Friday, August 5, 2016

Skywatch Friday - Stormy skies over Hesaraghtta Lake

This Sunday, eventually it was the day to break the truce and start roaming around nearby places. We chose Hesaraghatta Lake on a cloudy Sunday to escape from city mess and surrender to nature. The lake, is one of the prominent picnic spots nearby Bangalore and in older times, served as fresh water source for Bangalore. The term "fresh water" literally means unaffected by city's filthy affluents. The artificial lake was constructed almost a century back across Arkavathy river. As the city expanded, the water was not enough to cater to the needs of exponentially growing city. Also diminishing monsoon lead to frequent drying of Hesaraghatta Lake. It was only partially filled around 2014 and never filled later. Despite channeling multiple rain sources, the lake still cannot fill to its potential predominantly due to ever withering monsoon trend.

When we arrived at spot after nearly 25kms of bike journey along the bucolic path, it was disappointing and as expected due to bleak scene. The scanty rainfall over the years has literally turned the lake worthless. The rusty pipelines & abandoned pump-house clearly explains the tale of the lake. Except for few puddles, the lake area resembled a grassland with cattle grazing over the verdant field. The authorities have constructed esplanade to enable promenade along the banks of lake. Apparently, lake is completely abandoned and serves only for tourism activities. The lake hardly fills to its capacity and even if it fills up, the usage may be restricted to tourism & local irrigation. The lake also hosts Goddess Durga temple where locals worship. The temple is undergoing renovation.

Water-bodies complement the aesthetics of natural landscapes (to some extent cityscapes too!) especially during golden hour and stormy days. Witnessing reflections are fabulous experience if the wind is calm and water is pristine. After frustrating scenes, we decided to stroll along the trails of lake banks and in a few moments, we witnessed this beautiful passing storm drifting along the lake horizon. It was time to grab timelapse as well :). We descended down the steps in front of temple and myself setup camera for timelapse. Probably steps were constructed to cleanse the legs before entering temple sanctum. The water bodies would serve many purposes nearby temple anyways. For 30 mins, myself and wife were engaged in healthy chat. Once done, we decided to leave the place due to dried up lake. Of-course we had churmuri nearby the lake arena and it was worst I ever had :(.

We realized the presence of conserved Hesaraghatta grassland after our return to home. This would be wonderful place to explore and only few kms from lake area. I am not sure if civilians are allowed inside the area for glancing. But do give it try. Also, if healthier monsoon turns up from now, it would be worth visiting the Lake filled at-least partially, due October. It is worth visiting the lake even if it is partially filled, the landscape surrounding the water body does rest of job to embellish the spot :).

Note: It rained ample in Hesaraghatta Lake for 3 days continuously after our visit. If this prolongs for 2 more weeks, then there is hope of resurrection.

Route: Fix the direction in google maps and you will never get lost!

While ongoing timelapse, my better half snapped few panorama shots of distant storm in her mobile. Here are those!

Linked to Skywatch Friday


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