Ameenpur lake is one of the popular destinations of Hyderabad for an outdoor excursion. Having read and heard that Ameenpur attracts a number of migratory birds during winter, we wanted to visit during December and January, but that was not to be.
Finally, we visited Ameenpur lake on 5th March 2019. The manner in which B +ve and O +ve, our four and a half-year-old twin daughters, enjoyed the outing was a sight we will remember for times to come.
The girls enjoyed each and every aspect of nature on offer at Ameenpur. They made themselves comfortable as if they have been to Ameenpur every day of their life.
The girls get to see pigeons, occasionally mynahs, eagles from the terrace and hear the sound of koel. This has been their birding activity in the city of the Hyderabad so far, apart from Zoo visits.
We showed the images of common birds of Hyderabad to the girls to acquaint them with some of the birds that we might get to see at Ameenpur.
They immediately identified the Green Bee-Eater as we were going to reach the Ameenpur lake. Once at the lake, we saw Little Grebe, Little Cormorant, Egret, Painted Stork, Rosy Starling and lots of Barn Swallow. The girls were very excited to see the Little Cormorant sitting on the rocks in the lake with the wings open. They waited and waited for the birds to catch fish but the birds did not oblige.
O +ve and B +ve are self-proclaimed rock-climbers. The rocks that they get to climb are 3-4 feet high rocks in Indira Park and other parks. At Ameenpur, they saw the natural rock formation and immediately set out to conquer them.
The rocks were surrounded with dried vegetation and were not designed for climbing. But, the girls would have none of it. We kept ascending and descending the rocks until they were satisfied with their conquest.
For the girls, the water was the star attraction. At Ameenpur, the place where we visited, we could walk 10-15 feet inside the water and the depth was just about till the knees. It was sandy and with no stones in the water, it was not slippery either.
The girls had the time of their lives in the water splashing it all around and on themselves. A Dirty Feet trip also landed at the same place with 13 children and they also joined the fun. Dirty Feet team had some sort of self-designed catamarans on which children could sit and it would keep floating in the water. All the children, including O +ve and B +ve, enjoyed and enjoyed.
I have come to understand that water is one of the best toys for children. This was no different. Looking at the children having fun in the water, a child in every adult comes to life. You can try and test it for yourself.
The place where we were at Ameenpur also had 4-5 fishermen catching live fish in their nets. They gave demonstrations to children to throw the net, take it back with the fish, remove the fish carefully from the net and keep it in a crate inside the water so that they are alive till they are sold/packed in cartons.
One of the girls touched the live fish and even tried taking it in her hands. She understood how to hold the fish horizontally behind the gills / under the fins. Her sister said that she will try it, the next time.
This is one of the most understated elements of nature that gets missed out staying in a concrete jungle. At Ameenpur, it was 12 o’clock in the afternoon, and nobody had a sweat.
It was a pleasure to watch the curls of girls flying on their faces in the cool breeze.
We spent about 5 hours at Ameenpur and did not realize where the time went by.
It is a pity that the children have to learn about the environment and nature from books and not through live experiential interactions. A visit like one to Ameenpur keeps reaffirming our belief that children are best looked after when left to nature. Just that the opportunities like this come few and far in between.
I am not sure about Ameenpur either, about how long it will be able to survive.