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TG Halli’s hidden treasures

Once the main source of piped water to old Bangalore, Tippagondana Halli reservoir is nestled in a hilly valley about 30 km from Bangalore. Along its borders are acres of fields. More known for its depleted lake, the valley is home to T G Halli, a small village with about sixty families of farmers owning one or two acres of dry land. Strangely, despite the village being so closely situated to the reservoir, borewells remain the only available water source for the villagers’ domestic needs.

On the bright side, the confluence of rivers Arkavathi and Kumudwathi in the valley is home to a variety of birds like the spotted eagle, black kite, common kestrel, honey buzzard and many migratory birds which can be sighted, after a long wait of course, even today. This, despite the evident degradation of the reservoir and catchment areas year after year. On the almost dried up reservoir bed is the ancient Sangameshwara temple. Decades ago, when the reservoir’s storage had reached its maximum capacity, the temple had been submerged. The deity of this submerged shrine was reinstalled in another temple now popularly known as the Sangameshwara temple.

Incidentally, the first stage of the reservoir (also called Chamarajasagara) work is said to have been completed in 1934 by the then project authority Chamarajendra Water Works, a government agency founded in 1894 originally to execute the Hessarghatta Reservoir project for providing tap water to Bangalore city which had about two lakh residents in 1891. Now the BWSSB is in charge of the T G Halli water works.

To the east of the valley is the colonial period Inspection Bungalow. This decade-old elegantly built British bungalow, with its eye-catching porch, stands at an elevated spot where you get a beautiful view of the valley and the reservoir below.

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