I am always in search of new and exciting places to visit whenever I visit my sister’s home in Pondicherry. This time she told me about a mangrove forest which was quite near and can be reached in a few hours. So we fixed a weekend and on Sunday she took me to Pichavaram Mangrove Forest. Pichavaram is a coastal town located on the shores of the Bay of Bengal near Chidamvaram, in the Cuddalore district. Most of the time we visit Chennai and for sightseeing they take us in and around Chennai and Pondicherry is a must visit in the itinerary.If you can spare just a day extra then do visit this lovely place. It is a break from the regular beaches,where you can enjoy boat ride with your whole family or group or even alone. The Pichavaram Mangrove forest is the world’s third largest mangrove forest. The Sundarbans of west Bengal is also famous for the Mangroove forest. If you have visited that, you should also visit the one in Pichavaram.
All you need to know about Pichavaram Mangrove Forest
How to Reach – The distance from Chennai to Pichavarm is 230 kms and if you are traveling from Pondicherry it is just 74kms, around 2 hours drive. you can book cabs or there are buses to reach Pichavaram. You can also take a train, nearest is the Chidambaram Railway station that connects Chennai, Madurai, Tiruchirapally. By Air you can also reach , nearest airport is in Tiruchirapalli.
Where to stay– Pichavaram is a village, there are may be a few resorts, I have seen signboards, but please make sure if you want you stay and enjoy the scenic beauty of the back waters. or the nearest town is Chidambaram where you can get some hotels or lodge to stay.
My experience at Pichavaram Mangrove Forest
We started around 10am in the morning and reached Pichavaram Mangrove Forest at 1 pm. After we reached the first thing is to collect your tickets for the boat ride, across the mangrove forest that is spread around 2800 acres of back waters with group of small islands. there are paid motor boats and also row boats for rent on the basis of hour, it is maintained by the Tamil Nadu Tourism board. There are also facilities of house boats as we saw a huge board displaying House Boat. You can get all the information in the counter. The mangroves are the best place for bird watching. We rented a motor boat for 2 hours and its best because the weather was not that merciful on us. The best time to visit is throughout the whole year.
Take your own drinking water and also some snacks especially if you are with kids because for food you shall have to travel again a long way to Chidambaram. While going for the boat ride in Pichavaram Mangrove Forest make sure you hire a motor boat with shade. Wear something light and comfortable, as you will really feel the heat. Keep your heads covered with caps/hats. The boat which we rented had a huge cover, so that was a big relief from the harsh rays of the sun.
So that was it we enjoyed our ride across the Pichavaram Mangrove Forest, on certain places we had to bow down because the branches were so spread all around that it would almost hit our heads. It was indeed a wonderful ride. We left the place at around 5pm. Hope you found this post interesting, also don’t forget to share your experience if you happen to visit this place.