The Fading Savannah of Bengaluru - Hesaraghatta Lake

Pavan Kulkarni

New Member
Gear Used

  • For Drive - Creta SX 1.6 Diesel

  • For Photography - Nikon D7200

Why this destination

I was looking for something that I could visit on a weekday before my work began. This was perfect as it is about 1hr from my place (KR Puram). I had heard a lot about this lake and, yesterday (22 Aug) being a holiday for my son, was a perfect destination.

  • Legends
None that I’m aware of

About the Lake

This is a man-made reservoir built way back in 1894. While we wondered why the it was not full, I later read that it is drying up and that the last time it was full was in year 1994. Wikipedia attributes one of the reasons for this to the erosion caused by bird photographers driving cars into the lake area, resulting in damage. Alas, the folly of humans is that we don’t realise how insignificant our grand objectives are in the larger scheme of things! A very small part of the lake has water, and remainder has turned into a swamp. There is an urgent need to conserve this area and protect the nature!

My son was so excited to see some birds in their natural habitat - I wonder what will he show his kids!

We started around 7 AM and drove for about 1.5 hrs to reach here. We passed through some beautiful grasslands and roads laden with dense trees on both sides. It was a sight to behold (We had accidentally taken a longer route that allowed us to drive on the bank of the lake).

There is a bund along the breadth of the lake (which is longer on the length) with a gorgeous small temple towards the end of the bund. Steps at this temple lead to down to the lake.

We spotted white breasted kingfisher (which my son IDed as “ultimate kingfisher”, and he is super confident that is the right ID)

Little egret

Brahminy kites

The kites gave a spectacular performance, as if they knew that they were the center of attention. They were dancing to the tune that the nature was conducting, and we were the audience trying to soak in the grandeur of the result!

Bird that we couldn’t ID

Some other beautiful scenes

Travel Options

  • Best Times to Visit
The current season (rainy) - though the lake is not as full as you would expect

  • Route Details
Easy to look up on maps. It is in the north-west direction flanked by hebbal and devanahalli

  • Road Conditions
Absolutely no problems with roads

General Tips

  • Please park your vehicles on the main roads, and walk down. The whole point of visiting this place would be to enjoy the nature. So, please don’t drive in!

  • Not suggested for elderly people if the idea is to get closer to lake - there is no easy access to the lake without driving in! If you want to enjoy the nature from the bund, then no worries

  • Please do not litter, even though you can see tens of alcohol bottles all around us!


Well-Known Member
It’s a Pied Kingfisher

The bird you couldn’t ID is a Pond Heron.
It’s very sad that the lake has been reduced to this..

I am glad you raised this thread. We should get together and form some kind of an ethics for wildlife photography.
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