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Namal Lake|Namal Valley Mianwali Pakistan

In the Mianwali District of Punjab, Pakistan, Namal Lake is situated on Talagang-Mianwali Road next to Rikhi, a village of the Namal valley. Namal is derived from word Anmool(انمول) means priceless. Namal Lake is an artificial lake which was established after the 1913 construction of Namal Dam (109 years ago).Namal Dam from Mianwali city is 32 kilometres (20 miles) away. The lake has a 5.5 km² surface area (2.1 sq mi). On its western and southern flanks are mountains. Agriculture is practised on the other two sides.

British engineers constructed a dam on this Namal lake in 1913 and irrigated area all the way to Mianwali city to address the need of irrigation and drinking water. However, as time went on, the Thal Canal was built, and tube wells were installed, its usefulness as a source of water was reduced to some extent. 

Namal Lake is located in Mianwali near Namal University
Sun Set at Namal Lake Mianwali

The irrigation department routinely but unenthusiastically fixes the dam gates. The Namal Lake is continuously filled by the highland torrents and rain. This lake dried up last year as a result of a drought-like scenario in the nation; this is the first instance of its kind in the previous 100 years. Right now, it's in terrible shape.

Here is a very old article published in western Mail Newspaper about Nammal Lake Dam  

Namal Lake Dam

The Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab, Sir Michael O' Dwyer, has performed the ceremony of inaugurating the Dane Dam, to allow the penned-up waters of the Namal Lake to flow into the Mianwali Canal. The dam, which was projected in the early days of British rule, closes up a narrow gorge of limestone rock, and thus forms a large lake, the water level of which with the normal rainfall is calculated to stand at R.L. 1,160,i.e., 20ft. below the crest of the weir. It will hold 630 million cubic feet of water in ordinary seasons, but has a maximum capacity of 2,100 million cubic feet. 

Birds at namal lake mianwali are very beautiful
Migratory Birds

Namal Dam Reservoir

At the two sides of the dam are waste weirs which are calculated to carry off the highest probable floods. The main supply of water in the reservoir is obtained from two streams on the northern slopes of the well-known Salt Range ; with their tributaries they drain an area of 125 square miles of steep hillside and 67 square miles of more or less open and flat country. The dam is 330ft. long, 105ft. above the head of the gorge, 72 1/2ft. broad at the base, and 6ft. broad at the crest. The cost of construction, apart from compensation for land taken, is £219,000. It is the first irrigation dam of such magnitude in the province, and is intended to be the fore-runner of similar schemes for making cultivation more secure in parts of the Punjab which do not obtain perennial irrigation from the great snow-fed rivers.(Ref : Western Mail 1914)

Namal Canal

The Nammal Canal was opened in December 1913. It received The Namal water from a lake of dam, constructed across a gorge canal between Nammal and Musa-Khel. The tail of the canal is at Mianwali, where it conveys water to lands in the Civil Station. The canal was included under schedule-1 of the Minor Canals Act of 1905 by Punjab Government notification No. 84, dated the 9th June 1914.

flying birds at namal lake
Flying Birds

Namal Topography

Namal valley Mianwali having special topography in which many lakes are bounded by Salt Range. From them these lakes, which exist in the Namal Valley and spread up to Soon Sakesar Valley, the Namal Lake is the most beautiful and at the top of all. However, the current situation of the of Namal lake through earth observation and ground based assessment, exhibits a bad picture and  indicating an urgent and quick requirement of restoration, rework and management actions to revive the lake conditions and overall structure.

little egret at namal lake
Birds at Namal Lake

Shrinkage in Namal Lake Area

In 2022, the surface area of lake is 2.2 square km while the original surface area of the Namal lake was 5.5 square km. This decrease in Namal surface area is 57% which is the highest  alarming shrinkage during this study from  year 1986-2022. 

beautiful bird at namal lake
Red wattled-lapwing vanellus Namal Lake

Namal Lake water volume depends on the rainy water that comes from the catchment area of Golar, Trappi, Rikhi, and Namal. Namal Lake  is used for irrigation needs of the Mianwali district through Namal Canal for 6 weeks on yearly basis. Silt from streams of Namal is high and filling the lake. An uninterrupted flow of silt into the catchment area of the lake has raised the surface level of the lake by 45 feet in last 100 years. Silt and debris in the lake ceases the function and working of the gates of Namal Dam. Water is collected into the lake by the gravity  that causes the meandering of the streams. Siltation also demages the passage of the main streams that are natural discharge channels of the Namal Lake. The meandering of the streams causes loss of a large proportion of discharge. 

