Located in 13° 09' N 77° 29' E, Hesaraghatta is a village located in the Rural District, 18 km to the northwest of Bangalore in the state of Karnataka. The village is mainly occupied by the Hesaraghatta Lake, a man-made reservoir of freshwater that covers a catchment area of 73.83 sq. km.
Created in 1894 across the Arkavathy River; this lake is a source of water to the village and other surrounding areas of the district. The lake is often referred to as the 'Malnad of Bangalore' as it served the Bangalore city by providing drinking water to it, since 1896 until the recent past.
The reliability of Hesaraghatta Lake as a water source has reduced since 1994, when it started to deteriorate and dry up. In July 2009, the lake went completely dry and the reasons for this are attributed to the erosion in the catchment and consequent capacity shrinking due to continuous silting. However, even the dried lake lures plenty of tourists for the rich avian fauna in and around its periphery, comprising 2000 water birds of 29 species and other migrant birds. Besides birdwatching, activities like river rafting and wind surfing are also prevalent in Hesaraghatta.
An offbeat tourist destination in Karnataka, the village of Hesaraghatta gained international prominence only after the establishment of the CPDO (Central Poultry Development Organisation). Set up in collaboration with the Danish and Irish governments, CPDO holds expertise in breeding and raising varieties of cattle and poultry animals.
The lush fertile area surrounding the lake is also a haven for horticultural research. Another major attraction of the village is the Nrityagram, India's first modern Gurukul, which organises the world famous music and dance event called 'Vasanta Habba'.
The nearest air gateway to Hesaraghatta is situated at a distance of 32 km in Bangalore. Hesaraghatta does not have a railway station of its own, thus tourists travelling by train can get down at any of the junctions in Bangalore. Located 18 km to the northwest of the state capital, the village of Hesaraghatta is also easily accessible by road from different parts of the state. The best time to visit this beautiful village is during the winter months, extending from December to February.