Sukhna Lake is located in Chandigarh, India, is a reservoir at the foothills (Shivalik hills) of the Himalayas. This is a 3 km² rainfed lake and was constructed in 1958 by damming the Sukhna Choe, a stream coming down from the Shivalik Hills. Originally the seasonal flow entered the lake directly causing heavy siltation and that was overcome by acquiring 25.42 km² of land in the catchment area and put under vegetation. In 1974, the Choe was made to bypass the lake completely, the lake being fed by three siltation pots, minimizing the entry of silt into the lake itself.
Sukhna has become an indivisible part of the city of Chandigarh. Le Corbusier had predicted that the residents of the city would be drawn it for the ‘care of the body and spirit’. The city planners were deeply devoted to the lake. Pierre Jeanneret’s ashes were dipped in the lake in 1970 at his niece’s request.
The roof of the ‘bandh’ or dam has become a special promenade. Serious walkers pursue an exercise regime, families love to spend an evening stroll and nature lovers mingle with children on roller skates. Photographers and painters enjoy to capture its scenic beauty of the setting sun, or the heavily clouded monsoon sky with clouds, or the early morning mist in winter set amidst the tranquility of the lake. Even anglers do not pull out unrewarded. The place catches everyone`s eye with its beauty.
Sukhna has a membership-based Lake Club with facilities like lawns, a gym, indoor games, swimming pool, tennis courts with both synthetic and grass courts. With additional features like boating, rowing, sculling, sailing, kayaking and water skiing can be enjoyed throughout the year.
There is one special thing about the lake, it was the venue for the Asian Rowing Championships, has the longest channel for rowing and yachting events in Asia.
Sukhna is a sanctuary for many exotic migratory birds like the Siberian duck, storks and cranes, especially during the winter months. The lake has been announced as a protected national wetland by the Government of India.
During summers, there are streams of men, women and children from all walks of life offering voluntary service for the desiltation of the lake bed for about three months. Also there is annual ritual which has been a regular feature since long ago.
Sukhna Lake is the venue for many festive celebrations, too. The most popular is the Mango Festival held in the monsoon season when scores of varieties of mangoes are on display, also there is a Gurudwara (Temple of Sikhs) called Amb- Sahib. From time-to-time, other food festivals featuring specialties from different Indian States are also held here, along with cultural performances.
The Mera Chandigarh administration has made a strict decision not to allow fish more than 30 cm in size in the Sukhna Lake. The Chandigarh Administration has set up a new plan for Sukhna Lake and New Lake in Sector 42 with Rs 2.73 crore which has also been accepted by Union Government. B.A.