A land with water bodies is a natural habitat for different species of animals, birds and plants. In the presence of water bodies and wet land the flora and fauna of that region possess unique beauty. Most part of the state of Assam is filled with wet lands and water bodies due to the particular geographical conditions. Fresh water lakes are assets of a region and Dipor Bil or Dipor Beel is a fresh water lake situates in the Kamrup district in Guwahati in Assam. It is a permanent large fresh water lake located in the Brahmaputra valley in the lower Assam. It was the part of a former channel in north of Brahmaputra river that joins in the southern side in the river. In Assamese language Beel means fresh water lake or large aquatic body and “Dipa” means elephants in Sanskrit language. This fertile wet land is an abode to several species and provides livelihood for inhabitants in the villages here in several direct and indirect ways. The fresh water lake fishing is main source of income to villagers. There are 14 villages with 1,200 families in this region depending on the natural resources for their livelihood and survival.
Dipor Beel is also a place of historical importance. It was once the ruling centre of Ahom Dynasty in Assam. The Mughals had also invaded this land and historical evidences show that this place was an important dockyard of Tai- Ahom rulers of Assam and Mughal dynasty. Frequent conflicts between the Mughals and Tai- Ahoms are recorded in history of Assam during the medieval period. The Syiemship or the ultimate political authority of Meghalaya in the North Eastern region also had major influence over this area. Among the Syiemship, Kampitha and Rambrai Syeimship had an absolute control in this region.
The ecology constituted by the flora and fauna is exceptional here. The aquatic flora consists of water lilies, water Hyacinth; aquatic grasses are in its full bloom even in the summer season. In the deeper regions of the lake mud flat, marshy lands, net grass land patches and Hyacinth patches are found. Phytoplankton, giant water lilies with edible seeds, Accium basillium, Imperata arundinacea, and deciduous forest tree species like common teak, Bombax malabaricum, medicinal plants, shrubs, herbs and exotic orchid varieties are also found in Dipor Beel. The thick forests and the wild life of elephants, barking deer, Chinese porcupine and Sambar are major attractions to the visitors.
The aqua fauna is another attraction of Dipor Beel. It is found that 20 amphibian species are found here including12 lizard species, 18 snake species and 6 turtle and tortoise. More than 50 species of fish in the lake is a major livelihood for the villagers.
Large number of migratory bird species and other indigenous bird species makes Beel a large natural congregation of Ava Fauna. Among the recognized 219 bird species 70 species are exotic migratory birds including migratory water fowl, Siberian crane, spot billed Pelican, greater adjutant stork and baer’s Pochard. The rich Ava fauna made Bird life international to declare this place as Important Bird area in the world subject to conservation in the original habitat.
Dipor Beel has a surface extent of 4.014 Square kilometers, where Dipor Beel Bird sanctuary covers an extent of 414 square Kilometers. The Forest and Fisheries Department of Assam has administration over this region with several projects to create awareness to preserve the ecological system along with public participation. The Ramsar Convention and Aranyak an NGO organization had involved in community based conservation project for wetland and the Government had declared it as a protected area. The Guwahati Water Bodies Preservation and Conservation Bill f 2008 was drafted with the objective of preservation of wetland, prevention of water logging and promotion eco friendliness.
Dipor Beel can be accessed through air, rail and road transportation. It situates only 5 kms away from Guwahati airport and Broad Gauge railway. It is located 13kms south west of Guwahati National High way and engineering college in North.