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Gift of a Big Blue Heart

The Badrakali Lake, Warangal.

By 
Sushmitta Renganathan

Representation of the natural form taken by Badrakali Lake.

If one looks up the city of “Warangal” today, Google Maps might show a stereo-typical green-grey landscape of a developing Indian city, cut through by roadways and national highways. But unlike the rest, at the center of Warangal is a clear blue heart that seems to be persisting amidst the bustle and growth of the city. Rightly guarded by three geologically significant granite hillocks, centuries-old temples, and a few small water bodies in its vicinity, is this heart shaped historic treasure called the “Badrakali Lake”.

View from the Badrakali Temple shows the North and North West bounds of the Badrakali Lake being defined by the Hanamkonda, Padmakshi, and, Shyampet Hillocks.

Said to have been constructed over a thousand years ago, the Badrakali Lake is a testimony to the Kakatiyan Dynasty’s time tested ‘Temple-Tank-Town’ system of urban development. While for a modern-day visitor, this Lake and its surroundings may seem like an unexpected reveal by the city, or even a surreal vision contrasting with those of the urban vicissitudes; For the people of Warangal, however, the Badrakali Lake continues to be a life-sustaining source of pride, identity, culture, livelihood, biodiversity, and so much more.

As the water levels lower, the uniqueness of the granite rock boulders along the shores come into view. The Badrakali Temple is a distant audience in this picture.

 This might even be attributed to what seems like an unwritten agreement dictated by the terrain, that leaves the shallow shores along the South, and South West of the lake to a growing marsh and its many nesting birds and mammals; While marking the North, North East, and West bounds of the Lake as centers of historical and cultural heritage. The chief elements include the Badrakali Temple, Padmakshi Temple, Rudra Temple, and Hanumadgiri Temple.

The Padmakshi Temple Pond as seen a day after a temple festival.

The nature of this set up turns the Badrakali Lake and its surrounding water bodies into indispensable sites of social significance. During festivals like the Bathukama Pooja, and Shakambari festival, the serenity of the Lake shifts to accommodate the festive spirit of the people. It watches on as an honorary spectator, passively voicing out its concerns through the discarded decorations and colorful pots, spilling from the mud roads to the shores the next day. This perennial cycle of activities, does not disrupt the purpose of the lake which continues to be the most important source of drinking water to the city. However, in the summer of 2018, a record low in the water levels of the lake was reported.

The Badrakali Lake and the role it plays in bolstering the historical, social, cultural, biological, and geological significance of the city, makes it a valuable gem not only in Warangal’s urban fabric, but also in that of our nation’s. For over a thousand years, the Badrakali Lake has stood true to its purpose of creation by mankind. The responsibility of sustaining this gift, however, has always rested on more than just nature’s shoulders. Exactly as this historic marvel was conserved and passed on to us, it is now our responsibility to preserve its glory and carry it forward for at least another thousand years.

E.F.I’s Koladi Lake Restoration had a surprise guest

Environmentalist Foundation of India (E.F.I) thanks Hon. Min. Thiru K. Pandiarajan for visiting and encouraging E.F.I’ s ongoing Koladi Lake restoration efforts.

A collaborative conservation effort between the Tiruvallur District Collectorate and E.F.I under Project Mummari. We thank Tmt. Mageswari Ravikumar, IAS (Tiruvallur District Collector) and the Tiruvallur Dist. for the administrative support.

We thank the Rotary Club of Madras for funding this restoration.

Exciting conservation plans for this lake in store, so do stay tuned!
Volunteer for India and her environment with E.F.I, Jai Hind.

The Alleri Restoration: Lake in an industrial zone revived

The Alleri Lake restoration in a GIF

Located within the M.E.P.Z, the Alleri is an important water body located between the larger Kadaperi and Thiruneermalai lakes. Over the years, due to urbanization and industrialization, the lake witnessed massive pollution thereby leading to loss of habitat characteristics and freshwater quality. Through a collaborative conservation effort between
M.E.P.Z, DXC Technology and
the Environmentalist Foundation of India (E.F.I),
the lake has now been scientifically revived.

The lake post restoration was inaugurated by H.E, the governor of TamilNadu Thiru. Banwarilal Purohit on the 8th of February. An effort aimed at dedicating the lake back to nature. 

To know more about this lake restoration, read here!

Volunteer for India & her Environment with E.F.I, Jai Hind

HUDA’s effort for Green Hyderabad

On 26th July 2004, at 10 AM Hon’ble CM of Andhra Pradesh, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy launched the “ONE DAY TWO LAKH plantation” program at Gandiguda Reserve forest in the outskirts of Hyderabad city. (With all the green drives taken in the last eight years, there is no space left inside the city to take up such large area for plantation!) . In a short time the 10000 children who had been mobilized there for the plantation program planted the 30000 healthy one-to-two meter tall seedlings of useful species like Neem, Amla, tamarind etc in the already leveled, ploughed and prepared 30 hectares of denuded reserve forest land.

