Powai Lake is an artificial one of its kind lake housed in the Powai suburb of the city of Mumbai, Maharashtra. The suburb gets its name from the lake itself. This lake is one of the popular tourist destinations in the city. People come in here for enjoying boating and fishing. The serenity of this place attracts a large number of tourist here.
On the east of the lake one can find the famous Indian Institute of Technology and in addition to there also exists the National Institute of Technology nearby. So, one can say that Powai is also a premier educational hub in Mumbai.
More about Powai Lake
Powai Lake had an area of about 2.1 square kilometers. The waters of this lake was earlier used for supplying drinking water to the Mumbai city. But now the water of this lake is declared unfit for drinking due to eutrophication of the lake water from untreated sewage and garbage from the nearby local areas and slums. The lake overflows for about 60 days each year. The lake overflows into the Mithi River. In the year 1892 the water from this lake was also used for irrigation purposes.
Presently the water of this river is used for recreation purposes, fishing, gardening and cattle washing.
Several lake rejuvenation projects have been taken up by the concerned authorities and the students of IIT Bombay. In the year 1995, the National Lake Conservation Plan (NLCP) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests of the Government of India had added this lake to the list of top ten lakes that needed restoration. This project was launched in 2002 and was implemented by the Bombay Municipal Corporation and a paradigm shift has been observed in the quality of water since then.
History associated with Powai Lake
Powai Lake was leashed on a yearly basis to Dr. Scott and after his death in 1816 the government took control over the estate in the year 1826. It was then leased to Framaji Kavasji the then vice president of the Agriculture and Horticulture Society of Western India. The name was named after him when it was built in the year 1891. The lake was dammed during the British period. The initial purpose of the construction of this dam was to augment water supply to Bombay. It was planned as an antiwater famine measure and was taken in hand in 1889. But it was abandoned due to the poor quality of water.
Floral and faunal beauty of Powai Lake
Powai Lake is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. The various lake restoration projects as well as desilting projects have led to the brimming up of both aquatic and terrestrial life in here.
The floral beauty of this place is spectacular. One can find balsam bushes in full bloom around the lake. The bushes are present in pink-purple colour and gives off an impression of a carpet. This gives a unique edge to Powai Lake.
The faunal varieties housed in here are crocodiles, white-throated kingfisher, small blue kingfisher, spot-billed duck, spotted dove, purple swamp hens, ashy prinias, brahminy kites, lesser whistling duck, Indian pond herons, great coucal, whiskered terns, wolly necked stork, bumble bees etc. and many more species.
This place is a heaven for people who love exploring fauna. The wide variety of aquatic animals in here enhances one’s experience of boating and fishing.
A Tourist’s Guide
Powai Lake is at a distance of 40 km from the main city of Mumbai. It can be approached via Kurla or Santa Cruz and Andheri. The nearest railway station from here is Kanjurmarg on the Central Line of Mumbai Suburban Railway. The nearest airport from here is Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport ehcih is at a distance of 9.3 km from here. One can easily find public transport to reach this place. Accmodation options are present in abundance in Mumbai.
Powai Lake is a prominent tourist spot. People who love fishing and exploring natural beauty visit this place. Powai Lake is a wonderful weekend destination and a visit here rejuvenates one for the week ahead. One gets to witness different species of aquatic life when in here. This place is also a wonderful spot for photography. Overall, Powai Lake has several awe elements for the tourist to witness.