An unexpected mid-week holiday was the perfect excuse for wiping the dust off my camera and taking it along with me on a short drive to Pashan Lake. We left home at 6.30am and raced the sun as it made its hurried ascent from behind the hills. Driving south along the Bombay-Bangalore Bypass, we reached the lake in less than 15 minutes. The sunrise looked twice as beautiful when viewed from across the tranquil lake waters.
Much has changed since we last visited the lake in 2002. There were vast, open spaces around the lake then, with literally thousands of birds dotting the sky. Now, there’s unsightly human habitation instead. It’s no wonder then, that the lake water has deteriorated and the number of birds has drastically decreased, since.
We walked along the lakeside until we arrived at a more swampy section that was half invaded by Pistia, a water weed that poses a very real threat to the delicate balance of the lake ecosystem.
This was also where we found the birds.
There seemed to be a majority of Cormorants. Some were perched on skeletal trees on a tiny island in the centre of the lake, while others deftly cut through the lake waters, diving under occasionally for a snack.
Large Egrets and Little Egrets went about minding their own business while Pond Herons lazily waded in the shallow waters, effectively camouflaged against the leafy background.
The Painted Storks were few, and far away, and didn’t venture close to the water’s edge, where a bunch of birders stood, waiting eagerly with their cameras.
A small nature trail runs a short distance alongside the lake, and a narrow bridge curves over a runaway arm of the lake that extends to the foot of the bypass.
From the road, you can’t quite picture the beauty and serenity of Pashan Lake, but take some time off and drive down that broken road that leads to it, and you’ll discover moments that stay with you for a long time to come.