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  Asan Barrage

 Asan Barrage, The Asan Reservoir is a small man-made wetland of ca. 4 sq km area, located 40 km west of Dehradun, in the west of Dehradun valley on Dehradun-Paonta road. Geographically it is situated between latitude 30 24-30 28 N and longitude 77 40-77 44 E, near the confluence of the rivers Asan and Yamuna. The barrage is 287.5 m long, the river bed being 389.4 m above sea level, with minimum and maximum water levels respectively at 402.4 m and 403.3 m asl.

The Asan reservoir exists throughout the year and is fed from the river Asan and the discharge channel of Yamuna through Dhalipur power house. Although the water level is controlled, it often goes down, and swampy islands in the middle become visible, attracting a variety of marsh-loving birds like egrets, herons and lapwings etc..

Asan Barrage serves as a winter passage halt for trans-Himalayan migratory birds. These birds are spotted here on their way to southern India (October-November) and again on their way back (late February-March). By the end of October the Asan witnesses the arrival of migrants from Pale arctic region. The first to arrive is the shoveller followed by ruddy shelduck, mallard, coot, cormorant, egrets, wagtails, pond heron to name a few.

Birds of prey like pallas fishing eagle, marsh harrier, greater spotted eagle, osprey and steppe eagle add to this magnificent diversity. Asan has the privilege of hosting a more than thirty year old nesting site of the Pallas Fishing Eagle, which it reconstructs every winter. While, rest of the year this nest is shared by other birds of prey. During winter months 90% of the waterbird population comprises the following 11 migratory species, namely brahminy duck, pintail, red crested pochard, gadwall, common pochard, mallard, coot, wigeon, common teal, tufted duck, shoveller.

Winters might be the most exciting season for the bird lovers, but for the serious birdwatcher the other months of the year (early May to September end) offer just as exciting opportunities to see local migrants like painted stork, open billed stork, night heron. A flock of 25- 40 painted storks can be seen in these months every year.

The Asan reservoir attracts 53 species of water birds of which 19 are winter migrants from Eurasia. During winter months 90% of the waterbird population comprises the following 11 migratory species, namely Brahminy Duck, Pintail, Red Crested Pochard, Gadwall, Common Pochard, Mallard, Coot, Wigeon, Common Teal, Tufted Duck, and Shoveller

The aquatic vegetation of the reservoir consists of Eichhornia crassips, Potamogeton pectinatus, Typha elephantina, and Ceratophyllum demersum. The surrounding bushes include Xanthium strumarium, Eclipta prostrata, Ipomoea sp., Mimosa pudica, Achyranthus aspera, Polygonum glabrum, P. lanigerum, Aeschynomene sp., Ageratum conyzoides, phyllanthus sp., Monochoria hastata, Mosla dianthera, and Lantana camara. On the southern side, agricultural fields surround the barrage. Further south there is mixed forest in Siwaliks comprising principally Shorea robusta, Anogeissus Latifolia, Lannea coromandelica, Dalbergia sissoo, and Bombax ceiba.  

(Assan Barrage Bird Sanctuary): Road: The peripheral road has become a preferred route from Himachal, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh resulting in great traffic. (GMVN).


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