Thol Lake: A Complete Travel Guide For Perfect Weekend Getaway

 In Ahmedabad, Holidays, Places To Visit, Travel

The culture of Gujarat is the inherent quality of offering refuge not only to birds but to everyone with a glad hand. Every year millions of migrant birds travel to Gujarat flying on their wings to nest here. There are four Ramsar sites in Gujarat including Nalsarovar Lake, Vadhvana Irrigation Reservoir, Khijadiya Wetland, and Thol Irrigation Reservoir. 

One of the important sanctuaries in Gujarat that hosts many migrant and local avian species is Thol Lake. It was initially built as a reservoir in 1912 by the Maharajas of Baroda (Gaekwads), it was later declared a sanctuary in 1988. However, Thol Lake was internationally recognized as an important wetland only in April 2021 under the National Wetland Conservation program of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. From Thol Lake,  Ahmedabad is around 27.5 km via road.

About Thol Lake

Birds

birds

This beautiful sanctuary is located in Thol Village in Mehsana District. Thol Lake sprawled across 38000 acres and is in the district’s semi-arid zone, making it one of the best places to nest for migrant and local birds during monsoon and winter. 

According to the reports, around 150 species of birds are encountered near Thol Lake, of which around 90 are waterbirds. Besides the waterbirds, more than 200 terrestrial bird species are found in Thol Lake. Due to the dense forest and agricultural land and its surroundings, the Thol Sanctuary is one of the favourite locations of many migrant birds. 

The habitat diversity is not abundant like in Nalsarovar, yet millions of birds flock to this wetland every winter for resting and roosting. According to the last 10 years’ waterfowl census conducted by the Gujarat Forest Department, the waterbird population varied from 30,000 to over 62,000.

The Thol Lake includes many resident birds like knob-billed ducks, spot-billed ducks, lesser whistling ducks, herons, egrets, Indian Black Ibis, swamp hens, and moorhens.

TheThol Lake also has purple swamps, common moorhen, jacanas, flamingos, pelicans, coots, cormorants, and pied kingfishers. 

During winter greylag geese are usually spotted in open water areas in Thol River for foraging. You can also spot bar-headed geese and ruddy shelducks for foraging in the open water area. Raptors like marsh harriers, montane harriers, greater spotted eagles, imperial eagles, steppe eagles, etc are widely spotted in Thol Lake Sanctuary Ahmedabad.

You can also see white-fronted geese which you might not see in any other state wetland. Some rare water birds like red-breasted and lesser white-fronted geese are also spotted in Thol Lake. Diving ducks like tufted dark, common pochard, perigynous duck, and some uncommon migratory ducks of Gujarat including mallard duck are also spotted. Apart from these, you could see many other kinds of ducks in the wetland.

Vegetation

The Thol Lake Ahmedabad Sanctuary has many terrestrial trees and herbs such as desi baval, bor, neem, vad, pilu, gando baval, kerdo, etc. Apart from peripheral plants aquatic plants include  Acacia nilotica, zizyphus, Azadirachta indica, Capparis, etc.  The vegetation of Thol Lake Ahmedabad Bird Sanctuary also includes thorny shrubs which are drought-resistant shrubs. 

Animals

animals

Some of the most prominent fauna at Thol Lake Ahmedabad include blackbucks, blue bulls, golden jackals, etc. 

Thol Lake Timings

Thol Lake timings are from 06:00 am to 05:00 pm every day. 

Thol Lake Ahmedabad Entry Fee

Thol Lake Ahmedabad Entry Fee is Rs. 50/- per person. The camera fee is Rs. 200/-. The car charges can cost up to Rs. 500/-.

Best Time To Visit Thol Lake

best-time-to-visit-thol-lake

The best time to visit Thol Lake is during winter when the aura is pleasant and most of the birds tend to migrate here during this time. If you want to do birding or photography then come to the sanctuary early in the morning, at this time many birds come out and can be easily spotted. 

Birds tend to migrate in the winter to take advantage of burgeoning insect populations, budding plants, and an abundance of nesting locations. Thol Lake Sanctuary Ahmedabad is one of the important harbours for most of the birds relocating here for a certain time and mostly during winter you would see many migrant birds.

