Pichavaram Mangrove Forests, a mesmerizing getaway from Pondicherry

75 Kms from Pondicherry, is this Pichavaram Mangrove Forests known to be the world’s third largest mangrove forests.

I had no idea about this place, till a acquaintance ( a Chennai Local), with whom I worked few years back, suggested me to visit while I was in Pondicherry. I did some quick google and the pictures really fascinated me. I had to return Chennai, just the day after the Demonetization news was announced by the Prime Minister. I was stuck with very little cash, but same friend reached out for my help and got me some Cash, all in 100 Rs note thankfully, enough for me to go back to Pondicherry. Nice people do exist, Yeah!!

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Same day, I left for Pondicherry again and next morning I had planned to visit the Lake. I had read a lot about the Sunderbans and wish to go there someday

It is located near Chidambaram in Cuddalore District, Tamil Nadu. The nearest railway station is Chidambaram from where it is accessible by road.
Pichavaram ranks amongst one of the most exquisite scenic spots in Tamil Nadu and is home of many species of aquatic birds.

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How to reach there : It is easily accessible from Pondicherry and Chennai. A road trip from Pondicherry is perfect. If you are traveling by bus, one needs to reach to Chidambaram Bus stand. Get down at Chidambaram and take another bus that will drop you straight inside the TTDC boating center in Pichavaram. There are frequent buses from Chidambaram to Pichavaram.

You can either take the coastal road or the Highway road from Chidambaram to reach there. The Coastal road is a bit aloof and crosses through some villages. For some great panoramic views this one is better choice, but it takes a little more time than the highway road.

Distance from :

Pondicherry : 75 kms
Chennai : 245 kms

Best time to visit here is definitely the winters, from Nov to Feb as it is very hot in Chennai around the year. Reaching early morning is perfect to escape from the heat.The lake is open for visit round the year from 8:00 am to 8: 00 pm.

Things to remember:

1) Get there as early as possible to avoid the sunny boat ride.
2) Carry your food and water. There is one restaurant and snack counter at the lake which offers food, but there are not much option.
3) The boat man may ask for some tip off to show you some more species of birds plants.
4) Good Staying options are available at Chidambaram, not much near to the lake.
5) You might need Caps/Sunglasses and Sunscreen.

6) Don’t touch any bushes or plants in the water as it might be allergic.

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My Experience:

We got two tickets for a Row boat, there are motor boats also, but the unwanted noise might bother you. We were given life jackets and we got into our boat. The boatman spoke strictly in Tamil, not that I understood. My friend told him that I was from Gujarat and and they spoke quite a few things. We paid some 100 extra bucks to him and he told us more about the species of plants and birds that inhabited in the lake.

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Our Boatman

As soon as we started, I saw the cluster of mangroves that looked dark and very much like a forest in the water. I quickly inquired if we were going inside “Yes, we will go inside” said the boatman. I was curious to find out what it would be like getting inside.

We soon made our way into the mangroves. Make sure to keep a check on your Caps, sunglasses as they may collide with the bushes.We crossed through some very narrow ways where when other boats came in, we actually clashed. Be ready to see some boat accidents in the water. It would be fun! I promise.

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