Published on January 21st, 2013 | by Maw0
Lake of Pearls, Kere Thonnur, Karnataka
“Kere Thonnur” or the “Lake of Pearls” is a pristine and exquisite lake about 8 to 10 Km from Pandavapura on the Pandavapura Malikote road in Mandya district. From Bangalore it’s approximately 175 KM. You can take the Mysore Highway and around 8 Km after crossing Mandya you take a deviation to your right crossing across beautiful country side until you reach Pandavapura and again take a right just by the bridge when reaching Pandavapura and drive about 8 to 10 Km to the lake. When I visited Kere Thonnur back in 2008 not many where aware of this beautiful picnic spot except for the locals. The last time I visited this lake was in August 2012. Much have not changed but I heard stories about a few incidence of picnickers drowning in the lake which made overnight camping a problem due to the fact that local authority have come into the picture and have imposed restrictions.
I remember my first time visiting Kere Thonnur also known as Thondanur; I had my camping and my fishing equipment ready. I had gathered my information about this place and knew that a guy named Krishna was the care taker of this camping spot. So I caught hold of Krishna who was ready to provide me fire wood and a generator or batteries for electricity if needed. I reached around noon and spent my afternoon swimming and then before sunset climb the hillocks to watch a beautiful sunset and in the night I spent my time fishing. Fishing at night is a better option here because during the day there are a lot of people and you won’t want them to get caught in your lines
Legends says that the lake got its name from an erstwhile King who halted at Thonnur and was so impressed by the clear water of the lake that he immediately decided to take a dipped not realizing that he was still warring his ornaments and pearls; the pearls slipped of his neck and he could still see the pearls shimmering at the bottom of the lake, thus the name, Lake of Pearl or Moti Talaab.
The area surrounding this lake is lush and green and as you approach the lake you can clearly see that sugarcane is the main cash crop in this area. The Lake is the main source of irrigation for this area. The last time I visited this lake, I heard of news that the Government is planning to promote tourism by bringing motor boats as one of their endeavour to make Kere Thnnur a tourist spot. If you ask me, motor boats are loud and noisy; they pollute the water not only with their fumes but noise. I would prefer a simple paddle boat or a simple row boat; they are economical and environmentally friendly.
Although Kere Thonnur remains largely intact and clean, but signs of human waste and garbage are already a concern. Picnickers and campers leave their garbage all over the place with no second thought what so ever. I can see that it’s just about time that we will make this place yet another dirty garbage stricken spot like any other place and leave it for no good. The numbers of visitors are increasing especially during the weekends and thus create pressure to this small picnic spot.
At the moment no one is there to actually take care of this area; although Krishna is looking after campers in the night however there is no one to take charge when it comes to cleaning and maintaining this area from human dump. If we want to leave it to nature to do it’s cleaning then we should also remember to not leave our waste on the way, where by obstructing nature in doing its job.
The surrounding area at Kere Thonnur is also beautiful. A few things you can do at Kere Thonnur are swimming, fishing and exploring; basically get in-tune with nature and know that we have a beautiful planet and it’s our duty to keep it clean for others to come.
Till then, keep exploring, keep wandering and keep surprising yourself.