Friday, May 4, 2012


British officials were fascinated by the way the local people adopted different methods to protect colonies of pelicans.
The villagers fed the birds and considered them to be the harbingers of good fortune. It used to be a panoramic sight when pelicans arrived in large numbers and nested in the waters of the Kolleru lake. These birds of good fortune virtually disappeared from the lake and were not to be seen for the last two decades.
Gordon Mackenzie, who was the Collector of Krishna district, compiled "The Manual of the Kistna District in the Presidency of Madras" in 1883.
The manual is still considered an authentic record of the history of modern-day Krishna and Guntur districts. Mackenzie found that colonies of pelicans were fostered in several villages in the Krishna district.
Thousands of Grey Pelicans (Pelecanus philippensis) nested in Kolleru Lake. After the advent of aquaculture, the fragile ecology of the lake was destroyed and, consequently, the habitat of the birds was also disturbed.
Unique lake
The Kolleru lake is considered one of the three major freshwater bodies in the country. It is compared with the Dal lake of Kashmir and the Loktak lake of Manipur. The flora and fauna of the Kolleru lake are unique.
A wide range of flora and fauna exists in the wetlands between contour lines 3 and 10. Contours are lines drawn on a map, joining points of equal height above the sea level. In the past, the water level in the lake was between contour 7 and 10 during the monsoon, and it fell to contour 3 during the dry season. The area within contour 3 is 135 square kilometres and the area within contour 10 is 901 square kilometres. These conditions do not prevail any more with fish tanks and roads occupying most of the lake. Mackenzie described the lake as a "curious depression between the alluvial deposits of Krishna and Godavari Rivers."
Though the pelicans left the lake for good, the people of Kolleti Kota Island (heart of the lake) turned to storks, cranes and other seasonal arboreal visitors for finding good luck. Kolleti Kota occupies a prominent place in the annals of Kolleru history.
Two copper plates of the Pallava period found in the lake traces its history to Langulya Gajapathi Raju of Orissa from 1237 to 1282. According to legend, the Gajapathi fort was located at Kolleti Kota on one of the eastern islands of the lake. The enemy camped at Chigurukota located on the shores. In some ways, the lake protected the Odissi garrison. The enemy finally excavated a channel, the modern-day Upputeru, so that the water of the lake would empty into the sea and the level would fall so that they could attack the Gajapathi fort. The enemy army general sacrificed his own daughter to propitiate Gods and ensure his success. Therefore the channel was called Perantala Kanama.
Base for birds
Officers of the Wildlife division of the Forest Department recorded 173 species of migratory and residential birds.
Several species of jacanas, storks, herons, ducks, teals, darters, cormorants, terns, pigeons, doves, swifts, kingfishers, bee-eaters, drongos, cuckoos, parakeets, shrikes, swallows, owls, bitterns and sparrows are on the list of birds that inhabit the lake.
The birds gradually stopped arriving with destruction of their habitat. The list of 173 birds has many rare and endangered spices. The Large Whistling Teal is listed in schedule-I of the Wildlife (Protection Act) 1972.
Recently, Kolleru lake area has been declared a sanctuary and orders have been issued to the district collectors to stop aquaculture. Revenue officials used explosives to breach the bunds of huge aquaculture tanks that were inaccessible to bulldozers and excavators.
The aquaculture boom brought riches to the people living in Kolleru. The ban has denied them of a livelihood. Maybe it is time for the pelicans to return and bring good fortune to the people again.
Kolleru regains its splendour

Over 80,000 birds of 100 species flock to the lake during migratory season Over 80,000 birds of 100 species flock the lake during the ongoing migratory season

Conservative estimates of these organisations indicate that for the first time in years, over 80,000 birds of about 100 species have flocked the lake during the ongoing migratory season that lasts till March.
Conservationists, however, make it clear that the census was done only during January-February months and unofficial estimates of the number of birds that would have visited the lake during the entire migratory season could easily touch the magical two-lakh mark.
It may be recalled that operation Kolleru concluded on June 15 last year and within six months, the fresh water lake managed to attract so many species of birds. "In a year, the lake would become the best wetland region in the country. Conservatively, after the revival, the number of birds arriving to lake Kolleru has trebled," says Pranay Waghre from Nallamalai Foundation.
Treat to birdwatchers
Over 60 pelicans, a whopping 5,000 storks, 47,000 Ibises of three varieties, a variety of ducks and geese, about 600 unidentified varieties of ducks, 890 cormorants, 8,635 number of gulls and another 110 unidentified terns and a host of hawks, kingfishers and wagtails have been spotted by the team of conservators and bird counters.
The team has also identified 5,901 egrets of four varieties, 230 little Grebe and several other bird species that are not commonly found in wetland region. The AWC was taken up only to count the wetland birds. AWC is an international programme that focuses on monitoring the status of water birds and wetlands. Nallamalai Foundation, Birdwatchers Society of Andhra Pradesh, Raptor Conservation Foundation and Society for Imparting Wildlife Awareness were involved in the AWC. "The birds that we have recorded are only wetland birds. There are even more different varieties of birds that do not fall in this category. This year, the lake has managed to attract even those species of birds as well," says Mr. Waghre.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Making a documentary on kolleru lake

