Assan Barrage Bird Sanctuary was established in the year 1967 as a small man-made wetland at the convergence point of Rivers Yamuna and Asan in Dehradun. Since it is near to Dhalipur powerhouse, it is also known as Dhalipur Lake. The area is full of lush green trees and a calm 287.5 m long water body which attracts a humungous population of local as well as migratory birds. The area covered by this avian haven is just four sq kms but the profusion of foliage ensures that birds are not disturbed by bird-watching enthusiasts. The humbling thing is that many of the birds seen here are globally threatened and are listed in the extremely endangered IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red Databook.
Assan Barrage Bird Sanctuary is located at approximately 40 kms west of Dehradun on Dehradun-Paonta road.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Asan Barrage Bird Sanctuary is from October to December and from mid-March to almost the end of April. Serious and professional bird watchers can also have a wonderful time between the months of early May to September end. A lot of migratory birds come visiting the place at this time.
It is advisable to carry some woolen clothing and a windcheater with comfortable trek shoes. Mosquito repellent and binoculars are other things one must not forget to take.
The Asan Barrage Bird Sanctuary attracts around 53 species of avian fauna out of which 19 are winter migratory birds from Eurasia. The population of birds consists of Pintail (Anas acuta), Red Crested Pochard (Netta Rufina), Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), Common Pochard (Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), Coot (Fulica atra), Eurasian Wigeon (Anas Penelope), Gadwall (Anas Strepera), Common Teal (Anas crecca), Shoveller (Anas smithii), Egrets (Ardea alba), Herons (Ardea Herodias), Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) and Lapwing (Vanellus Vanellus).
The terrestrial foliage is dominated by the vegetation of Shiwalik range like Sal (Shorea robusta), Dhaora / Axlewood (Anogeissus latifolia), Jhingan (Lannea coromandelica), Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo) and Red Silk Cotton Tree (Bombax ceiba). The marine plants in the area are Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), Sago Pondweed (Potamogeton pectinatus), Elephant Grass (Typha elephantina) and Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum).