Sattal

Sattal or Sat Tal (Hindi for "seven lakes") is an interconnected group of seven freshwater lakes situated in the Lower Himalayan Range near Bhimtal, a town of the Nainital district in Uttarakhand, India.[1] During the British Raj, the area had a tea plantation, one of four in the Kumaon area at that time.[2]

The lakes sit at an altitude of 1370 metres below lush orchards in the Mehragaon valley.

Set amongst dense forests of oak and pine trees, Sattal is one of the few unspoiled and unpolluted freshwater biomes in India. These lakes are a paradise for migratory birds. It is home to a few camps being operated mostly by local people catering to tourists looking for outdoor vacations.

Geology and physiography

Sattal is situated in the Lower Himalayan Range and is the result of tectonic activities and the uplifting of sediments between the Tibetan plain and the Indo-Gangetic plains. The rocks are mainly sedimentary rocks and quartzite. Physiographically the area can be divided into lower Himalayas and terraces.

Ecology

Sattal is an ecologically fragile mesotrophic group of lakes and under the impact of heavy environmental degradation. Extensive deforestation, dumping of non-biodegradable waste, uncontrolled urbanization of the catchments and nearby forest is harming the ecology of the area. This results in scanty rainfall, a decrease in the number of plant and animal species and rapid drying up of perennial springs. The lakes also suffer from a reduced oxygen content and high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus. Poaching has eliminated many wild animals. Khudariya Tal became Sukha Tal (Dry Lake) due the leakage of water from its western extremity. An extensive growth of invasive plants such as Lantana, Parthenium and Eichhornia is also endangering the ecological survival of the lakes.

Flora and fauna

Biological diversity

Sattal is unique for its biodiversity and ecological amplitude. It has 500 species of resident and migratory birds, 20 species of mammals, over 525 species of butterflies and over 11,000 species of moths, beetles, bugs and other insects. The flora covers a wide and diverse range of plants ranging from Bryophytes, orchids, rare climbing plants, ferns, lichens, fungi, medicinal herbs and shrubs. Each individual lake has its own unique Diatom index. The Trophic Diatom Index uses the composition of freshwater diatom assemblages to assess water quality and ecological status.

Birds

Himalayan Griffon I IMG 3968
Himalayan griffon
Verditer Flycatcher at sattal DSCN0403 1
Verditer Flycatcher at Sattal

The unique avian fauna of Sattal includes red-billed blue magpie, kingfishers, blue-throated and brown-headed barbets, lineated barbet, golden-throated barbet, crimson-fronted barbet, coppersmith barbet plum-headed parakeet, slaty-headed parakeet, chestnut bellied rock thrush, tits, babblers, jungle owlet, pied woodpecker, brown-capped pygmy woodpecker, grey-capped pygmy woodpecker, brown-fronted woodpecker, stripe-breasted woodpecker, yellow-crowned woodpecker, rufous-bellied woodpecker, crimson-breasted woodpecker, Himalayan woodpecker, lesser yellownape woodpecker, greater yellow-naped woodpecker, streak-throated woodpecker, grey-headed woodpecker, scaly-bellied woodpecker, common flameback woodpecker, Indian tree pies, blue whistling-thrush, lammergeier, Himalayan griffon, crested serpent eagle, flycatchers, cheer pheasants, Kalij pheasant, Koklas pheasants, dollarbird, leaf birds, flowerpecker, purple sunbird, brown headed stork-billed kingfisher, stork-billed kingfisher, crested kingfisher, white-throated kingfisher, pied kingfisher, common kingfisher, blue-eared kingfisher, Himalayan kingfisher, Mrs. Gould’s sunbird, green-tailed sunbird, black-throated sunbird, black-breasted sunbird, crimson sunbird, fire-tailed sunbird, thick-billed flowerpecker, plain-leaf flowerpecker, fire-breasted flowerpecker, russet sparrow, rufous babbler, black-headed jay, scaly-breasted wren-babbler, black-capped sibia, blue whistling thrush, finches, mountain hawk eagle, black eagle, Eurasian jay, white-rumped needletail, black-headed jay, black-lored, black-throated tits, black bulbul, ashy-throated warblers, black-chinned babbler, rufous-breasted accentor, red-billed blue magpie, grey-winged blackbird, Eurasian griffon, common buzzard, black-chinned babbler, pink-browed rosefinch, common wood pigeon, slaty-headed parakeet, laughingthrush, chestnut-tailed minla, lemon-rumped warblers, and many more.

