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Hesaraghatta Lake

Hesaraghatta Lake is a fresh water reservoir that covers a large area of over 1000 acres. It is one of the largest manmade water bodies of the country and is extremely popular among tourists for its scenic beauty. The lake attracts ornithologists in large numbers as various types and species of birds are seen here at different times of the year. The beautiful surroundings are a treat to the eye, especially in the months after monsoon when the entire area gets a lush green carpet cover.

Surviving over 100 Years of Nature’s Onslaught

The idea of Hesaraghatta Lake the brainchild of Shri K Seshadri Iyer, the then Dewan of Mysore and M C Hutchins, the Chief Engineer of the state. The intention was to create a large water body that could fulfill the drinking water necessities of the city. The water source for the lake is the Arkavathy River that has its origins in the Nandi Hills of the Kolar district. Hesaraghatta Lake was created in 1894 and has withstood the vagaries of nature and time for more than a hundred years now.

The beauty of the lake is vastly enhanced because of the wonderful grasslands in its vicinity. The lazily flowing water provides a sense of serenity while the birds that frolic around the lake make the whole atmosphere seem blissful.

The Birds at Hesaraghatta Lake

The Hesaraghatta Lake attracts ornithologists in large numbers as they get to see around 2000 species of water birds in one place which is very rare. The lake is also the preferred destination of many migratory birds that visit here mostly in the months of winter. Among the most popular birds that can be sighted here are Wagtails, Pond Heron, Kingfishers, Magpie Robin, Black Kite, Drongos, purple Sun Birds, Paddy field pipit, Bush Larks, Flower pecker, Myna, Egret, Cormorants, Bulbul, and many others. Harriers and Spotted Eagles are the most common migratory birds seen here during winter.

The Problems Facing the Lake

The shrinking and deteriorating water level has seen many seasonal birds giving the lake a miss since the last few years. Erosion and incessant silting are factors that add to the lake’s worsening state. Tourists are also reckless in their behavior which is also one of the reasons for frightening the smaller birds away. The grassland habitat has taken a severe beating because of the large number of vehicles that trample as photographers act absolutely irresponsibly while attempting a closer snap of rare birds. The retreat of birds is also due to some bird poachers active in the area.

Heavy Rains of 2013 Sets Back the Problem Temporarily

A resurgence of sorts happened in 2013 when the nearly-barren lake received a fresh lease of life, thanks to the heavy rains that lashed the area. The excessive and more than normal monsoon has revived the lake to a great degree. After many years, one could see the pleasant sight of cows grazing and having a good time in the water.

The Best Times to Visit

Early morning is the best time to visit Hesaraghatta Lake. The calm and smoothly flowing water, the chirping of the morning birds and the lovely dawn climate makes the place the ideal picnic spot for lovers of nature. The best months to visit are September through February when the place has been washed to a vibrant green by rains and the water level is at the highest.

How to Reach

By Road

Hesaraghatta Lake is approximately 29 km from Bengaluru and can be reached using state transport or private buses, autos or taxis. The drive from Bengaluru city takes around 50 minutes in normal traffic.

By Rail

The nearest railway station, Bangalore is approximately 25 km.

By Air

Bangalore Kempe Gowda airport is 34 km from the place.

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