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Changa Manga

Changa Manga

People living in Pakistan, especially in Punjab are not unaware when they hear a name “Changa Manga”. It is a forest, can be said a handmade or the planted one. It is said that among the largest man grown forests of the world, one is Changa Manga. This artificial forest covers an area of 48.6 square kilometers (12,000 acres).

changa manga forest

In the time of British Raj (rule), in 19th century, the irrigation and planting of this forest took place when timber was severely needed for fuel for Indian Railway network. In year 1871-72, Mr. B. Ribbentrop drew up the first working plan for its plantation.

There are many species of trees found in this forest but among the commonly found kinds of these trees are Acacia Nilotica (Kikar), Eucalyptus (Safaidah), Dalbergia Sissoo (Sheesham, in Punjab it is also known as Tahli), Morus Alba (White Mulberry) which, throughout the south Asia is very popular in cultivation and Populus trees.

Changa Manga Lake

Today this forest has been developed and modified and is far different from of the one under British Rule. In year 2008, a wildlife Park too was built at this place that becomes one of the three wildlife parks that are situated in District Lahore. Rest of the two parks is Jallo Wildlife Park and Lahore Zoo Safari. This Wildlife Park serves as home to the wild species of mouflon, jackal, nilgai, Indian peafowl, wild boar and hog deer. Changa Manga Wildlife Park is covering an area of 40 acres (16 h).

It has also been developed into a recreation park along with a railroad that provides tourists and visitors a ride of 5 kilometers (3.1 mi) on small Diesel locomotives and Steam locomotives all the way through Changa Manga. Water turbine, play area for kids, waterfall and a lake (Lunar Lake) with the facility of boating too include in other attraction for tourists and visitors. A tourist resort is also built approximately 80 kilometers away from Lahore to facilitate tourists.

White-backed vultures at WWF's Changa Manga aviary near Lahore.

Changa Manga also has a Vulture Center in it to protect and breed the Gyps Vultures especially species of Gyps Bengalensis. In year 2006, a Gyps Vulture Restoration Program was started by WWF Pakistan in collaboration with the Punjab Wild Life and Parks Department in order to save this species from vanishing and to restore their population. This Vulture Conservation Center has a capacity of 30 vultures approximately and contains four separate breeding aviaries in it as well as this place serves as Wild life breeding center too.

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