Pulicat – A Quick Trip from Chennai

Pulicat (Pazhaverkadu) is close to 60 kms from Chennai and close to the Tamil Nadu – Andhra Pradesh border. It is the second largest brackish water lagoon in South Asia. It can be a one day trip from Chennai – spend close to 4 hours in Pulicat and 3 hours to drive.

We were lucky to come across the tour by AARDE foundation on the occasion of Madras Day 2014 (23rd Aug) and we reserved a place for us @ Rs. 850 per person – including AC bus to Pulicat, breakfast and lunch. The tour guide was one Mr. Xavier from AARDE foundation.

The only thing I knew Pulicat was for boating in the brackish water lagoon and bird-sighting. But unfortunately that is banned now and we couldn’t do that during this trip. But after the tour I realized that there was a lot history attached to this place.

Things to do (or things I did):

  1. Dutch cemetery (1658 AD)
  2. Mosques
  3. Temples
  4. Churches
  5. Fort Geldria – built by Dutch in 1613 AD. There is nothing to see here. The fort, I was told, must have been completely destroyed by the British during 1825 AD.
  6. Boat ride in the lagoon (which is legally banned and we didn’t do it. really!), if you do, you can spot a lot of migratory birds.

How long:

This is a one day trip. 10 hours is more than enough. I would suggest you start early from Chennai(5 AM), boat rides can be really tough if it’s sunny.

For who:

  1. Those interested in architecture and history.
  2. Those interested in bird photography.
  3. Kids(below 15) might get bored.

Checklist:

  1. Water
  2. Hat
  3. Sunscreen lotion
  4. Camera
  5. Goggles

I’ll let the photos speak:

Streets of Pulicat

Street, houses and some vessels used for rain water storage from olden times

Periya Jamia Pallivasal and Arwi inscription

Periya Jamia Pallivasal. Built around 17th century. The right image shows the Arwi (Tamil in Arabic script) inscriptions.

Adi narayan perumal temple

Adi Narayan Perumal temple. The unique feature is the use of Laterite blocks for the construction of this temple. Laterite blocks were only used in Malabar and Konkan coast. Some inscriptions suggest that this temple was built in 13th century.

Samyaeswarar Temple

Samyaeswarar Temple. Left two images are that of the stepped well. The center image is the front view and the right most image is the back door.

Pulicat light house

Pulicat light house

Fishes kept for drying, Pulicat

Fishes kept for drying in the banks of the lagoon, Pulicat

The Dutch cemetery, Pulicat

The Dutch cemetery, Pulicat. 1658 AD

 

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