Travel Special – Pichavaram, Second Largest Mangrove Forest in the World
A few words about Pichavaram first. This sleepy village about 250 KM from Chennai is home to the Second Largest Mangrove forest in the world and a magnificent bird century in its own. Very rare and fast diminishing, mangrove forests are jungles of mangrove trees like Avicennia and Rhizophara which remain rooted in water. A biosphere in itself, a mangrove forest is a delicate system; and though resilient to the forces of nature, has not been able to withstand the recent onslaught of the mankind. This makes Pichavaram very special, as apart from being a shelter to migratory birds of many kinds, it’s one of the last stands made by the mangroves in the world.
Pichavaram the second largest Mangrove forest in the world, near the temple town of Chidambaram , is one of the unique Eco-tourism spots in South India.
The backwaters, inter connected by the Vellar and Coleroon river systems, offer abundant scope for water sports, rowing, Kayak and canoeing. The Pichavaram forest not only offers waterscape and back water cruises, but combines another very rare occurrence – the mangrove forest trees permanently rooted in a few feet of water.
The Pichavaram mangroves are considered among the healthiest mangrove occurrence in the world. Pichavaram consists of a number of islands interspersing a vast expanse of water covered with green trees. The area is about 2800 acres and is separated from the sea by a sand bar which is a patch of extraordinary loveliness.
The Pichavaram mangrove biotope, with its peculiar topography and environmental condition, supports the existence of many rare varieties of economically important shell and finfishes.
The Pichavaram mangroves attract an appreciable bird population of residents, local migrants and true migrants. At the mangroves, so far, 177 species of birds belonging to 15 orders and 41 families have been recorded. The season for birds is from September to April every year. Peak population of birds could be seen from November to January. This is due to high productive nature (in terms of prey organisms) of the ecosystem and coincidence of the time of arrival of true migrants from foreign countries and local migrants from their breeding grounds across India.
The availability of different habitat types such as channels, creeks, gullies, mud flats and sand flats and adjacent sea shore offers ideal habitat for difference species of birds.
Pichavaram is a most peculiar place, lush green mangroves everywhere and not a sight of land. Crisscrossing the jungle aare narrow waterways making it the Venice of the Woods. And the peace; once you entered the forest, not a sound anywhere, not even the usual crickets and birds breaking the tranquility of the place. The Mangrove trees are not very high, about 8-10 feet in height with the roots going deep into the water. Be sure to enjoy the serenity among the woods.
Make sure to travel into a mangrove-alley, a narrow path going into the forests, only one boat can travel at a time, a life time experience.
TTDC boat club arranges for boats here.
The row boating to forest & beach lasts approximately 5 hours
Carry sunglasses and a minimum of 1 water bottle per person
Row boat costs vary with the number of persons, a row boat for 4 persons costs Rs.340
Please confirm with the boat manager about the details of the forest boating because the charges to the caves may be different
Motorboats do not go into the mangroves
It takes approximately an hour before you reach the mangroves and sometimes it can be a no fun adventure too. The adventure begins with the mangroves. It is worth the wait.
TTDC restaurant food is not palatable so better to help with food out.
How to reach there
Air: The nearest airport is at Trichy (168-km)
Rail: The nearest railway station is at Chidambaram, which is on the Chennai Tiruchirappalli main line, between Villuppuram and Thanjavur and is well connected by rail with Trichy, Madurai, Chennai, etc.
Road: Bus routes connect to Chidambaram to various places in Tamil Nadu like Thanjavur, Madurai, Chennai, Thanjavur, Kumbakonam, Nagapattinam, etc. From Chidambaram there are regular buses to Pichavaram.
Getting there: Pichavaram is 16km from Chidambaram and best accessed by road.
Pichavaram is situated around 75 kms from Pondicherry near Chidambaram.
Boat Manager in Pichavaram (Mobile No) +91 9176995838
Posted on March 1, 2012, in Travel and tagged chennai, Chidambaram, holidays, Mangrove, Pichavaram, picnic, places of interest, stress buster, Tamil Nadu, travel, weekend getaway. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.