Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary

The Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary is a 2600 hectare (6400+ acres) nature preserve located in the Sivalik Hills of Chandigarh, India, near Sukhna Lake.[1] The area was officially declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1998. The sanctuary is open for a select number of visitors, and an entry pass is required, which is issued by the Forest Department Office (Sec-19B, Chandigarh). The reserve is typically not open to the public during the rainy season.

Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary
Nature Trail Lake Reserve Forest
Entrance of Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary,Chandigarh, India.JPG
Main entrance
LocationNear Sukhna Lake, Chandigarh
Coordinates30°44′42″N 76°49′22″E / 30.74500°N 76.82278°E / 30.74500; 76.82278
Area2600 Hects.
Governing bodyForest and Wildlife department Chandigarh Administration

Area and locationEdit

The Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected wildlife reserve situated about two kilometres from Sukhna Lake, in the centre-northwest of India. It spans an area of 26 square kilometres (2600 hectares; 6424.74 acres) of lightly wooded and shrub lands; the main areas include much of the Nepli Forest,[2] as well as encompassing the plains at the foot of the Shivalik Hills. The rain-catchment region of Sukhna Lake partially falls in the area designated for the wildlife sanctuary.


The history of Sukhna Lake and the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary is intertwined; the Lake was part of the original development plans for the city of Chandigarh, and was planned and erected over a period of years, beginning in 1958 and lasting through the 1970s. It was an artificial lake that was fed with rainwater from the catchment areas in the Shivalik Hills. Siltation was a big problem for Sukhna Lake, and had to be tackled effectively; the issue was minimized by many engineering and soil conservation methods. A large-scale afforestation program was implemented in the catchment area.[3]

Flora and faunaEdit

The Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a protected wildlife sanctuary in March 1998, as this hilly area was recognized for its fauna and substantial tree and forest growth. After becoming a reserve, more systematic and large-scale afforestation programs were undertaken, particularly in the water catchment areas, which ultimately resulted in an improved biodiversity and healthier flora. The Nepli Forest area grew in lushness over several decades, mainly through the managed plantings of nursery-grown native plants and trees. Numerous endemic trees, herbs, and other plants thrive in Sukhna, including Acacia leucophloea (raeru), Acacia modesta (phulai), Acacia nilotica (kikar), Justicia sp., Anogeissus latifolia (chhal), Azadirachta indica (neem), Bambusa vulgaris (golden bamboo), Bauhinia racemosa (kachnar/bidi leaf), Bombax ceiba (semal/cotton tree), Butea frondosa (dhakk), Cassia fistula (amaltas), Dalbergia sp. (shisham/rosewood), Diospyros montana (kendu/Indian ebony), Emblica officinalis (amla/gooseberry), Morus alba (tut/white mulberry), Murraya koenigii (kari patta/curry-leaf tree), Prosopis juliflora (mesquite), Senegalia catechu (khair), and Senna siamea (kassod).[4]

Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary has a rich variety of animal life,[5] known to have one of the highest concentrations of sambar deer (Cervus unicolor) in the country. It is also home to other mammals including axis deer (chital), blue bull (nilgai), Hanuman langur, Indian flying fox, muntjac, palm squirrel, pangolin, Rhesus macaque and wild boar (jangali suar).

Numerous resident, migratory and breeding birds can be observed in the sanctuary;[6] species include the Asian koel, barn owl, black bittern, black francolin, black redstart, black-rumped flameback, black and black-winged kite, blue peafowl, blue-tailed bee-eater, booted eagle, brown-headed barbet, common hawk-cuckoo, common myna, coot, cormorants, crimson and purple sunbird, greater coucal, greenish warbler, grey-winged blackbird, Indian grey hornbill, Indian paradise flycatcher, Indian pond-heron, Indian roller, Indian scops-owl, Indian spot-billed duck, Indian white-eye, jungle babbler, lesser whitethroat, lineated barbet, moorhen, mottled wood-owl, Indian pitta, Oriental honey-buzzard, Oriental pied hornbill, red junglefowl, red-vented bulbul, red-wattled lapwing, ring-necked parakeet, ruddy shelduck, scarlet and long-tailed minivet, shikra, Sind sparrow, spotted owlet, tufted duck, white wagtail, white-breasted waterhen and white-throated kingfisher.


Images presenting Inner view of Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary also known as Nature trail reserve forest (as on 8 March 2020 )Edit


  1. ^ "Official Website of Chandigarh Administration". Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Nepli Forest I Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary I Chandigarh I". YouTube. RambleGirl. 10 April 2022. Retrieved 26 May 2023.
  3. ^ Singh, Yadvinder (2002). "Siltation Problems in Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh, NW India and Comments on Geohydrological Changes in the Yamuna-Satluj Region". ENVIS Bulletin. Department of Geography, Punjabi University, Patiala. 10 (2). Archived from the original on 19 January 2008. Retrieved 6 March 2008.
  4. ^ Research-grade observations. "Observations; Chandigarh, IN". iNaturalist. iNaturalist Network. Retrieved 26 May 2023.
  5. ^ Research-grade observations. "Observations; Chandigarh, IN". iNaturalist. iNaturalist Network. Retrieved 26 May 2023.
  6. ^ Research-grade observations. "Observations; Chandigarh, IN". iNaturalist. iNaturalist Network. Retrieved 26 May 2023.

External linksEdit