(Last Updated on : 06-12-2013)
Located in the Mehsana district of the western Indian state of Gujarat, the Thol Wildlife Sanctuary is quite rich in its wildlife composition. The sanctuary is situated about 40 kms northwest from the city of Ahmedabad and covers an area of approximately 7 sq. km. The sanctuary is primarily based on the Thol Lake, which was established in the year 1912. However, it was declared as a sanctuary in the year 1988. It is also well known as the Thol Bird Sanctuary. The sanctuary is mainly based on the Thol Lake that attracts thousands of migratory birds, every year.
The Thol Wildlife Sanctuary has many small marshes at the edges and some scrub forest on the sides of the high embankments. These scrub forests make an ideal natural habitat for various colourful bird species. The most commonly found plant species in the sanctuary include the emergent and floating aquatic plants, the terrestrial trees and also herbs. Some of the species are the Desi Baval, Bor, Neem, Vad, Pilu, Gando Baval, Kerdo, etc. The climatic condition of the sanctuary remains quite comfortable in most of the parts of a year. However, the months of October to March are considered as the best period to visit the sanctuary, as the climate remains at its best during this period.
The main attraction of the Thol Wildlife Sanctuary is its great collection of avifauna. Several bird species including both resident and migratory types can be found in this sanctuary. The tallest flying bird of the world Sarus crane inhabits this area and is found in good number. Besides the Sarus Crane, many waterfowls also get attracted to this site due to the agricultural fields surrounding the lake, which provide sufficient food to them. The migratory birds from different parts of the world visit the place, during the months of October to March. They stay here for a long period and make it their temporary sojourn in the winters. Some of the most notable migratory bird species of the sanctuary include the great White Pelicans, Flamingoes, Mallards, Greylag Cheese, Black Ibis, Odd Spotted Fly Catchers, Eurasian Curlews, etc. These bird species have contributed a lot in increasing the popularity of the sanctuary. The nature lovers like to cherish the sight of such a large array of birds and their cacophony, for a long period. The sanctuary is often described as an ornithologist's paradise.
Not only the bird watchers or the ornithologists, but also the other tourists love to visit the Thol Wildlife Sanctuary, on a regular basis. The sanctuary has been fascinating people ever since its inception.