Pulicat Lake, also called Pazhaverkaadu Eri in Tamil Language, has the distinction of being the second biggest brackish lagoon of India. Located on the border of two Indian states, namely Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, the lake draws visitors from all over the Southern half of the country.
The lake is separated from the Bay of Bengal by means of Sriharikota which acts as a barrier island. The lagoon is rich with animal and birdlife and is a centre for the commercial fishery activities as well. The water body of the lagoon is fed by three major rivers namely the Arani river, the Kalangi river the Swarnamukhi river.
Rich biodiversity and remarkable natural beauty make this lake a must-see attraction for those who visit Pulicat. Though the lake is inhabited by a wide variety of fish species, rare kinds of birds and a good number of reptiles and aquatic vegetation, it is most visited by tourists for its Pelicans. The ideal time to visit this lake is the period spanning from the month of October to March.
Pulicat Bird Sanctuary (known internationally as Pulicat Lake Wildlife Sanctuary) serves as one of the chief attractions in the small seashore town of Pulicat. The protected area of the sanctuary spans across 481 km covering a number of districts in both Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
The lake and the sanctuary gather nationwide attention for being the largest brackish-water eco-system of the country, next to the renowned Chilka Lake of Orissa. The exciting biodiversity of the sanctuary draws millions of travellers and wildlife enthusiasts every year to this region.
The birdlife of the sanctuary includes Greater Flamingos, Pelicans, Sea Gulls, Egrets, Herons, a wide variety of ducks and Kites. The area forming the sanctuary is under the administration of Tamil Nadu Forest Department and Andhra Pradesh Forest Department.
The sanctuary acts as a seasonal home to a number of migratory birds and is best visited during the months of November and February. The Flamingo Festival organized annually by the Department of Tourism during December-January attracts a huge numbers of tourists to this place.
Dutch Church of Pulicat is an ancient monument that attests to the glory of Dutch reign, which lasted for several years in the region. Pulicat bears the marks of Dutch culture for it was the headquarters of Dutch East India Company in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
The Dutch Church and the adjoining cemetery are unique, not just for their historical significance but for the grandeur of architectural style as well. Though the church has undergone repeated renovations, it is in a dilapidated condition. The cemetery of the church, which is under the administration of the Archaeological Survey of India, has ancient tombs, which are more than 400 years old.
It is believed to have been constructed in the year 1657 when Dutch sovereignty was in its peak. The cemetery and the church, which are fine examples of the architectural splendour of the Dutch period, attract tourists in large numbers from all over the country.