Photo Credit : B Balaji
Tholkappia Poonga or Adyar Poonga (also known as Adyar Eco Park) is an ecological park set up by the Government of Tamil Nadu in the Adyar estuary area of Chennai, India. The Chennai city is abound with lakes and rivers, providing a habitat for wide variety of flora and fauna. The Chennai City is drained by 3 east flowing rivers namely Kosasthalayar, Cooum and Adyar between its north and south boundaries.
Adyar Poonga Eco Park is an eco-restoration project to restore the degraded Adyar Creek and therefore the Chennai Rivers Restoration Trust recommended for minimum human interface. The Adyar Creek and the Estuary from the eastern part of ThiruViKa Bridge covers an area of about 358 acres. This unique eco system has supported a wide variety of flora and fauna which gradually degraded over the years.
The Adyar river originates from Malaipattu tank near Manimangalam village in Sriperumbudur Taluk at about 15 km west of Tambaram and gains momentum as a stream from Chembarambakkam lake.
Adyar Poonga, is a section of an inland waterway coming from the Adyar Estuary, curving its way along the Quibble Island up to the Greenways Road. A survey of historic plans shows that the area has functioned as a storm water outflow for the watershed around the Creek, mainly for Mandaveli. Storm water coming from the surrounding areas through storm water drains would fill the Creek and functioned as retention and infiltration pond and excess overflows to the estuary. Similarly the area served as a reservoir for tidal water in times of high tide levels.
The park is not open to public currently. Given the fragile ecology of the park, the monitoring committee appointed by the Madras High Court had recommended minimum human interference in the park, which is presently intended to serve as a centre for environmental education as well as research activities.
The park will be kept open for students from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm and from 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm. It will remain closed on Sundays. The Park is currently open to groups of school children, accompanied by teachers/staff of the educational institution, with an entry fee of ₹ 5 per head.