How To Reach Thol Lake

how-to-reach-thol-lake
Source: Trodly

Via Road

Located in the Thol village the roads to the Thol Lake Sanctuary Ahmedabad are well connected with the other cities. Therefore, how to reach Thol Lake is not a tedious task. From Thol Lake, Ahmedabad is around 27.5 km, Gandhinagar is 23 km, Vadodara is 103 km and Rajkot is around 224.2 km.

Via Rail

The nearest railway station to reach Thol Lake Sanctuary Ahmedabad is Ahmedabad Junction (Kalupur). From the railway station, you can take a cab to reach Thol Lake Ahmedabad.

Resorts Near Thol Lake

sterling-greenwoods-resort
Source: Sterling Green

Located in a remote location there are not many resorts near Thol Lake Sanctuary Ahmedabad. Following are the nearest resorts near Thol Lake

  1. Arvind Alcove Club
  2. Sterling Greenwoods Resort
  3. Life at Repose – Lake Villas Resort & Club
  4. Casa Blanca – A Boutique Resort
  5. Nature’s Edge – Beyond Peace
  6. Yeshwantpur
  7. Nirvana Greens
  8. Sun Solace
  9. Starz Resort

Hotels

  1. Pawan Service Station
  2. Travaasa
  3. Life At REPOSE
  4. Krsna Lila By Blues Hotels
  5. Ginger Sanand

Places To Visit Near Thol Lake

From Thol Lake Ahmedabad is around 27.1 km via road. There are many places to visit near Thol Lake. Following are some of the places you can visit while you are exploring Thol Lake Sanctuary Ahmedabad.

1. Science City Ahmedabad

science-city-ahmedabad

The Science City Ahmedabad is around 19 km from Thol Lake Sanctuary Ahmedabad. Sprawling across 107 hectares, this land is a perfect example of exposure as well as insightful education. The major objective of the Science City is to spread awareness of advanced Scientific Literacy, strengthen innovation, and spread the awareness of STEM Education. 

This multifaceted complex provides a diverse array of interesting exhibitions, awareness programs, and workshops catered to specially engaged audiences of all ages. 

2. Vastrapur Lake

vastrapur-lake
Source: Ahmedabad Mirror

Located in the western part of Ahmedabad, Vastrapur Lake is surrounded by lush green gardens, and the riverside is embellished with various stones. Vastrapur Lake is around 25 km from Thol Lake Ahmedabad. 

The round pathway is built for health enthusiasts to jog and work out. A small outing at Vastrapur Lake in Ahmedabad with children on one of the weekends is a must-try place.

3. Sabarmati Ashram

sabarmati-ashram

Sabarmati Ashram is around 25 km from Thol Lake Ahmedabad. It is the place where Gandhiji stayed for a long period. It is the same place where Gandhiji announced Salt Satyagraha. 

Today Sabarmati Ashram is more of a museum where many artefacts and photographs related to Gandhiji and freedom are preserved and kept in it. Ashram is the best place for anyone who wants to study about Gandhiji and his ideology. The major attractions of Sabarmati Ashram include Hriday Kunj, Magan Niwas, Nandani, and the Gandhi Memorial Museum.

4. Adalaj Step Well

adalaj-step-well

Adalaj Step Well is around 25 km from Thol Lake. Rudabai Stepwell is a stepwell located in the town of Adalaj, Gujarat near Gandhinagar city. 

The construction of the stepwell involved three people — King Rana Veer Singh, his wife Queen Rudadevi, and the Muslim ruler Mohammed Begda. The construction of Adalaj Stepwell was started by a Hindu King Rana Veer Singh of the Vaghela dynasty, during the 15th century. King Rana Veer Singh who ruled Dandai Desh, commenced the construction of Adalaj Stepwell as a token of duty to provide water for regular use.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to visit Thol Lake Bird Sanctuary?

The best time to visit Thol Lake Bird Sanctuary is early morning during winter.

Which district is Thol Lake in?

This beautiful sanctuary is located in Thol Village in Mehsana District

Is Thol lake a Ramsar site?

Thol is one of the four Ramsar sites in Gujarat.

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