Ulsoor Lake in Bangalore


Ulsoor, also known as Halasuru, is among the oldest villages in the city of Bengaluru and houses the Ulsoor Lake, which is considered one of the biggest lakes in the city. Renowned for its beautiful temples, the oldest of them being the Halasuru Someshwara Temple, this place starts from the eastern terminus of the MG Road and is situated in central Bengaluru. The word 'Halasina Hannu' means jackfruit in Kannada and as there was a jackfruit orchard in the place, it was also named Halasuru. Thus, the lake was christened as Halasuru Lake, which was later modified as Ulsoor Lake during the British era.

The lake is marked with several beautiful islands and ancient temples in its vicinity, making it an interesting location for tourists. One of the major activities for tourists here is boating. The boat club of the lake arranges cruises that can be availed at a charge. The cruise takes you around the lake, with stopovers at some of the beautiful islands. This lake houses different kinds of flowers, birds and insects. One can easily spot a purple swamphen or a crane, a brahmani kite or a heron. The lake is also a favourite spot for morning and evening walkers. Fountains can be seen at specific timings. A swimming pool is maintained by the lake, which remains open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, except Wednesdays.

History and Architecture

The Vijayanagar Emperors gifted this neighbourhood to Kempe Gowda I, who was the founder of Bengaluru. The lake was formed by Kempe Gowda II, the successor of Kempe Gowda I. In 1807 Ulsoor had its first military station set up by the British. History says that the lake was originally covered with forest. Kempe Gowda, one day while coming from Yelahankar, felt very tired and fell asleep under the tree where Mandava Rishi had worshipped God Somesvara. God Somesvara came to his dreams and gave him information of a hidden treasure. After getting the treasure, Kempe Gowda built a pagoda using Dravidian architectural style and dedicated it to God Somesvara.

Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurudwara, on the edge of the Ulsoor Lake, enhances the beauty of the landscape. This sprawling white Gurudwara, splendidly built by A. G. Russel in 1943 and inaugurated in 1945, is the biggest Gurudwara in Bengaluru. Sikhs gather here in large numbers during Wednesdays and Sundays. The "Langer Sewa" or free meals offered to the devotees is quite popular, and people come here in hundreds on Sundays to enjoy the Langer meals.

Rainwater and city drainage are the primary sources of water inflow to the lake, while water outflow is through a nala or drain. The surface area of the lake is around 126 acres and its average depth is 19 ft. The lake has several islands.

Recent studies have shown that immediate steps have to be taken to maintain the balance of the ecosystem of the lake. The three drains that feed the lake originate from the Madras Engineering Group, Jeevanahalli and Doddigunta. The observations showed that the lake is getting polluted by emission of different harmful chemicals and toxic products, which is adversely affecting the aqua life. Remedial steps already taken includes fencing the lake from unsolicited encroachments; feeding the lake only through rain water; preventing plastic bags, toxic products, etc., from contaminating the lake; some manholes and sewers to be closed; treatment of drain water flowing from the slum before draining; prohibiting immersion of idols, etc.

During August-September, the Ulsoor lake comes alive as the famous Ganesh Festival is celebrated here in a grand way. Tourists, locals, and enthusiasts pour in large numbers to enjoy the festival. The lake hosts different cultural programmes round the year and is also a favourite spot for film shooting. The natural environment of the lake makes it one of the most sought-after destinations for families after a tiring week, where they can engage themselves in different activities. There are many buildings surrounding the Ulsoor Lake that were once used by the British army.

Ulsoor Lake - Entry Fee, Timing, Address, Official Website

AddressNear MG Road, Bangalore, Karnataka - 560008
Entry Fee :No entry fee
Timings :Visiting Hours - 6:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Days When ClosedWednesday
Official Websitewww.bangaloreindia.org.uk
Photography allowed or notNot Allowed
Nearest railway stationBangalore Cy Jn Train Station

Last Updated on : May 21, 2015