Story Of The Month
Bringing back nature into the city of Bangalore
-Text and photographs Susan sharma
Ulsoor lake is an artificial lake built by Kempe Gowda in the 16th Century. Once overgrown with water hyacinth and forgotten by the Bangaloreans caught in the whirlpool of development, the lake has been slowly nurtured back to life thanks to the persistent
efforts of Save Ulsoor lake foundation. Indian Institute of science, Bangalore, in a report, had estimated that the lake is silted to about 50 per cent of its actual depth and that the quantity of silt on the lake bed is about five lakh metric tonnes.
Ulsoor Lake, Bangalore
On a recent visit to Bangalore, I walked alongside the lake, taking in flowering plants which discourage plastic throwers ( which litter many roadsides converting this garden city into a garbage city). I was thrilled to see striped tiger butterflies and common
castors flitting around the flowers.
A common cormorant looked up eagerly after catching a fish in the lake.
The small island at the centre of the lake harbored large colonies of cormorants.
A Brahminy kite swooped down to catch fish, confirming that the lake water was good enough for fish to thrive.
A small portion of the lake, still overgrown with weeds was neatly segregated with bunds all around, preventing the weeds from spreading further.
A bigger surprise was the step well just behind Keningston Bus Stop which was getting "unveiled" practically in front of our eyes. Trucks were removing filth and garbage continuously, as the step well was obviously camouflaged over the years under debris.
Ulsoor lake Step well
A step well in Bangalore? I thought step wells existed only in Rajasthan! A friend who has been a resident of Bangalore for long, exclaimed.
The king fisher sitting on a branch on the lake side confirmed that nature does spring back and respond well to peoples efforts!