Riding on the banks of Puzhal Lake, Chennai

Puzhal lake doesn't really appear on the list of attractions worth visiting in Chennai. But we recently discovered that the lake area is certainly worth a visit- at least a quick diversion if you're in the area or passing through north Chennai, say while going to Pulicat or Tada or redhills etc.

This post shares some photos and notes clicked around Puzhal Lake.

Puzhal, pronounced as PuLal, is the locality where Chennai's central jail is located. Puzhal lake is right behind this lake. Doesn't have any prominent display/signage guiding you there- you'll have to scan the map carefully and figure out a way to reach the lake.

We visited Puzhal lake on two different weekends and found two different entry points.

The first entrance was more fun- longer, better maintained and easier to access- take to service lane after crossing Puzhal prison entrance, follow the map to reach the road that runs along the banks of Puzhal lake.
 There's a water purification unit that supplies water to city from the lake
What you see in below picture is the outer wall of Puzhal lake. Chennai's most hardcore criminals are on the other side of the wall. No I wasn't aiding in any escape!
 It was possible to take bike till lake bed, which was fun.
 
Above: Another view of the Puzhal lake
Below: A garbage dumping area exists right next to the lake, separated only by a road. I think it is bad idea- water can easily get contaminated from flying debris, insects
 Watch a short video made during our bike ride on the banks of Puzhal lake. [Watch on Youtube here] The bank is known as 'Aeri' in local language, which roughly translates to barrier or high ground separating lake from the city. You can ask directions on how to reach Puzhal aeri once you're in the area



The road adjacent to the Puzhal lake's bank is wide enough for cars, but if two big cars come face to face, negotiating space will be tricky. Go on bike if possible or go early with a car or be more careful.

Entrance 2:
Couple of weeks later I made an attempt to visit again. This time took a wrong turn and ended up visiting the lake from the other side. This one was more tricky- accessible only by foot or two wheeler. Offered below views:
 
Water purification
Local people were playing cricket on the dry lake bed.
So, here we go- another place worth visiting in Chennai. If these photos excite you, you can plan your visit to Puzhal lake. I have not included exact coordinates/map points for a purpose- it will be a bit of adventure to figure out the way yourself, than blindly following the map. Have fun.

For a comprehensive set of attractions/weekend destination from Chennai, check this post.
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