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Kolleru lake is suffering from the unsatiated greed of people and selfish interests of man kind who is exploiting the lake’s integrity. Thousands of fish tanks were dug up effectiing converting the lake into a mere drain. This had a lot of impact in terms of pollution leading to even difficulty in getting drinking water for the local people. This is besides the loss of ecological diversity and intrusion of sea water into the land masses and its fallout in terms of adverse influence of rainfall pattern in this region.

This imbalance has an adverse effect on the thousands of acres of crop in the upper reaches of sanctuary in view of stoppages of water flow into the sea because of obstruction by bunds of the fish tanks that appeared illegally.

Satellite images taken on February 9, 2001 by the Indian remote sensing satellite found that approximately 42% of the 245 km² lake was occupied by aquaculture, while agriculture had encroached another 8.5%. The area under aquaculture consisted of 1050 fish ponds within the lake and 38 dried-up fish ponds, which together covered an area of 103 km². The agricultural encroachments were mostly rice paddies. Surprisingly no clear water could be found in the satellite image. The rest of the lake is being diminished by water diversions or was infested with weeds like elephant grass and water hyacinth.

Sunset with Grey Herons, Egrets, Painted Storks & Black-headed Ibises gathering in thousands at Kolleru Lake, Andhra Pradesh, India.

Rich in flora and fauna, it attracts migratory birds from northern Asia and Eastern Europe between the months of October and March. During this season, the lake is visited by an estimated 20,00,000 birds. The resident birds include grey pelicans, Asian Open-billed Storks(Anastomus oscitans), Painted Storks (Mycteria leucocephala), Glossy Ibises, White Ibises, Teals, Pintails, Shovellers. The migratory birds include Red-Crested Pochards, Blackwinged Stilts, Avocets, Common Redshanks, Wigeons, Gadwalls and Cormorants, Garganys, Herons, Flamingos & among others. See the Pictures of Birds at Lake Kolleru at [1].

Kolleru lake contains numerous fertile islets called lanka's,many of the small ones are submerged during floods. The origin of unusual depression which forms the bed of the lake is unknown, but it was possibly the results of an earthquake. Therefore many ancient villages are precepted in the bed of the lake as a result of floods and earthquake.


Two copper plates of the early Pallava dynasty have been found in the lake, traces its history to Langula Narasimha Deva(Langulya Gajapathi Raju) an Ganga Vanshi Orissa king, (Oddi/Oriya raju) . According to legend, the Gajapathi fort was located at Kolleti Kota on one of the eastern islands of the lake. The enemy general "muhammadan" encamped at "Chiguru kota" located on the shores. In some ways, the lake protected the Oriya forces. The enemy finally try to excavated a channel, the modern-day Upputeru, so that the water of the lake would empty into the sea and the level would fall so that they could attack the Gajapathi fort. The royal Oriya army general sacrificed his own daughter to propitiate Gods and ensure his success against Muhammadan and her name was "Perantala Kanama". Therefore the channel was called Perantala Kanama.Sri Peddinti Ammavari Temple is one of the oldest and famous temples found in kolleru.The Gajapatis were a medieval Hindu Surya Vanshi dynasty of Orissa, parts of Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. During the glorious reign of Kapilendra deva, the first Suryavamsi Gajapati king,the boundary of the Kalinga empire(Ancient Orissa) was from river Ganga(Hoogly river) in North to Kaveri in South and from Amarkantak in West to Bay of Bengal(Kalinga Sagara) in east.


Spot-billed Pelicans Pelecanus philippensis at Attapaka in Kolleru Lake, Andhra Pradesh, India.

The sanctuary has the following watch towers for sighting the birds.

Atapaka: 1.5 km from Kaikaluru to see varieties of waterfowl. Murthyraju tank 8 km from Nidamarru East Chodavaram: 53 km from Eluru where Open Bill Storks nest in colonies from July – December.

The sanctuary is approachable from all four sides of the lake by road, directly to the following places.

