The Adyar Creek- Chennai’s best kept secret

Chennai is know for its beaches, temples, politics, cinema, filter coffee and much more! Very little is talked about how ecologically blessed the megalopolis in the east coast of India is. Chennai is one of the few cities in the world to have 3 rivers that flow through its urban spread. It doesn’t end there, Chennai has reserve forests, marshlands, hills multiple lakes & ponds and of course the beaches! With such a unique ecological blend, Chennai in recent times is on the news for being the epicenter of the nation’s urban water crisis.

Being a resident of the city for the past 2 decades, little did I know about the sweet little wonder that meandered right behind my house, The Adyar creek; created by the backwaters from the Adyar estuary.

The Quibble Island, the island in Chennai that I live in is created by the Adyar Creek! The existence of this creek came to my notice when the road bridge that connects my colony to Mandaveli (A locality in east Chennai) was closed off and demolished overnight in mid-2007. This decision by authorities enraged the daily commuters and residents of the colony including myself. Little did we know that decision would protect the colony from the 2015 Chennai floods…

A couple of days after the demolition, the newspaper carried an article which said the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu had laid the foundation for the restoration of the Adyar Creek, which would also incorporate an Eco-park for the public. This was when I knew the Adyar river had a creek!

Today the Adyar creek is a very important and well-protected ecosystem in the city which is home to a verity of insects, butterflies, reptiles, amphibians, local & migratory birds. The Eco-park; Adyar Poonga a.k.a Tholkappia Poonga has very strict limit on visitors entry, this decision to restrict the number visitors entering this ecosystem is the reason as to why this creek still strives and hosts multiple lifeforms in the middle of this urban landscape.


Every time I walk across the newly laid wooden bridge, I take a moment to take in the beauty of mother nature. I’m glad that this pristine ecosystem is hidden away in the concert jungle and is inviting only birds, reptiles and amphibians. The mangrove trees all along the creek serve as a perfect nesting zone for many birds.

As a young budding photographer, I didn’t have to travel far to shoot (With my camera) some exotic birds, thanks to this creek I could do that right next to my house and practice my “wildlife photography” skills.

The Adyar Creek is a prime example of how there is still a fighting chance against climate change and it’s not too late to undo our wrongdoings over the years. All it takes is collaboration and participation from our end towards environment conservation.

Hopefully its NOT too late…

The above is a guest write-up by Vignesh Mahesh, E.F.I’s Communications Associate.

Published by LakesOfIndia

Lakes of India is an E.F.I initiative aimed at sensitizing the larger public on freshwater habitats across the country. A blog platform where one can read about lakes across India. You can become a guest blogger to write about a lake in your hometown and initiate an action to protect that lake.

One thought on “The Adyar Creek- Chennai’s best kept secret

  1. One of the reasons why the Adyar river flooded in 2015 was because of the sand bar at its mouth. You may like to convince the government to remove that sand bar and keep the mouth of the Adyar river free of sand bars.

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