Thursday, May 11, 2017

Bird watch update

If you haven't visited the lake recently, you should. It is looking great, water rippling and glinting in the sun, fish darting everywhere.

Even if you are not a birder, you cannot miss the birds - Coots, Swamp Hens, Kingfishers and more, but it takes an experienced hand to spot the chicks. Here's the latest report and pictures by our "resident birder," Madhurima Das, who visits the lake every weekend to do a census on the birds at Puttenahalli Lake. 


At the lake this Sunday (7th May) there were many birds. Besides our usual suspects, we had both purple and grey heron, a little egret, little cormorant, a common moorhen and 2 spot billed ducks.

The bronze wing jacanas, and a night heron, brought out their respective chicks. There was also a third bronze wing jacana which was being chased around by the chick's parents. The jacana chick also attracted a brahminy kite, but, luckily for the chick, it wasn't caught.

There were also flocks of flower peckers and tailor birds. 

Black-crowned Night Heron with chick

Little Cormorant and Little Egret

Little Egret

Purple Swamphen

Rose-ringed Parakeet

Bronze-winged Jacana with chick

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Preparing the lake for the monsoon

March and April are scorching months but that's also when we get our lake ready for the monsoon.  VMware volunteers came over on 31st March to help us.

In the past when the lake was largely dry with only little pools of water that shrank by the day, volunteers had to pick up plastic bags, stray slippers, bottles and the like from a much larger area. This year with most of the 10 acre lake bed under water, only the highest point was dry and piled with the alligator weed removed from the water. If left there, they would sprout with the first shower. Some of the quickly multiplying salvinia molesta were trapped in the trash boom waiting to be lifted out. We may hate the plant but the fresh Salvinia makes a good manure. It had to be mixed with the dry leaves heaped in rows. Further, we wanted some big boulders brought to the wetland.

Volunteers at work

Many tasks and many hands. From 9 a.m. to noon, the volunteers from VMware led by Guruprasad Cashikar slaved under the hot sun doing each one of these with great cheer even though sweat dripped from their faces. They finished all the chores assigned to them but there's still more to do.

More volunteers are welcome!  

Friday, March 17, 2017

March against excess plastic

The EMPRI office at Doresanipalya Forest Campus was abuzz from 8 a.m. on Tuesday, 14th March 2017. EMPRI staff, researchers, citizen activists, representatives from BBMP, Hasiru Dala,  workers and rag pickers, all wearing black Tee shirts waited for the signal to start off a procession. The message was simple but vital -  Say no to Plastic. 

Roping in a few residents from the area, we from PNLIT were also a part of the procession shouting slogans and walking from EMPRI Office towards our Puttenahalli Lake. It drizzled. People on the road took shelter and listened to our slogans as we marched on. More people joined en route and by the time we reached the lake a good 45 minutes later, we were over 180! 

We took the volunteers to the two places in the lake premises with the maximum plastic waste - on either side of the slum. Everyone started removing the plastic bags, gutka satchets and other odds and ends which over time would have done irreparable damage to the ground below. 

While the rag pickers and BBMP staff were impressed with how clean the rest of the lake was, EMPRI Director, Mr. Vinaya Kumar and his colleagues were appreciative of how the lake looked - water rippling, the birds so engrossed in feeding and swimming. They were so full of appreciation of our floating wetlands that Mr. Vinaya Kumar wanted to meet our gardeners, who make the platforms. He listened keenly as Jayanna and Ramu explained to him in detail and complimented them. 

By 11 a.m. everyone gathered at and outside the Gazebo. Mr. Basavaraj, Head, Training, EMPRI thanked everybody for their participation.

Puttenahalli Lake was their first venue to promote awareness of the hazards of using plastic. We hope to reinforce this with greater vigour not just at the lake premises but in the locality as well. If you would like to join us in this campaign, please email . We need to eradicate this evil before it finishes us off! 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Ripples: Spreading the change

We are pleased to release the Inaugural issue of the PNLIT Newsletter "RIPPLES". As a well wisher of the PNLIT and Puttenahalli Lake, we hope you will enjoy reading this! 

To read the newsletter, click the link or the picture below. 

Do subscribe to receive the newsletter regularly.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Plastic waste management event at the lake by EMPRI

The Environmental Management & Policy Research Institute, Bengaluru is organising an event tomorrow, 14th March to promote awareness of the deep environment hazards caused by our use of plastic. 

The programme will begin at 8 a.m. at the EMPRI office at 'Hasiru Bhavana', Doresanipalya Forest Campus, Vinayakanagara Circle, J.P. Nagar 5th Phase ( Everyone assembled will go in a jatre to our Puttenahalli Lake where they will collect any plastic waste and then disperse by 11 a.m. 

