Whenever it comes to Birding in Himachal Pradesh, Pong Dam comes first and then Nagrota Surian. Pong Water Reservoir is spread over a huge region of Kangra but Nagrota is a town which has easy accessibility of Pong Dam Lake and has some arrangements for stay as well. Let's have this PHOTO JOURNEY to know more about Nagrota Sunrian...
Here is a Photograph of first marvelous view I saw after reaching Nagrota. A deep valley with huge Agricultural Land and Dhauladhar Mountain Ranges in the background. My Journey started from Delhi in a Volvo which was for Dharmshala. I took this Volvo till a place called Dehra. After reaching Dehra at 6:00 am in the morning, I got a bus for Nagrota Surian and reached the place by 7:30 am. Bookings were already done in HPPWD Guest House which is near to Bus Stand. The above photograph is taken from the way to HPPWD Guest from Nagrota Bus-Stand. HPPWD is best place to stay in Nagrota. Many folks who visit Nagrota stay in Kangra or Dharmshala, which are around 40 kilometers far from Pong Dam Lake.
After taking some rest, I took 9 am bus for Masroor Temple, which was just 15 kilometers from Nagrota. This was something I didn't want to miss. So took first bus for the Masroor to see series of Monolithic Temples which are carved out of a huge hill. Check out a wonderful Photo Journey of Masrur Temple at http://phototravelings.blogspot.in/2012/02/ellora-of-himachal-pradesh-maintained.html
All these Photographs taken at different times of the day, whenever I got time to roam around freely. Above Photograph shows some fields around Pong Dam Lake, people playing cards & a bicycle. This Photograph was taken when I was going towards the lake for capturing some Sunset Moments, which can be seen at http://phototravelings.blogspot.in/2012/02/some-sunset-moments-with-wild-wings-of.html
Nagrota Town is comparatively plain as the 3 kilometers walk from HPPWD Guest House to Pong Dam Lake has no up and downs. On the way, I saw many school children using bicycles for commuting back to home from their School. Bicycles are rarely used in Himchal because of ups and downs. On top of that connectivity is not as easy as we find in main cities of plains. Nagrota is different in that sense. Town is in plains and surrounded by Snow covered Dhauladhar Mountains on one side and a huge lake on other side.
Almost every house has cattle, which include goats, cow mainly. Daily life of villagers roams around visiting fields to ensure that crops are right state, bringing grass for cattle or taking them to a place where they can comfortably graze. Most of the folks in hills have enough agricultural land, but still they are not able to take advantage of powerful technologies in this field. Government is trying hard to ensure that people focus on Agriculture but new generation is not very convinced about the idea. Many folks in hills feel the need of awareness about Agricultural business.
DAV School of Nagrota Surian which comes on the way to Pong Dam Lake. There is a 3 kilometers walk from Nagrota market to shoreline of Pong Dam Lake and this school comes on the way. Town has more private schools apart from a DAV and Government school. Government is located near to Bus Stand of Nagrota Surian.
After the boundaries of Nagrota town, there is a huge Agricultural land till the shorelines of Pong Water Reservoir. Although this land is usable during winter only. This land was acquired by Government by paying appropriate money to localities, which is something I have heard from few folks in market and not sure about the authenticity of news. Apart from Agriculture Boating and Fishing are two main ways of earning their livings in this town. There a proper society of fishermen which takes care of selling the fish in main markets around the place - Pathankot, Chandigarh, Delhi etc. Some of the fish species are very popular from Pong.
There were lot of water ponds as started moving towards the lake. These ponds were in the middle of Agricultural land which must be very useful for farmers of Nagrota Surian. As per local folks, Migratory birds can be very harmful for the crop if they don't visit these fields daily. Some of the farmers do an agreement through which each of them comes on specific day and spend whole day around the lake. If there is no regular watch, flocks of hundreds of birds can simply destroy 2 to 3 crop fields in a day. At the same time, some of the framers treat these birds very badly and put some nets around the fields. Poaching birds is one of the main problem Wildlife Department is dealing with.
A farmer shed and car standing outside this tent.