Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Swan City Vadhwana, Mansarovar at Home

Swan City Vadhwana, Mansarovar at Home

Vadhwana a medium size irrigation lake located some 25 km away from Vadodara on Chotpudepur road as well as on Dabhoi road. It has been found an ideal location for roosting by the Swans of Himachal Pradesh and Mansarovar. It's a paradise for migratory birds.

There are two types of swans here; Gaj Hans (Greylag Goose) and Raj Hans (Bar Headed Goose). Swans coming from Mansarovar are called Raj Hans and the others coming from HP are called Gaj Hans. When it become too cold at Manasasarovar (4,556 m above mean sea level), the highest fresh-water lake in the world, the swans migrate to the plains. And during this journey some have found their roosting place at Vadhwana, Gujarat.

Swans feed in the water and on land. They are almost entirely herbivorous, although small numbers of aquatic animals may be eaten. There are paddy farms around that provides ample food to these migratory birds. Some of them are repeaters, come every year. Some come with the cygnets. The cygnets become visitor during their adulthood.

Swan is one of the metaphors most used by Indian mystics. It's a vehicle of Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and wisdom. Sometimes it happens, a swan forgets the way to go back. It forgets that it has a home somewhere, starts living by the side of dirty rivers, dirty ponds, muddy places. Similarly, Man is lost, has forgotten his home of God, living in the dirt of Maya. We are the Hansas of Mansarovar (Lake of Humans), in which we shall drink milk/pearl (good things) and leave the water (dirts) like the Hansa. Like it's feathers don't get wet in water, the saintly persons are not attached to the world of Maya. Those who attain this quality are called, Param Hansa.

हंसः श्वेतः बकः श्वेतः को भेदः बकहंसयोः
नीरक्षीरविवेके तु हंसो हंसः बको बकः।

(Meaning: A swan is white, a stork is white. What's the difference between the swan and the stork? When it comes to the knowledge of water and milk, a swan is a swan and a stork is a stork.)

Are you lost in thoughts?

Don't think much. Pick up the key and drive down to Vadhwana. There is an interpretation centre of Forest Department, three watch towers with binoculars facility, couple of rooms for freshening up and a small restaurant to refreshments serving pakoda, paratha, soft drinks, tea-coffee. If getting late, they will serve you lunch too. You may enjoy the picnic with family and friends.

There are 147 varieties identified at Vadhwana lake: goose, grebe, cormorant, shoveller, darter, spoonbill, stilt, teal, kingfisher, etc. In the last census 32372 migratory, 10086 resident migratory, 10692 resident, 2441 others (total 55591) birds have been counted at Vadhwana lake. Some are local, some are Indian migratory and some foreigners coming from Tajikistan and Europe.

Visit and enjoy the Swan City Vadhwana, watching Mansarovar Hansa at Home.

9 December 2015


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