Dipor Bil has a total area of 40 Sq. Km of which 4.14 sq. Km declared as a Bird Sanctuary by Assam Govt. in 1989. In November 2002, it was listed as a Ramsar site due to its rich wetland biodiversity. Again,considering the varieties of bird species found in the beel, Birdlife International has also declared Dipor Bil as an Important Bird Area (IBA). At maximum flooding,it is about 4 mts deep; during the dry season, the depth drops to about 1 mt. The main source of water are Basistha & kalmini rivers.The beel drains into Brahmaputra river 5 Km to the North , through the Khonajan channel.
Considered as one of the largest Beels in the Brahmaputra valley of Western Assam, it is categorised as representative of the wetland type under the Burma Monsoon Forest biogeographic region. The Dipor Bil is reported to provide, directly or indirectly, its natural resources for the livelihood of fourteen indigenous villages (1,200 families) located in its precincts. Freshwater fish is a vital protein and source of income for these communities; the health of these people is stated to be directly dependendent on the health of this wetland ecosystem.
The name Dipor Bil is stated to be derivative of the Sanskrit word 'Dipa' which means Elephant and the Beel means wetland or large aquatic body in Assamese language, inhabited by elephants. It is claimed that Beel was an important dockyard of the Tai-Ahom as well as the Mughals. The medieval history reports of Ahom-Mughal conflicts. It is also stated that Kampitha and Rambrai Syiemship (the supreme political authority is known as the Syiemship in Meghalaya had control over this area.
Dipor Bil is surrounded by the National Highway No. 37 on the east & north east. The PWD road skirting the northern fringe of the Rani & Garbhanga Reserve Forest on the south , the Dharapur – Kahikuchi section of the National Highway 37 on the west & Engineering College Road on the north.
The average temparature varies between minimum 10 degree in winter & maximm 32 degree in summer.It recieves an annual rainfall of appox. 2500-3500 mm.Relative humidity varies between 50.5% in winter to 82.5% in summer.
The beel is endowed with rich floral & faunal diversity.In addition to huge congregration of residential birds , the sanctuary provides shelter to a large no. of migratory waterfowl each year.Highest no. of single day count of waterbirds in Deepr Beel recorded is 19,000 birds. It harbours as many as 220 species of birds out of which 70 species are migratory.Some endangered species which are included in IUCN Red Data List also seen here.Some of these are Spotbilled Pelican (Pelecanus philippensis), Lesser Adjutant Stork ( Leptoptilos javanicus), Baer’s Pochard (Aythya baeri), White Bellied Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster), Greater Adjutant Stork (Leptoptilos dubius) etc. Among the migratory birds, Siberian crane ( Grus leucogeranus) is a common visitor to this beel during winter.Some other birds commonly seen in this beel are Lesser Whistling Teal ,Brahminy Kite , Mallard, Open Bill Stork, Lesser Adjutant Stork , Pond Heron, Gadwall ,Eurasian Marsh Herrier, Bronze Winged Jacana,Pheasant Tailed Jacana,Black Winged Stilt, Northern Lapwing,Grey Headed Lapwing, Cotton Teal, Common Teal, Ferruginous Pochard, Spot billed Duck, Bar-headed Goose,Grey-lag Goose,Purple Herron, Grey Herron, Little Cormorant , Darter , Little Grebe, Green Sand Piper, Common Sand Piper etc.
Though the beel is famous for birds,it also contains a rich varieties of other aquatic species.So far 20 amphibians,12 lizards , 18 snakes & 6 turtle & tortoise species are listed.The diversitiy & concentration of indigenous fresh water fish species is very high in Dipor Bil.
The water area of Dipor Bil itself offers a variety of habitats through out the year as the water regime changes.During the summer, large part of the beel is covered by aquatic vagetation, like , water hyacinth, aquatic grasses, water lilies & other submerged , emargent & floating vegetation.The highland areas,which are completely dry during winter,are also covered by aquatic & semi aquatic vegetation. The dominant aquatic plants include____Water Hyachinthus(Eichhornia crassipes),Water Lettuce (Pistia stratiotes),Duckweed (Lemma minor), Curly-leaved Pondweed(Potamogeton crispus),Tape Grass(Vallisneria spiralis),Hydrilla(Hydrilla verticillata),Water Bindweed (Ipomoea reptans),Water Velvet or Mosquito Fern(Azolla pinnata),Giant duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza),Spike – rush(Eleocharis plantaginea), Red Water Lilly( N. rubra) & Arrowhead( Sagittaria sagittifolia).The giant water lily ( Euryale ferox) also grows here. Dominant tree species in the nearby deciduous forests include Teak (Tectona grandis)Banayan tree(Ficus bengalensis) & Silk Cotton tree( Bombax malabaricum).
Best time to Visit Dipor Bil : October to March
How to reach Dipor Bil : It is barely 18 kms. away from the heart of Guwahati city and well known for its pristine beauty & exceptional avifaunal diversity. Fringed by the Rani-Garbhanga Reserved Forests with mixed deciduous to patches of semi evergreen forests on its southern edge, it offers a rare sight where one sees a fascinating convergence of both wetland and forest eco-system.
Where to stay in Dipor Bil : There is no accommodation facility for visitors in the that area. But since it is a just one hour distance from the heart of the city, on can visit the sanctuary from Guwahati.
Whom to contact for visit Dipor Bil : The Divisional Forest Officer, Guwahati Wildlife Division, A.T. Road, Santipur, Guwahati-781009, Tel.- +91-361-2656771(P), +91-94350 31789 (Mobile).
It is the ideal retreat for the weary tourist residing amidst a concrete jungle and seeking a quick winter getaway.