A friday winter night, were trying frustratingly to resolve what to do over the weekend. We, the delhites, do not have a luxury of druthers in terms of places to squander for such a short duration and short notice, specially when you have already covered most of the getatable hangouts.
Eventually we settled for the Damdama Lake at the Aravali foothills. The place is very near from those highrises of Gurgaon, yet still (well, still) has a touch of nature and greeneries.
We left after having a brief breakfast. Crossing Delhi and Gurgaon is a pain, even if it is Saturday forenoon. Our gang, with two cars, signed in to the destination at around 12 noon. Sohna Road from Gurgaon is pretty easy drive, but once you take the left turn on the way to Damdama Lake, you wonder why Haryana Tourism is not at all bothered about this place. So narrow and so much full of potholes, feels like it has been a decade when the road has been worked upon.
Nevertheless, when you reach at the Lake you are re-energized looking at the greenery around.
We had some packed food from home only, thanks to the ladies who managed to prepare our victuals in the morning itself. Had our lunch sitting at the lake side. This is quintessential for day picnic in a lazy winter afternoon.
Not many things you can do here, but that is the beauty of it, you don’t come here to anything. If you want to relax, and do nothing, lie down on the grass, and just wonder what to do – this is the place.
However, for those who are not in a loafing mood like us, the highlight is Boating, Camel riding, some activities and a small play area for the children. Various types of boats are at your disposal – paddle, rowing, motor boats. Activities include Flying Fox, Burma Bridge, Monkey Crawl, Commando Net etc.
Our clique enjoyed boat ride for a long endurance, with all the possible alliances in the gang.
The kids brought some sporting gear along with us, some of us got busy with badminton rackets. The place is not usually very much full of tourists, so you can spend your time as you like. In our case, there was just two groups hovering around, we scattered around the whole place, open grounds are real treats for the juveniles.
One should enjoy the camel ride, particularly those who haven’t tried this – the startup and landing part is the real fun. They offer some 400 to 500 meters of ride on the camels.
The scenic beauty of the place is impressive and absorbing, especially because it is so close to Delhi and Gurgaon, and yet a drastic contrariety from those.
Spent the whole afternoon quite playfully. Kids playing, elders resting, and in betweens were roaming around or just lying on the grass on the lake side.
By that time, it was already evening. The winter sun was in a hurry to go to bed.
Our evening tea was from a stall that is, you can say, strategically placed just besides the kids play area. There is a sort of resort as well, Saras Lakeside Resort (http://www.sarasresortdamdamalake.com/). It is Haryana Tourism undertaking, quite a decent place to have your food, even to spend a night there.
It was dark by then. We just shifted our camp from the lake side to the open area nearby the resort. Brought some snacks from the resort restaurant and continued our party there.
Our return journey started after having light dinner at the restaurant, reached home quite satiated.
Damdama lake is quite near to Gurgaon, around 23 kms from the IFFCO chowk. The route you would follow:
Dhaula Kuan > Gurgaon > Iffco Chowk > Rajeev Chowk > Left Turn from exit no 10 > Sohna Road > 14 Kms approx Bhondasi, Left Turn [ Damdama Tourist Complex Road ] 10 Kms Approx > Damdama Lake.
The place is surrounded by Aravali hills, having a quiet and serene atmosphere. There are quite a few activities you can perform such as artificial rock climbing, valley crossing, cycling, rain dance etc. One can also go for nature walks and light trekking in the nearby hilly terrains.
If you choose to stay overnight, there are a few options available. Like Damdama Lake Resort, Saras Resort etc. Most of these resorts offer adventure activities as well, suitable for family outings.
Unfortunately, the placidity of the place not going to last longer. There are huge unrestrained mining activities going on, the hills are sold to private players. The lake itself is getting shriveled day by day. The birds have stopped coming. Yet another place only going to remain in some images and texts only.