Pulicat is a 17th century Dutch settlement, located about 60 km north of Chennai on the shores of the Pulicat Lake, which is in fact, a lagoon. Pulicat, situated within the Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary, is an area of great ecological interest as well, since lagoons, estuaries and wetlands surround it. These wetlands also support a large number of resident and migratory waterfowl. Every year, between the months of October and March, thousands of migratory birds land here. Though many species can be seen, the flamingos are the most visible, covering the swamps surrounding the lake, with a pink hue.
How would you like to travel?
Chennai is the nearest airport (60 km)
Ponneri is the nearest railhead (19 km)
State Transport buses connect Pulicat with Ponneri, Minjur and Chennai.
What to See in Pulicat
Pulicat Lake is the second largest salt water lagoon in India (after Chilika Lake), measuring about 60 km in length and 0.2 km to 17.5 km in breadth.The ecological richness of the area is evident and the lagoons support a great variety of invertebrate faunas including many coelenterates, molluscs, crustaceans and echinoderms. The lake is connected with an estuary mouth 200 m wide, another interesting place to visit.
The Dutch cemetery at Pulicat Lake is considered to be the best example of the architecture of the Dutch. It was built around 1657. The burial ground is marked with a distinct entrance with the stone sculptures depicting the concept of life and death.
Situated across the lake is this beautiful landmark.
A village where boats are built for sale.
The first historic reference to Pulicat is from the Imperial Chola period (10th century). During this period a number of temples were built in and around Pulicat. The chief being the Chintamani Eswarar Temple at Sattan Kuppam (5 miles from Pulicat).
It was the first Catholic Church built in 1515 by the Portuguese and expanded later. The church has undergone additions on all sides. The original core is still intact.
St. Anthony’s Church
This church was built around the 16-17th century but the exact year is not known. Except a few minor repairs, the church stands in its original condition. The style and proportion are original to the native Dutch architecture of the 17th century.
Located in the centre of the Pulicat, this is the oldest mosque in the town, built in the 17th century. The mosque is unique in terms of its architectural style. The planning is similar to a Hindu temple with a central aisle and colonnaded verandah on either side. The columns, brackets and beams have typical Hindu temple engravings on them.
Chinna Pallivasal and Keela Pallivasal
There are other important mosques built around the 18th century. Keela Pallivasal is considered to be the oldest of these. Those structures follow the Islamic style of mosque architecture.