Birds at Namal Lake

  1. Bank Myna
  2. Barn or Common Swallow
  3. Bay-Backed Shrike
  4. Black Kite
  5. Black or Eurasian Coot
  6. Black Redstart
  7. Black-Winged Stilt
  8. Blue Rock Pigeon
  9. Blue-Throat
  10. Collared Dove
  11. Common Babbler
  12. Common Black-Headed Gull
  13. Common Crow Pheasant
  14. Common Myna
  15. Common Pochard
  16. Eurasian Chiff Chaf
  17. Gadwal
  18. Gray River Tern
Myna at Namal lake
Common Myna

Major Drains and Stream for Namal Lake

  1. Golar Nala 
  2. Trappi Nala 
  3. Rikhi Nala 
Namal lake streams are Rikhi,Trappi and Golar
Map of Namal Lake major streams water sources

Hurbs and Shrubs

  1. Vaheker 
  2.  Pigweed 
  3.  Green Amaranth 
  4.  Tandla 
  5.  Sonf 
  6.  Vana 
  7.  Chougan 
  8.  Asthmaweed 
  9.  Unt Katara 
  10.  Bhakhra 
  11.  Gorakh Pan 
  12.  Bhan 
  13.  Karir 
  14.  Bathu 
  15.  Kor Tumma 
  16.  Chatri Dodak 
  17.  Podina 
  18.  Jangli podina 
  19.  Gandal 
  20.  Pataka 
  21.  Saunchal 
  22.  Sonchal
  23.  Lupra 
  24.  Banwali 
  25.  Ki kar 
  26.  Siris 
  27.  Dokani 
  28.  Jandi 
  29.  Sindhi Kikar 
  30.  Shahtoot 
  31.  Sufaida 
  32.  Sufaida 
  33.  Punarnava 
  34.  Kau 
  35.  Khatti Buti 
  36.  Jawahan
  37. Beeri
  38. Phulahi
  39. Jaal
  40. Rukh
Jaal Tree at Namal Lake
Jaal Tree

People of the Valley use tree for many useful purpose. Jaal fruit is famous seasonal fruit and tasty. Beeri fruit called Bair is liked by children for eating.

Phulai tree located at Namal lake
Phulai Tree at Namal

Namal Lake Fish

Namal lake is used to meet the demand of fish and fish from Namal is transported to other areas in Pakistan.There are many types of fish in the lake and their taste is unique. Following veriety of fish available at Namal lake:
  1. Rahu
  2. Damra
  3. Thaila
  4. Mori
  5. Singhara
Namal lake fish is tasty and quality is good
Fish at Namal

The Namal Lake area has following merits and demerits:

Merits of Namal Lake

  1. Regional connectivity
  2. Mountains and hills 
  3. Dense forests 
  4. Water bodies 
  5. Knowledge Center
  6. Employment Opportunities
  7. Economic Development

Area for Improvement at Namal Lake

  1. Lack of awareness campaign
  2. Inadequate conservation efforts
  3. Inadequate visitor facilities
  4. Lack of accommodation
  5. Lack of information for visitors
  6. Lack of health facilities
  7. Organizational constraints
  8. Community limitations 
  9. Lack of Transportation 
  10. Infrastructure
  11. Lack of Physical Infrastructure
  12. Limited enforcement of measures for game reserve management
KiKari bush

Development of area

  1. Eco friendly recreational facilities for visitors
  2. Restoration of lake
  3. Site viewing for mountains and water
  4. Residents of migratory birds and wildlife
  5. Employment Opportunity
Namal lake mianwali pointing board on road
Namal Lake Sign Board

Risk to Namal Lake

  1. Social Behavior of visitors
  2. Siltation of lake
  3. Deforestation 
  4. Soil degradation
  5. Land cover change 
  6. Reduction in water Level
  7. Natural habitats fragmentation
  8. Declining of migratory birds

Proposed Namal Recreational Picnic Point

Punjab Govt has plan to develop a recreational point at Namal Valley for which feasibility is prepared.

Recreation picnic point at Namal
Proposed Picnic and Recreation point at Namal Lake


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