The magnificent Ulsoor Lake is an integral part of the past and present of Bangalore. With a history that dates back to the reign of the Kempegowdas, it is one of the oldest and largest lakes in the city. The serene waterbody has stood witness to the growth and development that made Bangalore what it is today. Fast forward to the 21st century, Ulsoor Lake is where Bangaloreans come to catch some fresh air, go for morning walks and evening strolls, enjoy picnics, go boating, and relish some uninterrupted ‘me time’. Located in Central Bangalore, the lake is surrounded by a host of tourist attractions, parks, gardens, shopping hubs, cafes, restaurants, and pubs.

Want to learn more about this 123-acre waterbody? Here’s a comprehensive account of the Ulsoor Lake including its history, features, timings, attractions, and entry fee. We have also listed some of the nearby tourist attractions, shopping hubs, restaurants, and pubs to help you make the most of your visit.  

Ulsoor Lake, Bangalore: Information

Location Ulsoor, Near MG Road
Type Manmade waterbody
Also Called Halasuru Lake
Distance from Major Transportation Hubs Cantonment Railway Station (4 km); KSR Bangalore City Railway Station (7 km); Yeshwantpur Junction (9 km); Kempegowda International Airport (35 km)
Entry Fee Free
Timings 6:00 am to 8:00 pm; closed on Wednesdays
Boating Charges ₹35
Nearest Metro Station Halasuru
Built in 17th century
Built by Kempegowda II
Expanded by Sir Lewin Bentham Bowring
Area 123 acres
Controlled by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and Madras Engineer Group (Madras Sappers)
Ideal for Boating, jogging, morning walks, birdwatching, and photography

Ulsoor Lake, Bangalore: History

Ulsoor Lake, which derives its name from the area where it is situated, traces its origins back to the period of the Vijayanagara Empire. It was constructed during the 17th century by the chieftain, Kempegowda II, who had established one of his watchtowers near the lake. Back then, the lake served as a source of water supply to the city and was fed by a network of storm-water drains known as Nalas.

The lake in its current form was constructed and expanded during the 19th century by Sir Lewin Bentham Bowring, a British civil servant. He developed Ulsoor Lake with the aim of providing water for the British Cantonment established around the area. Though the lake and its ecosystem faced degradation and pollution threats over the last two centuries, a number of remedial actions have been taken by the authorities.

Currently, the lake is being controlled and maintained by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the civic administrative body of the city. A part of the lake is still controlled by the Madras Engineer Group aka the Madras Sappers, an engineering wing of the Indian Army.

Ulsoor Lake, Bangalore: Structure and Features

Ulsoor Lake, one of the most prominent lakes in Bangalore, is spread over a surface area of about 123 acres. It boasts of a scenic setting and is dotted with many small and picturesque islands. The average depth of the waterbody is about 19 feet while the maximum depth is recorded at 58 feet. It has an approximate shore length of 3 km and is encircled by lush green trees. A walking cum jogging track is also built around the lake, making it a favorite with fitness enthusiasts and morning walkers.

Ulsoor Lake, Bangalore: Today

Today, the lake is one of the top-rated hangout places in Bangalore and a recreational spot where families, friends, and couples laze their evenings away. The area surrounding the lake has several military establishments, including the headquarters of the Madras Sappers who still use the lake for their training activities.

Many prominent tourist hubs in the city such as MG Road, Brigade Road, Commercial Street, and Shivaji Nagar are all located within a radius of 3 km of the lake. Every year, during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, Ulsoor Lake becomes a nerve center of celebrations. Devotees throng here in large numbers and immerse idols of Lord Ganesha in the lake.   

Things to Do at Ulsoor Lake, Bangalore

From spending an evening with your dear ones to enjoying some serene moments in the company of nature, there are many things to do at Ulsoor Lake. Our suggestions include:

  • Start your day on a healthy note by going for an early morning walk or a jogging session along the pathway constructed around the lake
  • Spend a relaxed evening soaking in the lakeside vibes and watching the sunset
  • Enjoy a session of boating
  • Go birdwatching and spot an interesting range of feathered folks including Cranes, Common Herons, Brahminy Kites, etc.
  • Break a sweat at the open gym located at Ulsoor Lake Park
  • Try your photography skills

Tourist Attractions near Ulsoor Lake, Bangalore

  • Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha (1.5 km)
  • Sri Someshwara Swamy Temple (2 km)
  • Mary’s Basilica (3 km)
  • Mark’s Cathedral (3 km)
  • Sri Subramanya Swami Temple (3 km)
  • Mahatma Gandhi Park (3.5 km)
  • Cubbon Park (4 km)
  • Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum (4.5 km)
  • Venkatappa Art Gallery (4.5 km)
  • Government Aquarium (5 km)
  • Vidhana Soudha (5 km)
  • Infant Jesus Church (5 km)
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium (5 km)
  • Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain Park (5 km)
  • Bangalore Turf Club (5 km)
  • Bangalore Palace (5 km)
  • National Gallery of Modern Art (5 km)

Places to Shop near Ulsoor Lake, Bangalore

  • Commercial Street (2 km)
  • Cauvery Emporium (2 km)
  • Bangalore Central Mall (2 km)
  • 1 MG Lido Mall (2.5 km)
  • Garuda Mall (2.5 km)
  • MG Road (3 km)
  • Brigade Road (3.5 km)

Pubs and Restaurants near Ulsoor Lake, Bangalore

For those who want to grab a drink or enjoy some delicious food, there is a good array of pubs, cafes, and restaurants near Ulsoor Lake. Many of the top pubs in MG Road are also easily accessible from here. Listed below are some of the crowd favorites:

  • Urban Solace (10 m)
  • KAARA by the Lake (220 m)
  • Shanti Sagar (350 m)
  • Moto Store and Café (500 m)
  • Watson’s Ulsoor (750 m)
  • Moriz Nano (800 m)
  • Mangalore Pearl (800 m)
  • Naachiyar’s (1.5 km)
  • Ente Keralam (1.5 km)
  • Carnival de Goa (2 km)
  • Bangalore Pub Exchange (2 km)
  • SkyDeck By Sherlock’s (2.5 km)
  • WYT Restropub (2.5 km)
  • The Tao Terraces (2.5 km)
  • The Permit Room (2.5 km)
  • Copacabana (2.5 km)
  • By Chance (2.5 km)
  • The 13th Floor (3 km)
  • Communiti Pub (3 km)
  • Church Street Social (3 km)

The picturesque Ulsoor Lake makes for a peaceful outing in the evening, followed by some guilt-free shopping and a hearty dinner. You can also plan a 2-day itinerary that covers the lake as well as the major attractions in Central Bangalore.

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