Bestowed with a walking trail of 2.2 kms around it, the Kasavanahalli lake periphery is bustling with people in the mornings. The water of the lake however remains oblivious to all the hustle and haste going on around it and so on some mornings the greenish grey water remains still, happy to merely reflect the golden light emerging from the crevices in the cloudy sky; on other days the morning breeze is seen gently caressing the water creating gentle waves with silver crests.
The lake is located about one kilometer away from the Haralur main road in Sarjapur, Bangalore and is a green sanctuary for the residents of the many apartment complexes along the Haralur road. It has two main gated entrances and a few unofficial entryways made by cutting out the metal mesh that marks the lake’s boundary; they provide the shortcuts for people to traverse to the main road from the opposite ends.
The morning crowd consists mostly of adults and small children who do not have to go to school. Kids and teenagers are missing from the gathering; the school buses arrive early for pick ups and besides kids get exercise while playing at school; it’s the grown ups who need to take timeout to exercise the body. People are seen walking, taking a stroll, jogging, running, cycling around the lake in groups, pairs or alone; some choose a serene spot to meditate or practice breathing exercises; still others simply sit on the cement benches to soak in the green, peace and first rays of the sun. There are a few armed with cameras looking out for an uncommon bird or hoping to capture few sublime scenery shots. And then there is this old man with a broom and floor wiper who is seen everyday labouriously sweeping away the fallen leaves off the walkway at the western entrance to the lake. He is yet to attract company in his endeavour, for people are busy and soon after their morning tryst with nature, work awaits.
It’s a popular route for walking dogs too; there are stray dogs around but they are harmless and mind their own business. And then you hear grunts and notice the family of pigs and piglets feeding by the boundary walls of the lake. You keep away from them. And also maybe a cow or two roaming around.
We enter the lakefront from the Western entrance which borders a govt. primary school. The school children arrive early and await the opening of the classrooms; they are dressed in light blue shirts and navy shorts for boys and pinafores for the girls. The school building is getting a facelift via a new coat of paint, a beige shade for the walls and a bright orange border along the roof. It’s difficult to walk past the school compound and not gape at the striking yellow trumpet tree (Caribbean Trumpet tree) in bloom at a corner. March is their month 🔆, the trees shed all their leaves; the branches are adorned only with the big clusters of handsome yellow trumpet shaped flowers. The yellow flowers are luminous in the sunlight and a magnificent sight !
We arrived by 7.30 in the morning, there is plenty of people around. At the lakefront, do you turn right or left, to go around it !? Does it even matter !? Yes it does apparently ! But it’s not sacrosanct.
Circumambulation should be done clockwise around a devotional object, keeping the object on the right. The direction is significant because as per our culture, the right side is considered purer than the left, as the right hand is used for eating and the left hand for cleaning, making it ritually impure.
But we are not here for worship; just out to get some fresh air and exercise ! Relax and enjoy the walk and the scenery !! And we turn left and the lake in sprawled out on our right. It’s a glorious sight !
Turning attention to the walkway; it’s broad enough for a vehicle to drive through and is covered in a thick green canopy. The tree seen here is one of the more abundant species at the lakeside – the Singapore cherry tree (Muntingia calabura) and it’s horizontally spreading branches provide ample shade. In March, they are seen in bloom with small white flowers. The petals have begun to fall away and you can see the ground underneath sprinkled with tiny white petals. Some of the branches have the small green fruits and they turn red when ripe. Bats seem to love this fruit; we have this tree in our apartment complex also and in late evenings, bats are seen flying from one tree to another.
The stretch is dominated by various shades of green from the leaves and in between though you get glimpses of colour – the golden yellow from the small yellow trumpet tree (Caribbean Trumpet tree) is hard to miss; when you look up, there is the beautiful violet from the Jacaranda and the blush pink from the pink trumpet tree. A closer look at the pink flowers and you can see a delicate yellow throat inside the flower.
Then there is the pink powder puff flower of the Rain tree (Albizia saman); the tree has a spreading crown of bright light green leaflets. They are seen in bloom all over the city roads in March, esp. along the Koramangala 80 ft road, with a beautiful layer of pink on the green branches. The flowers look like powder puffs, white at the bottom and pink on top; the pink stamens of the flower are closely packed and radiate out to resemble a powder puff.
In this stretch you will also see the Copper pod tree; it stands on the lake’s edge and its canopy covered in green and gold spreads above the walkway. The yellow flowers are bright and radiant with crinkled petals. It’s their flowering season too. They derive their name from their brown fruit pods which have a copper tinge.
All this while the walk was with the neck craning up; but below among the shrubs too, there are specks of colour. This flower was new to me👇. Google lens solved the mystery and called it Asystasia gangetica with common names as Chinese violet or Creeping foxglove.
These are just a few of the flora around the lake. By now you reach a culvert and crossover onto the opposite bank of the lake. It’s hard not to ooh aah over the magenta water lily seen afloat on the water and the white birds (egrets !?)
Till next post, take care !!