The city of Chennai is many things at once – a concomitant of rich history, a city with architectural brilliance, a melting pot of cultures & cuisines, a city, which spearheaded India’s trajectory to industrialization, and so forth. But more than anything else, it is a city with quite a few tranquil places for the hardworking millennial of the country to let their hair down. Some places that you should visit are the ones surrounding the placid Puzhal Lake (which is also known as the ‘Red Hills Lake’ fondly).
Retteri Lake (16.4 km):
Also famous as the ‘Madhavaram Rettal Eri Lake’ among the locals of Chennai, this spot is roughly 45 minutes away from Puzhal Lake. It is the perfect spot for a fun-filled picnic with your family & friends or some tranquil solitary moments alone. From spotting colourful birds to playing with pebbles in the shallow waters of the lake or to catching fish endemic to the region to reading your favourite novel – there are plenty of things that you can do here.
Madhavaram Botanical Garden (18.2 km):
Situated at a 40-minute (approx.) drive from the lake, this place is a favourite among all the nature enthusiasts and those fond of wildlife photography. Sprawling over an area of 28 acres, this is an enchanting montage of verdant shrubs, blossoming herbal gardens, enticing ornamental plants & flowers. This garden is often frequented by enthusiastic people who love going for a relaxing stroll in the morning. The park also has quite a few attractions for your little ones such as mazes, a dedicated play area and many fountains.
Regional Rail Museum, Avadi (23.9 km):
Roughly an hour away from the lake, this is an intriguing place for children and all those who want to acquaint themselves with the fascinating evolution of India’s rail system. You can buy fairly economically priced entry tickets at the ticket counter, which resembles the shape of a railway coach. The museum opens its doors to visitors on all days of the week barring Monday between 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM. Besides rail coaches, it also houses numerous parks and swings for children. From British models of train engines to the recent ones; Indian compartments (eg. Calcutta train) to international ones (Sri Lankan DEMU), diesel engines to steam engines – this place shows versatility of Indian Railways in myriad ways.
Kailasanathar Temple (35.7 km):
Believed to be around 1300 years old, this temple is roughly 1 hour & 15 minutes away from the lake. Given the fact that it was constructed 13 centuries ago, it is indeed impressive that this temple has stood the test of time and is nothing less than an architectural marvel. Legend has it that this temple was constructed by the Pallava dynasty in 610 AD. While Lord Shiva is the main presiding deity, the temple also houses idols of other deities such as Lord Ganesha. This quaint temple is flocked by devotees every day.