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The sprawling Pulicat lake bird sanctuary is a popular birding spot in South India. It hosts a large number of migratory birds each year during winters. The sanctuary cuts across Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh and Thiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu. But, a major part of the sanctuary comes under Andhra Pradesh.
Pulicat lagoon, at an area of 759 sq km, is known as the second largest brackish water lagoon in India after Odisha’s Chilika lake. It is fed mainly by the river Kalangi and the river Arani. The lagoon comprises Pulicat lake and a wetland region. Some parts of the lagoon are also demarcated as reserve forest.
Pulicat lake measures about 60 km in length, and width varies from 0.2 km to 17.5 km. Area of the lake also varies with the tide. The barrier island of Sriharikota separates the lake from Bay of Bengal. Sriharikota is renowned as the rocket launch pad of India and is home to Satish Dhawan Space Centre.
This lake encompasses the fascinating Pulicat bird sanctuary. The Andhra Pradesh part of the sanctuary was established in 1976, whereas the Tamil Nadu part of the sanctuary was set up four years later in 1980.
Owing to the abundance of migratory birds in the area, the lake attracts a lot of bird lovers. Go through this post to know what awaits you there and how to plan a visit.
HOW TO REACH
Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary is accessible from both the states, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. You can approach the sanctuary via Sullurpeta in Andhra Pradesh or via Ponneri town in Tamil Nadu. However, the lagoon on the Andhra Pradesh side offers better birding opportunities.
Sullurpeta is 60 km from Chennai and it takes nearly 2 hours by car to reach there. Once you reach Sullurpeta, continue driving on the Sriharikota link road. The sanctuary lies on both sides of the road.
The nearest railway station in Sullurpeta is roughly 14 km away from the sanctuary. From the railway station, it is close to 30 minutes drive to the Andhra Pradesh side of the sanctuary. The nearest airport is located in Chennai.
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