We request you to join this much needed campaign and do your bit to save the environment. You could join at 8 a.m. at the EMPRI office or at the lake at 10 a.m. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Sudha Ragunathan Concert - The Surprise

Padma Bhushan Sudha Ragunathan's concert on 25th February at MLR Convention Centre kept us enthralled from the first varnam. About a couple of hours into the concert, she gave a short speech appreciating our effort in restoring the lake and promising whatever help she could render to us and to the environment. This of course made the audience applaud but her next statement won us over completely. The day before the concert, she'd contacted a friend, Gayathri Gurumurthy who writes under the pen name of "Saraswathi" and got her to write a song celebrating lakes! Being a composer as well, Smt Ragunathan set it to music and sang it specially for us at this concert! What better reward can we possibly get?

We got the script from her and Usha Rajagopalan translated it for the benefit of all. Her words and the song resonate in our ears but we do wish we'd recorded this lake song! 

      An Ode to Lakes

Clad in cerulean silk and
Giving life to the universe,
Mother of water, of lakes.
We're here to guard you.

Equally for us all to flourish,
Crossing peaks and valleys
You have come, Mother,
To nourish the soil of this earth.

Stretching your golden hands
For birds and beasts to nestle,
To find shelter in your lap,
You're a haven for the world.

Defiling your body, we humans
Became inhuman and yet,
Our depravities you bore
Lending yourself up for our lineage  

To undo the abuse and wrongs
We friends now hold hands.
We pledge to preserve you,
Give new life to you, Mother.


Saturday, March 4, 2017

A community event - Sudha Ragunathan Concert

Much like the nurturing of our Puttenahalli Lake, the PNLIT concert featuring Padma Bhushan Sudha Ragunathan on 25th Feb. at MLR Convention Hall was a community event with several volunteers from the locality chipping in. Our heartfelt thanks to them, our donors, Jenesys Technologies, concert sponsor, and to Brigade Hospitality for the venue and accommodation for the artists.  

Here's how the day unfolded ...

The lake and its premises had never looked as clean as it was when Smt. Sudha Ragunathan paid a visit on the morning of 25th Feb. After the visit of renowned ornithologist Zafar Futehally in 2012, she's the most celebrated visitor to the lake to date and it was indeed one we will cherish. About 20 of us, trustees and our well wishers, gathered at the Gazebo to greet the VIP. We escorted her to the Viewing Deck briefing her about what we had done, how, why and when. She listened intently and found the Artificial Floating Islands particularly interesting. The recently planted Nerium Oleander were blooming in bright pink and the water glittered in the sun. Surprisingly the birds were missing though except for a cormorant at a distance.  Smt. Ragunathan was happy to know that volunteers had planted the trees and the shrubs and especially about the mosquito repelling quality of the Vitex Negundo. She readily posed with us for photographs at the lake before leaving.  

At the lake
A couple of residents from South City had cooked a sumptuous lunch for Sudha Ragunathan and party. With a few special invitees from Brigade Millennium joining them, all had a hearty meal over a lively discussion. 

We had begun getting MLR Convention Hall ready from the previous day with Janani from Brigade Millennium making an intricate filigree like kolam at the entrance. She made a more contemporary design of musical bars notes outside the Hall. Above that, hung PNLIT banners depicting the evolution of the lake from a dry ground to a thriving one. Standees of birds completed the exhibition which caught the attention of the audience. 

PNLIT exhibition

Occupying their seats, they got to see a slide show of sights and scenes from Puttenahalli Lake followed by a short film on the reviving of the lake. 

With Sudha Ragunathan, Gautham and Kalai Gautham of Jenesys, Gurmeet Singh from Brigade Hospitality and Usha Rajagopalan, Chairperson, PNLIT lighting the lamp, the evening had officially begun. 

Lighting the lamp
The concert was a good opportunity to release our newsletter and to felicitate our well wishers and CSR partners. Mr. B.V. Satish, former Chief Engineer, Lakes, BBMP received the first copy of our newsletter "Ripples"  from the singer. PNLIT partners felicitated were Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions Ltd., VMWare,  Deloitte Shared Services India Pvt. Ltd., Cisco, BMS College of Engineering and the Community around the lake whose donations enable us to nurture the lake. 

Releasing the newsletter
The trustees welcomed the artists and cleared the stage for the concert to begin. Smt. Sudha Ragunathan gave a short speech appreciating the effort taken by PNLIT to nurture the lake and made an earnest appeal to the audience to support environment and efforts of people like us. This report on the concert is from South City resident and carnatic vocalist A K Venkat. 
The artists
Connoisseur or novice, Sudha Ragunathan wowed us all. Towards the end of the recital, she sprang such a surprise on us that we, trustees, wanted to stand up and applaud! What's the surprise? In the next post!


