If you have never been to a mangrove forest, you are missing out on an amazing experience. There is an absolutely beautiful mangrove forest in Pichavaram, Tamil Nadu. It is the second largest Mangrove Forest in the world. Mangrove forests are surrounded by water and you can go for a boat ride around the mangrove forest in Pichavaram.
Best Time To Visit
Year – The best time to visit Pichavaram would be from October to February because Tamil Nadu gets very hot during summers.
Day – The best time to visit during the day is around 3pm to sunset
How To Reach
The route to Pichavaram is very picturesque with a lot of greenery and rice fields.
Car – You can drive down to Pichavaram by a car from Chennai/Pondicherry if you have a valid Driver’s License. It is 4 hours from Chennai and 2 Hours from Pondicherry.
Bus – You can take a bus to Chidambaram and take a rickshaw to Pichavaram from there. Chidambaram to Pichavaram is around 15 minutes.
You can choose from a motor boat or a rowing boat. I chose a rowing boat as they take you into the interiors of the forest in a rowing boat.
Charges & Timings – The ride is about an hour long in both rowing and motor boat. 1 hour rowing boat ride is 340/- for 4 people.
PS- If you opt for a rowing boat to go into the interiors of the forest, it is not included in the ride fare that you pay at the entrance. Make sure you bargain and fix a price in advance with the person who’s rowing the boat to avoid getting scammed.
Pichavaram is ideally the perfect day trip if you are staying at a close proximity to it. If a day trip is too hectic for you, you can find accomodation in Chidambaram, it is the closest town to Pichavaram.
When I planned a trip to Pichavaram, I absolutely had no idea what I was in for. I had never visited a mangrove forest prior to this and I was looking forward to the experience. It was only after I entered the boating area did I get the first glimpse of its magnificence.
We got into our rickety blue boat and our guide started rowing through a vast water region. As we proceeded, it started getting narrower and we were suddenly going amidst the mangroves. To the point where, we could also touch the branches. It was just around sunset and the sight was quite overwhelming. Seemed like a scene straight out of a dream.
This went on for 45 minutes, rowing amidst narrow water lanes and mangroves on both sides. I am not exaggerating when I say that the air in that region was really refreshing. You’ll have to experience it to know what I’m talking about. We spotted some exotic birds and seals.
An interesting fact about Pichavaram I learnt from my guide was that the mangrove forest saved them from the Tsunami in 2004.
I’m so glad and grateful to have experienced this wonder in Pichavaram. If you are planning a trip to Tamil Nadu, I’d highly recommend this experience. You can thank me later! 🙂