Lakes mean different things to different people. Some people think of lakes as picnics spots while for others, these waterbodies mean nothing but flood and agony. A few may even be reminded of the American horror movie Lake Placid and its 30-feet-long, man-eating crocodile. However, for those living in Bangalore, lakes mean beauty, conservation, and respite from the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle, and much more. No wonder, Bangalore is called the City of Lakes, thanks to the numerous natural and man-made lakes peppered across its landscape. These lakes are nature’s gift to the city dwellers where the verdant surroundings make for a peaceful weekend that can be spent in birdwatching, boating or just strolling around with loved ones.
So, how about experiencing the beauty of placid waters right in the middle of a buzzing metropolis? Here is a list of the best lakes in Bangalore to visit.
List of Top 11 Lakes in Bangalore
- Ulsoor Lake
- Lal Bagh Lake
- Sankey Tank
- Hebbal Lake
- Madiwala Lake
- Kengeri Lake
- Varthur Lake
- Agara Lake
- Hesaraghatta Lake
- Kaikondrahalli Lake
- Nagavara Lake
To know in detail about these lakes, read ahead:
1. Ulsoor Lake
Spanning over 120 acres with lush trees, islands, and interesting avifauna, Ulsoor Lake aka Halasuru Lake is one of the largest and the oldest in the city. The lake has a large jogging track encircling it where you can spot fitness aficionados from around the city including celebrities. Boating tops the list of activities to do in Ulsoor Lake and the adjoining recreational complex houses a swimming pool. The kids’ play area will keep your little ones engaged while adults can indulge in nature’s bountiful treats. There is also a famous Gurudwara located close to the lake, which adds to its charm and serene vibes.
You could go splurging at the Commercial Street, Brigade Road, Church Street, Indiranagar, Lavelle Road, and MG Road, all located pretty close to the lake. You will also find some of the best restaurants in Bangalore in these locations. And if you want to get a glimpse of the city’s colonial history, you can plan a visit to some of the churches in Bangalore located near Ulsoor Lake.
Location: Ulsoor, Near MG Road
2. Lal Bagh Lake
Another must-visit lake in Bangalore, Lal Bagh Lake is a photographer’s delight. Situated inside Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens, one of the most iconic landmarks in the city and a lush green paradise with flowers and trees from around the world, the lake is a key attraction for visitors and tourists. Migratory birds find a temporary home here and the twin islands in the lake provide a safe abode for these birds, which include Night Heron, Indian Pond Heron, and Egrets. So if you are a birdwatcher, this is just the perfect spot for you. Fish feeding is another activity you can indulge in while you are here. The verdant beauty, calm waters, and the chirping avifauna all come together to make Lal Bagh Lake one of the best places in Bangalore to visit for couples.
If you are looking for more adventures with your partner, check out our blog on the water parks in Bangalore.
Location: Lal Bagh Botanical Garden
Entry Fee: ₹ 10 per person
Timings: 09.00 am to 06.00 pm; every day
3. Sankey Tank
This man-made lake nestled in the suburbs of Malleswaram epitomizes everything calm and beautiful. This is the kind of place where bookworms love to spend some peaceful time, couples enjoy witnessing the romantic sunset, and nature lovers cherish birdwatching before sunrise. The lake complex also has a pool for swimming enthusiasts and boating facilities (chargeable) for those who want a blissful ride around the lake. Gardening enthusiasts can visit the plant nursery here. After a soulful time at the lake, you could venture out for some of the best street foods in Bangalore at Malleswaram to satiate the foodie in you.
Malleswaram is a major hub in the city and if you are looking for places to stay, you will find some of the best hotels in Bangalore in this area.
Location: Kodandarampura, Malleswaram West
Entry Fee: Adults – ₹ 10 per person | Children – ₹ 5 per person
Timings: 06.00 am to 08.00 pm; closed on Fridays
Boating: 10.00 am to 06.00 pm; Charges – ₹ 10
4. Hebbal Lake
Hebbal Lake, which was commissioned by Kempe Gowda in 1537, was formed by constructing bunds along natural valleys. This scenic splendor that spans over 150 acres is loved by more than 70 species of migratory waterbirds be1cause of the lush bed of trees formed during monsoons. Though Hebbal Lake is not perennially vibrant, it offers the best Instagram-worthy backdrop during the monsoon months. The sunrise and sunset here will leave you speechless, to say the least. Many joggers use the well-maintained trail nearby for a satiating workout with serenity and tweeting birds to keep them company. Boating is also arranged for at the lake at a nominal charge. The famous Hebbal flyover gives a mesmerizing aerial view of this beautiful lake that is surrounded by many sky-kissing edifices.
