Kankaria Lake is the biggest lake in Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat, India. It is located in the southern part of the city, in the Maninagar area. A lakefront has been developed around it, which has many public attractions such as a zoo, toy train, kids city, tethered balloon ride, water rides, water park, food stalls, and entertainment facilities. The lakefront was revamped in 2008. Kankaria Carnival is a week-long festival held here in the last week of December. Many cultural, art, and social activities are organised during the carnival.
The supply sluice of Kankaria Lake, 1866
Kankaria Lake was built by Sultan Qutbuddin in the 15th century. The work was completed in 1451 CE and was known as "Qutb Hauz" or "Hauz-i-Qutb." It was used for bathing by the kings. It had a water purification system but it has been lost with the time. At one point of the circular lake, there opens a walkway which later merges into a garden called Nagina Wadi (which means beautiful garden in Urdu) that is located in the centre of the lake. With an approximate circumference of 3 miles (4.8 km), it represents the regale history of Ahmedabad. It is a 34-sided polygon having steps which leading down to water level.
The central garden and the walkway had been revamped and utilities are enhanced. Upon completion of the renovation the lake was officially inaugurated in a week long event known as "Kankaria Carnival". The inauguration ceremony for renovated Kankaria lakefront was held on December 25, 2008.
Kankaria zoo bird
Kamla Nehru Zoological Park was established by Rueben David in 1951 CE spread over 21 acres. It was rated the best zoo in Asia in 1974. They are 450 mammals, 2,000 birds, 140 reptiles in a 31-acre zoo. It is a treasure of wild animals like tigers, lions, python, anaconda, snakes, elephant, albinos (white), like the rhesus monkey, spotted deer, white blackbuck, chinkara, elephants, emu, jungle babbler, bush-quail and common palm civet. Kankaria Zoo has also records in breeding of rare species in Zoo like pythons, crocodiles, bearcats and wild asses. Reuben David was awarded Padma Shri in 1974 for it.
It is a children's park named after Jawaharlal Nehru. Balvatika has a boat house, playroom, butterfly and weapon displays, mirror house, toy house and planetarium.Presently most part of the park is under renovation. New rides will be introduced soon.
Netherlands based company installed five rides in the amusement park in 2014. It includes the Boomerang Roller Coaster, the Flipping Arm, the Torching Tower, Disk 'O' pendulum and the merry-go-round. It will also have a kids play zone for computer games.
Kids City is a miniature world designed for kids. It is spread in 4240 sq.metre area having 18 activity centres including banks, fire station, science lab, radio station, police station, court room and prison, dental as well as medical hospital, theatre, BRTS, heritage gallery, town governance, IT centre, News room, ice-cream factory, etc. AMC had applied for copyrights and patents on the individual games in the premises, the unique point system, Virmo (Virtual Money) and the design of the different venues in games.
Atal Express - Toy Train
A train named Atal Express (Named after Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his birthday 25 December 2008) was imported from London, the train circles the lake on a 2.3 km track at a speed of 10 km/h. The train has the capacity to carry 150 passengers, including 36 adults. The train is manufactured by Severn Lamb. During the first 11 months of introducing the train, it attracted nearly a million visitors. After the success of this train, another train was also started which named Swarnim Jayanti Express. All trains on the railway, and hence the railway itself, are 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge.
Ahmedabad Eye is a tethered balloon ride set up near Kankaria Lake after renovation. The tethered balloon complex spread over 3000 square yard, is divided into four sections including a restaurant, tethered balloon, heritage exhibit and an exhibition displaying the making of the Ahmedabad Eye. SKYZ is a balloon themed restaurant located at the Ahmedabad Eye complex. It is managed by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. Rainforest theme restaurant is also there.
Main article: Nagina Wadi
Way to Naginawadi in 1891
Musical Fountain at Nagina Wadi
There is an island in center of Kankaria Lake which houses a small summer palace and a musical fountain. Food stalls are also there.
Stone Mural Park
India's biggest Stone Mural Park named Gurjar Gaurav Gatha on the side walls of the circular lake in which sculptors are depicting, in pink sand stone, the history and rise of Gujarat is under construction. It has murals covering 3150 sq feet depicting the history of Ahmedabad right now but when completed, it will measure 6000 feet in length and will be world's largest mural (30000 sq.metre).
Following subjects are being included in murals: folklores and history of Ahmedabad, great rulers of Gujarat, ports, commerce and good practices(ethical business-trade traditions), education, freedom fight, cultural heritage, art and literature, expression of culture, today’s Gujarat, global Gujaratis, selected stories of common Gujaratis in past centuries. It will also includes stories about ancient sage Dadhichi, Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Jhaverchand Meghani and Indulal Yagnik.
Dutch and Armenian tombs
Dutch Tombs near Kankaria lake, 1866
The Dutch and Armenian tombs are on One Tree Hill embankment which shows strong trade presence of Dutch East India Company in city during 17th century. They are Saracenic in style with domes and pillars. The dates of the tombs are deciphered range from 1641 to 1699. The Armenian tombs perhaps belonged to brokers in the Dutch factory.
Segways are introduced for people for easy movement around lake. A mini golf course; Aqua Kart and other water sports; Vertical Swing, Paint Ball Shooting, Black Flash and rides, Sky Fly and other joyrides were introduced.
Other attractions include historical Dadu Dayal temple, Natural History Museum, desert safari, aquarium, gardens like One Tree Hill garden, Butterfly Park, football ground, water sports and rides, open-air theatre, Jaldhara water park, boating and small amusement park. It is a good place for yoga, walking, and running, especially early morning. There is also a gym on campus known as Ambubhai Purani Vyayamshala.