Vadla is an up and coming haven for migratory birds making their way to the marshy wetlands of Gujarat, just a short drive away from Ahmedabad. Vadla still remains relatively unknown and undiscovered in comparison to the Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary and is a hidden gem only known to the locals.
The scanty tourist populace and minimal interference in the natural habitat of the birds gives way to direct unfiltered access and exceptional bird watching options. Vadla serves as a great opportunity for you to witness the natural behavioural aspects of the birds up close without infringing upon their inhabited area.
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Birdwatching at Vadla
Vadla is a paradise for bird watchers with a myriad of migratory birds travelling to the wetlands during the chilly winters. The Vadla lake is known to be home to Flamingos, Pelicans, Cranes, Ducks and a few more varieties of shorebirds. The birds are known to make their way from the freezing cold Siberia to a more tropical climate in Asia.
The whole picturesque view of the stunning birds against an expanse of lush padded fields and a setting sun is a true gem in itself and will have you reaching for your camera in no time. Vadla is beautiful in all its tranquil glory that has been quite a well-kept secret within the locals and is gaining traction as a bird-watching paradise among avifauna connoisseurs.
Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary near Vadla
The Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary; around 20 kilometres from Vadla is primarily made up of an expansive lake that amasses an area of 120 square kilometres, marshy patches and small islets splattered across the lake. The bird sanctuary has been an abode for migratory birds all throughout the months of Winter and Spring; the reserve plays host to over 250 species of birds; with some of the most notable ones being Rosy Pelicans, Flamingos, White Storks, Brahminy Ducks and Herons.
In addition to housing a wide selection of birds, the sanctuary is also home to a few mammals like the Wild Ass and Black Buck. The park is a great one-day outing destination with quite a few activities to cover and keep you interested in; the sanctuary is a haven for people who have an affinity towards feathered creatures or just want to relax in a general way from the hustle and bustle of Ahmedabad.
Activities and Attractions at Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary
As soon as you enter the sanctuary, you are greeted by an enormous lake; it is believed to be the best way to travel across the islets and spot different varieties of birds. Several boatmen line up on the shore of the lake; however, you may have to negotiate with them to come to a fair amount for the ride. The water in the lake is usually apparent and shallow, not more than 4 to 5 feet in depth; which is also one of the main reasons the shorebirds inhabit the sanctuary because they prefer low lying waters for hunting their prey. The boat ride takes you across the lake to witness herds of these indigenous migratory birds that flock the sanctuary and the scenic lake instils a sense of calm and tranquillity.
The boat makes a stop at a small islet away from the main entrance; the island is lined with stalls selling snacks and refreshments and has a small watchtower that provides you with a bird's eye view of the entire property and the avifauna that graces the lake. The view is spectacular and will definitely trigger your inner photographer. The boat makes its way to the main entrance after the halt at the island, giving you a few glimpses of the unadulterated habitat of the migratory birds of the region.
After you are done with the boat ride, you can also take a short horse ride along the edge of the lake. This is usually popular with the kids and is a fun way to explore the sanctuary.
Bird Interpretation Centre
The sanctuary also has an interactive interpretation centre under the name of Abhiruchi Kendra that provides the visitors with information about the travel distances, place of origin and other general information about the most commonly sighted birds. Besides info on birds, the interpretation centre also relays information about the aquatic life in the lake.
Vadla is home to a wide selection of feathered creatures making their way to India and escaping the extreme temperatures of Siberia. The whole expanse hasn't been fully discovered yet and has tremendous scope of exploration and has a very raw and pure appeal to it owing to the non-commercialised ambience of this countryside.
How To Reach Vadla
Vadla is approximately 80 kilometres from Ahmedabad; you will need to take a left before Viramgam towards Vithalgadh and another left on the Gangad route will lead you straight to the village of Vadla. Drive along for some distance till you spot damp patches with birds over them on both sides of the road, and you have arrived at your destination.
Nal Sarovar, on the other hand, is around 60 kilometres from Ahmedabad and easily accessible by taxis as well as public buses, a short drive after a left turn at Sanand will take you to Nal Sarovar. The vehicles, however, only drop you up to the parking point, further here are vans run by the bird sanctuary that will take you from the parking up till the main entrance of the sanctuary.
Best Time To Visit Vadla
Since the sanctuary is most prominent for housing migrating birds through winter and spring, the months from October to February are best for visiting the bird sanctuary, because you may be able to see some rare species of avifauna that travel from Siberia.