Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Bengaluru Diaries - 1 : Sankey Tank.

Many veteran Bengaruleans fondly recall the Sankey Tank, in Sadashivnagar, in the heart of western #Bangalore, as 'Gandhada-Kattige Kere' which translates as the 'Sandalwood Lake'. 

The lake was named after Col. Richard Sankey, of the Madras Sappers Regiment, who built it as a reservoir that catered to the water demands of the city, in the year 1882.

Nostalgic recollections of the older generations of the city include the time when people swam, went fishing and hunted for crabs in some parts of the lake, although the water was murky in those days.

Today, the water is clean, but visitors have access to it only through the boating activities. The security personnel are vigilant and deserve applause for stringently exercising their duties, especially in keeping annoying selfie-crazy people at bay.

The 37.5 acres of land, that includes a children's park, is well maintained by the Forest department.

The jogging tracks, covered walkways and landscaped areas speckled with innumerable dancing blooms, especially white lilies, make the experience jubilant.

Scores of pigeons haunt the regions around the water while gliding birds of prey dot the skyline. Early morning joggers claim to witness hundreds of pigeons flocking the area.

The winter months also bring with them incredible migratory birds, that are a treat for ornithologists.

I'd been planning to visit this man-made water body since a long time. When the maiden edition of the green initiative festival, #NammaBengaluruHabba, was duly announced to be held at the venue on the 20th  of August, it was the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. 

It was an overcast morning, that promised a heavy downpour  by noon. That did not deter the crowds from thronging the place, adding to the festive air.

Fortunately, the sun did grace us with his presence at regular intervals, to the immense relief of the shopoholics who made a beeline for the venue.

I decided to check out the flea market on the street, before I ventured to the lake.

The most interesting stalls were those of organic produce & eco-friendly products. It was fun to 'window-shop' a wide array of terracotta jewellery, cotton fabrics, jute accessories, home decor & natural food products. 

However, the mall-worthy prices were rather exorbitant   for mere street stalls, though one could not fault the quality of the products on sale.

I almost succumbed to buying a tiny worli-designed book-marker for 200 bucks... But then , the foodie in me warred against my bookworm tendencies and I subsequently decided to sample some of the exotic junk food instead.

Although this 'Aloo-Twist' appeared like crispy chips I'd expected, the potato wedges were rather soft. Despite this, the mayo-topping and generous chilly garnish made it a sumptuous snack. 

There was a whole gamut of events and activities on account of the #NammaBengaluruHabba, at the lakeside as well. 

Artists from all over #Karnataka had arrived to showcase the rich and diverse cultural heritage of the state. 

These boisterous Dollu-Kunitha performers were only too happy to pose for selfies & snapshots with an unending stream of visitors. 

There were groups performing the Hulivesha (Tiger-dance) and Dollu kunita (Drum-dance); jugglers, musicians, skate-board antics and even a jet-ski performance in the water to keep the crowds perpetually entertained.

Spotting these charming ducks sliding past us with nonchalant grace, in perfect tune to the soft instrumental music in the background, was one of the highlights of the visit.

Although the #SankeyTank is an artificial lake, the nature freak in me was overcome by the sheer beauty of the place.

It is an ideal getaway in the heart of the city, for the weary, traffic- assaulted souls of Bangalore, looking for open lung spaces and water views to revive themselves. 
As anticipated, it began to rain cats and dogs even before I'd completed my inquisitive exploration of the place

It was nevertheless a fulfilling and delightful experience, a Sunday well-spent amidst nature's vibrant blue-green hues.  

All the photos posted here my own clicks. The observations and opinions expressed in the above write-up are solely mine.

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