So folks, after having spent a part o our day at Sabarmati Ashram and SwamiNarayan temple, our energies being refurbished, we had made plans to go to Kankaria lake , a landmark place of the city. As we were in our vehicle , the place could not have been approached without taking the help of natives. My first two inquiries met with perhaps a suitable answer but in Gujarati so folks another try after going some distance and I was duly obliged by an elderly Gentleman. After sometime I was in front of Kankaria lake compound.
I was thinking where to park my car as the main gate was closed and only a small gate was open. After inquiring from the watchman I came to know that the parking facility had been provided near gate Number 2. Didn’t anticipated many gates for this compound but after reaching the gate number two, my humble knowledge got destroyed when the knowledge of this compound having 8 gates enveloped us. Having parked my car at the designated place we entered the complex. In front of us a large lake circular in shape was there along with many other entertainment and khana pina facilities on the path which ran along side the lake.
Shore length of this lake is about 2.25 km with a beautiful lakefront whose beauty gets increased many times under lights. The lakefront boasts of many facilities as I have mentioned like zoo, kids city, desert safari, hot air balloon, fast food counters etc. The lake is situated in Mani Nagar area of Ahmedabad which incidentally is the constituency of Sh. Narendra Modi Ji. Though the lakefront has been developed , the lake is a historical one.
Lake was built in 15th century by Sultan Qutubuddin and was used as a bathing area for the kings and was also known as Qutub Hauz. It was forgotten as the pages of history unfolded but came into prominence when Narendra Modi Ji developed it for the people of Ahmedabad as a major attraction of the city.
1. KAMLA NEHRU ZOO: Our first plan was to visit the zoo as it was about 4. 30 and we apprehended that the gates of zoo would be closed soon so we all decided to visit the zoo first. This zoo was established by Reuben David in 1972 and was rated as best zoo in 1974.I got these facts from internet sources but at the time of visiting the zoo when we didn,t know about this fact, still we guessed that thhis zoo was somewhat different from some of the bigger names in the zoo circuit like Delhi zoo in some respect. The reasons for this, I am giving in this write up.
A. Though the area is not so large as is the case with other zoos, everywhere a green patch is visible throughout entire zoo. Plantations are immense and you never feel like that you shall encounter any dry area or dry grass though it was hot May month.
B.Proper directions were put up through various signboards for the convenience of the visitors that which way is area of domestic animals, wild animals, birds etc.
C. A major problem that visitors encounter while visiting any zoo or in fact any tourist place is that of potable water and adequate drinking water facilities especially in summer months. But here no commercialization of water was visible as water coolers were installed at many places and behold those equipment actually contained chilled water also. That is some management.
D. Every cage had some animal or bird inside it unlike some of the other zoos that I have visited, prominent nameplate outside and inside no animal or bird……
E. The most important aspect of caring for the animals is not taken care off in many of zoological gardens with animals sitting in the open spaces under sun, less food or no food, embezzlement of funds etc. But here first impression was that of very good care of the animals. We saw many persons taking cut fruit and vegetables for animals and birds in trolleys. Coolers were put outside the cages , chiks were there and employees were spraying water on it to help the animals in hot weather.
A lot of animals could be seen inside the zoo especially many types of species of deer (spotted dear. black buck, chinkara) etc. A touch of Gir in form of great Asiatic lion was also there, roaring in his full command.
Overall our first experience inside the Kankaria lakefront was marvelous with a snake park being an additional feature of this zoo where one can see so many species of snakes in properly maintained glass structures.
After coming out of the zoo, it was decided unanimously to go for Khana – Pina with numerous food stalls along side the lake and majority of these shops were selling Paani Puri as their speciality with Golgappas packed in polythene covers hanging from their shop corners unlike North India where these items are sold mostky in rehris. We ordered for some Paani-Puri, Bhelpuri and Noodles plate for dear Pavani. Evening had pushed behind the afternoon time , a bit of darkness was enveloping the sky and visitors had started coming to the complex in hordes.
After going some distance , we saw that in lake there was a big balloon like structure near the shore only and kids were packed inside it and they enjoyed floating inside it for sometime. We witnessed the scene for sometime and I asked Pavani if she wanted to experience it. She replied in affirmative as she had not done it before. The ticket rate for this was Rs. 50. I guess it was fun for her.
KYA SABAK SIKHA US DIN: Not all the places maintained by the Government agencies are bad. This place is maintained by Ahmedabad Municipal corporation and employees really work.