Hyderabad’s iconic Hussain Sagar Lake, situated in the heart of the city, is renowned as one of the largest man-made lakes in Asia. The heart-shaped lake, circumvented by open spaces on all its four sides, including a green stretch in between the Necklace Road and Raj Bhavan in the west, the Indira Gandhi Park in the east, Sanjeevaiah Park in the north, and the Lumbini Park in the south, is one of the most popular landmarks in the city. Built on the tributary of River Musi, connecting the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, the picturesque lake derives its name from the man who built it nearly 446 years back. An 18-meter-high, 450-tons monolithic statue of Lord Buddha augments the appeal of Hussain Sagar Lake, making it a prominent tourist hotspot.
History of Hussain Sagar Lake
The origin of Hussain Sagar Lake dates back to 1562 AD. During the rule of Ibrahim Quli Qutub Shah, the artificial lake was built by Sufi Saint Hussain Shah, to meet the drinking water and irrigation requirements of the city. The lake holds immense historical significance because the treaty between Mughals and Golconda was settled on its banks. Later, in the 1990s, a ‘Bund’ (Dam) was constructed to control the flow of water, which is why the lake is also referred to as the ‘Tank Bund’ by the locals.
Hussain Sagar Lake — Home of the World’s Tallest Buddha Statue
The erstwhile Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N T Rama Rao, during his trip to New York in 1984, was fascinated by the grandeur of the Statue of Liberty and wanted something like that in the city of Hyderabad. Thus, plans for constructing a statue began, and Lord Buddha was chosen, as Gautam Buddha stands for compassion, virtue, and wisdom.
After about a year of searching, the government spotted a massive granite rock near Bhongir in Andhra Pradesh, now Telangana. Famous sculptor Sattanatha Muthaiya Ganapathi Sthapathi, an expert at traditional architecture, was called upon in 1985 to initiate the work of the Buddha statue. After a sedulous pursuit by conscientious workers, the arduous task of chiselling a 72-feet statue out of raw granite rock was meticulously accomplished under the supervision of ace craftsman Ganapathi Sthapathi, a recipient of India’s fourth highest civilian honour, Padma Shri.
His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, during his visit to the state in 2006, consecrated the statue, increasing its overall religious and cultural importance.
Activities You Can Indulge in around Hussain Sagar Lake
The pristine waters of Hussain Sagar Lake is famed for a variety of water sports activities, which include sailing, yachting, and boating. The regatta competition, held annually, draws plenty of adventurous folks from all parts of the world. Additionally, there are speed boats, motor boats, and forty-eight seated steamers, launched by the state government for tourists wanting a perfect sunset leisure cruise. The steamers are available on hire for private parties and starlit dinners as well. Besides tourists, the lake site is also a popular destination for the locals, including fitness fanatics, lovebirds, and even grandparents.
Other Attractions Near Hussain Sagar Lake
Adjacent to the lake, lie the Lumbini Park and Birla Mandir, which are worth a visit. The historic and ancient temple of the Katta Maisamma is also within walking distance. The antique temple, with intricate designs on its body, draws thousands of devotees from all over the country. The Sanjeevaiah Park, NTR Garden, and Jalavihar are some other spectacular tourist venues close to the Lake. Visitors can enjoy various cultural programmes, conducted by the Department of Culture, if they visit Hussain Sagar Lake on Sunday evenings.
If you are in Hyderabad and craving for a little respite from the cacophony of city life, this beautiful lake, also declared as the ‘Heart of the World’ by UNWTO, is the place to be!