Travelling to Chennai for a holiday? Well, get ready to get spoilt for choices – be it food, things to do, or places to visit. There are several revered temples in Chennai that are a must-visit and so is the famous Marina Beach! If you love South Indian food, get ready to taste authentic flavors of this cuisine at the restaurants in Chennai and its street-side joints. Shopping is another thing that you should do here for sure. If you are a nature lover and have come here, then making trips to the lakes in and around Chennai should definitely interest you.
Lakes in Chennai
1. Puzhal Lake, Chennai
A short drive from the city will take you to the scenic Puzhal Lake, where you will be mesmerized by the area’s natural beauty. Also known as the Red Hills Lake, this rain-fed reservoir serves as the primary water source for the city of Chennai. This man-made reservoir was constructed in the 19th century by the British and since then, it has been a quick getaway for the people living in the cities and towns nearby. Another attraction at this site is the Jone Tower, which was built in 1881 to calculate the water level of the lake.
Popular among nature loves, this lake has greenery all around and to top it, it offers a beach-like experience. If you visit this place early in the morning, you can enjoy the sunrise and witness fishermen fishing in the lake.
- Location: Red Hills, Chennai
2. Korattur Lake, Chennai
Korattur Lake is one of the largest of its kind within the western limits of the city of Chennai. It has a thriving population of turtles, snakes, fishes and also several migratory birds. However, in recent years, this figure has dropped down due to pollution and no attention towards it from the local civic bodies.
- Location: Korattur, Chennai
Other city lakes like Porur, Perumbakkam and Velachery have met similar fate in the past few years; however, after demands by the people and government intervention, restoration of these water reservoirs have begun and we are hoping for them to come back to their original state soon.
In the meanwhile, plan a weekend getaway to one of the lakes near Chennai for an amazing experience.
Lakes near Chennai
3. Sholavaram Lake, Chennai
At a 40-minute drive from the city of Chennai lies the beautiful Sholavaram Lake. A popular tourist attraction, this lake is an important water source for the residents of Chennai as it is among the largest in the state. The motor racing track that you will find near this water body was once used as an air strip by the British during the Second World War.
Besides enjoying the sunrise and sunset at this place, we suggest you to explore the flora and fauna here; you will find it truly amazing. This place serves as a perfect weekend destination for Chennaites.
- Location: Thiruvallur district
- Distance from Chennai: 23 km
4. Chembarambakkam Lake, Chennai
Right on the outskirts of the city is the tranquil Chembarambakkam Lake. Formerly known as Puliyur Kottam, this rain-fed reservoir is another important water source for the people of Chennai. The scenic beauty and the clean, unpolluted air at this site will definitely compel you to come here.
If you like birdwatching, then you will really enjoy your trip to this place. Besides, you can indulge in surfboard paddling here, an adventure sport the district is known for; all you need to do is take services of a local guide.
- Location: Kanchipuram district
- Distance from Chennai: 27 km
5. Pulicat Lake, Chennai
Pulicat Lake is the second largest lagoon in the country, fed by Arani and Kalangi rivers. It lies on the border of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh and is separated by the barrier island of Sriharikota, which lies in the Nellore district of the latter state, in the Bay of Bengal. The best time to visit this serene lake is between October and March, when a variety of migratory birds like Storks, Kingfishers and Flamingos can be seen here.
It takes about an hour and 20 minutes by road to reach here while a bus ride would take somewhere around 2-3 hours, depending on the traffic en route.
- Location: Nellore district
- Distance from Chennai: 54 km
6. Madurantakam Lake, Chennai
Madurantakam Lake, the second largest of its kind in the state, is a man-made wonder believed to have been built by Chola ruler, Uthama Chozha. Located close to the Vedathangal Bird Sanctuary, this lake is home to a huge avian population including Herons, Egrets, Anhingas and Cormorants.
This reservoir serves as a major water source for about 1000 villages in and around Madurantakam. The best time to visit the bird sanctuary and this scintillating lake is from November to March.
- Location: Kanchipuram district
- Distance from Chennai: 90 km
7. Kaliveli Lake, Chennai
Kaliveli Lake is one of the semi-permanent water bodies and largest wetlands in India. Counted among the top tourist attractions in the state, this coastal lake receives hordes of tourists year-round. However, the best time to come here and enjoy its beauty is from October to March. If you are fond of bird watching, you will have a wonderful time here as this tranquil lake is home to a rich avifauna including migratory birds like Flamingoes and Kingfishers.
Towards the north channel of the lake, you will find the ruins of the Allamparwa Fort which can be visited. You can also drive to nearby attractions like Amman Temple and Sri Muthumariamman Temple.
- Location: Villupuram district
- Distance from Chennai: 135 km