Hesaraghatta Lake is one of the fresh water lakes of Bangalore. This manmade lake is located in the north-western part of Bangalore, at a distance of about 35 km from the city centre. The lake was created in the year 1894. This is a huge lake that covers an area of more than 1000 acres. It is very popular among bird watchers as it is one of the few existing spots where a large variety of exotic birds can be watched.
The lake is known not only for the lovely birds but also for the beautiful surroundings that make it an ideal destination to spend some moments away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city life.
History of the Hesaraghatta Lake, Bangalore
Hesaraghatta Lake was conceived by Sir K. Seshadri Iyer, the Dewan of erstwhile Mysore state and the M. C. Hutchins, the chief engineer of Mysore. It was developed with the intention to meet the drinking water requirements of the city. The lake is connected to the Arkavathy River that originates from the Nandi Hills of the Kolar district. This century old lake has stood the onslaught of time and nature and managed to keep attracting various species of birds to the cool environs. However, due to the drying up of the lake bed the situation is rapidly changing.
The beauty of the Hesaraghatta Lake, Bangalore
The beauty of Hesaraghatta Lake lies in its green surroundings. The drive to the lake is a wonderful experience in itself.The lake is situated in the vicinity of the last surviving grasslands near Bangalore. The refreshing sight of the serene water is enhanced by the presence of a number of birds that can be seen frolicking around the water or hopping near the shores of the lake.
During the summer months most of the water of the lake dries up and the water body adopts a barren look. A few adventure clubs engage in parasailing during the summer season. The best part is that even in that season the lake continues to attract birds of various species. The place around the lake is perfect for a nature walk or to enjoy a drive.
Exotic avifauna found at the Hesaraghatta Lake, Bangalore
The Hesaraghatta Lake is a place where sightings of more than 2000 water birds have been reported. The place is known to be frequented by more than 29 species of birds. It is also a favourite destination of many of the migratory birds that visit the city in the months of winter. Among the birds that can be sighted at the lake are Kingfishers, Pond Heron, Wagtails, Brahminy Kite, Magpie Robin, Black Kite, Drongos, Paddy field pipit, Purple Sun birds, Bushlarks, Cormorants, Pale Billed Flowerpecker, Egret, Mayna, Bulbul, etc. Migrant species like Spotted Eagles and Harriers can be sighted at the lake during the winter months.
Concerns regarding the Hesaraghatta Lake, Bangalore
Sadly, the Hesaraghatta Lake is inching towards a slow death. There are several factors that are contributing towards this plight of the lake. The reservoir of the lake was last filled up about a decade ago, in the year 1994. This has resulted in the deterioration and drying up of the lake. The erosion and continuous silting are adding to the woes of the lake. The large water body has also been attracting a large number of bird photographers who drive on the lake bed in their cars. This is causing immense damage to the grassland habitat.
The lake was once frequented by migratory birds like the Northern Shoveller, Common Redshank, Northern Pintail and Garganey, Common Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover, Black-Winged Stilt, and several other species. However, as the lake started drying up, these birds stopped coming. The water body today attracts mainly those birds that prefer the grasslands or marginal wetlands. This shows how the change in the water level of the lake is driving the birds away. Bird poaching traps are also frequently found on the lake bed and are a cause for concern for this bird retreat.
Timings for visiting the Hesaraghatta Lake
The best time to visit the lake is during the early morning hours. The water body offers a splendid natural view and an opportunity to spot various birds of different species, sizes and colors.
How to reach the Hesaraghatta Lake, Bangalore
The city of Bangalore is a famous tourist destination of the country. As such, Bangalore has several trains, flights and buses that connect it to all other corners of the country.
The Hesaraghatta Lake is located on the outskirts of the city. The best way to reach the lake is to hire a private taxi or a cab.