About 24km north of Chennai, Cholavaram Tank is one of the largest lakes around the city (following Puzhal, Sembarambakkam and Poondi) and the water from the rain-fed reservoir is drawn for the city supply, through canals to Puzhal Lake.
During 2015 historical rain and flood, the Lake reached the maximum capacity of 595 (mcft) out of 881 (mcft) and on 1st December 2015, the lake had an inflow of 423 (cusecs) and an outflow of 400 (cusecs). But now, due to failure of Northeast Monsoon, the level of water has went nearly down and its bed has almost turned playground, as you could see from the photos above (and below) – some youngsters are playing cricket on the grasses.
Apart lake, Cholavaram is primarily known for motor racing and racing events were conducted here from early 1960s to the late 1980s, before the Madras Motor Sports Club built a new track at Irungattukottai, near Sriperumbadur, Chennai. The race track near Cholavaram Lake was used to be an air strip during World War II and being a T shaped track it was modified to conduct racing on certain conditions. But having no idea where the race track was, I couldn’t check the place when visiting the lake on my way to Nagalapuram.
Buffaloes grazing on dry bed of the tank/lake
I actually decided to climb on the lake bank road from the south and get down at other end in north, but I missed the road that comes next to the Nallur toll plaza on NH 16, and could only check the lake from the other end where the surplus weir exit. A red soil road comes around the lake partially and only bikes and cars can travel from one end to another. As per agreement with Andhra Pradesh Govt. the Krishna water release from Kandaleru reservoir, is stored in Cholavaram Lake as well as Poondi reservoir for drinking purpose.
|Someone had got the car into the lake... but we had no time to experience such|