Hebbal, now a location of rapid growth and better infrastructure, used to be known only for its lake. While on the flyover one can take in the view this beautiful lake; a vital lung space in an otherwise concrete jungle. Spread over more than 150 acres, this lake is as old as Bangalore city. Contrary to many Bangalore lakes, Hebbal lake is a natural lake maintained by the Forest Department. 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. You can always stop by to stroll through the well-maintained park.
Location: Junction of NH7 and Outer ring road
Closer to Hebbal, the Nagavara lake in Bangalore has quite an interesting model of maintenance. 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.
Location: Near Nagavara junction on the Outer Ring Road
Madiwala lake is one of the biggest lakes which still holds clear water. Though situated in a densely populated part of Bangalore- in BTM layout, the lake has been saved from encroachments thanks to the forest department’s efforts. As many other lakes, boating services have begun to bring in revenue for its maintenance. 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.
Location: BTM layout
The Ulsoor (or Halasuru) Lake is a landmark in central Bangalore. 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. The lake is an interesting location for tourists, as it has cruise facility to visit some of the small islands that dot the lake. Do visit the Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurudwara on the edge of the Ulsoor Lake to immerse yourself in a cultural and spiritual experience.
Location: Ulsoor, off M.G Road
Sankey lake is actually a man-made lake situated in the Malleswaram – Sadashivnagar area. Colonel Richard Sankey of the MEG Regiment had built the lake to meet the water supply needs of North Bangalore. Spread across an area of 37 acres, it is surrounded by forest area. It also has a well maintained park, which looks surreal during misty winter mornings. Don’t forget to check out the flower street at 11th Cross Malleshwaram.
Location: Malleswaram-Sadashivnagar area
Agara lake nestled between bustling Koramangala and residential H.S.R. Layout in South Bangalore, is a picture of tranquility. Its 39.58 hectares of greenery and water attracts a variety of birds – Eurasian coots, moorhens, herons, egrets, kites and kingfishers. Agara lake, one of the major lakes in Bangalore South, has recently seen a spurt of outdoor enthusiasts and fitness lovers, making full use of the park and its service road.
Location: Near Agara junction, Outer Ring Road