Karanji Lake was one of the favorite haunts of migratory birds like herons and egrets.This is home to more than 5 dozen bird species , both local and migratory. You can easily spot on the fringes of the lake ducklings, darters and during the winter season, pelicans, painted storks, spoon bills , to name a few.

On top of this natural habitat, the park has a giant aviary, possibly the largest in the country. Essentially this is a massive net enclosure as high as a tall tree. Visitors can walk through this and observe the birds closely. Inside the aviary you will find a great number of peacocks, wild-fowls, geese etc.


In order to prevent the destruction of this lake and to renovate it, help was sought from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (KUIDFC) and Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK). These three organizations came together and undertook the restoration activities of this lake. Financial help to the tune of Rs. 12 million was provided by ADB and ZAK undertook the restoration work with the co-ordination of KUIDFC.

The first step undertaken was to stop the sewage from entering the lake. Other restoration activities included removal of polluted silt, De-weeding of the entire lake surface, removing 30 cm of silt from the lake, restoration of feeder channels, construction of a jetty to start boating facility, and the construction of a bridge to the newly created 'butterfly park'. A watch tower was also constructed to view the birds and study their behavior. A giant fountain which can spew water up to 40 feet has been recently added as an attraction. A nursery of medicinal plants is also present here.


The aviary constructed on the shore of the lake has a height of 20 m, length of 60 m and width of 40 m making it India's biggest walk-through aviary. The aviary was set up at a cost of Rs 3.8 million. It includes an artificial water fall and two small water bodies. Water from the Karanji lake is pumped inside the aviary in the form of a stream while the used water is discharged into the lake. It has about 40–50 birds of 17 species. Hornbills, peacocks, white-peacocks, turkeys and black swans are some of the birds found in this aviary. This aviary was temporarily closed in the year 2006 to prevent the break-out of bird flu.

Butterfly Park

The butterfly park has been created on a small island within the Karanji lake. About 45 species of butterflies have been identified here. With the help of a botanist, appropriate species of host plants and nectar plants essential for the breeding of butterflies were selected and planted within the island. These plants have also been brought from hill stations and other regions like Malnad.

Regional museum of Natural History

The Regional Museum of Natural History was inaugurated on 20 May 1995. The broad objectives of the Museum are:

  • Depict floral, fauna and geological wealth of the southern region of India.
  • Depict ecological interrelationship among plants and animals with emphasis on conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
  • Provide facility for school children on curriculum-based studies in biology and geology with emphasis on environmental aspect.
  • Develop programs for masses to create environmental awareness

Birds at Karanji Lake

Some of the common migratory birds found here are Grey Pelican, Painted Stork, Ibis, Cormorant, Egret, etc. which nest on trees in the islands present in the lake. Recent survey of birds have indicated 87 species and 12 of them are migratory birds. Herons, Asian open bill storks, Egrets, Red wattle lapwing, Sandpipers, Rose ringed parakeet, Black Drongo, Brown Shrike, Red-whiskered bulbul, Booted warbler, Sunbird and Greenish Warbler are some of the other species of birds found here

Visiting Timings

Timings - 8.30 a.m to 5.30 p.m
Weekly Holiday - Tuesday