About Lakes

The naturally undulating terrain of Bangalore City, with its hills and valleys, lends itself perfectly to the development of lakes that can capture and store rainwater. Each valley at the ridge top gives birth to small streams. These cascade down to form major stream systems in the three Valleys :

1. The Hebbal Valley
2. The Koramangala – Challaghatta Valley
3. The Vrishabhavati Valley.

As the area is part of the semi-arid tropics( Annual Rainfall 859mm), the forefathers of the city wisely used streams between ridges and valleys and created man-made lakes Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority damming the streams at appropriate places. Thus the lakes form chains of reservoirs in each of the three valley systems. Each lake harvests rain water form its catchments and the surplus flows downstream spilling into the next lake in the chain.

Bangalore’s lakes are homes to a diversity of living beings from microscopic plants and animals to birds and large fishes. Birds like Purple Moorhen, Pheasent-tailed Jackana, Cormorants, Brahmani Kite, Darter, Kingfishers, Weaver Birds, Purple Herons, Grey Herons, Pond Herons, Dab Chicks, Coots, Teals, etc can be found here.

The water flora here includes typha, lily, lotus, algae, tapegrass, mosses, ferns, reeds and rushes.
Bangalore’s lakes are home to fauna like Freshwater Turtles, Frogs, Naids, Crabs, Molluscs and more. Fishes like the Common Carp, Grass Carp, Katla, Rohu, Ompok bimaculatus, Notopterus notopterus, Anguilla bicolor bicolor, Puntius ticto, Puntius dorsalis, Thilapia Sp. and Cirrhinus mrigalai swim in its waters.

Status of lakes in Bangalore

During the middle of the last century Bangalore city had as many as 262 Lakes, Ponds and marshy wetlands, which ensured a high level of groundwater table and also used to maintain local climate in the city. But in recent years many lakes of Bangalore have been lost in the process of various anthropogenic activities and population pressures leading to unplanned urbanization and expansion. Rest of the surviving lakes is reduced to cesspools due to direct discharge of industrial effluents domestic sewage and unregulated dumping of solid wastes. Many lakes have been encroached due to their valuation resulting in drastic shrinkage of water bodies in the city. In fact, in the name of development many lakes have been already put to alternative use. For example bus stands, stadiums, layouts etc. In fact due to rapid industrialization and urbanization the number of lakes in and around Bangalore has gone down from 262 to 127 out of which only 81 are said to be live.

Once upon a time, there was a lake here…..


Bangalore city Bus Stand,
once Dharmambudhi Tank

The KGA Golf Course stands on
what was once the Challaghatta Tank

The Koramangala Tank is today
a Sports Complex

A Sports stadium today…
this was the Sampangi Tank earlier

 

The overall impact of these activities have resulted in –

Deterioration of lake water quality
Sedimentation and Shrinkage
Decrease in productivity to support flora and fauna
Loss of aesthetic values and decrease in tourism potential
Existing tanks should be deweeded and aquatic life must be developed;
Affects the ground water sources
Growing mosquito menace
Renders the water unfit for recreational purposes
Causes serious health hazards
Climate change
Shortage in drinking water
Illegal encroachments and slum development leading to lake pollution