Friday, July 20, 2012

Pulicat lake in AP-TN Border

I’ve been to Pulicat lake in Singapore near Chennai some 3 times so far, but never blogged about it. Didn’t have any exciting photo or content to share. First time when I’d gone (2009 November), we reached there very early in the morning, enjoyed a ride and left the place before sun came up, the bridge was under construction then. It was a treat to the eyes to see so many flemigos, painted storks, Pelicans, cormorants and other birds in close vicinity
Second visit was in December 2010. Earlier visits were a season for migratory birds at Pulicat. This time made an impromptu visit in July- it wasn’t the season and even local fishermen didn’t show any interest in surrounding tourists and offer boat rides. But over the past 3 years, nothing has been done to convert this into a possible tourist destination. Pulicat remains unclean and unorganized, without any signages guiding the tourists or any facilities like accommodation, information centres, authorized boat rides, restaurants etc. Tourists better pack their own food and be at the mercy of local fishermen for any help. Fishermen taking tourists for a ride on their fishing boats is very common here. Last December a family of 20+ people died when the fishing boat in which they were taking a ride capsized. There was some media attention on Pulicat for couple of weeks after that, but 7 months later, everything is same as earlier.
Above: Now completed bridge of Pulicat lake and a light house. Road near light house leads to the sea.
Below: Local fishermen in action. I tried capturing them spreading their net, but failed.

Below: There's a temple very close to Pulicat lake. Nothing much unique about this- looks similar to any other temple. But this temple is reportedly few centuries old. A very old and deteriorated temple car stood testimony to test of time.

Above: Clicked during our December 2010 visit, on our way to Pulicat, some agricultural fields had a pump running and people took nice bath in fresh water.
Below: Agricultural workers waving for my camera.
 Below: Net weavers in action
Below: Another scenic view of Pulicat. Had there been some shady areas, it would have been very ideal to spread a mat and relax. But there're very few shade giving trees and no ideal place to have a nice picnik. It is all open areas, so can be very hot.

Travel writer Lakshmi Sharath has clicked some excellent pics of pelicans in Pulicat [View them here]. I should spend some quality time in Pulicat next time and try my luck clicking similar shots.
Water is not clean for swimming, but most of the overenthusiastic tourists don’t care and just jump in. Pulicat beach is shallow and long as in Marina
Below: Water polluted by diesel leaking from a boat
Other things to do around Pulicat lake: There’re few small temples on the way. If interested you can stop for a while and have a look. Redhills water reservoir is also good for a small stop. There’re an adventure gaming outlet on the way as well. All these can be clubbed to make a nice 1 day trip. Some people stay overnight in Pulicat, camping in the islands. I’m given to understand that is not an authorized activity.
Sriharikota satellite launch centre is some 50 kms from Pulicat by road (it is on the other side of the lake, but by road it is far. You’ll need a pre-authorized letter to go inside, but I enjoyed driving on the road to Sriharikota. It is one straight road from highway, with water bodies on both sides. Below pictures give you some clue
Above: Super straight roads to Sriharikota
Below: A small conservation centre near Pulicat, on Andhra side
 Vast dried up lake on the way to Sri hari kota
Going to Pulicat Lake: Pulicat lake is about 80 kms from Chennai towards AP Border. MRTS trains are available till Ponneri. Chennai MTC buses run till Pulicat. In a Rs 50 daily pass, you can go to pulicat and come back.

New observation I made this time was that the real estate is blooimg around Pulicat lake. Agricultural fields have been converted into plots, bordered with colourful fences and are manned by few people to brief potential buyers. Same pic below, found several such locations beween Ponneri and Pulicat.


Tes said...

What a beautiful lake :)It looks really peaceful :)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Tes

P.N. Subramanian said...

Very sad to learn that still Pulicat remains undeveloped in so far tourist amenities are concerned. The photographs are wonderful. I loved the crumbling temple car. Looks like an abandoned Tank of World War II,

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks for your comments Sir