Durgam Cheruvu translates to Secret Lake, and to anyone who might be pondering a travel brochure or map and seeing its name included in the list of places to go to, the appellation might well seem ironic: after all, anything named Secret Lake would have to be inaccessible to the general public, or so logic would seem to dictate.
The name actually originates from circumstances that have only recently been changed, however. For a long time, Durgam Cheruvu was in fact practically a secret lake, separated from the hustle and bustle of Hyderabad due to the geographic characteristics of the area in which it sat—or nestled, as it were. It was known to those from earlier times, though, because it was allegedly the water reservoir for the people inhabiting the also-historic Golkonda Fort nearby.
As the years passed and the seat of the rulers was transferred from Golkonda, people began to forget the existence of the secret lake. For the longest time, many Hyderabad locals were actually not even aware of the lake, due to the fact that it was enclosed by a fence of thick trees and impossible to get to by vehicles, having absolutely no roads. Hence, only those who had “discovered” it while exploring the trees in the area tended to visit this natural attraction, privy to the benefits of relaxation and entertainment that the lake offered.
Not too long ago, however, this changed. The government initiated a plan to turn the Secret Lake into a tourist one, clearing a path through the trees for roads and promoting visits to the lake by encouraging companies to set up nearby. Boats were also provided for visitors who might be interested in boating around the body of water, trekking agencies encouraged to look up the area, and added infrastructure is on the way. For instance, a cafeteria may be found around the lake where hungry visitors may grab a bite to eat, and a park for those interested in sculptures is open as well. There is even a showground for public events to be held in the area.
There are many activities that may be done at the lake, besides a leisurely stroll around the water’s edge. There is also a very nicely designed garden beside it, as well as boating facilities for those still eager to experience this aspect of the lake. Besides boating, many people also come here to do some rock climbing or “bouldering”, in fact. Bouldering is especially fun here, all the more as one of the main attractions of Durgam Cheruvu is in the rocks that border its shores. All around the lake are huge rocks that have long drawn geologists to the place. These rock formations have a most distinct character and are alleged to go back thousands of millions (yes, you read that right: thousands of millions) of years ago. If for nothing else, visitors of Hyderabad should certainly take some time to detour to the Secret Lake and see for themselves the imposing, smooth-faced granite boulders that cannot be found anywhere else in the country.