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Dipor Bil

Dipor Bil, also spelt Deepor Beel it is located to the south-west of Guwahati city, in kamrup district of Assam. It is a permanent freshwater lake, in a former channel of the Brahmaputa River, to the south of the main river. It is also called a wetland under the Ramsar Convention which has listed the lake in November 2002, as a Ramsar Site for undertaking conservation measures on the basis of its biological and environmental importance.

The name Deepor Beel is stated to be derivative of the Sanskrit word 'Dipa' which means Elephant and the Beel means wetland or large aquatic body in Assamese language, inhabited by elephant. It is considered as one of the largest Beels in the Brahmaputra valley of Lower Assam, it is categorized as representative of the wetland type under the Burma Monsoon Forest biogeography region.

The Dipor Bil is reported to provide, directly or indirectly, its natural resources for the livelihood of fourteen indigenous villages (1,200 families) located in its precincts. Freshwater fish is a vital protein and source of income for these communities; the health of these people is stated to be directly dependent on the health of this wetland ecosystem. A member of Deepor Beel Fishermen’s Cooperative Society has succinctly stated:

.It is claimed that Beel was an important dockyard of the Tai-Ahom as well as the Mughals. The medieval history reports of Ahom-Mughal conflicts. It is also stated that Kampitha and Rambrai Syiemship (the supreme political authority is known as the Syiemship in Meghalaya had control over this area.

It is located 13 km South West of Guwahati on the National Highway (NH. 31), on the Jalukbari-Khanapara bypass, alongside its north western boundary. PWD road skirts the northern fringe of the Rani and Garbhanga Reserve Forests on the south. The National Highway 37 borders the beel on the east and north-east and the Engineering College Road on the north. Also, minor roads and tracts exist in the vicinity of the beel. The Beel is about 5 km from the Guwahati Airport (GNB Int. Airport). Broad Gauge Railway line skirts the lake.

The Beel is bounded by the steep highlands on the north and south, and the valley formed has a broad U-shape with the Rani and Garbhanga hills forming the backdrop. The geologic and tectonic history of the region provides the links to the hydrology and channel dynamics of rivers and pattern, and intensity of land use in the area. It is commonly stated that the beel together with those adjoining it are an abandoned channel of the Brahmaputra system.