Located in the heart of Assam, in the northeastern part of India, Dipor Bil, (দীপৰ বিল) in Assamese, also known as Deepor Beel, is an extraordinary paradise for nature enthusiasts and bird watchers alike. It’s an untouched gem waiting to be explored and a haven that houses numerous species within its abundant waters.
Location and Geography
Situated just 18 km southwest of Guwahati, Dipor Bil covers a sprawling area of about 40 sq. km. The Bil or lake is part of the Brahmaputra river basin, one of the significant river systems in the world. It is a large natural wetland having great biological and environmental importance. See also, Five Waterfalls to be Visited in North-East India.
The significance of Dupor Bil extends beyond its biodiversity; it’s steeped in history as well. Historically, it was known as ‘Dirgha-Jaya,’ which translates to ‘large victory.’ The origins of this name date back to the war fought between the Kachari and Ahom kingdoms in the 16th century.
Today, Dupor Bil is recognized as a Ramsar site, a wetland of international importance, reflecting its significant ecological, cultural, and scientific value.
Biodiversity of Dipor Bil
Photo Credit: mongabay
Dupor Bil‘s landscape is speckled with semi-evergreen forests, mixed deciduous forests, and bamboo groves. The aquatic vegetation includes water hyacinths, water lilies, and numerous other species that contribute to its vibrant ecosystem.
With over 220 species of birds, Dipor Bil is a birder’s paradise. It houses rare and endangered birds like the Greater Adjutant Stork, Spot-billed Pelican, and Baer’s Pochard Duck, among others.
The lake is home to a variety of fishes and other aquatic species. Some of them include the Golden Mahseer, a fish known for its size and beauty, and the endangered Gangetic dolphin.
Threats and Conservation
Photo Credit: GPlus
Despite its rich biodiversity, Dipor Bil faces several threats, including pollution, encroachment, and overfishing. These issues have led to a decline in the lake’s health and diversity.
Nevertheless, significant steps are being taken for its conservation. The government and local communities are working together to protect and conserve this biodiversity hotspot through various initiatives, like eco-development committees and awareness programs.
Tourism at Dipor Bil
Activities for Tourists
From bird watching to boat rides, Dipor Bil offers a range of activities for tourists. It’s a place where one can immerse themselves in the tranquillity of nature and witness the diverse flora and fauna firsthand.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Dipor Bil is during the winter months, from November to March, when migratory birds flock to the area.
Impact on Local Communities
The lake plays an essential role in the lives of the local communities. It not only provides livelihoods through fishing but also has spiritual significance for the people. Moreover, the rising tourism has further boosted the local economy.
Dipor Bil, with its spectacular biodiversity and rich history, serves as an emblem of natural beauty and cultural heritage. It’s a place that reminds us of the importance of conservation, biodiversity, and the harmonious co-existence of humans with nature. Despite the threats it faces, Dipor Bil remains a symbol of resilience, continually thriving and offering visitors a unique experience of its vibrant ecosystem. See also, Doul Govinda Temple in Assam.
What is Dipor Bil?
Dipor Bil is a large natural wetland located in Assam, India. It’s a biodiversity hotspot and is recognized as a Ramsar site.
What is the best time to visit Dipor Bil?
The best time to visit is during the winter months, from November to March, when migratory birds can be seen.
What are the main threats faced by Dipor Bil?
The main threats include pollution, encroachment, and overfishing, leading to a decline in its biodiversity.
What species can be found in Dipor Bil?
Dipor Bil houses over 220 species of birds, various fishes including the Golden Mahseer, and the endangered Gangetic dolphin, among other species.
What are the activities for tourists in Dipor Bil?
Tourists can enjoy activities like bird watching and boat rides while witnessing the diverse flora and fauna.