Powai Lake is located on the Salsette Island, next to Powai village and is central to the entire locality with the esteemed Indian Institute of Technology (Bombay) and Renaissance Hotel bordering it on either side. The lake and the city suburb are named after Framaji Javasji Powai Estate and today this place is deemed as one of the posh locations of Mumbai. The lake was built in 1891 with the purpose of sourcing drinking water for Mumbaikars; however today the lake is only a scenic and soothing place to enjoy nature at its best.
Powai Lake is an oasis in the concrete desert and you cannot miss visiting this beautiful lake because it always mesmerizes a person. The lake provides you the opportunity to enjoy the nature at its best, as it is the combination of concrete desert and nature. Even when it is crowded it always pleasures you with a soothing experience. To know more about this artificial lake and why it was built, read further.
How to Reach:
For Central line commuters, both Kanjurmarg and Vikhroli stations are close to Powai lake at a distance of 3.3 km and 4.5 km respectively. Whereas, for people traveling by western line can change trains at Dadar and de-board at Kanjurmarg station. Another option could be to arrive at Andheri station which is on the western line and then take a rickshaw towards Powai from the eastern side of the station.
People traveling by harbor line, can change trains at Kurla or Thane; as per the commuters convenience and then de-board at Kanjurmarg station.
From the Kanjurmarg and Vikhroli railway stations, buses and auto rickshaws ply regularly towards Powai lake.
If you are traveling towards Powai from Thane and beyond, you can take the Eastern Express Highway which will further connect to LBS Marg towards Powai. Whereas people commuting from the western suburbs, can take the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road via Saki Vihar towards Powai Lake. People traveling from Navi Mumbai, can take the Mankhurd Link Road which further connects to the Eastern Express Highway leading to Powai lake.
Buses available from Andheri (E) are AS-422,403, 496, 545, 396, 392 etc., while from Kanjurmarg (W) are 307, 396, 422, 424, 425 etc. Get down at Powai Vihar stop, you will find the lake along the road, right opposite Hiranandani.
Purpose of the Lake
- Powai lake was initially built as an artificial lake to supply drinking water across Mumbai but later it was declared unfit for consuming.
- It was also leased to the Western India Fishing Association (WIFA) for fishing.
- This lake is now used for fishing, gardening, cattle washing and is also a popular tourist spot.
- Powai Lake supplies water to Aarey Colony and Larsen & Turbo for their industrial purposes.
- The lake serves as an immersion spot during the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi.
The lake has a jogging track and children’s play area. The place is usually crowded with people jogging or walking around. As mentioned above, it is surrounded by the Hiranandani township and IIT-B on one side while the Renaissance Hotel on the other. The Powai Lake looks gorgeous when balsam bushes bloom. Visiting the lake at dusk can be an amazing sight as you can see the reflection of the street lights and the tall skyscrapers in the water. People can also enjoy the musical fountain. Boating was a major activity to do at the Powai lake, however, people have been avoiding it in the recent times due to the rising risk of encountering crocodiles.
Flora and Fauna
- Powai Lake is surrounded by hills around. Migratory birds and crocodiles are a major attraction of this lake.
- Water lizards, snakes and snails can also be seen here.
- Aquatic plants include Water Lily, Water Sprite, Water Hyacinth and Duck Weed.
- Different varieties of fish can also be seen like Giant Danio, Chilwa, Rasbora etc.
- Powai Lake was considered as the home of the ‘Indian Mahseer’, a fish which is now extinct.
Threat to Powai Lake
The depth of the lake is reported to be reducing due to the inflow of waste water and garbage from the nearby residential and industrial areas. Timely cleaning and maintenance are required to keep the beautiful lake alive.
Irrespective of the lack of maintenance, the crowd visiting the lake has only been increasing and looking at this, the students and faculty members of IIT-Bombay have come forth for its maintenance. The project is named as ‘Powai Lake Rejuvenation’. Powai Lake is an integral part of the campus; therefore, IIT-Bombay has taken it as a challenge to clean the lake. The project will provide its students with a learning experience as many technologies will be utilized. This project may even act as the testing platform for the technologies introduced by IIT-Bombay.
Approx Rs. 6.24 crore will be required for the ‘Powai Lake Rejuvenation’ project. The project will be completed within 5 years and in 2 phases. The first phase will consist of fixing the sewer lines with the help of IIT-Bombay, while the second phase will include removing of water hyacinth and other wastes in it. To avoid growth of the hyacinth in future and for the beautification of the lake, IIT experts will be consulted.
History of Powai Lake
Powai lake was built in 1891 before which it was the tributary of the Mithi river. Framaji Kavasji Powai Estate was the Vice President of Agricultural and Horticultural Society of Western India. The lake was named after him as a respect to the work he had done. The place where it stands was previously comprised of a village. When built, it was about 520 acres wide and 3-12 metres deep.
Now the Maharashtra State Angling Association, the oldest Angling Club in India (MSAA) looks after it. Its main objective is to clean, maintain and beautify the lake. MSAA published a book on Powai Lake- Powai- The Anglers Paradise to create public interest. The lake was also included among the ten lakes that needed to be revived.
The lake today stands half dead and the water quality has deteriorated significantly. After the widening of the Jogeshwari Vikhroli Link Road, beautification of the lake was taken up as a top priority and though the lake still remains dirty, it gets a lot of visitors daily.
After enjoying some quality time by the lake-side, Powai can offer you some great choices of restaurants. Heres the NearFox list of the famous restaurants (with prices for a table for 2) in Powai.
Le Pain Quotidien, European and French Cuisine: Rs. 2,000/-
Mia Cucina, Italian Cuisine: Rs. 2,000/-
Mainland China, Chinese Cuisine: Rs. 1,800/-
Breeze Restaurant, Italian and Mediterranean Cuisine: Rs. 1,600/-
Sigree Global Grill, North Indian, Turkish and Lebanese Cuisine: Rs. 1,500/-
Cafe Mangii, Continental Cuisine: Rs. 1,500/-
The Yellow Chilli, North Indian Cuisine: Rs. 1,400/-
If you do not want to travel a long distance, to enjoy some goodtime; Powai lake would be the right place to visit.