Lakes in India
Pulicat Lake information

Pulicat Lake

Pulicat Lake formerly Pralaya Kaveri is the second largest brackish water lake or lagoon in India, after Chilika Lake. It straddles the border of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu states with over 40% of it in Andhra Pradesh[3] and 60% in Tamil Nadu situated on the Coromandal Coast in South India. The lake encompasses the Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary. The barrier island of Sriharikota separates the lake from the Bay of Bengal and is home to the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. In the 1st century, the anonymous mariner who wrote Periplus of the Erythraean Sea listed Podouke (Pulicat)[6] as one of the three ports on the east coast of India. In the 2nd century, Ptolomey's list of ports on this coast included Podouke emporion. In the 13th century, Arabs migrated to the shores of the lake after they were banished from Mecca for refusing to pay tributes to a new calif. Streets with dilapidated masonry houses once occupied by these Arabian Muslims are still found in the area and resident families claim records in Arabic testifying the migration. Portuguese colonized the lake in 16th century followed by the Dutch. The Dutch drifted to the lagoon as their ships got stuck on the shores of Karimanal village on the opposite side of the mouth of the lake. During the Dutch occupation, Pulicat was known by the name Pallaicatta. Fort Geldria dating to 1609, a church, a cemetery with tombs and mausoleums constructed by the Dutch are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The Dutch transacted business with the British East India Company and other countries in the region. A scientific study of the palynological characteristics of the lagoon was conducted by taking sedimentary soil samples from four test pits. It shows that the vegetational reconstruction from peat beds at 4.98 metres (16.3 ft) a.m.s.l. and 1 metre (3.3 ft) (a.m.s.l.) in the west at Sullurpeta and Kasdredinilem, respectively, is indicative of a palaeoshorelin. The sea level reached its maximum around 6650 plus or minus 110 yrs BP in Sullurpeta, 18 kilometres (11 mi) west from the present shoreline. The radiocarbon dates of peat bed at Kasdreddinilem reveals an age of 4608 plus or minus 122 yrs BP, indicating the shift in mangrove line eastwards during the regressive phase. The lagoon has rich flora and fauna diversity, which supports active commercial fisheries and a large and varied bird population. Fishing is the major occupation in the many villages located around the lake periphery and on the islands. The lake has rich fish diversity, mostly marine species, some truly brackish water and a few freshwater species. Mullets and Catfish are the major brackish water fish, which have supported sustenance fishing for the lake fishermen. The lake is a nursery for several species of fish. Two thirds of the settlements in the lake area are in Tamil Nadu and the balance in Andhra Pradesh. 12,370 fishermen live on full-time fishery in the lake (6,000 in Andhra Pradesh and 6,370 in Tamil Nadu). The Tamil Nadu part of the lake is 60 kilometres (37 mi) north of Chennai and the nearest airport and major railway station are in Chennai. The nearest suburban railway station is at Ponneri. To reach Pulicat on the National Highway 5 from Chennai, drive north toward Nellore, after 30 kilometres (19 mi), turn right towards Ponneri village and continue 18 km (11.2 mi) to Pulicat village. Sullurpeta station is 17 kilometres (11 mi) from Sriharikota. The Buckingham Canal on the western side of the lagoon is the navigation route through the lake used by cargo and passenger vessels.


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