Lakes in Bangalore
The Garden City of Bangalore has many lakes. Most lakes or "tanks" in the Bangalore region were constructed by Kempe Gowda by damming the natural valley systems by constructing bunds in 16th century. As many as 20 lakes out of 257 are considered for restoration. Some of these lakes are under restoration with funds provided by the National Lake Conservation Plan (NLCP) of the Government of India. The objective of Under National Lake Conservation Plan (NLCP) is to restore and conserve polluted and degraded lakes and other similar bodies. So far works on 28 lakes have been taken up including Mirik Lake, Darjeeling where the work was taken up at a cost of Rs. 400 lakhs in 2004-2005. Works on three lakes, viz. Powai in Mumbai, Vengaiahkere and Nagavara in Bangalore have been completed.
History of Lakes in Bangalore
Many lakes in Bangalore were constructed by Kempe Gowda in the 16th century. But many lakes vanished due to encroachment and construction activity for urban infrastructure expansion. Majestic bus stand, NGV sports complex, KGA golf course were all built by filling lakes. Many residential layouts like Domlur were built by encroaching on lakes.
Lakes in Bangalore
Of the several freshwater lakes and water tanks, the largest are Bellandur lake, Madiwala lake, Hebbal Lake, Ulsoor lake and Sankey tank. Other notable lakes in Karnataka are:
Ulsoor lake is Situated in Halasuru near M G Road. Facilities for boating, park, children's play area, fountains, Ganesha Chaturthi immersion place. Paddle boats are operated here. It is closest lake to M.G. Road and has several temples associated with it. Somesvara temple, close to the lake, is supposed to have played a pivotal role in the formation of modern Bangalore, as it inspired Kempe Gowda II to build the temple and subsequently the city. The lake was formed to harvest rainwater and has a surface area of 125 acres. Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurudwara is on the edge of the Ulsoor Lake.
Hebbal lake is the most beautiful lake that is home to a vast variety of birds in Bangalore is also one of the three lakes built by Kempe Gowda himself. The lake is found to attract migratory birds from Himalayan and Central Asian regions and an avid bird watcher can spot more than 70 species of water birds on a good day. As this lake is one of the closest from the airport, it is probably the first lake that many tourists would spot on their way into Bangalore.
Agara lake is located on the road leading to Agara junction and close to HSR. Its 39.58 hectares of greenery and water attracts a variety of birds – Eurasian coots, moorhens, herons, egrets, kites and kingfishers.
Lalbagh is a delight for nature lovers and photographers, the iconic garden in Bangalore is also home to a lovely lake besides its show of flowers and lawns.
Hesaraghatta Lake is again a man-made lake was created as a source of drinking water for the nearby localities. Built in proximity to the TG Halli Dam, the lake invites a number of winged visitors every winter season.
Kaikondrahalli Lake on Sarjapur road is almost seems untouched. This well-maintained lake allows people to come here for their morning/evening walks and even pets are allowed.
Kengeri lake on Mysore Road was one of the most beautiful man-made lakes in Bangalore. The greenery and boating facilities attracted plenty crowds.
Madiwala lake is one of the biggest lakes which still holds clear water. The lake which is over 276.8 acres has an island sporting bamboo bushes at the center which seems to attract rare birds, especially during the post-monsoon season.
Nagavara lake is closer to Hebbal. It has been leased to Lumbini Gardens (a private organization) which maintains the lake and also offers a variety of amusement rides. Every day the lake has a steady stream of visitors and extensively promotes water-based attractions such as the large artificial wave pool. You can paddle-boat or go in a 'coffee boat' across the lake. The area is well maintained with a well stocked food court and clean walkways. It is ideal for a weekend getaway with kids within Bangalore city limits. Nagavara is nowadays famous for its many business establishments and SEZs such as Manyata Embassy Business Park.
Sankey Tank, the man made lake/tank is situated in the middle of Malleshwaram and covers an area of over 37 acres. Colonel Richard Sankey of the MEG Regiment had built the lake to meet the water supply needs of North Bangalore. It is surrounded by forest area. The beautiful lake is definitely a must-visit and you can opt for this place to go on a morning walk or jog.
Varthur Lake is a man-made lake and is one of the most endangered lakes in Bangalore owing to pollution. The lake is said to have been built nearly 1000 years back for agricultural purposes.
Karnataka Lake Conservation And Development Authority Act 2014
Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority Act 2014 has been constituted vide Gazette Notification No.Samvyashae 07 Shasana 2012, Bangalore dated 07.03.2015 for Lake Conservation and Development. The Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority Rules has come into existence on 05.03.2016. As per the Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority - Act 2014, the jurisdiction of authority applies to all the lakes in the Karnataka State located within the limits of all Municipal Corporations and Bangalore Development Authority or any other water bodies or lakes notifed by the Government from time to time. Earlier, the Government has constituted the Lake Development Authority vide GO. No. FEE/12/ENG/2002 Bangalore, Dated 10-7-2002. The Lake Development Authority was registered society under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act 1960 which had no Statutory powers.