The lake is surrounded by a nature park consisting of a butterfly park and a walk-through aviaryThere is also a museum, the Regional Museum of Natural History which is located on the banks of this lake.Karanji Lake is situated on the migratory birds paths of birds like herons and egrets, grey pelicans, painted storks, ibis, cormorants and egrets which nest on trees in the islands present in the lake. Recent survey of birds have indicated the pesence 147 species.The butterfly park has been created on a small island within the Karanjilake. About 45 species of butterflies have been identified here. With the help of a botanist, appropriate species of host plants and nectar plants essential for the breeding of butterflies were selected and planted within the island.
Once a part of the Mysore Zoo, the Karanji Lake (also called Karanjikere in the local vernacular) is now surrounded by a verdant nature park that contains a butterfly park, an aviary and the Regional Museum of Natural History. Situated on the migratory paths of numerous species of birds, visitors to the park may spot herons, ibis, cormorants and egrets in addition to ducklings, darters and during the winter season, pelicans, painted storks, spoonbills. At the last census more than five dozen species, both indigenous and migratory, were identified. The delightful butterfly park on a small island in the lake on the other hand is home to about 45 species. The large aviary in the park, quite possibly the largest in the country contains a large number of peacocks, wildfowl and geese. A separate enclosure houses numerous Saurus Cranes, the largest birds found in India.
At a jetty visitors may rent boats, with or without a boatman and ride to the islands traversing them and return. Situated at one end of the park is a bird watch tower with spectacular views of the park and its plumed denizens. Opposite the aviary is a tree lined grassland that is perfect for picnics. Nearby is a park for children to play in and a coffee shop.