The Kolleru Lake

Kolleru lake is described as a large freshwater lake between Krishna and Godavari delta near the coastal part of Andhra Pradesh. Due to the rich biodiversity, especially of both the local and migratory birds, the lake has been declared as a wildlife sanctuary. The lake has also been indexed in the list of Ramsar wetlands of international importance. On my maiden visit to that region, contrary to the gained assumption, Kolleru did not appear as any continuous lake but as a collection of various natural and artificial lakes and wetlands over a large geographical area. The various sections of waterbodies were separated from each other by artificially elevated dividing lines, many of which also served the purpose of motorable and pedestrian roads to connect the villages and towns. Many parts of the wetland were intelligently modified to create the commercial fish and prawn tanks. While some of the compartments, especially those which were protected for the nesting of colonial waterbirds and for commercial fish farming, had plenty of water, in some others water had almost dried up and had become the grazing ground for domestic animals. It was certain that each and every block of the region was the part of a big natural wetland which had gone through many changes due to modification of the natural environment by the people of the region. Besides the fish farming, the cattle and crop farmings also appeared to be significantly contributing to the life of the people. During my time around the wetlands, the afternoons were hot and humid and the majority of human activities could only be seen during the comparatively pleasant early hours of the morning and late evening. Any form of interaction with locals was non-verbal as I did not know the Telugu language and the locals were not much aware of the Hindi or English. This photo-essay, ‘The Kolleru lake’, is a pictorial presentation of my first-hand personal experiences gained during my stay at Kaikaluru, a small town at Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, where I got the opportunity to closely observe not only the parts of this wetland but also the life of the locals of this region.


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That which appeared as a continuous green blanket, had the presence of water below 


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Natural ponds are used by the people for various purposes


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Unlimited Space and absolute freedom


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Alone and unique


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Different ways to move across


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Disappearance marks the appearance of new facets


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A small canal in natural landscape (for transferring the water from one part to another)


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Sometimes, standing alone could be more beautiful than in a group


An umbrella: There is a cattleman below this sunscreen


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A kind man: I could not understand his words except for his concern for my food.


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The dusty road, on both sides of which were the large wetlands, was being used by all.


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Signs of a drying wetland


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As if entrapped in the wild from a very long time


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Artificial platforms for the nesting of wild Pelicans


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The wilderness of the domesticated


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Indian Pond Heron


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A cattleman with his buffaloes


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David and Israel


Reflections of the twig and its branches


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Three friends


The guy who insisted me to not move before tasting the fruit


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A Thati Kallu or Toddy-trunk boat


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End signifies that there was a beginning


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An old structure on the island of a dry wetland


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Cattle and Crop farming


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This wetland had become a grazing land


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The green corridor


Extreme impressions


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Boat, as a playground for the kids of a local village


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An elevated borderline between two adjacent wetlands, which also serves as the road


Artistic expressions at the entry gate of a village home


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Homes of the local village


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Banana bunch: In a local village shop


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The food which I used to get easily


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Only an observer can appreciate the real colours of the surroundings


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A boat of the commercial fish tank


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There is always a vacant place at the apex


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Travelling makes to meet and understand new people.


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A commercial fish farming site and its modern equipment 


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The Lake of Atapaka sanctuary


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The fishermen of Kolleru


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Unlimited dimensions


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A content day


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Observation can show extraordinary facets of ordinary


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The beauty of being alone and free.


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Faith: A higher dimension of communication


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It is an observer who adds the meaning to existence




26 thoughts on “The Kolleru Lake

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  1. Dear friend, thank you very much for sharing this travel adventure. Kolleru Lake is an interesting, beautiful destination, one that comes to life for me in your writing and professional photos. It is likely I would have lived my life without ever knowing of Kolleru lake if it were not for your travel there and beautiful documentation in your photos. Thank you once more for this gift. We send you best wishes from Panamá. Peace…..
    Ron & Sashka


  2. It’s good to know about this fascinating part of India – I’m happy to see the platforms for the pelicans, and all the storks (?) flying in the air – also that heron is very beautiful. You captured so many wonderful images – too many to single out, but the last six or so are really great. And what you write helps me to understand, too. Thank you! Greetings from America’s Pacific Northwest.


    1. Thank you… This was the first time I saw artificial platforms for nesting birds, an act for conservation. The place I was around was full of Storks and Pelicans. for me the most interesting part was to see human wildlife conflict. Most of the waterbirds feed on fishes, which is a concern for fish farmers. It was an interesting relationship, and there were many Govt. rules to keep the balance between economy and wildlife. I heard that in favor of wildlife conservation, many of the fish tanks have been destroyed. At the same time, many of the fish tanks have also been equipped with modern facilities. Greetings from India.


  3. As a photographer, I particularly like this post of yours. What a brilliantly told story in pictures! And what amazing part of the Earth! You are lucky to have it close to you…
    I would just mention my favorite few: Alone and unique, The dusty road, Indian Pond Heron, Balanced, Observation can show extraordinary facets of ordinary (last two bring me some great memories back from time I rode a bicycle), The beauty of being alone and free…
    Keep up your great work!


  4. Beautiful article… It’s so much fascinating. My favourite image is unlimited dimensions.. you are living a true life


  5. This was very interesting to read, and for me, sad as well. We have been fighting here in Florida (USA) to put our Everglades close to it’s natural form. The Everglades were originally over 3 million acres of wetlands and swamp, the only ecosystem of it’s kind in the world. Starting about 100 years ago, people began draining and drying out the swamp and wetlands to build homes and farmland. The result has been that the Everglades are now roughly 1/3 of their original size, and this has had a significant impact on our water quality as witnessed last year by the worst red tide and fish kills Florida has ever seen. Though that wasn’t 100% due to the water quality, that does factor in to it. It’s good to see that the local government in India is looking to conservation efforts. Mother Nature has spend hundreds of thousands of years perfecting our world.


    1. I have read about Everglades in some research papers. But what you informed me is informative and sad. So true. Our world had evolved in hundreds of thousands of years, but modern human civilization has destroyed it in a few dacades. I hope people like you can make a difference. Earlier I did research work on painted storks. Wood storks of Florida are in same genus. I was really interested for observing the storks of Americas from close. I hope one day I will see the wetlands and Biodiversity of America. Thank you .


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