Two City Lakes Regain Their Glory
Two famous lakes of Mysore City – the Karanaji Lake and the Kukkarahalli Lake – are back in a new splendour. Both the lakes, which remained neglected and the lakes polluted since a few years, have been restored and developed with improvements and new attractions to attract more Mysoreans and as well tourists visiting Mysore.
The Karanaji Lake, at the foot of Chamundi Hills and falling under the jurisdiction of the Mysore Zoo, has been restored at a cost of Rs. 1.2 crore. The Mysore Zoo, which took up the project under the assistance programme of the Asian Development Bank, has revived the almost-dead lake. The ADB has given a loan of Rs. 6 crores to the Mysore Jala Samvardhane Okkoota (the Federation of Water Source Development of Mysore) for the development of the five lakes in and around the city.
After its restoration and development, the Karanji Lake has a beautiful ‘butterfly park’ attracting winged beauties from the nearby Chamundi Hills and surrounding areas. A walk-through aviary, said to be India’s largest has been added. Tourists can enjoy an elephant ride in the foreshore area inside the 90-acre lake, which has been christened as “Karanji Nisagara Dhama” (Karanji Nature Centre).
While relaxing in the Karanji Nature Centre, an eco-tourism spot, the visitors can learn about wildlife conservation through the state-of-art touch-screen computers. This has been sponsored by the State Bank of Mysore and the Syndicate Bank. Besides elephant ride and boating, a watch-tower is a new attraction. It will provide visitors a closer look at the hundreds of migratory birds that arrive to the tank for nesting and breeding. A project for supply of treated water from the nearby Sewage Farm to maintain the garden at the foreshore of the Lake is also being taken up.
In order to make the Lake financially sustain on its own, an entrance fee of Rs. 10 has been fixed. It will be Rs.5 for children and senior citizens. Morning walkers are charged a nominal Rs.30 a month.
The famous Kukkarahalli Tank, facing the University Campus, has also
witnessed a similar restoration and development. Taking up a Rs. 91 lakh
project, the Mysore University, under whose jurisdiction the Lake
falls, has improved the watch tower and water flow into the famous Lake,
which has inspired many poets like Dr.K.V.Puttappa (Kuvempu) and famous
writers like Dr.R.K.Narayan. The lake was facing a slow-death
due to blockage of water-flow sources and flow of sewage water. Steps
have been taken to divert the flow of sewage water. The tank bund has
been widened, particularly to help the morning walkers who come in large
numbers, as the Lake is almost within the heart of the city. The lake
has been kept open to the public without any fee.