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Osudu Lake, famously known as Ousteri Lake in Puducherry, is one of the largest man-made freshwater lakes in the city, which was built by the French. Recognised by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), this is the most important wetlands in the entire Asia.The government, too, has declared this area a Sanctuary and is working to promote the same. Though an artificial lake,  Lake has turned out to be a great support for thriving wildlife and a bird sanctuary and it is also a source of freshwater for the locals. The geographical structure of this lake is complex and has wetlands, midlands, and water. Its beauty has not only charmed wildlife to seek shelter but also welcomes visitors from all over the country.

About Osudu Lake

More information about Osudu Lake

Image Credit: Aleksandr Zykov for Wikimedia Commons
The name of Osudu Lake in Puducherry has been derived from the nearby village, Osudu, but is also known as Ousteri Lake. It is only 15 km away from the lake. The length is around 800 hectares, of which 390 hectares fall in Puducherry, and the rest is in Tamil Nadu. The Lake depth is 1 meter on average with a maximum depth of 3 meters at certain places.
Built by the French during their Colonial Rule, it became the most important source of fresh water for drinking. With time and less human involvement, the area grew and started to receive birds and wildlife. Witnessing this, the government declared this area a bird sanctuary and is working to promote it. IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has declared this lake an important wetland in Asia.
The main attraction of the lake is the boating facility that the Puducherry Tourism Department has started here. Tourists can sail on the boat and witness the beauty of the lake while enjoying the chirping birds hovering through the place. Along with local birds making this lake home, at least 40 species of migratory birds also fly to this wetland. You can witness open-bill storks, white ibis, painted storks, golden orioles, spotted owlets, etc, and it is called a birdwatcher paradise for a reason.

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Things To Do In Osudu Lake

Things to enjoy at Osudu Lake

Image Credit: Karthik Easvur for Wikimedia Commons
Visiting the Osudu Lake viewpoint in the winter opens tourist opportunities, mainly boating. Though the lake has limited access to preserve and maintain the harmony of the birds and other wildlife, you can still enjoy a few interesting activities here. Let’s have a look!

  • Boating: This is the best thing to do in Osudu Lake. Make your trip adventurous by hopping on the boat and riding around the Lake. The cost is INR 100 per person for adults. The price also depends on the distance you want to cover.
  • Strolling around: If you plan to visit the Lake during the winter, you must enjoy strolling around the lake. The cool wind touches your face and refreshes you if you walk around in the morning.
  • Bird-watching: For the bird-lovers, this place is paradise. Even if you are not a bird enthusiast, you will find it thrilling when different bird species chirp and take flight above your head. You can watch more than 40 species of migratory birds hovering through.
  • Picnic: If you plan your trip here, try to enjoy this place as a local. You would see locals enjoying picnics here with their friends and family, and you too can enjoy the same.
  • Trying the Local Delicacy: While you enjoy visiting the Lake, you can also try out the local cuisine. Several restaurants and shacks are located nearby and you can at least have 1 meal. Some of the local dishes you can try are Khowsuey, Pondy Moussaka, Quiche, Spinach Crepe, and South Indian cuisine.
  • Photography: Photography is undoubtedly one of the must-do things in Osudu Lake because not every day or on every trip do you come across a bird sanctuary home to several local and migratory bird species. Capturing them is a must.

Places To Visit Around Osudu Lake

As we mentioned above, there is not a lot to do at the lake besides exploring it and watching birds in their natural habitat. You can spend some hours there and then set on exploring the nearby places to visit.

1. Sadhana Forest

Sadhana Forest near Osudu lake

Image Credit: Arild Vågen for Wikimedia Commons
Not exactly in Puducherry, but it is located in the experimental town of Auroville. The initiative to establish this forest is motivating. It was an initiative that began in the year 2003 and was started by Aviram Rozin and Yorit. The land that they started to establish this forest on was beyond repair, but they started to maintain it as a part of Auroville. The people of Auroville still aim to bring this forest to life by practising minimal waste, water conservation and reforestation. You too can be a part of it and contribute your efforts.
Distance from Osudu Lake: 4.6 Km
Timings: 24 Hours

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2. Pondicherry Museum

Murals being displayed at Pondicherry Museum

Image Credit: Satdeep Gill for Wikimedia Commons
If you love history and always want to explore the past of the places you visit, a museum is the best place. Located in Erstwhile Puducherry, the Pondicherry Museum is known for its outstanding collection of sculptures. The museum reflects the city’s past and the entire Tamil Nadu and has relics on display from the Pallava and Chola dynasties from the 3rd to 10th centuries. Another highlight of this museum is the fossilised tree which is a remnant from the prehistoric era.
Distance from Osudu Lake: 11.1 Km
Timings: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

3. Sri Aurobindo Ashram

Sri Aurobindo Ashram near Osudu Lake

Image Credit: Pinakpani for Wikimedia Commons
While you are in Puducherry, you must visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Located only half an hour away from Osudu Lake, it is a spiritual community established in 1926 on the ideologies of Rishi Aurobindo and Sister Nivedita. Mainly constructed to encourage meditation and practise inner peace in a peaceful ambience. It is a heritage place and has a modern setting which is very unlike an ashram.
Distance from Osudu Lake: 11 Km
Timings: 8:00 AM to 11:30 AM to 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM

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Best Time To Visit Osudu Lake

The Vast Waterbody

Image Credit: Karthik Easvur for Wikimedia Commons
The best time to visit Osudu Lake in Pondicherry is during winter. As Puducherry mostly has humid and hot weather throughout the year, winters become cool, soothing, and moist-free.
Plan a trip between October to March as a soothing breeze comes from the Bay of Bengal. Winter is also the best time for numerous migratory birds flocking here and there.

Further Read: Hill Stations Near Pondicherry

Osudu Lake is not an ordinary lake but has more significance, which the world has recognised. Since its declaration as a bird sanctuary, it has received more attention and is a literal paradise for birdwatchers. If visiting Puducherry is on your itinerary for a trip to Tamil Nadu, make sure to visit Osudu Lake.

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Cover Image Credit: Ashok Raj for Wikimedia Commons

Frequently Asked Questions About Osudu Lake

Where is Osudu Lake located?

Osudu Lake is located on the border of Puducherry and Tamil Nadu. The Osudu Lake length is around 800 hectares of which 390 hectares is the part of Puducherry.

What is the significance of Osudu Lake?

Osudu Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Puducherry and supplies drinking water to the locals. Besides, it has been declared as a bird sanctuary by the Government and the most important wetlands in Asia by IUCN.

What activities can you enjoy at Osudu Lake?

You can explore the area by walking or cycling. Also, boating is a popular activity to do here and bird watchers call this lake their paradise.

What is the timing of visiting Osudu Lake?

The timings for Osudu Lake are 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. For better views of birds, you must visit this take during morning hours.

How to reach Osudu Lake from Pondicherry?

The lake is well-connected by roads in Puducherry. You can take a bus or can from anywhere in the city.

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Category: Places To Visit, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu

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