Nal Bird Sanctuary- One of the largest bird sanctuaries of India.
It is situated near Sanand Village which is approximately 60 km from the city Ahmedabad of Gujarat state in India. This place covers around 120 sq km land along with fen-land of 4-5 feet shallow water which has many small islands in between.
Being a famous tourist attraction of Gujarat, this place constitutes close to 200 species of birds which includes migratory birds, different varieties of flora – fauna, and even a few species of wildlife.
I kept hearing about the beauty of this place so, I planned a weekend trip in mid-October.
As more flocks of birds can be seen early morning so, we started our journey at around 0430 from Ahmedabad. We reached the place around 0530, parked our vehicle, and collected the entry tickets (there are separate charges for camera, boating, and parking). Different packages are also available.
We were in a group so hired a separate boat for the complete journey. After buying tickets, a rowing boat was assigned to us. We all sat as suggested by the boat rower to maintain proper balance.
There was complete silence and the place was calm with hardly any tourists around. All we could hear was the sound of water coming through the rowing of our boat and the chirping of birds. The lake looked amazingly awesome and the morning breeze was cherry on the cake. It was an amazing experience seeing how different birds are gathering their morning food.
There were many small visible islands and different small-big flocks of birds having their morning food. October is also known for bird watching month, especially for migratory birds.
As we move ahead, the lake became shallower. The panoramic view with only water around was soothing our eyes, there were beautiful lotus grown in some places. Everything seemed just beautiful and relaxing.
Then, as we moved ahead, the area appeared to be little swampy with even snakes in it. It was little scary as all the negative thoughts crossed our minds within a fraction of seconds.
We later hopped to an Island, where few ladies cooked the pure authentic Gujarati food for us. It was not even afternoon but having the authentic food at a small island early morning has its own different feeling. They cooked food in the authentic chulha(a stove made from mud which uses cow dung cakes and woods). Mostly the food menu includes- bajre ki roti, baingan ka bharta lehsun ki chatni, masala chaas. All of us ate full stomach. It was really delicious and pocket friendly.
We spent approximately 4 hours there and would recommend the place for a day out. However, the guide kept asking for extra charges to take the boat at some specific places in the lake which was an obvious turn off as we have already paid entirely while buying tickets. Henceforth, better be careful and discuss these point while collecting the tickets.
How to reach: By road, the place is about 63 km from Ahmedabad via NH947.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit is from October to March and that too best time to visit is early morning.
Opening time: Usually, it is opened throughout the week from 0600 to 1730.