Location: Bellary road, Outer ring road
Entry Fee: No entry fee; ₹ 20 per person for boating
Timings: 07.00 am to 08.00 pm; every day
5. Madiwala Lake
Located along the bustling suburb of BTM Layout, the 300-years-old Madiwala Lake spreads over 270 acres with shrubs, trees, and bamboo bushes. Loved by couples and group travelers alike, the lake has no dearth of nature’s splendor with the waterbirds making it all the more worthwhile. This is one of the finest lakes in Bangalore with boating facilities, in addition to the walking paths for slow strolls and a kids’ play zone to the little ones engaged. Be assured that seasonal bird watching at this lake will clear your mind of all worries. Though Madiwala Lake had been polluted by industrial waste, it stood the test of time and was restored to its natural splendor by the government.
If you are visiting Bangalore with your family, friends or all alone, the city offers plenty of options to keep you engaged. Check out our blog on the best things to do in Bangalore.
Location: BTM 2nd Stage
Entry Fee per Head:
Adults – ₹ 5 per person
Children – ₹ 2 per person
Timings: 05.00 am to 09.30 pm; every day
Boating Timings: 10.00 am to 06.30 pm; every day
6. Kengeri Lake
This impressive lake located along Mysore Road has been rejuvenated recently by Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation. The mini green islands nestled in the lake make it the perfect location for boating and spending a lovely time with family. The lake spreads over 25 acres and has been facilitated with boating services. Plans for a walking path, kids’ play zone, recreational area, islet, and more have been laid out by the local authorities.
Location: Kengeri Satellite Town
Entry Fee: Free Entry
Timings: 24×7; every day
7. Varthur Lake
This man-made lake was built around 100 years ago to maintain the ecological balance of the city’s natural system and to support the agricultural needs of farmers in the area. Varthur Lake gradually fell prey to the toxic wastage from the surrounding areas and is a stern reminder that human misuse of Mother Nature’s endowment can be lethal to future generations. The sunrise and sunset scenes at this lake are still adorned by nature lovers and photographers. Many plans are being formulated to restore this lake naturally.
Location: Varthur Kere
8. Agara Lake
Situated along HSR Layout towards Agara is one of the most beautiful natural lakes in Bangalore, namely Agara Lake. The panoramic views of the lake and the surrounding areas are simply magical and the joggers’ park located near the lake makes it a crowd favorite. The lake spreads over 98 acres and has a rich history that can be traced back to the 8th century. Until a few decades ago, the water from this lake was used for irrigation and drinking by the residents of local villages. The iconic ‘Children-Globe-Rooster’ statue along the lake is a favorite Instagram spot among visitors. Spot Billed Pelicans and Coots are the frequently visiting migratory birds among the other 40 species of avifauna at the lake, making bird-watching a prominent activity here.
Location: HSR Layout
9. Hesaraghatta Lake
This man-made lake was constructed in 1894 and is one of the most beautiful freshwater lakes in Bangalore to visit. Covering an area of about 1000 acres, this distinct lake is a water retreat for exotic birds. The lake and its surroundings are a big switch from the traffic-struck areas in Bangalore. A bird enthusiast can spot more than 29 varieties of frequenting birds like Bulbuls, Kingfishers, Bush larks, Mayna, Egrets, and a plethora of other waterbirds here during different migratory seasons. During summers, parasailing is arranged by many adventure clubs in the area. The drive up to the lake is enthralling and so is walking around it. Early morning is the best time to visit this lake.
10. Kaikondrahalli Lake
A well-maintained lake in the busy area of Sarjapur, Kaikondrahalli Lake is an ideal bird-watching venue with a beautiful landscape and a walking area for the fitness fanatics. Previously a dumping-yard for residents living in and around the locality, this lake was restructured to transform it into what it is today. This ecological biodiversity hotspot is astounding with reptiles, birds, and amphibians; the tall shady trees in the central island add to the charm of its eclectic landscape. Cyclists can enjoy on the cycling paths while children have a play area and a park dedicated exclusively for them. Conservationists take pride in visiting this lake where birds like Spot-billed Pelicans, Purple Herons, and Kingfishers can be spotted all year round. July is the recommended month to visit this lake.
11. Nagavara Lake
This lake situated at the Outer Ring Road has a unique beauty and appeal like none other. At the banks of this lake is Lumbini Gardens, a water-front leisure park in the city. Spreading across approximately 44 hectares, Nagavara Lake provides a splendid view of nature’s magnificence. The well-laid pathways near this lake make walking a pleasurable experience, allowing you to soak in nature’s beauty. The musical fountains at the park are other attractions for the crowds coming down to the lake. Boating and other water activities are conducted here, including instructor-led speedboat rides. You can also opt for bumper boats, pedal boats, jet skis, and leisure family boats. Lumbini Gardens also facilitates an artificial wave pool while the floating restaurant and café here is a huge hit among visitors. Children’s rides and games are also available at the park.
Location: Nagavara, Hebbal
That’s not all! There are many small and big lakes dotting the city, many of which are being renovated by the authorities. Unlike the movies where lakes are portrayed as eerie places under which nasty monsters hide, the ones in Bangalore offer breathing spaces for the city dwellers. Speaking of eerie, you might also be interested in our blog on the haunted places in Bangalore.