Hebbal Lake is one of the oldest and most popular lakes in Bangalore. It is well known as a habitat for numerous exotic local and migratory birds. The lake is situated in the northern part of Bangalore, along the Bellary Road. The huge lake covers an area of around 150 acres. The lake also possesses a beautiful garden adjacent to it.
The lake was under the management of Karnataka State Forest Department. In 2002 the responsibility for managing the lake was handed over to the Lake Development Authority, a non-profit society that was created for managing lakes in the Bangalore region.
History of the Hebbal Lake, Bangalore
The lake was created by Kempe Gowda, the founder of Bangalore, in 1537. It is one of the three lakes that were created by him. Hebbal Lake was formed by damming natural valley systems through the construction of bunds, just as most other lakes and tanks were created within the Bangalore region.
Over the passage of time, the lake had lost its glory owing to water pollution and the lack of proper maintenance. Restoration of the lake was started in 1998 and a huge amount of money was spent for the purpose. During that period of restoration major changes were incorporated in the ecosystem of the lake. Two artificial islands were created on the lake. The islands were developed in order to enhance the beauty of the lake and to attract more birds. Today these two vegetated islands have turned into the roost sites for several species of water-birds.
The beauty of the Hebbal Lake, Bangalore
The Hebbal Lake is a seasonal lake that dries up in the summer and regains its glory along with the monsoon rains every year. The surroundings of the lake are beautified by the presence of a large number of tall green trees. It is as if the lake stands as a green oasis in a city that is reshaping the skyline with new concrete high-rises every day. Various flowering plants having flowers of different colours make the lake more attractive for visitors. The walkway around the lake is well maintained and is a nice place to enjoy a leisurely walk.
It is always a mesmerising sight to watch the sunrise and the sunset while sitting near the lake.
Main attractions of the Hebbal Lake
The main attraction of the Hebbal Lake is the wide variety of birds that have made the lake their home. Visitors are often delighted to watch the various species of local birds and the confluence of migratory birds that flock to the lake every year. The lake was home to about 70 species of water birds that included some very rare birds from the Himalayas and other Central Asian regions. However, with the increase in pollution in the city in general and water pollution in particular, this number is on a decline.
One of the highlights of the lake is the small islands that are popular grounds for nesting and breeding by the birds. These islands provide the birds a secure place to rest and escape from the curious view of human beings.
The lake is the preferred nesting ground by several species of birds like kingfishers, tailor birds, pale billed flower peckers, egrets, herons, pelicans, swallows, spot billed ducks, cranes and several other species.
Things to do at the Hebbal Lake
Hebbal Lake is a wonderful place for jogging early in the morning or to enjoy a walk among the various plants and trees. The lake is ideal for bird watching during the early morning hours. It is a paradise for bird lovers and people who are interested in photography.
The Hebbal Lake is one of the few existing natural water bodies in Bangalore. In the fast evolving concrete maze of urban structures, the lake stands as a serene place of natural beauty.
Timings for visiting the Hebbal Lake
The Hebbal Lake is open for public visit from 7 am to 8 pm on all days of the week.
How to reach the Hebbal Lake
Bangalore is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. The city is well connected through air network, rail network and road network.
Hebbal Lake is one of the common tourist spots of Bangalore and is widely connected to all parts of the city. The lake can be accessed by auto rickshaws, private taxis and KSRTC buses.