A stunning escape into crystal blue waters, alpine riverbanks & a lot more.
Tamil Nadu houses not one but many untouched and captivating lakes which add to the natural beauty of this southern state of India. The history of lakes dates back to the 10th century, from when Veeranam lake was built during the time of Great Cholas to now Pulicat which is the second largest brackish water lake in India. Besides being markers in history, Tamil Nadu lakes are perfect for nature lovers as they offer a picturesque landscape and are a bird watcher’s paradise. It is also the lifeline for several villages as it is essential for agriculture so you will find many fishermen engaged in their daily rut. Most lakes are a harmonious combination of flora and fauna so do not be alarmed if a Nilgiri langur taps you on the shoulder.
Avalanche Lake, Ooty
Nestled between the green slopes of the Nilgiris, Avalanche lake gives a stark resemblance to the European countryside with its crystal blue freshwater body surrounded by withering woods. It’s a well-kept secret among the hustle and bustle of urban jungles, set just over 20km from Ooty town. The lake is picturesque with Nilgris hills as its background giving us one of its best views. Being true to its name Avalanche is surrounded by a rolling landscape that is filled with tea shrubs, rhododendrons, winding trails that lead you to some of the hidden gems, and small waterfalls trickling down from encircling mountains. A perfect gateway spot as it is also one of the best camping sites in Ooty. Set up your camp on the shores and wake up to the enchanting view of the sun rising over the mist-clad mountains. If you visit after monsoons then fishing is another added fun activity.
Kodaikanal Lake, Kodaikanal
One of the manmade lakes commissioned by the then collector of Madurai, Sir Vere Henry Levinge. It is now one of the most popular geographic landmarks and tourist attractions of Kodaikanal. The star-shaped artificial lake has become one of the most famous movie locations for its enticing landscape. Boating in the lake is one of the activities nobody misses as it is offered in various ways, either in normal or luxury boats. There are also rowing and pedaling boats. The lake is rich in a variety of flora and fauna which can be explored by cycling or horse rides around the lake. The lake’s catchment area has Kurinji or Strobilanthes Cynthiana, which blooms once in 12 years. So in summer visiting the lake to enjoy the flower show is not to be missed. Home-made chocolates, hot tea, and snacks are available at the local vendor shops.
Emerald Lake, Ooty
Encompassed by beautiful tea plantations, endless lush greenery, and a peaceful atmosphere, the Emerald is a beautiful lake where you can spend a perfect day overlooking the mighty peaks of the Nilgris. One of the less frequented compared to other tourist spots which might be the reason behind its opulent greenery and calm blue waters. A heaven for photographers and nature lovers with its open sky, the opulence of the woods, and jade tea plantations. Mountain biking and trekking down the lakeside for adventure seekers. Home to countless waterfowl and aquatic animals, watching them swim across the lake could be the necessary refreshment for a weary mind. A relaxing day on the shores of the lake with your friends and family as the skies get filled with hues of pink and orange at dawn and dusk. The ever-present fog, constantly rolling in and out of the surrounding tea gardens, adds a mystic charm to the landscape.
Pykara Lake, Ooty
Emerging from Mukurthi Peak, the beautiful Pykara River cutting through the misty heights of green hills and valleys transforms into gorgeous waterfalls, which ultimately form the Pykara Lake. The atmosphere, enriched with the sweet lullaby of Pykara falls and cool mist rolling on and off the river, makes it an ideal spot for trekking and camping. To enjoy a refreshing weekend getaway visit this abode of tranquility where the rolling waters of the Pykara turn into a serene blue reservoir surrounded by tall pine trees with misty hills of Nilgris as its background and lush green cover of the Shola forests. Pykara lake boathouse is perfect for a boating experience. A popular destination for honeymooners, backpackers, and families.
Berijam Lake, Kodaikanal
One of the leading tourist destinations in Kodaikanal since 1990 is a natural freshwater lake situated in a forest conservation area. The journey itself to the lake is something like a trip through Hogwart’s forbidden forest, magical indeed. A forest pass is required to visit the lake which is not a hassle especially when you know that you are going to pass through a serene path of pine trees and acacia with a stunning lake awaiting at the end of it. One of the major attractions of Berijam Lake is the sparkling blue crystalline water which adds to the scenic beauty of the place itself. Berijam Lake is situated in the Upper Palani hills so carry your binoculars as the Upper Palani shola reserve forest is home to the crested serpent eagles, pariah kites, pale-rumped swallows, and the edible-nest swiftlets. Migratory birds like common rosefinch, blue chat, leaf-warblers, and Blyth’s reed warblers also visit this forest. A nature lover’s paradise as you can enjoy several activities like fishing, bird watching, and safari tours to do here in the middle of this stunning and surreal location.
Pulicat Lake, Coromandel Coast
The second-largest brackish water lake in the country, the beautiful Pulicat Lake lies at the border of the states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu on the Barricade Island of Sriharikota. One of the most ideal places to visit for nature lovers and bird watchers, the lake is hugely popular as a flamingo-watching site. During the monsoon, the lake is filled with nutritious water and large numbers of microscopic plants that grow abundantly providing food for invertebrates and fish. As a result, it attracts a large number of wetland birds like Grey Pelicans, Painted Stork, Grey Heron, Sea Gulls, Ducks, Marbled Teals, Terns, Egrets, Quails, and several waders. It mainly attracts Flamingos during the winter season but is also an important habitat for 160 species of fish, 25 species of polychaetes worms, 12 species of prawn, and 100 species of small mammals and reptiles. To give an unforgettable experience it offers activities such as trekking through the exotic vegetation, bird safari, and traditional sailing in flat-bottom boats to support eco-tourism.
Upper Bhavani Lake, Ooty
Hidden well within the lavish greenery of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is the Upper Bhavani Lake. It is an artificial reservoir created by the Upper Bhavani dam which soon became one of the must-visit for anyone who admires nature in its raw beauty. A perfect gateway and a hiding spot from the usual crowd. The only thing that will mildly disturb you is the wild fauna of the Nilgiri Biosphere reserve. Lake is surrounded by tranquil flora and fauna which is an ideal spot for a light trek with friends or family. The lake can be reached by a bus safari run by the Tamil Nadu Forest Department which I must say is not something that you will regret as during the 45-minute bus ride you might be frequented by mighty elephants and countless other animals. It is a chance to experience the varied and rich wildlife of Tamil Nadu. The blooming flowers in the grasslands and the rolling tea gardens as the cool breeze of the lake washes away the city makes Upper Bhawani Lake an evergreen destination.
To know more visit Tamil Nadu Tourism’s official website.
In Partnership with Tamil Nadu Tourism
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