Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary of Begusarai, Asia’s largest freshwater oxbow, was once a heaven for migratory birds.
Since Kanwar Lake is one of the quietest bird sanctuaries in India. Hence with pretty fewer tourist attractions, the place is ideal for bird watching and photography.
The early morning boat ride through this freshwater lake is spellbinding and eye soothing with its beauty and natural splendor.
On the other hand, mesmerizing the bird watchers with several endangered and vulnerable species and birds.
At the Kanwar Lake, Bird Sanctuary tourists can come across several critically endangered species of birds that include Oriental White-backed Vulture, Long-billed Vulture, Greater Adjutant, Greater Spotted Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Sarus Crane, Darter Anhinga, Painted Stork and Black-bellied Tern.
About Kanwar Lake
Kabar Jheel or Taal, as locally called, this lake is located 22 km North-West of the Begusarai town of Bihar.
Kanwar lake is a notified area under the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972 and a Bird Sanctuary from 1989. It is also a protected zone by the Bihar state government from 1986.
This residual oxbow lake is due to the meandering of Burhi Gandak, a tributary of Ganga, in the geological past.
Why Alarming situation came for Kanwar Lake?
Kanwar, the largest oxbow lake in the world since a long time facing a number of issues.
The lake is undergoing through a very certain change, like agricultural activities increasing at the boundary of the lake, losses of water logging area, etc.
During rainy season though the excess water from the adjoining villages viz. Rajour, Jaimanglagarh increase the depth as well as the area of the lake.
But during winter and summer months water dries up, resulting in the sufficient shrinkage of the lake.
This dying condition of Kanwar lake is not only due to the administration’s loose attitude rather the locals are also playing a vital role.
The local farmers of this region want only 1,400 acres to be notified as a wetland area.
They also want the area to be developed as “Krishi-Evam-Pakshi Vihar”, where agriculture and bird habitat can be equally developed in an integrated manner.
But on the other hand, the Sahnis—a class depending on the fisheries—want a canal should connect the lake and the river to be restored with this.
This has brought them into direct conflict with farmers making this largest oxbow vulnerable one.
Why the conservation of Kanwar Lake is an utmost priority?
Kanwar lake is the largest Ox-Bow lake, wetland, and bird sanctuary. Hence the conservation of this lake is very essential not only for its survival rather for maintaining the biodiversity of the complete region.
How to reach?
Kanwar lake or Kabar Taal is located 22 km north-west of Begusarai town of Bihar. The nearest city to the sanctuary is Begusarai while Patna is the closest local airport.
Best time to visit Kanwar Lake?
The best time to approach the sanctuary is the time between October and June. During these months a number of migratory birds come all the way from Central Asia.