The Chotiari reservoir is a natural wonder in the middle of nowhere.
According to WWF Pakistan, Chotiari consists of:
- 14 species of large mammals
- 19 species of small mammals
- 109 species of birds
- 58 species of amphibians and reptiles
- 53 species of freshwater fish
In addition to being home to these species, Chotiari also has species that are on the endangered species list (in the IUCN Red list). This in itself is enough to make this reservoir an ecosystem to be savored.
Visiting the reservoir is an experience in itself too. The night sky is clear from pollution and beautiful and the silence is amazing!
Chotiari Reservoir – a sanctuary
Chotiari is located at the end of the Nara canal, near Achro on north east side of Sanghar. Before the reservoir was constructed in the late nineties, there were six natural lakes at this place, namely Baqar, Akanwari, Tajar, Phuleli, Seri and Sao Naro and also the legendary Makhi forest. The site was then and even now biologically diverse, categorizing it as a complex ecosystem.
The Chotiari reservoir was constructed with the help of the World Bank’s sustainable environmental strategy (1989) to preserve irrigation land. The construction was however, completed in the late nineties to store water and for irrigating the Thar Desert.
The Chotiari Dam has wetlands, crocodiles, wild boar, migratory birds, lakes and marshes. In addition to this, it is haven for star gazers because of its unpolluted clear night skies.
The reservoir can be reached from two sides. The first route is to get to ‘Mundh Jamrao’ (80 km from Nawabshah) and then take the route along the Ranto Canal to reach north embankment.
Or, you could go to Sanghar and then go directly to Achro, which is the official entrance of Chotiari reservoir.
If you are a nature lover, this is a must visit place for you. The diversity in the species, the ecosystem and the stars make this place an amazing adventure.
However, it is very important to plan your trip properly and include the local help as they are much more familiar with the natural hazards you may face at this location. Also, be careful not to visit it in the summer unless you want to be eaten alive by mosquitoes!