Your city of beautiful lakes, picnic spots

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Your city of beautiful lakes, picnic spots

If you are fond of spending your weekends by a lakeside, spot an exotic bird or two there, or go water-sporting, Delhi does provide a few good options. Unknown to many, the city has a number of beautiful lakes, even if small and artificially created for water-conservation.

Travel a little southward and you will find even bigger and pristine water-bodies on the Aravalli belt of Faridabad-Gurgaon. These even have interesting mythological and historical stories attached. Explore and enjoy this water adventure...

Hauz Khas Lake

This lake dates back to no less than the 13th century when sultan Allauddin Khilji excavated it to meet the water demands of his city Siri. Later, Firuz Shah Tughlaq (1351–88) got it de-silted and cleared the clogged inlet channels. He also built a mosque and seminary around it, which, along with his tomb, now overlook the lake.

In 2004, the Delhi Development Authority and Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) together restored the lake and its surrounding park. The ducks and swans, lush greenery and the monuments, today, make Hauz Khas lake one of the most beautiful places to visit in the city.

Sanjay jheel

Spread across 69 hectares, this long winding lake is located near Patparganj, East Delhi. Before residential colonies and slums mushroomed around it, this was a naturally low-lying area which collected rainwater and was even fed by the river Hindon. In the 1970s, the DDA decided to develop it as a lake. It houses some peculiar residential birds, attracts a good number of migratory birds and has many indigenous trees. A well-laid-out fitness track is very popular with  early morning walkers and fitness enthusiasts.

 Purana Qila Lake

This lake once fortified the oldest city of Delhi and its citadel – the Purana Qila. Today, it serves to entertain visitors to the fort and Purana Qila museum with boating facilities. There is probably no Delhiite who hasn’t peddled through its waters with a beloved at some point of time. Thanks to its central location, it is also the most accessible lake in Delhi.

Bhalswa Lake   

This horseshoe-shaped lake in north-west Delhi was originally formed when the Yamuna left behind a meandering loop when it changed its course. Over the years, it was almost destroyed by indiscriminate encroachment but has recently been restored by authorities with an emphasis on water sports. 

So you can now go rowing, kayaking, canoeing and speed boating. There are also water scooters, hovercrafts and shikara-style boats available at a very reasonable rate. The nearby Naini lake in Model Town is also worth checking out.

Surajkund Lake

This lake comes alive every year during the annual Surajkund crafts mela in Faridabad. It was built by Tomar dynasty king Suraj Pal in the 10th century as an offering to the sun god. It is in the unique shape of a rising sun with an eastward arc and a steep embankment of stepped stones. Visit it during the monsoons when it is likely to have water in its womb.

Damdama Lake

This is the most beautiful lake that Delhi-NCR offers. Situated in Sohna, Gurgaon, it is surrounded by Aravalli hills and lush greenery which provide a peaceful surrounding ideal for family getaways. For avid rock climbers, the terrains of the Aravalli Hills provide an excellent opportunity to try out your skills.

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