Chetpet Eco Park (செட்பெட் பசுமை பூங்கா) is a nice venue for boating & fishing right inside/within the city of Chennai. The main gate is almost opposite to Ega theater, but a few meters further, towards Central. There is parking space, and I paid Rs. 20 for parking my bike for two hours. Entrance ticket cost is Rs. 25 per head, and boating ticket costs Rs. 50 per head. The Park is open from 9 A.M. to 6 P.M., except on Tuesdays.
There is a huge walkway around the lake and the area is decorated well. I think the walking distance (one round) should cover almost 0.75 K.M. There is an area on the lake dedicated to fishing/angling. I guess the charges are Rs. 300/- for a catch of three fishes and they’ll give angling rods, etc. I didn’t try this.
There is a small food court with bakery, sandwiches, soups, chaats, tea, etc. And behind it is a small play area for kids. There is also a restroom.
Of course, the main attraction of this venue is the boating around the lake. We went on a Thursday afternoon and had to wait for 20 minutes to get on a boat. I heard it’s crowded on weekends – so plan accordingly. There are two types of boats – rowing boat and pedaling boat. We went on a rowing boat which can accommodate a maximum of 2 people + 1 staff. The pedaling boat can accommodate 3 people + one staff. Kids below 3 years are not allowed.
The boat takes one round across the lake and comes back to the jetty. I think our ride in a rowing boat took around 20 minutes. TN Fisheries Dept. seems to have provided the boats and their staff manages this venue. They were polite and helpful, but don’t expect star hotel courtesy here. It was a nice experience in spite of the April summer in Chennai. Since there is no covering over the boat, you’ll have to consider the heat. But the jetty is covered on the top. Here are some pics –
Here is a short video of our row-boat experience at this venue,