Forget beaches and on your next holiday, head to the salt water lake closest to you. These lakes, located in different parts of the country, are picturesque to boot.
Chilika Lake in Orissa is a popular haunt for those who love to cruise on still waters while watching migratory birds. Rajasthan has Sambhar, known for its salt rich lake where thousands of flamingos and other migratory birds flock from northern Asia during winter.
But if the moons craters have always fascinated you, check out the Lonar Crater Lake near Aurangabad to gawk at a big crater thats filled with saline water. You can even head to the marshland of Rann of Kutch to view Nava Talav, a salt water lake, and also stop at Dasada, the only place in India where you can see herds of wild ass.
Known as the largest brackish water lake in Asia, Chilika Lake covers an area of over 1,100sq km and draws tourists who want to go fishing, bird watching or boating. Come winter and Chilika comes alive with thousands of local and migratory birds, some even from distant Siberia. The lake is dotted with a number of small islands and you can cruise or take a motorised yacht to go island hopping.
A 2-night and 3-day tour from STIC Travel Group offers accommodation in a guesthouse in Barkul by the lake. You arrive in Bhubaneswar and are taken to Chilika in an air-conditioned car. Priced at Rs 7,999 per person, the package includes breakfast and water transport to Barkul. Go to www.stictravel.com.
|Pic by Madhu Nair
Indias largest saline lake, Sambhar Lake, is located 60km west of Jaipur in a town called Sambhar. Known as the Salt Lake City, the lake has been producing salt for over 1,000 years. It is said that the rulers of Jaipur and Jodhpur owned the lake in the distant past and in 1870 it was leased to the British. After Independence the lake was taken over by the government and is now managed by Sambhar Salts Ltd.
A 3-night and 4-day package on twin-sharing basis at Ramada Jaipur from LPTI costs Rs 12,850 per person. The price includes accommodation and breakfast. Go to www.lpti.com.
Lonar Crater Lake
The Lonar Crater Lake in Buldana district of Maharashtra is about 122km from Aurangabad. The third largest crater in the world, its also known to be the worlds oldest crater formed by the impact of a meteorite that hit the surface of the earth some 52,000 years ago. Its akin to the craters found on the moons surface. The waters of this lake are said to cure skin diseases.
Arrow Wheel Travel Solutions has an offer of a nights stay in 5-star accommodation in Aurangabad at Rs 13,500 for two in a double room. The package includes a car and a guide to visit Lonar Crater Lake. Go to www.arrowwheel. com.
Nava Talav Lake
The Rann of Kutch, known for its unusual marshland spanning over about 10,000sq km, is Indias only habitat of the wild ass. To reach Nava Talav Lake, you drive 90km from Ahmedabad to Dasada. The Nava Talav Lake was built by the British to store excess water from nearby villages. You can even visit the sun temple in Modhera 100km from Dasada.
Le Passage to India offers a 3-night and 4-day stay with breakfast at Rann Riders Hotel in Dasada on twin sharing basis for Rs 18,623 per person. Go to www.lepassagetoindia.com.