Numerous community members repeatedly flock to our tiny, quaint and peaceful village of Udvada, our sanctum sanctorum and holiest of holy place of pilgrimage, to seek blessings and inspiration from the venerated Iranshah, to eat delicious Parsi cuisine and take a break from our everyday, fast-paced and hectic lives. This small, sleepy town welcomes you with open arms, offers positivity galore which recharges the soul, and each time, gives something special to take back home, as lovely, lasting memories.
During our stay in Udvada, we usually like to step out in the evenings and drive down to or visit near-by visitor attractions like Udvada Beach, Silvasa, Devka, Kolak, Daman and so on. But not many are aware of a gorgeous and alluring location that has been painstakingly developed at Udvada – the beautified Udvada Lake. This large project was undertaken by Smriti Zubin Irani, Union Minister of Textiles and Minister of Women and Child Development, through the Aadarsh Gaam Yojna Scheme 2017-18, costing Rs. 2,57,94,600/-. The project was initiated by Vada Dasturji of Iranshah – Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor, who is also the Zoroastrian Member in the National Commission for Minorities and the Chairman of Foundation for Development of Udvada (FDU).
A fabulous concept – the promenade built around the lake covers a large area, which is just behind the water filter station. The lake’s beauty and serenity can be absorbed by all tourists. The walking and jogging track contributes towards the wellness of people’s health, while the abundant flora and plant life around the place provides ample oxygen supply. The area around Udvada Lake is a haven for bird watchers.
One is highly recommended to partake of these simple but extremely fulfilling pleasures that nature gifts us by visiting the lake area when in Udvada. It truly energises you internally and soothes your mind and body with calmness making for great relaxation.
Speaking to Parsi Times about the genesis of the beautification of Udvada Lake, Vada Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor said, “The lake has been there for ages but hardly ever noticed. Once during a visit, we had to dig the lake deeper so that we could store more water. Standing there with the Gram Panchayat, I thought that since this is such a lovely and beautiful place, why not make its surroundings better? We wanted to make it attractive and accommodating for people to visit and take in the beauty, sit in peace and also take a walk. The original idea was conceptualized in 2007-08 but it didn’t work out then. Much later, on one of her visits to Udvada, Smriti Irani showed great interest in this concept. Post our discussion, she provided funds from her MP quota, which saw the whole project come to life in 2017-18. She also paid a visit to Udvada when the work was in progress. Now this facility is open for the welfare of the public.”
The Zoroastrian residents of Udvada as also the locals visit the Udvada Lake for their daily morning walks. In fact, during the evenings, the spot draws people even from Kolak and nearby places, to take in the pleasant evening breeze and sit and chat with friends and family. It has increasingly become the favourite rendezvous for people to relax, walk a couple of rounds, and spend some quality evening time. A stall close to the lake, sells tea and snacks, which further adds to lure. “I myself go there for a walk in the mornings. We are now planning to add more stone benches so more people can come, sit and have a nice time. There is a small play-area as well for children,” informs Vada Dasturji Khurshed.
Sharing a message for the community, he signs off saying, “Come and visit the place, enjoy the beauty of the lake which will make you feel very calm and relaxed, especially during early mornings or late evenings. We are trying our best to keep Udvada environmental and eco-friendly. For my next project, we plan to build a promenade on the sea front where people can come and relax, just opposite J J Dharamsala, and I hope this too will be implemented and made available for public use, very soon. It will be a beautification and environment protection project which will help protect soil erosion and also the houses near the sea-front.”
So, the next time you visit Udvada, do try and take in the beauty and the calm offered to one and all by the serene Udvada Lake.