Once upon a lake: A report on the current status of the lakes of Mahadevpura constituency, Bengaluru with recommendations for restoration

Map of the lakes in Bengaluru, with information about their status

Map of the lakes in Bengaluru, source: ATREE

35 lakes, connected to each other by glistening canals, dot an emerald green landscape of wetlands,fields and orchards. This is Bengaluru as it was before development and urbanization took over. The lakes of Mahadevpura have a written record of their maintenance from the 9th century AD; today they lie neglected. 

Traditionally, the lakes both recharged groundwater and were the main resource for ecological, domestic, and agricultural water needs. With urbanization came the consequent increase in impervious surfaces and the conversion of lake beds into real estate. Today, several lakes have been converted into other uses and only a few of the larger water bodies remain.

While there have been attempts at restoring some of these lakes, these efforts have been directed at the 'beautification' of individual lakes with little attention to the network of lakes and canals.

Lakes are important for the following reasons:

  • Groundwater recharge
  • Micro-climate control
  • Habitat for biodiversity
  • Preventing disturbance to ecosystem
  • Areas for exercise and recreation
  • Traditional human uses such as irrigation, domestic water supply, silt extraction, washing of cattle
  • Public commons.


  • Remove encroachments and clear canals of blockages. 
  • Dredge severely polluted and dry lakes.
  • Prevent disturbance to biodiversity. 
  • Maintain surrounding wetlands, shallow and deep areas.
  • Restore aquatic flora and fauna in a rained and scientifically sound manner.
  • Provide opportunities for traditional use and use by urban poor, including for washing of clothes and cattle, and controlled harvesting of grass.
  • Establish systems for maintenance of lakes
  • Form Ward Task Forces to monitor, maintain and regulate lake condition.

This paper is a valuable source of detailed and site-specific information about the various lakes. Each lake is discussed using the following parameters:

  • Lake/tank name
  • Status of water body
  • Detailed description
  • Size
  • Deep water
  • Encroachment
  • Connectivity
  • Flora
  • Fauna 
  • Recommendation for restoration

In addition, four images are provided for each lake: two Google Earth images (current, and of 2002/3), image on the Survey of India toposheet, and a photograph taken during the site visit.

Download the entire presentation here.

Post By: chicu