Ulsoor Lake is one of the biggest and most beautiful lakes of the Bangalore city. It is located in the north-eastern fringe of the city, close to the eastern terminus of the M. G. Road. The lake derives its name from the locality where it is situated, namely, Ulsoor. The beauty of the lake is enhanced by the presence of several islands doting it.
The lake serves as a venue of the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi festival celebrated in the month of August/September every year.
History of Ulsoor Lake
It is believed that the Ulsoor Lake was created by King Kempe Gowda II during the latter half of the second century. In the ancient times Ulsoor Lake was known as the ‘Halsur’ or ‘Alasur’ lake. However, even though the lake is dated to the time of Kempe Gowda, the present lake was created at a much later time by Sir Lewin Bentham Bowring, the then Commissioner of Bangalore.
Legend surrounding the Ulsoor Lake
There is an interesting story surrounding the Ulsoor Lake. Legend has it that the area surrounding the lake was once covered with forest. One day Kempe Gowda became tired while travelling from Yelahankar and decided to rest under a tree. It was the same tree under which Mandava Rishi is believed to have worshipped God Someswara. Kempe Gowda, who was resting under the tree he fell asleep and God Someswara appeared in his dream and told him about a hidden treasure. Kempe Gowda dug up the treasure and from the bounty he found there, he built the famous Someswara pagoda in the beautiful Dravidian style of architecture.
The beauty of Ulsoor Lake
Ulsoor Lake is among the oldest natural delights of Bangalore. It is spread across an area of 123.6 acres. It is one of the major tourist attractions of Bangalore. Ulsoor Lake is surrounded by abundant greenery and creates an atmosphere of serenity. People can sit and relax on some of the islands situated on the lake.
Flora and fauna of Ulsoor Lake
The lake is very rich in flora and fauna. Several species of beautiful birds can be spotted near the lake. Ulsoor Lake is surrounded by green bushes that have attractive wild flowers in various colours. It is interesting to observe the numerous species of butterflies and insects existing in the bushes near the lakes. The lake has fountains that are switched on for limited time and are a delight to watch.
Boating and other attractions at Ulsoor Lake
Apart from the scenic beauty of the lake it holds several other attractions for the visitors. The lake has a radius of about 3 km and is ideal for rowing around in a boat. There is a boat club at the lake that offers boating services to take visitors around the lake with stopovers at some of the idyllic islands. Pedal and rowboats are available for hire by visitors on per hour basis.
There is a recreational complex situated near the lake that has a large swimming pool. Visitors can go for a swim at the pool. Boat training facility is available at the lake which is organized by Madras Engineering groups. The picturesque beauty of the lake can be enjoyed by simply sitting on the green grass.
There are also several eateries and coffee shops near the lake where visitors can enjoy a good snack-time. Restaurants near the area offer good food.
A trip to the lake is an ideal way to spend a relaxed day in the company of friends and family and enjoy a refreshing break from the monotonous daily routine.
Timings for visiting Ulsoor Lake
- The lake is open for public visit on all days of the week from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm.
- The weekly off is on Wednesday.
How to reach Ulsoor Lake
Bangalore city is well connected by several means of transport. The Ulsoor Lake is a favourite weekend destination for the locals. For a relaxed visit to the lake it is better to go on weekdays.
Visitors can hire a taxi or a cab to reach the lake.
There are two metro stations in the Ulsoor area from where the lake is easily accessible. The Ulsoor metro station, located on the Old Madras Road at the end closer to the CMH Road and the Trinity metro station located at the Trinity Circle are the closest metro stations to reach the lake.
Visitors can also take an auto from the M. G. Road or the surrounding areas to reach the lake.
The closest bus stops to reach the lake include Ulsoor, M. G. Road, CMH Road, Ulsoor Road and Ulsoor Lake stop.