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Keetham Lake
Location of Keetham lake in Agra
Location of Keetham lake in Agra
Keetham Lake
LocationAgra, India
Coordinates27°15′12″N 77°50′38″E / 27.253295°N 77.843875°E / 27.253295; 77.843875Coordinates: 27°15′12″N 77°50′38″E / 27.253295°N 77.843875°E / 27.253295; 77.843875
Basin countriesIndia
Official nameSur Sarovar
Designated21 August 2020
Reference no.2440[1]

Sur Sarovar, often referred to as Keetham Lake, is a picturesque lake off the Agra-Delhi route (NH 2). The Agra Bear Rescue Facility, a facility for saving Sloth bears dedicated to rehabilitate previously captured "dancing bears," is located next to it. Since 2020, the lake has been recognised as a Ramsar site that is protected.

There are over two dozen species of resident and migratory birds living in this bird sanctuary. This charming retreat for the adventure-seeking tourist has a large lake and numerous man-made islands that add to its splendour. The form of Keetham Lake is pentagonal.

Location

This scenic lake, is about 20 km from Agra and 12 km from sikandra is located within the Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary. Keetham Lake is linked by Railway track at Keetham Railway Station and was declared as National Bird Sanctuary on 27 March 1991 by U.P. Forest Department. The riverine belt of River Yamuna surrounds the area of Sur-Sarovar.

The entire lake is formed in a catchment area of 7.13 km². Keetham Lake is pentagonal in shape. There are artificially created islands for shelter and breeding grounds for the migratory birds. The best thing is that is placed on the way of Delhi and tourist can visit during their journey to Agra.

Climate

The climatic conditions of the lake area is typical of Uttar Pradesh plains with hot windy summers and cold winters. The temperature recorded ranges between 1.5 C to 48 C. The monsoon season occurs from July to September.

Water Management

The raw water for Keetham Lake is obtained from Agra Canal originating from Okhla barrage on River Yamuna in Delhi. At Delhi Agra road, the Agra Canal water is diverted through Jodhpur branch near Anand Engineering College located about 2 km from Keetham. The lake water of Keetham is also used as raw water intake for Mathura Refinery Water Treatment Plant[2] located in vicinity of Keetham Lake

Development

U.P. Forest Department has created woodlands and developed shallow areas near lake, making it a natural habitat for birds nesting sites. Controversially, Uttar Pradesh Government has decided to reduce the Eco-sensitive zone limit around Keetham Lake from 10 kilometres to just 250 metres.[3]

Attractions

More than 106 species of migratory and resident birds are known to have their resting habitats at Sur Sarovar. The entire lake area gets covered by profuse growth of macrophytic vegetation of water hyacinth (Eichornia sp.) and Potamogeton sp. during summers. The water quality of Keetham lake supports wide range of avifauna during winter season. The important aquatic birds inhabiting Keetham lake are: Little Grebes, Cormorants, Darter, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Paddy Bird, Cattle Egrets, Large Egrets, Smaller Egrets, Little Egrets, Night Heron, Indian Reef Heron, Black necked Stork, white Ibis, Eurasian Spoon Bill, Greying Goose, Bar headed Goose, Lesser Whistling Teal, Ruddy Shelduck, Northern Pintail, Common Teal, Indian Spot Billed Duck, Gadwall, Wigeon, Shoveler, and Comb Duck.

Within the Sur Sarovar, Bird Sanctuary is the Agra Bear Rescue Facility, which is a Sloth bear rescue facility dedicated to rehabilitating previously enslaved 'dancing bears'. Established in 1999 by Wildlife SOS in collaboration with the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department and others, the facility is located in an eight-hectare site. It currently houses over 170 sloth bears as well as other wildlife. Agra Bear Rescue Facility also does advanced research, disease management and provides specialised veterinary care as well as geriatric care for sloth bears. The facility is available for tours by small groups of people.[4][5][6]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Sur Sarovar". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 14 November 2020.
  2. ^ "Mathura Refinery | Petroleum Refinery | IndianOil".
  3. ^ "Environmentalists oppose move to shrink eco-zone near Taj Mahal". Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  4. ^ Shefali Apte. Lonely Planet Guide To India.
  5. ^ "Bears". wildlifesos.org. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  6. ^ "Agra Bear Rescue Facility". wildlifesos.org. Retrieved 5 October 2020.