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Unseen Bangalore: Lakes - Part 1

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Distinguished scientist C N R Rao had once said, and I concur - that a real Bangalorean is someone who was there before the IT boom happened. So, as a third-generation Bangalorean who has spent nearly 2 decades residing in the north end of the city, my love for it has multiplied post-Surathkal, and it really annoys me when a non-Bangalorean walks up to me and says 'Are yaar Bangalore only has like 10 malls - there's nothing to see in this city!'! So I write this post hoping to eradicate that annoyingly false notion.

For one, Bangalore is a city of many lakes. The minor river of Vrishabhavathi flows by the western part of the city, but now all that remains of it is a stream of sewage. So no, Bangalore has no river. But the presence of numerous lakes more than makes up for the lack of rivers or the sea. The city once had many, many more lakes, but they've all given way to buildings and the like. The Kempegowda Bus Station (or Majestic) is constructed on what used to be the Dharmambudhi Tank, which was created during Kempegowda's time. Kanteerava stadium was built on the Sampangi Kere ('Kere' is Kannada for lake). The now-popular Mantri Mall (which I believe single-handedly ruined the quintessential Bangalorean charm of Malleswaram) and the area beside it stands on the dried-up bed of the Jakkarayana Kere. The National Dairy Research Institute in Kormangala, beside Adugodi, is on the bed of the once-expansive Koramangala lake. There are several more such instances of lake beds being converted to large buildings. But, there's still some hope. The lakes at Ulsoor, Sankey Tank, Hebbal, Yediyur, Madiwala, Kengeri, Jakkur, and Iblur among others, offer some hope amidst rampant encroachment and land-grabbing. Before these consume whatever is left of Bangalore's lakes, I decided to see around for myself if I could spot a few obscure lakes which still had water and whose bed didn't apartment complexes towering up on them. I wasn't very hopeful, but I was very pleasantly surprised!

1. A Lake in the middle of the city!

Yes it's right. Right in the middle of Bangalore city, near a 19th century city landmark, is a lake! I was a little curious about what the area had, and happened to venture there. I was taken aback at the size of the lake, and how well the lake is maintained. Maybe it is so since it is private, and no effluents or sewage flows into it. Also, the near-obscurity of this place, made this 'discovery' all the more sweeter! There was a Rama temple by the lakeside that supposedly opens once a week. In the wetlands, I could spot egrets, cormorants, and I came menacingly close to a bunch of kites!

Impressive isn't it?!

Serene waters

Cormorant in flight

Kites ho!



Add a few pictures of Sankey Tank. Nothing is more beautiful than the walk along side the road that connects to Bashyam Circle.
"Mantri Mall (which I believe single-handedly ruined the quintessential Bangalorean charm of Malleswaram)" NICELY PUT!
Suri said…
Nice Photographs dude.. Impressive..!

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