is a lake
A lake is a body of relatively still fresh or salt water of considerable size, localized in a basin, that is surrounded by land. Lakes are inland and not part of the ocean and therefore are distinct from lagoons, and are larger and deeper than ponds. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams,...
located in the city of Mysore
in the state of Karnataka
Karnataka , the land of the Kannadigas, is a state in South West India. It was created on 1 November 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act and this day is annually celebrated as Karnataka Rajyotsava...
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...
. The lake is surrounded by a nature park consisting of a butterfly park and a walk-through aviary
An aviary is a large enclosure for confining birds. Unlike cages, aviaries allow birds a larger living space where they can fly; hence, aviaries are also sometimes known as flight cages...
. This aviary is the biggest 'walk-through aviary' in India. There is also a museum, the Regional Museum of Natural History
The Regional Museum of Natural History at Mysore, is a museum in India with exhibits on plants, animals and geology of the southern region of India.-Description:...
which is located on the banks of this lake. The total area of Karanji lake is 90 hectares. While waterspread area is about 55 hectares, the foreshore area measures about 35 hectares. Karanji lake is owned by the Mysore Zoo
Mysore Zoo is a zoo located near the palace in Mysore, India. It is one of the oldest and most popular zoos in Southern India, and is home to a wide range of species. Mysore Zoo is one of the city’s most popular attractions...
Authority. Mysore Zoo gets a revenue of an average of Rs. 50000 per day from ticket sales to enthusiasts who visit this lake.
Karanji Lake was one of the favourite haunts of migratory birds like herons and egrets. But the lake started getting polluted when sewage from the nearby residential areas were let into the lake. This pollution led to the destruction of aquatic life in the lake and with the food-source getting depleted, the migratory birds started to avoid the lake.
In order to prevent the destruction of this lake and to renovate it, help was sought from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (KUIDFC) and Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK). These three organisations came together and undertook the restoration activities of this lake. Financial help to the tune of Rs. 12 million was provided by ADB and ZAK undertook the restoration work with the co-ordination of KUIDFC.
The first step undertaken was to stop the sewage from entering the lake. Other restoration activities included removal of polluted silt, de-weeding of the entire lake surface, removing 30 cm of silt from the lake, restoration of feeder channels, construction of a jetty to start boating facility, and the construction of a bridge to the newly created 'butterfly park'. A watch tower was also constructed to view the birds and study their behaviour. A giant fountain which can spew water up to 40 feet has been recently added as an attraction. A nursery of medicinal plants is also present here.
The aviary constructed on the shore of the lake has a height of 20 m, length of 60 m and width of 40 m making it India's biggest walk-through aviary. The aviary was set up at a cost of Rs 3.8 million. It includes an artificial water fall and two small water bodies. Water from the Karanji lake is pumped inside the aviary in the form of a stream while the used water is discharged into the lake. It has about 40–50 birds of 17 species. Hornbills, peacocks, white-peacocks, turkeys and black swans are some of the birds found in this aviary. This aviary was temporarily closed in the year 2006 to prevent the break-out of bird flu.
The butterfly park has been created on a small island within the Karanji lake. About 45 species of butterflies have been identified here. With the help of a botanist, appropriate species of host plants and nectar plants essential for the breeding of butterflies were selected and planted within the island. These plants have also been brought from hillstations and other regions like Malnad
Malenadu is a region of Karnataka state in South India. Malenadu covers the western and eastern slopes of the Western Ghats, roughly 100 kilometers in width. Malenadu covers portions of the Shimoga, Chikmagalur, Uttara Kannada, Kodagu and Hassan districts....
Regional Museum of Natural History
The Regional Museum of Natural History was inaugurated on 20 May 1995. The broad objectives of the Museum are:
- Depict floral, faunal and geological wealth of the southern region of India.
- Depict ecological interrelationship among plants and animals with emphasis on conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
- Provide facility for school children on curriculum-based studies in biology and geology with emphasis on environmental aspect.
- Develop programs for masses to create environmental awareness
Birds of Karanji Lake
Some of the common migratory birds found here are Grey Pelican
A pelican, derived from the Greek word πελεκυς pelekys is a large water bird with a large throat pouch, belonging to the bird family Pelecanidae....
, Painted Stork
The Painted Stork is a large wading bird in the stork family. It is found in the wetlands of the plains of tropical Asia south of the Himalayas in South Asia and extending into Southeast Asia. Their distinctive pink tertial feathers give them their name. They forage in flocks in shallow waters...
The ibises are a group of long-legged wading birds in the family Threskiornithidae....
The bird family Phalacrocoracidae is represented by some 40 species of cormorants and shags. Several different classifications of the family have been proposed recently, and the number of genera is disputed.- Names :...
An egret is any of several herons, most of which are white or buff, and several of which develop fine plumes during the breeding season. Many egrets are members of the genera Egretta or Ardea which contain other species named as herons rather than egrets...
, etc. which nest on trees in the islands present in the lake. Recent survey of birds have indicated 147 species . Herons, Asian open bill storks, Egrets, Red wattle lapwing, Sandpipers, Rose ringed parakeet, Black Drongo, Brown Shrike, Red-whiskered bulbul, Booted warbler, Sunbird and Greenish Warbler are some of the other species of birds found here.