Atapaka – 2.5 km from Kaikaluru town Murthiraju Tanks – 8 km from Nidamarru Gudivakalanka – 3 km from Gudivakalanka or 15 km from Eluru Nearest city is Vijayawada, which is 65 km by road or rail. Nearest town is Eluru

Best season to visit: November to March.

Accommodation: Hotels in Eluru, Kaikaluru,Akividu and Vijayawada.


History of Kolleru: The Imperial Gazetteer of India By Sir William Wilson Hunter

Friday, May 29, 2009

Visiting Guests to Lake Kolleru

The Kolleru lake was an important bird Sanctuary in India It is to harbour a variety of resident and migratory birds. This Lake was famous for Grey Pelicans, which used to migrate from Central Asia (Siberia) for breeding.The family of migratory birds include gargeney teals, mallards, flamingos, adjutant storks etc. They visit the lake from October to March. The wild ducks including mallards, pintails, whistling teals are also found in large number. During nights they fly to the nearby marshy areas and agricultural lands. The teals feed on micro-organisms. Most of the birds find Kikkisa and Rellu grasses for cover and nesting. The main area where the birds were concentrated are Gudivakalanka, Kaikaluru, Komatilanka, Atapaka, Bhujabalapatnam, Kolletikota, Dayyampadu, Agadalalanka,Chettunnapadu etc.About 188 species of migratory, local and non-local birds have been found visiting the Kolleru Lake. The most important of the air fauna are 1. Jacanas 2. Various storks 3. Herons 4. Wild species of ducks and teals 5. Darters 6. Cormorants 7.Passerines (Sparrows) and 8.Raptors.
In the list of 188 species many are rare and endangered. The rare bird is Whistling Teal. The other endangered birds are Pink headed duck, Babblers, Barbles, Barnowls, Bulbuls, Buntings, Coot, Cormorants, Curles, Doves, Drongos, Egrets, Herons, King Fishes, Parakeet, etc.,

Sunday, May 11, 2008

 ఆ చిత్రం లో కనిపిస్తున బాలుడు సూర్యడు సేద తీరూ సమయం లో కూడా తన శ్వేదని చిందిస్తున్నాడు .

The world-famous Kolleru Lake that extends in Krishna and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh has been reclaimed for migrating birds and the fish and fowls that depend on it. But the people whose livelihood depended on the lake have been left in a lurch. At least, some people in some villages of Krishna district. The struggle for survival has been going on more than a year now with the district administration, under Supreme Court orders, demolished fish tanks that had sprung up over huge extent of the lake. Several thousand fishermen and Dalit families that were dependent on the lake have lost their livelihood. The relief and rehabilitation package for the affected people was implemented in the West Godavari district but 13 villages of Krishna district seem to have fallen through the hole. In the last 11 months since the villagers were deprived of their livelihood, at least 11 persons have died due to destitution, according the villagers. “The government is taking care of the birds but we are dying,” said Sundar Rao.

Life has come a full circle for these people. In the 1970s, a government that was keen on using the huge potential offered by Kolleru lake for used persuasion and even threats to settle the poor Dalits and Vadde caste fishermen around the lake. As a result, villages like Gummalapadu and Srungavarapupadu sprung up. The government even gave away land titles. The 1990s proved golden years as aquaculture in Kolleru picked up and became a money spinner, yielding crores of rupees to corporates that flocked Kolleru. Huge fish tanks came up and everybody vied for a piece of the cake, and occupied vast tracts and began fish farming. The villagers gladly gave their land on lease to the corporates for Rs 10,000-12,000 per year. They were also absorbed into this industry and worked as daily wage labourers, earning Rs 100 a day. However, the dream went sour. Increasing pollution of the lake by the fish tanks, a fall in the market demand for fish and decreasing presence of migratory birds prompted environmentalists to approach the court demanding ban on the fish industry in and around Kolleru to save the lake from dying. Armed with a Supreme Court order, the government began to demolish the fish tanks. It was back to square one for the poor. The villagers had taken loans to contribute their share of 10 per cent to the government’s relief package. While no package has come their way, the beleaguered villagers are facing pressure from banks.As Lok Satta, an NGO turned political party which took up the cause of the Kolleru-displaced people, said, “The state government prepared no comprehensive relief and rehabilitation package,” it said.Lack of practical policies for sustainable development put the poor through suffering. Rehabilitation of the Kolleru-displaced seems to be an ideal example of how rehabilitation should not be done .Kolleru Lake is a large freshwater lake in India's Andhra Pradesh state. It is 15 km from Eluru. It is known the world over for the famous Kolleru Bird Sanctuary. This 673 km² wet land marsh habitat supports a large variety of Water birds which include Garganys, ducks,Open bill storks, Herons, Flamingos & grey pilviens