The lake was initially built in 1912 as a tank by the Gaekwad regime to provide irrigation facilities to farmers. This established the user rights of the lake water. The operation and management of the lake is under the dual control of the Forest and Irrigation departments of the Government of Gujarat
Thol Wildlife Sanctuary, a shallow water reservoir, situated 25 km (15 mi) northwest of Ahmedabad and most popular birding place near Ahmedabad after Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary which is about 50 km (30 mi) from Thol Wildlife Sanctuary. Geographically Thol Wildlife Sanctuary falls in Mehsana district of North Gujarat. Kadi, a taluka headquarters of the district, is just 22 km (14 mi) away from the Sanctuary. Thol Wildlife Sanctuary is a man-made (made by Sayajirao Gayakvad, Ruler of Baroda) irrigation tank built in 1912 with water storage capacity of 84,000,000 m3 (68,000 ac·ft) and command area of 1450 ha (5.6 mi2) and catchment area of 153 km2 (59 mi2). The wetland is predominated by the open water habitat, which is surrounded by cropland, fallow land and scrub land. Due to its popularity amongst the bird fraternity the area was notified as Sanctuary in November 1988 under Sec. 18 of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.The best time to visit the place is November to February.