Renuka Wetland
Himachal Pradesh
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Renuka wetland is in the Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh and it is 672m above the sea level. Renuka is oblong shaped wetland flanked by two parallel steep hills running east-west. The geographical location of Renuka wetland is Latitude 35°58'N to 37°08'N and Longitude 77°26'34" to 77°28'21"E. The total wildlife sanctuary area is 402.80ha. The Renuka lake is surrounded by lush green forests supporting a variety of animal and bird life. This wetland is not only an idyllic holiday resort but also revered Pilgrim centre.Renuka wetland is connected by road and it is 123km from Parwanoo,60km from Paonta Sahib and 37km from Nahan with an area 20ha.It is the largest natural lake in Himachal.It is shaped like a sleeping women. Renuka was killed by her own son, the legendary Parsu Ram, in obedience to the orders of his father-the sage Jamadagni.After the dead was done, lake Renuka was formed surrounded by stepped fields of golden corn. Today the myth is brought to the fore when, each year in November, a fair is held to celebrate the immortality of Renuka and her son. The key-notes of the colourful fair are the festivily and devotional exuberance. Several idols of Pursu Ram, believed to be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu and other local deities,placed in decorated palanquins, are carried by an impressive procession to Parsu Ram Tal. Renuka wetland is a perennial water body fed by 21 seasonal streams which are vigorous particularly during the monsoon season. Internal springs of the wetland are the perennial source of water. Underground network of channels in the Limestone and Dolomite formations of the area are possibly conduit to discharge groundwater to the wetland. In view of its rich biodiversity and uniqueness of the area this wetland was declared as a RAMSAR SITE in the year 2005.
The climate of the area is of sub-tropical monsoonic type. The average precipitation at Renuka wetland area is 150-199.9 cm per annum average maximum temperature is 30oC. Winter is mild in low-lying areas, whereas it snows on high mountain ranges. Springs are warm and sunny. Rainy season is the wettest part of the year and characterized by high humidity. Summmers are prickly hot during monsoon months.
 The catchment rocks of Renuka are drak carbonaceous shales and slates,closely inter bedded with thin slaty quartzite belonging to Infra Krol Group. The slaty quartzite, or clay slates are frequently calcareous and consists of quartz, carbonate, sericite and pyrite and in some cases chlorite. The green-gray calcareous shale and argillaceous limestone with variable gradation are of Krol A Group. The purple red shales with intercalation of green-shales and thin dolomitic cherty limestone belong to Krol B Group. The well bedded grayisgh white limestone with shale represents Krol C. The rock formation belongs to neo Proterozoic-Proterozoic age. The soil composition of the region also show a heterogeneous mixture of carbonate rocks, sandstones, shales, siltstone in various proportion. The soil cover is thin due to weatheringl-limited conditions.
Wetland possesses rich bio-diversity having more than 440 faunal species from protozoa to mammal. The wetland is covered with vegetation of sub-tropical forest comprises of Chhal, Sain, Bahera, Harar, Kachnar, Tun, Shisham and Amaltas etc. Natural Sal forest exists in the northern side of the wetland. Although Renuka catchement is a small area of five hundreds hectares, yet it harbors a large variety of wild life like Ghoral, Kakkar, Chital, Hare, Procupine,Black Bear, Monkey and Languor etc. Wetland also possesses a good variety of aquatic life like fishes and tortoise. Wetland is gradually becoming the habitat for many species of local and migratory birds. Major resident bird groups found in the area are pheasants, partridges, parrots, jungle fowl and magpie ect.


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