Pichavaram is the second largest mangrove forest in the world, located near Chidambaram in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu with an area of over 2800 acres. The nearest railway station is Chidambaram from where it is accessible by road.
Being one of the unique and natural 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 and this are considered among the healthiest mangrove occurrence in the world.
The Pichavaram mangroves consists of an appreciable bird population of residents, local migrants and true migrants. 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.Some rare species of plants like Avicennia and Rhizophara. Pichavaram consists of numerous birds like Watersnips, Cormorants, Egrets, Storks, Herons, Spoonbills and Pelicans.
Located at a distance of 280 kms from Chennai. The nearest town is Chidambaram – located at approximately 2 hours drive south of Pondicherry. There are two routes to Chidambaram from Chennai – one down the east-coast road to Pondicherry and there-from south via Cuddalore, along the coast and the second along the Chengalpat. Regarding accommodation, a TTDC hotel is there to cater the needs of the tourists, though this is not enough in comparison to the growing popularity of the spot. Boating at Pichavaram is open from 7.30 AM to 5.30 PM. So, its better to do your bookings well in advance especially during the festival times. The temple in Chidambaram is open from early in the morning till mid-afternoon, and re-opens around 4pm.
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