Fish

Sattal has many different varieties of fish. Mahseers (Tor tor and Tor putitora) are found here in large numbers. Labeo rohita, Cirrhinus mrigala, Schizothorax richardsonii and Catla catla are some of the other fish found in the lakes.

Butterflies

Argynnis butterfly SEP01sai
Argynnis butterfly

Some of the butterflies found at Sattal includes Indian fritillary (Argynnis hyperbius), peacock panzy, blue peacock, Paris peacock, red-base Jazebel, red lacewing, yellow pansy, tawny Rajah, red Helen, large silverstripe, Indian oakleaf and thousands of others.

Adventure and excursions

Butterfly museum

There is a butterfly museum built by Frederic Smetacek at Jones Estate, which has over 2500 butterfly and moth specimens and 1100 species of insects that are found in this region.

Sattal Mission Estate and Methodist Ashram

The Sattal Christian Ashram was established by E. Stanley Jones (1884-1973), the evangelist and missionary. This Christian Ashram is situated on the banks of Sattal lakes, on a former tea estate. St. John's Church is part of this ashram and showcases a mixed colonial architecture. There is also a Sattal Christian Ashram chapel situated nearby. It was established in 1930 to introduce Christianity into the Kumaun region of Uttarakhand.

Subhash Dhara

There is a natural spring of fresh water arising out of dense oak forest west of Sattal.

Seven Lakes Of Sattal

  • Panna Tal or Garud Tal
  • Nal-Damyanti Tal
  • Purna Tal
  • Sita Tal
  • Ram Tal
  • Laxman Tal
  • Sukha Tal or Khurdariya Tal

Image of birds species at Sattal

Nearby Places of Interest

References

  1. ^ Local Excursion from Haldwani Haldwani Official website.
  2. ^ A tea garden at Sath Tal, 1895 photograph British Library

External links

Bhimtal

Bhimtal is a town and a nagar panchayat in Nainital district in the state of Uttarakhand, India, situated at an altitude of 1370 meters above sea level and is about 22 kilometers from Nainital. The major attraction in Bhimtal is the Bhimtal Lake, which has an island at its centre. Besides tourism, Bhimtal has also now become a mini district headquarters since most of the district administration offices have been shifted to the newly constructed Vikas Bhawan, the building complex for district administrative offices.

Gaula River (India)

The Gaula River, or Gola River, is a river in India originating in the Lesser Himalayas. It is approximately 500 km (310 mi) long. The river is also known by the name, Kichha, in its lower course. It originates in the Sattal lakes of Uttarakhand state, and flows south past Kathgodam, Haldwani, Kichha and Shahi, finally joining the Ramganga River about 15 km (9.3 mi) northwest of Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, Ramganga in turn is a tributary of the river Ganges. It is mainly a spring fed river; this river is source of water for Haldwani and Kathgodam. A beautiful dam exists over this river in Kathgodam.

Grey bush chat

The grey bush chat (Saxicola ferreus) is a species of passerine bird in the family Muscicapidae. It is found in the Himalayas, southern China, Taiwan, and mainland Southeast Asia.Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest and subtropical or tropical moist montane forest.

Himalayan bulbul

The Himalayan bulbul (Pycnonotus leucogenys), or white-cheeked bulbul, is a species of songbird in the bulbul family found in central Asia.

Lakes of Kumaon hills

Lakes of Kumaon hills are in Uttarakhand state, called the ‘Lake District’ of India. These are under restoration with funds provided by the National Lake Conservation Plan (NLCP) of the Government of India. The lakes are the following.

Nainital Lake

Bhimtal Lake

Sat Tal Lake, Sattal

Naukuchiatal

List of monuments in Bhaktapur, Nepal

Bhaktapur Durbar Square is the ancient royal palace of the old Bhaktapur Kingdom. There are numerous monuments in the square. Some of the monuments in this area are listed as world heritage sites of the UNESCO.

The monument list below is populated using the authentic information at Department of Archaeology.

List of monuments in Metropolis 11, Kathmandu

This is a list of Monuments in Kathmandu Metropolis -11, officially recognized by and available through the website of the Department of Archaeology, Nepal in the Kathmandu District. Kathmandu is a historically rich city and Hindu temples are the main attraction of this Metropolis. The monument list below is populated using the authentic information at Department of Archaeology.

List of monuments in Metropolis 12, Kathmandu

This is a list of Monuments in Kathmandu Metropolis -12, officially recognized by and available through the website of the Department of Archaeology, Nepal in the Kathmandu District. Kathmandu is a historically rich city and Hindu temples are the main attraction of this Metropolis. The monument list below is populated using the authentic information at Department of Archaeology.