In a concerted, co-ordinated operation, acting on a cue over the walkie-talkie, another 20000 teen-aged school and college students stationed in the neighboring Mansoorabad, Shamirpet, Agapalli, Madhapur, Kondamandugu and Ravalkol degraded reserve forests planted the remaining healthy 1,80,000 seedlings to make it a ONE DAY TWO LAKH plantation program.

This would certainly be a world record for the number of plantations taken up in a single day by any organization. As if to shower blessings on the efforts taken by HUDA and the children, heavens sent its greetings as heavy cloudburst, after four hours, giving sufficient time for the young green ambassadors to scamper to the shelter of their schools! The rains before and after the plantation, with a window of dry spell for ten hours during the actual plantation program was seen by many as a sign of the heavenly intervention to support HUDA’s effort to Green Hyderabad.

For a more detailed report on the lake improvement efforts, take a look at this report!

We at E.F.I congratulates Shri. Asok Kumar ji from the National Water Mission and HUDA on it’s wonderful efforts to conserve Hyderabad’s environment and also for sharing this article with us!

Send us your Lake-Pond, videos/photos/write ups to be published onto LakesofIndia.Com

Email us your entries: lakesofindia@gmail.com

Volunteer for India & her Environment with E.F.I, Jai Hind.

The Boy who saved the Turtle

Guest Contribution: Mr. Bhavish

The story of a young volunteer saving a turtle during a pond cleanup in Pondicherry.

Send us your Lake-Pond, videos/photos/write ups to be published onto LakesofIndia.Com

Email us your entries: lakesofindia@gmail.com

Volunteer for India & her Environment with E.F.I, Jai Hind.

E.F.I’s Eco-Story: Smt. Sreedevi’s Alleri Lake Story!

Celebrating #WorldEnvironmentMonth by sharing with you the videos from E.F.I’s well-wishers. Watch the #Ecostory of Smt. Sreedevi, from DXC Technology

Smt. Sreedevi talks about her favorite lake restoration, the Alleri Lake at Tambaram, Chennai.

To know more,
-Read: https://efiblog.org/?s=alleri

Watch-Share-Conserve.

Send us your Lake/Pond stories, photos or videos to be featured on this blog. Email us the content to lakesofindia@gmail.com

Volunteer for India & her Environment with E.F.I, Jai Hind

E.F.I’s Eco-Story: Shri. Paul Abraham’s Karimadom Colony Pond Story

We celebrate the month by sharing with you the videos from E.F.I’s well-wishers. Watch the Ecostory of Shri. Paul Abraham, President of Hinduja Foundation.

Shri. Abraham talks about his favorite pond restoration, the Karimadom Pond at Trivandrum, Kerala.

To know more,
-Read: https://efiblog.org/2020/03/07/e-f-is-eco-restoration-in-trivandrum-the-karimadom-colony-pond/

Watch-Share-Conserve.

Send us your Lake/Pond stories, photos or videos to be featured on this blog. Email us the content to lakesofindia@gmail.com

Volunteer for India & her Environment with E.F.I, Jai Hind

E.F.I’s Eco-Story- Smt. Sareen’s Alwar Step Well Story

Watch the #Ecostory of Smt. Niyati Sareen. Smt. Sareen talks about her favorite water body, the Moosi Rani Sagar at Alwar, Rajasthan. The story of a step well.

Watch-Share-Conserve.

Send us your Lake/Pond stories, photos or videos to be featured on this blog. Email us the content to lakesofindia@gmail.com

Volunteer for India & her Environment with E.F.I, Jai Hind

Send us your eco-story to efivideosmail@gmail.com!

E.F.I’s Eco-Story: Protecting our Oceans

We thank Kathleen Hosie and the US Consulate Chennai for sharing with us your #EcoStory about the need to conserve and protect our Ocean.

Send us your eco-story to efivideosmail@gmail.com

Watch-Share-Conserve.

Send us your Lake/Pond stories, photos or videos to be featured on this blog. Email us the content to lakesofindia@gmail.com

Volunteer for India & her Environment with E.F.I, Jai Hind

Throwback to E.F.I reviving ponds in the Kinathukadavu block-Coimbatore

People in the Kinathukadavu block look forward to the monsoons as they will know if the revival work on the waterbodies in their area will bear fruit

The Hindu

We thank the Coimbatore District Administration for their support in restoring the Oorani Kuttai at Mettuvavi, Mariamman Kovil Kuttai and the Senguttai at Kattampatti. The ponds are now restored to its natural state are now ready to bear water from the monsoon.

We thank The Hindu for a detailed report. Read the article here: bit.ly/2Y2ZLtq

Volunteer for India and her Environment with E.F.I, Jai Hind!