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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019

Earth Day Special: The enticing lakes of Delhi NCR

On Earth Day today, take a look at these beautiful lakes that will transport you to an idyllic utopia

delhi Updated: Apr 22, 2019 15:44 IST
Aditya Dogra
Aditya Dogra
Hindustan Times
The Hauz Khas lake is one of the most popular ones in Delhi
The Hauz Khas lake is one of the most popular ones in Delhi(Jasjeet Plaha/HT)
         

Often in a bid to get away from the daily hustle of city life, Dilliwalahs travel to faraway places seeking refuge in nature. But, what most do not know is that Delhi is home to some beautiful lakes, explored and otherwise, that can provide us a much needed breather from the city’s grey landscape, that too without splurging on a vacation (win win, isn’t it?). To save you the trouble of web searches and research, we decided to hunt these natural treasures across Delhi NCR, and curated a list of lakes you can explore today on World Earth Day. So go ahead, get your exploration gear on and check these spots out. (You can thank us later)

Shail Lake, Mangar

Lake Shail is a spot most visited by paddle boarders and trekkers.
Lake Shail is a spot most visited by paddle boarders and trekkers. ( Jasjeet Plaha/HT )

Located in the Mangar Bani Valley on Delhi-Haryana border, this lake is a complete treat. One has to trek through thorny bushes and a rocky terrain to get to the lake, but once you reach the beach-like bank you might never want to leave. The lake is perfect for a day out, and is popular among paddle boarders, who can often be spotted here too. We’d recommend you carry food as it’s not available around the lake.

The Death Valley Trail

CTIM 2 is just one of the many lakes on the Death valley trail that you should check out.
CTIM 2 is just one of the many lakes on the Death valley trail that you should check out. ( Jasjeet Plaha/HT )

Don’t let the name creep you out! This trail has some of the most beautiful lakes in the area, the ones that you wouldn’t believe could actually exist near Delhi. The Death Valley is a collection of seven abandoned mines that later filled up with water and are now abound with flora and fauna. Some of the most beautiful lakes here are CTIM1, Bhardwaj Lake and the Coral Lake, but nothing compares to CTIM2, which has azure water. You could also chance upon historic ruins here that date back to the Rajput era and often find abandoned mining equipment just sitting around too — both make for great shoot locations though. The locals aren’t very friendly here, so we would suggest you go exploring as a group here and not cause any disturbance.

Sanjay Lake

Check out Sanjay Lake for a day out with the geese
Check out Sanjay Lake for a day out with the geese ( Jasjeet Plaha/HT )

An artificial lake developed by the Delhi Development Authority, Sanjay Lake is spread over 17 hectares and is home to diverse flora and fauna. Adjoining the Mayur Vihar II residential area, the lake is great for long walks and adventure activities.

Old Fort Lake

The Old Fort Lake might not offer boating anymore, but its swanky new gardens will win your heart
The Old Fort Lake might not offer boating anymore, but its swanky new gardens will win your heart ( Jasjeet Plaha/HT )

Popular among tourists and Delhiites as a boating destination, this lake dried up in 2017. But in 2018, the lake got an upgrade and was filled again. While there’s no boating here anymore, the lake is a sight to see with the Purana Qila standing tall behind it.

Hauz Khas Lake

The Hauz Khas lake’s chartreuse shades are always a sight
The Hauz Khas lake’s chartreuse shades are always a sight ( Jasjeet Plaha/HT )

This one could easily be called the most popular lake in the city as it sees hundreds of residents from nearby and visitors throng to the area everyday. The basil and chartreuse shaded lake is surrounded with lawns and monuments too. What’s more? One can also check out the deer park located next to it.

The Curious case of Bhadkal Lake:

The now dried up Bhadkal Lake was once a popular picnic spot
The now dried up Bhadkal Lake was once a popular picnic spot ( Jasjeet Plaha/HT )

Once deemed a marvel, this lake was a haven for bird watchers and the water here was considered pure by locals. But, in 2009, the lake ran dry due to unchecked mining activity and misuse of water. “We used to see the water and wonder if it will ever run dry. Now, we look at this dry area and wonder if the beauty will ever be restored,” said a local. “I know they’re making efforts to bring it back but we don’t know when that would happen.”

Other lakes to check out:
  • Damdama Lake
  • Okhla Bird Sanctuary Lake
  • Peacock Lake
  • Sultanpur Lake
  • Naini Lake

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