List of Major Lakes in Chennai -The Capital City of Tamilnadu State

List of Major Lakes in Chennai -The Capital City of Tamilnadu State

The Following is a List of Major Lakes in Chennai , the Capital City of Tamilnadu State:-


Type: Reservoir,  Area: 4500 Acres /19.6 Crores Sq Ft.,  

Depth: Average Depth 50 Feet,

Capacity: 330 Crores Cubic Feet,
Location:  Ponneri, Thiruvallur

Puzhal Lake
The Puzhal Lake was built in the year 1876 by the British Government of India
The lake is meant to store the waters received from the ‘Krishna River’ of Andhra Pradesh, under the ‘Telugu Ganga Project’,  through the ‘Poondi Reservoir’ and the ‘Sholavaram Lake’
Till the year 2012 the ‘Water Resources Department’/WRD of the State Government of Tamilnadu has been doing the maintenance work at Rs 5 Lakhs per year
Due to the continuous rains in November 2015, the lake is having waters of about 225 Crores Cubic Feet as against the full capacity of 330 Crores Cubic Feet (About 68 % of the Total Capacity)


Chembarambakkam Lake

Type: Reservoir,   

Area: 3800 acres /16.55 Crores Sq Ft.,   

Capacity: 364.5 Crores Cubic Feet,  

Height of Full Capacity: 85 Feet,

Location: Near Chinglepet, Kanchipuram District at 40 kms from Chennai,  

Source:  Rain Waters,    

The Main Outflow: 

Adyar River originates from this lake and the waters overflowing from this lake will be sent to Adyar River

There are 2 pipelines  from the lake’s water treatment plant for drinking water supply to the city

Name of the Lake: PORUR RETTERI  (Rettai Lake- Meaning Double Lake) :-

Porur Retteri Lake

Type: Reservoir,   

Area: 200 Acres / 87.12 Lakhs Sq Ft.,

Capacity: 4.6 Crores Cubic Feet,    

Location: Porur -behind the Chennai Bye Pass Bridge

The Porur Lake is a ‘Temporary Catchment Area’ connected with the Sembarmbakkam Lake
In the year 2012, the ‘Water Resources Department’ ‘WRD  of the State Government of Tamilnadu had initiated a project for deepening the lake by 1 Metre more to increase the capacity to 7 Crores Cubit Feet

Name of the Lake: KOLATHUR RETTERI (‘Rettai Lake’- Meaning Double Lake):-

Type: Reservoir,   

Area: 700 Acres / 3.04 Crores Sq Ft.,

Location: Kolathur Near Red Hills Road Junction, The ‘Grand Northern Trunk Road’ /GNT Road passes through the lake

Kolathur Retteri Lake

Water Source: Water from Red Hills Reservoir and the Korattur Lake

Uses of Kolathur Retteri: The lake had been a source of drinking water

Visits by Birds in Seasons:

Many species of migratory birds, including the common ‘Tailor Birds’, the ‘Purple Rumped Sun Birds’ and the ‘Asian Open Bill Storks’ have been visiting the lake areas periodically in seasons

Plans for Improvement of Kolathur Retteri:

The ‘Water Resources Department’ /WRD of the State Government of Tamilnadu has planned to make improvements to the lake along with the Ambattur lake and the Korattur Lake at a cost of Rs 85 Crores, by:

  • Removing the vegetations,
  • Desilting, providing Boating Facilities and
  • Developing a Park along the 3 KMs bund of the lake with
  • Planting of various species of ‘Medicional’ and ‘Flowering’ saplings for attracting Birds and Butterflies and
  • Creating a Walkers’ Path
Name of the Lake: AMBATUR LAKE:-

Type: Reservoir ,  Area: 3800 Acres ‘16.55 Crores Sq Ft.,
Location:  Ambatur, Chennai ,   

Source: Rain Waters ,  

The Main Outflow : The  Adyar River-

Ambatur Lake
Uses of the Ambatur Lake: The lake has been catering to the Drinking Water needs of the city
Ambatur Lake is of a Chain of 3 Lakes, namely:
1.Ambatur Lake, 
2. Korttur Lake and 
3.Madhavaram Lake
Surplus in any one would be transferred to the other/s-
The Lake was filled in completely in November 2008 due to continuous ‘North-East Monsoon Rains’
The lake will be dry in summer days normally, as there would be no sufficient rain fall in the city for over the past 6 years until November 2015
Type: Reservoir ,Area: 150 Acres /65.34 Lakhs Sq Ft., Reduced to 100 Acres due to dumping of garbage and sewage ,

Location: Manali-Mathur-Madhavaram, Chennai

Madhavaram Lake
Madhavaram Lake is of  a  chain of the 3 Lakes of:
1. Ambattur Lake, 
2. Madhavaram Lake and 
3.Korattur Lake
The surplus of water from one lake would be transferred to the other/s
Many species of birds were reported to have been visiting the wetland 20 years back-In the year 2009 the lake had been cleaned by some volunteers from a college at Madhavaram
Name of the Lake: KORATTUR LAKE:-
Type: Reservoir,  Area: 990 Acres/4.31 Crores Sq Ft.,

Location: Korattur in West Chennai to the north of Chennai-Arakkonam Railway Tracks

Korattur Lake
Korattur Lake is of  a  chain of the 3 Lakes of:
1. Ambattur Lake, 
2. Madhavaram Lake and 
3.Korattur Lake
The surplus of water from one lake would be transferred to the other/s/
Before the year 1970 the water from the lake had been used for drinking water supply to the city-

Afterwards the lake water became contaminated by the sewage and industrial wastes from the nearby areas of Pattaravakkam, Athipet and Ambattur

