Hesaragatta Lake (Hesaraghatta Lake) is a manmade reservoir located 18 km to the north-east of Bangalore. It is a fresh water lake created in the year 1894 across the Arkavathy River to meet the drinking water needs of the city. Sir.K.Seshadri Iyer, the then Dewan of erstwhile Mysore state and the then Chief Engineer of Mysore, M.C.Hutchins, planned to build the scheme called the "Chamarajendra Water Works" to store a three-years water supply to the city. Distance from Hesaraghatta Lake to Madurai, Tamil Nadu is 476.2 km and travel time is around 7 h via NH7.
The total catchment area draining into the Lake at the dam built on the Arkavathy River is 73.84 sq Km (2189 sq mi), out of which the direct draining catchment is 2.68 sq km (6.86 sq mi).There are 184 Nos tanks built in the Arkavathy River basin upstream of the Hesaraghatta lake. The Arkavati River originates in the Nandi Hills of Kolar District and joins the Kaveri River at Kanakapura after flowing through Kolar District and Bangalore Rural district. The Vrishabhavati and the Suvarnamukhi are the tributaries which drain part of Bangalore and Anekal Taluk respectively into the Arkavati River. The catchment receives a mean annual rainfall of 859.6 mm.
The Arkavathy River is one of the two rivers which partially meet the water supply needs of Bangalore; the other being the Kaveri. The reservoirs created by building dams on the Arkavathy are the "Hesaraghatta" and the "Chamarajasagara" at Thippagondanahalli (TG halli) built during the years 1894 and 1933 respectively. The Hesaraghatta dam is an earthen bund of 1690 m (5544 ft) with a total height of 40.55 m (133 ft) creating the Hesaraghatta Lake (reservoir) with storage of 997 M.Cft at full reservoir level with a lake surface area of 450 ha (1,124 acres). Water from the reservoir is taken through initially a 1.4 m dia (42" dia) Hume pipe to the Soladevanahalli Pumping Station by gravity and then pumped (using steam pumps initially and later changed to electric pumps at Soledevanahalli) against a head of 115 to 135 m to the Combined Jewel Filters (CJF) plant at Malleswaram for treatment and supply to the consumers in the city. When the Hesaraghatta Lake started drying up in the year 1925, as an urgent remedial measure, another dam was built to create a reservoir called the Chamaraja Sagar at TG Halli, downstream of the Hesaraghatta Lake. This dam has been enlarged from time to time, over the years, to meet partially, the increasing water supply demand of Bangalore.
Birds such as the kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis), magpie robin (Copsychus saularis), little egrets, common mynas (Acridotheres tristis), Brahminy kites, black drangos, bulbuls, greater coucals, purple sunbirds, etc. have been reported in and around the lake periphery. Documented records of sighting of 2000 water birds of 29 species have been reported.
Distance from Hebbal to Hesaraghatta Lake is 26.3 km and travel tiime is around 57 min via Hesarghatta Main Road.
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