Thursday, 7 June 2007
Wular Lake is approximately 60 km from the city of Srinagar, between the towns of Bandipore and Sopore. Spreading over an area of 125 km, Wular Lake is said to be one of the largest fresh water lakes in Asia. The Wular Lake of Kashmir changes character after every few miles of its course. The lake serves as a natural flood reservoir for Jhelum River, draining off the excess water. The beauty of Wular Lake is beyond description of words. Devoid of any artificial feature, the Wular Lake in Kashmir reflects the beauty of nature at its best. Set amongst scenic locales, the Wular Lake is also home to an exotic and wide variety of avian life. It plays a significant role in the hydrographic system of the Kashmir valley by acting as a huge absorption basin for the annual floodwaters. The lake, along with the extensive marshes surrounding it, is an important natural habitat for wildlife. It is also an important habitat for fish, accounting for 60 per cent of the total fish production within the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The lake is a source of livelihood for a large human population living along its fringes. The catchment area of the lake supports magnificent coniferous forests, alpine pastures and orchards, adding to the natural beauty and biodiversity of the wetland area. Other attractions of the Wular Lake are some ruins, standing in the middle of the lake. These remains are that of an island of Zaina Lanka, built by King Zain-ul-abidin. It is believed that the lake is a remnant of the Satisar Lake, which used to be here in the per-historic times.