Kukkarahalli Lake
Kukkarahalli Lake
Kukkarahalli Lake
Coordinates12°18′N 76°38′E / 12.3°N 76.63°E / 12.3; 76.63Coordinates: 12°18′N 76°38′E / 12.3°N 76.63°E / 12.3; 76.63
TypeFreshwater Kukkarahally- Recreational and Fisheries
Catchment area414 km2 (160 sq mi)
Basin countriesIndia
Surface area62 ha (150 acres)
Max. depth5 m (16 ft)
Water volume2.53×10^6 m3 (89×10^6 cu ft)
Shore length15 km (3.1 mi)
Surface elevation755.73 m (2,479.4 ft)
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Kukkarahalli Lake also called Kukkarhalli Kere (Lake is ‘’kere’’ in local Kannada language), located in the heart of the Mysore city, adjoins the Manasgangotri (University of Mysore),[1] the Kalamandir (Rangyana) and the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) campus (separated by the Hunsur Road). It provides lung-space to the city. Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar, (1794–1868) of the Mysore Dynasty (Kingdom of Mysore) was responsible for getting the lake created, in the year 1864, to provide water for irrigation to about 4000 ha (10,000 acres) of land outside the city.[2] The Lake also used to be a source of water supply to the city of Mysore but over the years, sewage and excessive land encroachments (mostly illegal) and blockage of water flow sources almost led to the eutrophication of the lake. The University of Mysore and the citizen forums of Mysore continue to make efforts to preserve the lake by implementing several remedial measures. [3][4] There is a 4.5 km walkway on the periphery of the lake with shaded stone benches for visitors to sit, relax and enjoy the scenic serenity of the lake.[5]


Further information: Mysore

The lake is located within the Mysore city limits. The Mysore City railway station is about 3 km (1.9 mi) from the Lake. at a road distance of 184.5 km (114.6 mi).


The lake drains a catchment area of more than 414 square kilometres (160 sq mi) and the water body spreads over 62 hectares (150 acres). Dewan Poornaiah feeder canal, 27 km (17 mi) long, which passes through Hinkal, Bogadi, Kudremala and Manasagangotri outfalls into the Lake.[4] The Lake is ‘J’ shaped. The maximum depth of lake is reported to be 5 m (16 ft). The east–west bund holds water on one side. Sandy loam to clay loam form the dominant geological condition of the Lake. On the northern side another temporary bund hold back the direct flow of waste water into the lake.[6]

Panoramic view of Kukkarahalli Lake in Mysore
Panoramic view of Kukkarahalli Lake in Mysore

The highest flood level in the lake is 755.73 m (2,479.4 ft).[7]

Water quality

A detailed study of the physico-chemical and bio-chemical parameters of the lake waters carried out in the period 1981-2001 confirmed the deteriorating status of the lake necessitating action for restoration. There was a high percentage of chemicals but low percentage of total plankton (43%). The activity of chemicals lead to the liberation of extra quantity of cellular products which increased to 53.19%. Lake indicated high productivity of bio-chemical products; with death and decay of algal blooms adding to the biochemical concentration. The lake waters showed high electrolytes, low dissolved oxygen, high phosphate and nitrogen content with abundance of plankton blooms, all of which have contributed to a high degree of eutrophication. The non potability of the water body is indicated by the high degree of faecal contamination with organisms that produce H2S that may include forms of Salmonella, Proteus, Citrobacter and some strains of Klebsiella.[8] The distribution pattern of plank tonic forms, for the decade ending 2001, as per laboratory tests of lake's water samples provides the values of parameters such as the Chlorococcales, Desmids, Diatoms, Blue-greens and Euglenoids, as the biological indicators of water body, as given in table below[7] which testify to the lake's eutrophication status. The numbers indicate the microorganisms present in the sample per litre.

Parameters Kukkarahalli


Year / group 1981 1991 2001
Chlorococcales 35,3251 54,2210 43,8342
Desmids 150 Nil 7
Diatoms 5,822 5,132 6,173
Blue-greens 24,325 23,420 20,719
Euglenoids 8,321 3,251 6,577
Dinoflagellates 210 622 174

Utility of algal biomass

Scientists have reported that exploitation of polluted waters which are rich in algal biomass for biotechnological products could be a feasible proposition and that the Phycobiliproteins from algae could be used as sensitive fluorescent dye, as immunochemical reagent and also as efficient fluorochromes in multiple colour analysis.[7][8]

Bird watching

Night heron illustration
Night heron illustration

The lake was once a big attraction to bird watchers. According to naturalists, about 176[9] species of birds (a large number of them migratory birds, including birds from Siberia) with 10,000 to 15,000 of them visited the lake during winter to roost. Organised bird watching expeditions around the lake used to be actively pursued by the Mysore Amateur Naturalists (MAN) Association. In recent years, with the lake getting into a eutrophic state (though since restored), the number of birds visiting the lake has substantially decreased. Now, the number of birds visiting the lake has reduced to about 2,000. They are found to breed in the isolated bird island. The birds now found in the lake (some of the birds are pictured in the gallery) are spot-billed pelicans, little cormorant, painted storks, openbill storks, Eurasian spoonbills, black-crowned night herons and Oriental darters.[4] BirdLife International has included Kukkarahalli Lake in the list of 38 important Important Bird Areas (IBAs)[10] in the State of Karnataka.[11]

Lake restoration

The jog path/walkway along the Kukkarahally Lake
The jog path/walkway along the Kukkarahally Lake

During the year 2003–2004, with grants of about US$0.2 million (Rs 91 lakhs) provided by the Asian Development Bank, Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (KUIDFC) in association with the University of Mysore under whose jurisdiction the Lake falls and citizens groups, carried out the restoration works of the lake. In order to effectively reduce the external loading of pollutants and the intervention of wastes into the lake ecosystem the measures implemented have covered the following [12] with funds provided by the Asian Development Bank.[13]

Bougainvillea flowers
Bougainvillea flowers



  1. ^ "Kukkarahalli Lake".
  2. ^ http://wgbis.ces.iisc.ernet.in/energy/lake2006/programme/programme/proceedings/studentspapers/ug.htm. Preservation of Mysore Urban Waterbodies
  3. ^ [1] Popularity turns a bane for Kukkarahalli lake
  4. ^ a b c http://www.mysoretourism.org/Kukkarahalli%20Lake.htm Kukkarahalli Lake
  5. ^ "Mysuru District - KARNATAKA". Mysore.nic.in. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  6. ^ Limnology, Watershed Hydrology and Monitoring
  7. ^ a b c http://wgbis.ces.iisc.ernet.in/energy/lake2006/programme/programme/proceedings/studentspapers/ug.htm Preservation Of Mysore Urban Water bodies
  8. ^ a b http://ces.iisc.ernet.in/energy/water/proceed/section6/paper3/section6paper3.htm Biochemical Aspects of Water Pollution in Two Lakes of Mysore City
  9. ^ Google Spreadsheet (30 October 2016). "Bird Checklist". Mysore Nature. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  10. ^ "Important Bird Areas (IBA)". Mysore Nature. 30 October 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  11. ^ Page 40, India Archived 3 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Wetlands of Karnataka
  13. ^ "Two City Lakes Regain Their Glory". Mysoresamachar.com. Retrieved 1 December 2016.