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Exotic Wildlife Sanctuaries & National Parks
Harike Wetland
07 Days 06 Nights

Harike Wetland

  • Location :Tarn Taran Sahib district of Punjab

  • Coverage area : 41 sq km

  • Main attraction : pintail, wigeon, shoveller and brahminy ducks

  • Best time to visit :October to February

  • Nearby excursions : Wagah Border, JallianwalaBagh

  • Nearby cities :Amritsar

The state of Punjab is bordered by J&K in the north, Haryana to the south, Himachal Pradesh in the east, and Pakistani province of Punjab to the west. People generally plan their trip to this province for visiting the most common places such as The Golden Temple, Wagah Border, JallianwalaBagh, palaces, forts of erstwhile Maharajas of India. But, for nature lovers, one of the other interesting places to visit is Harike Wetland.

Located in the Tarn Taran Sahib district of Punjab, Harike Wetland is the largest wetland in northern India. The popular Harike Lake is placed deep within the park. Occupying 4100 hectares and spreading into three districts of Punjab, this is also a water source for the Indira Gandhi Canal, situated in Rajasthan. Being only an hour away from the city of Amritsar, there are many more local attractions for visitors.

Harike is one of the largest man-made wetlands

Climatic conditions

With temperature lying in the range 23?C and 45?C from March to July, the summer season is quite hot. The city is hit by heavy monsoon sometime during July to September. From October to February, lasts winter.

Best time to visitHarike Wetland

The ideal time to visit HarikeWetland is during the winter months from October to February. It is the time when a lot of migratory birds are known to visit the wetland.

Animals that inhabit the sanctuary

Aqua fauna is present predominantly in the Harike region. The sanctuary is a bird watchers paradise and attracts thousands of migratory birds during winter some of which fly as far off as Arctic and Siberia. During the peak migratory season, as many as 45,000 ducks have been recorded here. The most common ones include but not limited to common teal, pintail, wigeon, shoveller and brahminy ducks. Crested pochard, common pochard and tufted ducks are the particularly famous ones as diving ducks. 40 species were long distance migrants have been recorded to pass through HarikeLake in winter. Today the Harike Wetlands eco-system is a vital conservation site for Punjab. After the massive effort by the army along with the Punjab Wildlife and Forests Department, it has been possible to record 368 species by getting rid the wetlands of the deadly water hyacinth weed.

Distance of Harike Wetland from major cities:

  • Amritsar , 58.5 km

  • Ferozepur , 66 km

  • Kapurthala , 69 km

  • Ludhiana , 108 km

  • Chandigarh, 210 km

  • Jammu , 267.4 km

  • Himachal Pradesh, 294 km

  • New Delhi , 434 km

  • Jaipur , 620 km

  • Mumbai , 1680 km

  • Goa , 1194 km

How to reach the National park ?

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  • Amritsar is the closest airport which is at a distance of 60 km from Harike Wetland. It connects all the major Indian cities. There are private cars and taxis available for transfer from the airport.


The nearest town to the wetland is Makhu (Ferozepur) Railway Station. A more known rail head is at Amritsar which is situated 60 km away from the region.


Tourists often hire a bus or a cab towards the Harike Wetland. A bus stand is situated 10 km south of the Harike town that connects Faridkot, Ferozpur, and Bhatinda by the National Highway.

Accommodation facilities

There are no separate restaurants or luxurious hotels in Harike.Continent Nakodar Hotel & Resorts, Hamira Luxury Homestay, Hotel Mehak, RehanBasera, Shiv Guest House are some of the most preferred private stays. The Canal Guest House opposite the Harike Wetlands Complex is one of the best stay options. But, like other accommodations, they do not accept any advance booking.

Conservation issues - a major concern

Even though it is one of the touristiest places of India, the sanctuary struggles with several conservational issues such as weed infestation, industrial effluents, encroachment, poaching of birds and illegal fishing.

Since the early 1980s, migratory birds have been poisoned at Harike. Widespread infestation of the water hyacinth weed has also affected the wetland?s hydrological system dangerously. Due to the depletion of the area, it prevented the space from getting sunlight. Eventually, the available surface area resulted in shrinkage and caused siltation.

The River Sutlej has been heavily polluted because the city?s untreated sewerage water falls into it through the BuddhahNullah. It wrongly affected the aquatic biodiversity.

Jeep safari

Visitors can sight birds from various points of the sanctuary but the finest trails are found along the Left Bund passage. There are provisions for touring on the jeep or to walk along the trails to explore the sanctuary at close quarters. In terms of sheer numbers, coots are the largest number of migrants found which is closely followed by the red-crested pochard, common pochard, and the tufted duck. Among non-diver birds, the widgeon is most abundantly found in the region, followed by the shoveller and gadwal. The vulnerable species found at Harike Lake include the greater spotted eagle, black-bellied tern, imperial eagle, ferruginous duck, Pallas? fishing eagle, pale-backed pigeon and Syke?s nightjar.

Other birding spots include the area behind the NanaksarGurudwara. The acacia as well as shisham woodlands, weedy embankments, the marshlands, and sandbars along the canals, especially downstream are the preferred places for birdwatchers. Amid the forested tracts north of the Sutlej and west of the main road, visitors can sight species such as the penduline tit and slate-blue flycatcher. About 5 km away from the barrage, along the banks of the Sutlej, tourists are advised to look for Syke?s nightjar near the tamarisk bushes.

Jeep safaris are allowed only along motorable roads. Unlike other national parks and biosphere reserve, there are no Forest Department jeeps for tourist activities which is why the tourists advised to hire one from Amritsar


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