About an hour’s drive out of Ahmedabad, in two different directions, takes you to two quite different bird sanctuaries. The one in Nal Sarovar is very well known, and is definitely worth a visit. If you’re interested in photographing birds, you must be better equipped than the puny tiny little camera that I carried. I couldn’t do better than this.
The boat journey is also a must – the sanctuary is some 120 acres of marshland, so if you want to get close to the birds, you have to take a boat.
The Thol bird sanctuary takes some finding for a novice like me. There are no major road signs to guide you, unlike Nal Sarovar. The latter half of the road is through country where you’re not likely to meet any locals to guide you. My driver and I trusted to our GPS, and lo and behold, at journey’s end, we found a little faded sign reading “Thol Lake” and there we were – no fanfare, nothing at all.
There is no gate, no driveway, no parking lot, no chai shop, nothing at all to indicate that you’ve reached destination. There are no roads, no boats, nothing at all to move around in, except your own two feet.
This is a place where you have to immerse yourself in nature – just sit quietly, observe, listen, and let yourself become one with your surroundings.