Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary
Pulicat Lake is the second-largest brackish water lagoon in India after Cilika in Orissia, Pulicat is one of the most important sanctuaries for water birds in South India. Spread over 720sqkm across Andhra's Nellore and Tamil Nadu's Tiruvallur districts, only 16 percent of the 60km long lagoon lies in the state. The vast lake can be accessed from Sullurpet in the north near Sriharikota or Pulicat town to the south.
Ranked as an important Bird Area (IBA) by Birdlife international and Bombay natural History Society, Pulicat Lake harbours six vulnerable or near threatened bird species, including the oriental darter, black-bellied tern, lesser flamingo, spot-billed pelican, black-headed ibis and the painted stork. Nearly 113 bird species have been reported at Pulicat Lake and its adjoining wetlands, including many species of egrets, herons, bitterns, storks, ducks, gulls, plovers, terns and ibis. Pulicat is dotted by 20 islands, of which Sriharikota island at its eastern edge is the largest. It serves as a base for india's spaceport, the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, and is a high-security area. However, it is the shallow central region between Sriharikota and Kudiri that is of prime interest to a birder. Connected by road, it is the most easily accessible area of the lake and forms an important foraging ground for water birds. A large number of piscivorous (fish-eating) birds and wader species like flamingos throng the many culverts along the Sullurpet Sriharikota Road. The Greater Flamingo can be seen nearly all year round at Moolah Kuppam on the western edge of Pernadu Island.
Annamalai Cheri, on the southern tip of the lake, is also great for bird watching. Pulicat town nearby has an Old Dutch cemetery and ruins of a fort.
Pulicat Lake Best Time to Visit Or Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary Season
November to February is a great time to visit because of the presence of winter migratory.
How to reach Pulicat Lake
Drive north of Chennai on NH-5 towards Nallore and turn right at Sullurpet for the bird sanctuary. For Pullicat town (60km), turn right onto Sh-56 via Ponneri and get on Sh-104.
Sullurpet, Tiruvallur District, 85km (1.5hr) from Chennai Open Daily 6am to 5.30pm.Guide Tours: contact Wildlife Warden, Chennai.
Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary Timings
Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary Timings : Morning 8am to Evening 5pm.