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Ayyanakere Lake

Ayyanakere Lake is a must-visit destination for tourists planning to visit the state of Karnataka in South India. The lake is the biggest in the Chikmagalur district and the second largest in the state. Visitors can enjoy a calm and peaceful atmosphere here.


Ayyanakere Lake is situated in the Malnad region of Chikmagalur and is believed to be one of the oldest lakes in the country. It was reportedly created in the 12th century by the then ruler of the place, Raja Rukmangada to help farmers maintain fertility of the land surrounding the region. Though the area was under the rule of various dynasties including the Hoysalas and Mysore Kings, they all came together to assist in a common and noble cause. The lake helped farmers grow crops and overcome the problems posed by persistent scarcity.

The Role of Ayyanakere Lake in Irrigation

Today, the Ayyanakere Lake irrigates an impressive 21,500 plus hectares of land in the Chikmagalur district. The 900-year water body supports cultivation in over 20 villages. Farmers are able to produce water-dependent crops such as coconut, sugarcane and arecanut.  

Ayyanakere River was created at the base of the Baba Budangiri hill range on the eastern side. A wall was constructed across the river Gauri Halla which originates in this region. As it flows over the eastern plains, it joins the Avati stream. The lake has a persistent breaching problem which the Saint Nirvanaswamy helped overcome by conducting some rituals.

Tourist Attractions near the Lake

The main attraction near the Ayyanakere Lake is the huge conical shaped Shakunagiri Hill which rises to a majestic 4500 feet. It forms a picturesque background and keeps tourists transfixed with its beauty. Visitors can also visit the Shakhuni Ranganatha Temple near the banks of the Ayyanakere Lake to worship the resident deity Lord Shiva which is believed to have been sculpted during the reign of the Hoysalas. The temple also has a intricately carved statue of Lord Vishnu.

Tourists can camp at the lakeside and indulge in recreational activities like fishing and swimming. The place is a popular destination among Kannada movie directors. You might catch your favorite Kannada movie stars on your lucky day shooting songs along the river’s banks.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the place is just after monsoon and during winter from October through February. The lake is full during these months and can provide a heavenly sight.

How to Reach

By Road

Ayyanakere Lake is about six kilometers from Sakrepatna on the North-West side. It’s approximately 19 km from Chikmagalur on the road to Kadur. There are plenty of state transport buses, private buses and cars operating on this route.

By Rail

The nearest railway head is Kadur which is 20 km away.

By Air

The nearest airport is Mangalore airport which is approximately 170 km from Chikmagalur.

Related Image

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