A city famous throughout the world for its lustrous culture and for being the safest city in a country famed for some notorious areas and activities, Chennai or erstwhile Madras is a jewel of India. Drawing over forty five percent of the tourists in India solely for health purposes, it has been also hailed as “India’s health capital”. Ranked by the infamous National Geographic as having the second best cuisine in the world, Chennai is also rather popularly known as the “Detroit of South Asia”, thanks to its automobile industry. Deeply seated in its traditions and values, the city’s most glorious assets are its proud inhabitants who charmingly bask in the historic remnants and wondrous natural sights of the city. We take a look at five of the best lakes in Chennai worth visiting at least once.
1. Maduranthakam Lake
Located in the small temple town of Maduranthakam in the Kanchipuram district, Maduranthakam lake is located very close to the capital city of Chennai. The man-made lake which is also the second largest in the state of Tamil Nadu makes for a lovely picnic spot to enjoy an evening at. Located adjacent to the National Highway 45, the lake is said to have been constructed during the rule of Cholas by the ruler Uthama Choza. The lovely sight of the shimmering water of the lake is strangely comforting.
2. Pulicat Lake
One of the most popular lakes of Tamil Nadu, Pulicat lake is located 60 kilometres from the capital city, Chennai. Ranking second in the category of largest brackish – water lake or lagoon in India, the site is also home to Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary and the Satish Dhawan Space Centre which is the rocket launch centre of India. With historical records related to the lake tracing back up to 1st century, the lake’s rich past is a gentle reminder of the ephemeral nature of human life compared to the elongated time period of the prevailing mother nature. Open to tourists from the months of October to March, the flora and fauna surrounding the lake is of a dazzling range.
3. Kaliveli Lake
Located 60 kilometres from Chennai, Kaliveli lake or lagoon stretches comfortably on the Coromandel Coast, in close proximity to the Bay of Bengal. Mostly unexplored, the lake located in the Viluppuram District, consists of highly inaccessible paths through the swamps making it extremely arduous for visitors to wade through them. Due to this reason, most of flora and fauna in this region are extremely rich and unknown. Also one of the biggest wetlands in peninsular India, the lake is of global importance as recognized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).
4. Sholavaram Lake
Situated in the Thiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu, 24 kilometres from Chennai, Sholavaram lake or aeri is another gorgeous lake partly providing Chennai’s water supply. Built during the British rule, before 1877, the lake is popular for the water sports offered here and is also in very close proximity to the Indian army base. This breathtaking lake is one of the largest in Chennai and abound with flora and fauna.
5. Puzhal Lake
Sprawling over an area of about 18 square kilometres, Puzhal lake, or as it is popular as the “Red Hills Lake”, was built during the British dominance in India, in 1876. Providing a serene ambiance to spend a quiet time, the lake is also a charming spot that gives an insight to the inner workings of the reservoir. The region makes for a wonderful site to spend a perfect evening.
A colorfully crowded city, Chennai’s nature friendly zones provide a much needed respite from the daily cobwebs of the city life. These five lakes are ideal destinations for a small picnic or a quiet time away with your loved ones.