is a mangrove forest in the middle of rural south India. 16 kms
from Chidambaram, this is a popular tourist destination.
The lush greenery and the calm backwaters drew me, from far off
Chennai, to make a visit. The main attraction of the forest is the
boating trips on the estuary through the mangrove forests. The
Forestry Department and the Tamilnadu Tourism Department
jointly manage this 2800-acre mangrove forest.
are special type of forests, where only a few species of trees grow.
These trees have breathing roots, wherein the roots come above the
soil surface to breathe air. In Pitchavaram, there are 19 species
of different trees. The mangrove forests are known to prevent soil
erosion, act as a buffer between seawater and fresh water and also
have medicinal properties in their trees.
boat ride through the still waters is very relaxing. The trees make
arches around the waterway and few rays of sunlight that filter
through these tangling branches reflect on the placid waters, to
make for an unforgettable experience. The boat ride through these
arches is a must. The silence will make you never want to leave
this place. If lucky you could spot some exotic birds also. You
would normally need an entire day to see the whole forest. But I
was satisfied with a two-hour ride, mainly because my very informative
boatman showed me places that a normal tourist would most often
not be taken to. The experienced boat man was very entertaining
and informative, he could pronounce scientific terms flawlessly
and kept good company by singing old film songs. I don't know why
I was given this special privilege, but I am grateful for such a
Boats can be hired from the tourist counter at Rs 50/- per head,
for 1 hour.
Route: 16 kms from Chidambaram, can hire taxis, vans, or
take local buses.
Nearest Rail hub: Chidambaram (16 kms)
Nearest Airport: Trichy (128 kms)
Accomodation: TTDC cottages and rooms available at Pitchavaram.(
Double bed rooms - Rs 195/-, and Cottages Rs 50/- per head)
Notes: Video and still cameras not allowed.
|Text and Pics - Leslee Lazar