A day trip to Pichavaram,Second largest Mangrove Forest in the world

Pichavaram Mangrove forest.

In Cudallore district in the Tamil Nadu state, Pichavaram is near Chidambaram. It is well known for its mangrove forest. Several sites say that after the Sundarbans, it was India's second-largest mangrove area. But others say that it's the third place, where a mangrove forest in Odisha occupies second place. All that matters, though, is how good it is. Please google it first to those who don't know what a mangrove forest is. I also believed that the mangrove forest is a forest filled with mango trees before reaching this location.
Although it was still January, the weather was quite hot, we were a little reluctant to ask if going to Pichavaram in the middle of the afternoon would be a good idea.

Mangroves of Pichavaram – Coast Guards

Mangroves of Pichavaram are approximately 12 km away from the town. Such mangroves are the world's second-largest after Sundarbans mangroves. Mangroves are a type of shrub that grows in tropical, coastal areas where estuaries and brackish water are present. Such shrubs are also coastal protectors since they protect the coastal ecosystem against erosion. In addition, it is assumed that the Pichavaram mangroves shielded the coastal regions around Chidambaram from the 2004 Tsunami.
We arrived in Pichavaram at 3 pm, bought our boating tickets and got on a cruise. We've hired the motorboats because it's a bit quicker, and we've purchased the 4 odd boat bills so we could have them for ourselves. Only motorboats and boats are available there. The vast area of the green mangroves can be seen from the jetty.




You hit the mangroves a couple of m in the backwaters which look as if you are entering the forest.

It was only around 2 feet, which means that you can even go on it. I checked the water depth. It was too slow, however. The guide also said that the film Dasavatharam's initial scenes were shot there and he took us on a cruise.



The guide stopped the boat after 1 hour of rambling to reach the forest and take some pictures. My friends wanted to climb trees, but I went to the marshes a few steps for an excursion and found it very difficult to walk. I sink my feet into the wetlands. There was also no space for your feet because the mangrove shrubs were so heavily populated that the grounds were more than sandy. Later we went for another 1 hour and it was another experience for us all. That was the amazing beauty and quietness of the place where you'd like to go once more.


Such plants have roots adapted to loose soils, such roots do not expand into the soil too deep; they are almost like floating plants! The mangroves are fascinating shrubs built on loose, soft fields, filled with sea tides. