in the lap of the majestic Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh is not only known for its breathtaking landscapes but also for its serene and captivating artificial lakes. These man-made wonders have become jewels in the crown of this picturesque state, offering a unique blend of natural beauty and human ingenuity.

An artificial lake, often referred to as a man-made reservoir or dam, is a body of water created by humans through the construction of dams or embankments across rivers or streams. These water bodies serve various purposes, ranging from water storage and supply to hydroelectric power generation, flood control, and recreational activities. In Himachal Pradesh, a state nestled in the northern part of India, several artificial lakes contribute significantly to the region's water management and scenic beauty.

Uses of Artificial Lakes:

1.Water Storage and Supply: Artificial lakes play a crucial role in storing water, ensuring a stable supply for agricultural, industrial, and domestic purposes. They act as reservoirs that can regulate water availability, particularly in regions with varying rainfall patterns.

2.Hydroelectric Power Generation: Many artificial lakes are associated with hydroelectric power projects. The stored water is released through turbines, generating electricity. This sustainable energy source contributes to the region's power supply and reduces dependence on non-renewable resources.

3.Flood Control: By regulating the flow of rivers and streams, artificial lakes help in mitigating the impact of floods. During periods of excessive rainfall, the reservoirs can absorb and control the excess water, preventing downstream flooding and safeguarding nearby communities.

4.Recreation and Tourism: Beyond their utilitarian purposes, artificial lakes often become scenic destinations for recreational activities and tourism. Visitors can enjoy boating, fishing, and birdwatching in the tranquil surroundings, contributing to the local economy through tourism.

List of Artificial Lakes in Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh is a state in northern India that is known for its beautiful landscapes and natural attractions. Among its many wonders are several man-made lakes that make for great sightseeing and recreational opportunities.

Gobind Sagar Lake

One of the most impressive lakes in the area is Gobind Sagar/Bhakra. This large lake, located in the Bilaspur district, boasts an impressive length of 56 km and is nearly 3 km wide. It was built in 1976 and is fed by the Bhakra hydel dam, which is one of the highest gravity dams in the world. Named after Guru Gobind Singh, the lake is situated on the Sutlej River and covers an area of 168 sq km. Under the supervision of the American dam-builder, Harvey Slocum, work began in 1955 and was completed in 1962. To maintain the water level, the flow of the river Beas was channelized to Gobind Sagar by the Beas-Sutlej link which was accomplished in 1976. It provides water to several states in northern India and is a great spot for water sports and outdoor activities, which are organized by the department of Tourism and Civil Aviation every year in October and November.

Read in detail about: Bhakra Nangal Dam

Maharana Pratap Sagar  Lake

Another must-visit lake in Himachal Pradesh is the Maharana Pratap Sagar, which is also known as Pong Dam Reservoir or Pong Dam lake. This beautiful lake was created in I975 and one of the  highest Earth fill dam in India. It is located on the Beas river in the Shivalik hills of the Kangra district and covers an area of 156 sq km. Named in honor of Maharana Pratap Singh, the lake has been declared a Ramsar Site Wetland of International Importance by the Ramsar Bureau in Switzerland. It is a great spot for wildlife watching and is home to many migratory birds.

  • Pong Dam Lake was designated as a Ramsar site in 2002 based on a proposal from the Himachal State Council for Science, Technology, and Environment.
  • The lake was previously designated as a "Wetland of National Importance" by the Government of India in 1994.
  • It is one of the best bird sanctuaries in the world.
Read in detail about: Maharana Pratap Sagar Lake

Pandoh lake

Pandoh is another artificial lake that is worth visiting. Located on the Mandi-Kullu road (National Highway 21), this long and narrow lake was formed due to the construction of the Pandoh dam. The Pandoh Dam is an embankment dam that was completed in 1977. The water from the dam is used to generate power at the Dehar Power House before being released into the Sutlej River.  

 The lake is 1,360 meters high and has deep blue water. The Pandoh lake (reservoir) is built on the Beas River, and the dam diverts the water of Beas River via tunnels to link it with Sutlej River. Water sports are available here for tourists from October to May every year. 

Chamera lake

Chamera is yet another picturesque lake in the region. It is a part of the Chamera reservoir, which was built over the river Ravi in the Chamba district. The lake provides irrigation facilities to many nearby villages and is surrounded by lush green trees and beautiful valleys. The Bhalie temple and the famous thick forest of Bhandal valley are located along the road connected to the Chamera dam, making this a great spot for sightseeing and outdoor activities. The lake was created by the construction of a 540 MW Chamera hydroelectric project on Ravi.

Sundernagar lake

Sundernagar lake is a man-made lake that is located in the small town of Sundernagar in the Mandi district. The lake was created by diverting the Beas River's water from Pandoh. The Beas-Sutlej Project, India's one of the largest Hydel Project, provides the waters for the lake. The Beas-Sutlej Project dam regulates the river's water flow, which then meets at the Pandoh dam. Sundernagar is also known for its shady walks among tall trees. Other attractions include the Mahamaya temple and Sukhdev Vatika on a nearby hill.

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