Kankaria Lake is the biggest lake in Ahmedabad. 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. A weeklong Carnival is a festival held here in the last week of December. Many cultural, art, and social activities are organized during the carnival.
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 center 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.
There are the following attractions at Kankaria Lake complex :
Kankaria Zoo :
Kamla Nehru Zoological Park was established by Reuben David in 1951 is spread over 21 acres. It was rated the best zoo in Asia in 1974. They are 200+ mammals, 2,000 birds, reptiles in a 21 acre zoo. It is a treasure of wild animals like tigers, lions, python, anaconda, snakes, elephant, albinos (white), like the rhesus monkey and peacock, spotted deer, white Blackbuck, chinkara, elephants, emu, jungle babbler, bush-quail and common palm civet. Kankaria Zoo has also recorded in the breeding of rare species in the Zoo like pythons, crocodiles, bear cats 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, mirror house, toy house and a planetarium.
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 4.5 km track at a speed of 10 km. 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.
Balloon Safari :
Ahmedabad Eye is a tethered helium balloon ride set up near Kankaria Lake after renovation. Visitors to the lake can now fly with the helium balloon up to a height of 350 ft and have an aerial view of the whole city during a 15-minute flight.
There is an island in the center of Kankaria Lake which houses a small summer palace and a musical fountain. It also has food stalls.
The Dutch and Armenian tombs are on One Tree Hill embankment which shows strong trade presence of the Dutch East India Company in the city during the 17th and 18th century.