When you hear of Gujarat, the picture that pops up in your mind is that of many temples and barren terrains. The state is in fact, a major tourism hub, and people from all over the world come to marvel at the many architectural monuments here. One of the major attractions in Gujarat are the many lakes that add life to this state.
Most of the lakes in Gujarat are the life source of drinking water for its people. Some of the beautiful and amazing lakes of Gujarat includes Hamirsar Lake, Nal Sarovar, Sardar Sarovar, Vastrapur Lake, Lakhota Lake and many more. Here is a pictorial guide to some of the scenic lakes in Gujarat.
1. Hamirsar Lake
Named after the ruler of Jadeja, Rao Hamir, this man-made lake lies in the central area of Bhuj. With almost all the important sight seeing destinations located to its eastern part, walking through the boundary of this 450-year-old lake could be fun. Present in the center of the water body is a colorful garden that makes it look all the more attractive.
Panoramic view of Hamirsar Lake.
2. Kankaria Lake
Kankaria Lake was made during the time of Sultan-Qutub-ud-Din. At the center of the lake is an island on which Nagina Wadi, a summer palace, was built. There is a garden around the palace. This lake today has become an activity centre for tourists and many facilities for that purpose has come up; like the toy-train alongside the lake, 'Bal Vatika' with different outdoor toys for children, a boat club with boating facility for the tourists, a zoo and a natural history museum. The colourful lights along the lake and the colourful fountains in the Nagina Wadi give the lake a marvellous and grand look at night.
Riding a motorboat at Kankaria Lake.
3. Nal Sarovar
Nal Sarovar, consisting of a huge lake and ambient marshes, is situated about 64 km from Ahmedabad. This lake is mainly inhabited by migratory birds and is the largest wetland bird sanctuary in Gujarat and one of the largest in India. It harbours over 250 species of birds which includes Purple Moorhen, Pelicans, Lesser and Greater Flamingos, White Storks, Brahminy Ducks and Herons. Timings for the visiting the lake is 6:00 am to 6:00 pm, there is nominal entry fee. However, for boating you need to negotiate with the local boatmen. The best time to reach here is just before sunrise, as the lake is calm and quiet and flocks of birds can be seen gathered here. You can also enjoy a horse ride here.
Cows crossing the Nal Sarovar.
4. Thol Lake
Thol Lake is a fresh water lake surrounded by marshes, situated in the Mehsana district of Gujarat. In 1988 this lake was converted into the Thol Bird Sanctuary as it houses more than 100 species of birds. It is a haven for bird lovers as many migratory birds nest and breed in the lap of nature here. The lake also has boating facilities.
Birds at Thol Lake.
5. Vastrapur Lake
Vastrapur Lake is situated in western part of Ahmedabad and is visited by a large number of people. It boasts of an open air theater and children's park and there is also a pathway all around the lake where people can jog or go walking in the morning and evening. The lush green lawns surrounding this lake also serve as a central hub of Ahmedabad, wherein various cultural events take place regularly.
Aerial view of Vastrapur Lake.
6. Lakhota Lake
The Lakhota Talav in Jamnagar is a lake that is always resonating with the beautiful chirps of migratory birds. With over 75 species of winged visitors visiting this lake every year, it is abuzz with people, especially during evenings and weekends. While you can enjoy boat rides in the calm lake, visitors can also savour some of the tastiest local cuisines and snacks sold in the park's surroundings during dusk. Some of the birds that migrate to the lake include pelicans, gulls, flamingos, ducks and spoonbills.
Picturesque view of Lakhota Lake.
Photo Courtesy: Rangilo Gujarati