Monday, February 27, 2017

Sudha Ragunathan Concert - Connoiseur Review

The Sudha Ragunathan Concert at MLR Convention Centre on 25th February 2017. had music and the lake at its core. Here's a review by A.K. Venkat, a resident of the lake neighbourhood and Carnatic vocalist. 

Sudha Raghunathan sings for Puttenahalli Lake

Accompanied by
on the Violin: Sri B V Raghavendra Rao
on the Mridangam: Sri Neyveli Skanda Subramanian
on the Morsing: Sri R Raman
Venue: MLR Convention Centre, Brigade Millennium
Date: Saturday 25th February 2017

Smt Sudha Raghunathan began the concert with the Varnam Ninnukori in the raga Vasantha, appropriately chosen with the season in mind. Rendering the first part in three speeds (including tisra nadai), she set a refreshing beginning for the concert. This was followed by Pranamamyaham Sri Gowrisutham, in the raga Gowla, a kriti of Sri Vasudevachar. This was embellished with a brief kalpana swaram.

She then rendered a mellifluous Paalvadiyum Mukham, in Nattakurunji, a kriti of Oothukkadu Venkata Kavi in Tamil. 

The next item she took up was a detailed alapana of Amrutavarshini raga. This resonated with the audience, as the soul of a lake is water. This raga is an offering to the nature for abundance of rains, and she reminisced about a prior occasion when the rendering of the raga indeed resulted in rains. Dikshitar's kritiAanandamrutakarshini was rendered with elan and poise. Neraval at 'sananda hrudaya nilaye' and detailed swaram with 'varshaya varshaya' completed the brilliant rendering. 

This was followed by Periyasami Tooran's Taye Tripurasundari in Suddhasaveri.

The main item of the evening was in the raga Thodi. Smt Sudha Raghunathan rendered a detailed alapana of the raga, and followed up with Taye Yasoda, another kriti of Oothukkadu Venkata Kavi. Detailed neraval (at Kalinil Shilambu Konja) and swarams followed. This took the concert to its exhilarating heights.

At this point, the tani was presented, with Mridangist Sri Skanda Subramanian and Morsing artist Sri Raman mesmerising the audience with a brilliant performance.

A few short items were presented after the tani - Bhavayami Gopalabalam (Yamuna Kalyani), Bho Shambho (Revati), Kurai Ondrum Illai (Ragamalika). The concert ended with the tillana of Lalgudi, Dheem tarada tani (Ragashree). 

A highlight of the evening that struck a chord not only with the organizers, PNLIT, but also with the audience was a special poem composed and dedicated to the lake. She appreciated the community's effort to protect the environment under the leadership of PNLIT and promised to support the initiative in whatever way she can.

Sri Raghavendra Rao gave excellent support on the Violin, following each and every nuance of the vocalist's rendition appropriately. The Mridangist and Morsing artist lifted the concert to a great height, leaving the audience with an experience they will long remember and cherish.

Photos: Geetha Srikrishnan

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Nature walk at Puttenahalli Lake

On 4th February 2017, an evening nature walk was held at Puttenahalli Lake, JP Nagar 7th Phase, coordinated by PNLIT volunteer Sapana Rawat. Sapana had the following to report about the event. 

"The actual flower of the Bougainvillea plant is the small white one and not the colorful pink, red, orange color leaves that surround it. The colorful leaves will slowly turn into green once they mature," said avid naturalist Deepa Mohan much to the delight and surprise of a group of adults and children.   

This mixed group of more than 20 adults, children and 2 infants in strollers(!) had assembled at 4 p.m. for a nature walk with Deepa, who along with her other naturalist friends, Chandu, Jagdeesh, Padma, Ramaswamy, Sriram, Vidhya and young Keerthana, asked and answered all their curious questions. 

What is the Gecko doing in the termite hill? --- Looking for food and avoiding becoming someone else's food! 

Gecko in a termite hill

How does a weaver ant build its nest? --- The larvae of the ants chew the leaves along with their saliva! 

Who does a Brahminy Kite resemble? --- The Bald Eagle, the national bird of the US. 

Who lives under a Parijata Tree? --- Hanuman. 

How did Pride of India tree get its name? ---You will have to google this one now else attend the next Nature walk !

The group ambled around for more than an hour around the beautiful Puttenahalli lake observing, touching, learning and sharing what they saw on that bright Saturday afternoon. They got 25 species of birds, which was documented by Vidhya on the eBird website here.

More pics of the event by Deepa, can be seen on Facebook here