Classification: EASY what's this?
Accommodation: None. Carry own tent.
Essentials: Life jacket,food, drinking water.
Costing: Rs. 500/- per head for two members.
Suggestion: Do not enter water with out right sized life-jacket accompanied by an experianced instructor. Carry back all the glass/plastic wastes and dispose the same in a proper bin. Every time we visited any place, we picked up the garbage left by others too.
Bethamangala is a small town in the Bangarpet Taluk of Kolar district in the state of Karnataka, India. It has a large man-made lake which supplies drinking water to the nearby mining city of Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) which is about 8 kilometers from Bethamangala. In the days of the British, prior to say 1957, Bethamangala was where the British workers of KGF went on weekends sailing and relaxing around the sailing clubhouse on most weekends. It was also where Diana Dunlop kept her canoe. Her father Max ran the KGF Electricity Dept. It is also the place where the Palar river emerges out from underground. It is also home to the Vijayendra temple which dates back to the period of the Gangas, and has been renovated by the Hoysalas and the Vijayanagar rulers. Unfortunately, the water level in this lake has diminished over a period of time and we have seen no evidence for its revival even after the monsoon. However, you can always enjoy the vastness of the lake bed & spend some time in silence. We preferred not to venture out in to the shallow water.
How to Reach:
Driving down from Bangalore on the Old Madras Road will take approximately 1-2 hours. After Hoskote, take the Kolar bypass to reach Bethamangala Town. The locals are the best bet in getting the directions till here. You can drive up all the way to the filtration plant built by the Britishers. Though the locals told us that there is no way to the lake bed, but we took our chances by taking the narrow concrete lane (on the left) just before the filtration plant leading to an asphalted road. After about 200 meters we took a right turn to reach the eucalyptus plantation and further up crossing a very small bridge camped on the lake bed.
Coordinates: 13°1'14"N 78°20'22"E