List of monuments in Metropolis 13, Kathmandu

This is a list of Monuments in Kathmandu Metropolis -13, officially recognized by and available through the website of the Department of Archaeology, Nepal in the Kathmandu District. Kathmandu is a historically rich city and Hindu temples are the main attraction of this Metropolis. The monument list below is populated using the authentic information at Department of Archaeology.

List of monuments in Metropolis 16, Kathmandu

This is a list of Monuments in Kathmandu Metropolis -16, officially recognized by and available through the website of the Department of Archaeology, Nepal in the Kathmandu District. Kathmandu is a historically rich city and Hindu temples are the main attraction of this Metropolis. The monument list below is populated using the authentic information at Department of Archaeology.

List of monuments in Metropolis 17, Kathmandu

This is a list of Monuments in Kathmandu Metropolis -17, officially recognized by and available through the website of the Department of Archaeology, Nepal in the Kathmandu District. Kathmandu is a historically rich city and Hindu temples are the main attraction of this Metropolis. The monument list below is populated using the authentic information at Department of Archaeology.

List of monuments in Metropolis 20, Kathmandu

This is a list of Monuments in Kathmandu Metropolis -20, officially recognized by and available through the website of the Department of Archaeology, Nepal in the Kathmandu District. Kathmandu is a historically rich city and Hindu temples are the main attraction of this Metropolis. The monument list below is populated using the authentic information at Department of Archaeology.

List of monuments in Metropolis 6, Kathmandu

This is a list of Monuments in Kathmandu Metropolis -6, officially recognized by and available through the website of the Department of Archaeology, Nepal in the Kathmandu District. Kathmandu is a historically rich city and Hindu temples are the main attraction of this Metropolis. The monument list below is populated using the authentic information at Department of Archaeology.

List of monuments in Metropolis 7, Kathmandu

This is a list of Monuments in Kathmandu Metropolis -7, officially recognized by and available through the website of the Department of Archaeology, Nepal in the Kathmandu District. Kathmandu is a historically rich city and Hindu temples are the main attraction of this Metropolis. The monument list below is populated using the authentic information at Department of Archaeology.

List of monuments in Shankharapur, Nepal

This is a list of Monuments in Shankharapur, Kathmandu, Nepal as officially recognized by and available through the website of the Department of Archaeology, Nepal in the Kathmandu District. Shankharapur is one of the ten municipalities of Kathmandu District. It is a historically rich city and Hindu temples are the main attraction of this municipality. The monument list below is populated using the authentic information at Department of Archaeology.

List of monuments in Tarakeshwar, Nepal

This is a list of Monuments in Tarakeshwar, Kathmandu, Nepal as officially recognized by and available through the website of the Department of Archaeology, Nepal in the Kathmandu District. Tarakeshwar is one of the ten municipalities of Kathmandu District. It is a historically rich city and Hindu temples are the main attraction of this municipality. The monument list below is populated using the authentic information at Department of Archaeology.

Nainital Lake

Nainital Lake, a natural freshwater body, situated amidst the township of Nainital in Uttarakhand State of India, tectonic in origin, is kidney shaped or crescent shaped and has an outfall at the southeastern end.Nainital is most popular hill station of Kumaon district. It is famous for its Naini Lake located at the centre of the town and several other lakes of nearby areas.

Nainital Lake, in the Nainital district called the Lake District of India, is one of the four Lakes of Kumaon hills; the other three lakes are the Sattal Lake, the Bhimtal Lake and the Naukuchiyatal Lake.

Naukuchiatal

Naukuchiatal or "lake of nine corners" is a small hill station in Nainital district of the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The lake is 175 feet deep and is situated at 1,220 m above sea level. It is surrounded by hills covered in trees and shrubs. It is the deepest of all the lakes in the Nainital region. The length of the lake is 983 m, its breadth is 693 m and it has a depth of 40.3 m. Within the valley are opportunities for angling and bird watching. Other activities include parasailing, paragliding, fishing, rowing, paddling or yachting. The lake is fed by an underground perennial spring. Naukuchiatal is also known for the 'escape festival' which happens once every year (in the month of May).

White-throated laughingthrush

The white-throated laughingthrush (Pterorhinus albogularis) is a species of passerine bird in the family Leiothrichidae. It is found mainly in the northern regions of the Indian subcontinent, primarily the Himalayas, and some adjoining and disjunct areas. It ranges across Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Tibet and Vietnam. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.

This species was formerly placed in the genus Garrulax but following the publication of a comprehensive molecular phylogenetic study in 2018, it was moved to the resurrected genus Pterorhinus.

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