Barju Taal: A Natural Wetland and Lake in Eastern Nepal that lies just 12 km west from Biratnagar

Barju Taal, also known as Chimadi Taal, is a natural wetland and lake located in Barju rural municipality in Sunsari District in eastern Nepal. The lake is situated about 12 kilometers from Biratnagar and has an area of 152 bighas. The lake has been mentioned in the Hindu epic of Mahabharata and forms a part of Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve.

Photo : The Nepalic Blog
The geography of Barju Taal is quite diverse, with the wetland serving as a habitat for a number of fish species. Unfortunately, the population of fish in the lake has been declining in recent years due to excessive fishing by local fishermen. Moreover, the wetland is being encroached upon, which is causing it to shrink. It is important to take steps to conserve the wetland and preserve it for future generations.

Apart from the fish, Barju Taal is also home to a large number of migratory birds. According to reports, over 100 different bird species have been spotted in the area, making it a haven for bird watchers and nature enthusiasts. The number of migratory birds visiting the lake has increased since the start of a conservation program in 1996. However, the flood in the Saptakoshi River in 2008, which led to the failure of the eastern embankment, had a severe impact on the wetland and decreased the number of birds. Nevertheless, the number of birds has now reached its normal values.

Photo by Barju Rural Municipality !!
The wetland and lake have significant ecological importance and play a crucial role in maintaining the delicate balance of the local ecosystem. They provide a vital source of food and water for the wildlife that inhabits the area, including the fish and birds. Moreover, the wetland acts as a natural water filtration system, removing pollutants and impurities from the water.

The local community depends heavily on the resources provided by the lake and wetland. The fish caught in the lake is an important source of protein for many of the residents, while the wetland is a valuable source of irrigation for agriculture in the surrounding areas. However, the increasing pressure on the resources provided by the lake and wetland has resulted in overfishing and other unsustainable practices, which have led to the decline in the population of fish and the shrinking of the wetland.

To address these issues, various conservation programs have been implemented in recent years. These programs aim to protect the lake and wetland by limiting the use of the resources and promoting sustainable practices. Additionally, efforts have been made to raise awareness among the local community about the importance of the wetland and the need to preserve it for future generations.

The Pandavas, the central characters of the Hindu epic Mahabharata, are believed to have taken water from this pond. This further adds to the cultural and historical significance of this beautiful wetland and lake.

Additionally, the fact that it can be easily reached within half an hour's drive from Biratnagar and 45 minutes from Itahari makes it an accessible destination for locals and tourists alike. This accessibility makes it all the more important to protect and conserve this valuable natural resource so that future generations can continue to enjoy its beauty and ecological significance.

Overall, Barju Taal is an important natural resource that provides a habitat for a variety of wildlife and supports the livelihoods of the local community. It is important that steps are taken to conserve this fragile ecosystem and ensure its sustainability. By implementing sustainable practices and raising awareness about the importance of conservation, we can ensure that this beautiful wetland and lake continue to thrive for many years to come.

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