Plans for Improvement of the Korattur Lake:

In the year 2013 the State Government’s ‘Water Resources Department’ / WRD  had planned to improve all the 3 lakes including the Korattur Lake with parks and walkways
Name of the Lake: CHETPUT LAKE:

Type: Pond, Area: 15 Acres/ 6.53 Lakhs Sq Ft., Location: Chetput, Chennai- to the north of the Chetput Railway Station

Chetput Lake

Chetput Lake belongs to the ‘Department of Fisheries’ of the State Government of Tamilnadu

Uses of the Chetput Lake:

The lake had been a source of ‘Non –Drinking Water’ for the use in the City
The lake’s water being non-saline, fish of some varieties such as , Rohu, Catla and Mrigal are breeding in the lake
Plans for the Improvement of the Chetput Lake:
It is one of the 12 lakes in Chennai identified for an ‘Eco-Restoration Project’ of the ‘Environment Department’ of the State Government of Tamilnadu- The project from the year 2005,  at a budget of Rs 6 Crores has got  plans for the Development of the following around the lake:
  • A Boat Club,
  • An Aquarium,
  • Sea Food Stall,
  • Fish Court and a
  • Walkway
In May 2012, Chennai City Corporation has resolved to construct a 1,475 Metres long Storm Water Drain from the lake into the ‘Cooum River’ at a cost of Rs 2.29 Crores for draining excess water during heavy monsoon rains

In the year 2013 there have been plans at a cost of Rs 42 Crores  for developing the lake with facilities for:

  • ‘Angling’,
  • Water Sports,
  • Boating and
  • Open Air Auditoriums
The shore of the lake would have an Eco Park with Tracks for ‘Walkers and Joggers’ and Children’s Play Areas and a Sea Food Restaurant
Also there are plans for an elevated link between Chetpet railway station and the Eco Park, infrastructure connecting Poonamallee High Road with the park, and construction of a box culvert beneath the railway tracks to connect the lake with Cooum River near Spur Tank Road
The foundation for the park  planned in a 15-acre area adjoining the lake was laid in the year 2014-
However, all the plans would take their own time to be completed
Name of the Lake: CHITLAPAKKAM LAKE:-
Type: Reservoir,  Area: 86.86 Acres  / 37.83 Lakhs Sq Ft.,
Location: Chitlapakkam, Chennai,  

Source: Rain Waters and  Waters from the nearby ‘Pachai Malai’ hills /

Chitlapakkam Lake
The location of the Chitlapakkam lake had been ‘Agricultural Land’ in the past years
In the year 2003, the lake bunds were strengthened by raising the height to 10 feet and increasing the storage capacity of the lake
Due to lack under-ground drainage systems in the nearby houses, the lake waters got contaminated by the drainage waters and sewage from the commercial establishment around the lake on the GST Road passed into the lake
A ‘Wastages Dump Yard’ has been near the lake since many years
There have been some plans for the improvement of the lake at and estimate of  Rs 45 Lakhs out of which 15 Lakhs were from the Public and the balance of Rs 30 Lakhs from the State Government
In February 2013 the works for a 750 Metres long pathway,  a garden around the lake  and Boating Facilities in the lake, at a cost of Rs 45 Lakhs had commenced

Name of the Lake: SHOLAVARAM LAKE:-

Type: Reservoir,

Capacity: 31, 112 Cubic Feet,  

Location: Ponneri, Thiruvallur,

Source: Rain Waters

Sholavaram Lake

Due to lack of rains in the past 6 years there is very little water in the lake

Name of the Lake: VELACHERY LAKE:-

Location: Velachery,

Area: 55 Acres / 23.96 Laksh Sq Ft.,  

Source: Rain Waters

Velachery Lake
Due to contamination to the water in the lake, by sewage passed into the lake from the houses nearby without under ground drainage connections,the plans of boating have been staggered by the Corporation of Chennai City
Type:  Reservoir,
Area: 5.32 Acres/ 2.32 Lakhs Sq Ft.,  Location: Mugappair, Chennai

Mugappair Mangal Lake
Earlier the lake had been a good source of water for the Mugappair area
Due to the industries of the Ambattur Industrial Estate the lake got contaminated
In the year 2005, renovation work of the lake with a compound wall around the lake for an area of 30 Acres at a cost of Rs 20 Lakhs commenced-
In July 2009, the first phase of the work with a walkers’ track of 4.5 Metres width and 520 Metres long with lighting facilities was completed at a cost of 60 Lakhs
In the second phase of the plans for the improvement of the lake at a cost of Rs 25 Lakhs, space for ‘Children’s Play Area’ and a ‘Park’ have been  provided and the work for which is yet to commence
The ‘Achalathamman Temple’ is on the bank of the lake
Name of the Lake: PALLAVARAM PERIYA LAKE ( Pallavaram Big Lake):

Type: Reservoir  Area: Originallly of 200 Acres-87.12 Lakhs Sq Ft/   

Location:  Pallavaram, on the east of the Railway Track between Pallavaram and Chromepet /

Pallavaram Big Lake
The large lake dried up and got polluted by Industrial waste waters from the Leather Factories at Chromepet and garbage dumped into the lake area-
The nearby area behind ‘Lakshmi Nagar’ and’ Ganapathipuram’ is used as a ‘Burrial site’ and a place for funeral rituals
There is not much of water in the so called big lake
A road connecting Chromepet/Pallavaram with Thoraippakkam passes through the  middle of the  lake
Borewells for draining water for commercial water supplies through lorries have been dug in the areas of the lake

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