Visiting Pichavaram Mangrove Forest
Pichavaram is a coastal village located on the shores of Bay of Bengal near Chidambaram in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu. The Mangrove forest found on the back water of Pichavaram is second largest forest in the world. This Mangrove forest is spread across of around 2800 acres on the back water with a group of small islands.
Boating in Pichavaram Forest
The Tamil Nadu tourism department operates paid boating services for the visitors to go around Mangrove forest for sightseeing. There are both motor boats and row boats available for rent. We choose row boat and luckily it became a wise decision since the row boat is friendly enough to paddle across the narrow Mangrove bushes where the motor boat cannot reach. It’s really awesome to see the dense Mangrove trees amidst the water bodies while you travel in boat. Since Mangrove trees are dense and found in water bodies there are many birds found in this place, both native and migratory birds are commonly seen. These birds built nests on these trees and feeds on the fishes living there.
Birds in Pichavaram Forest
It’s very rare to spot Mangrove trees in other places since it grows only in saline coastal areas and we are really lucky to have one near Chennai. People here say Mangrove forest saved them from the ravages of Tsunami waves in the year 2004. Also, there were only minimal damages reported for this Mangrove forest during Tsunami time.
See the below album for more pictures,
How to reach Pichavaram?
- Pichavaram is around 230 kilometers on road from Chennai if you go through Tindivanam and Pondicherry. The place is very near to Chidambaram, around 15 kilometers in road.
- On bus, either board a bus to Chidambaram or Pondicherry from where you can take another bus to Pichavaram.
- Map route from Chennai
Time required to cover
If you are in Chennai, you can start early in the morning and it would take around 4 to 5 hours to reach Pichavaram on road. We took a row boat for 1 hour rent where we could cover around 2 to 3 kilo meters of Mangrove forest. They also take you to the sea if you choose a package more than 1 hour so choose it based on your time availability.
We can finish the trip in one day if you travel from Chennai and plan only to visit Pichavaram.
Best time to visit
You can visit Pichavaram at any time of the year but the best time to visit is around November to February since the place is generally hot and is best time for bird watching too.
There are very less option for better accommodation near Pichavaram since it is a village. You can stay in Chidambaram where you can get some decent accommodation.
Places of interest nearby
There are many other places which you can visit in and around Pichavaram. There are some historic places and lot of famous temples around this place. Some of them are,
- Natarajar Temple in Chidambaram
- Lots of other famous temple in and around Chidambaram. THIRUMANANCHERI, VaitheeswaranKoil, THIRUVIDAI MARUDOOR, SWAMIMALAI are some.
- The back water is not so deep, it is around 2 to 3 feet deep at most places.
- They provide life jacket for kids.
- Take enough drinking water with you.
- The water is generally salty since it is backwater and is not fit for drinking or even washing your face.
- There are no good restaurants nearby since it is a village. Pack your food if you plan to stay long from the nearest town Chidambaram.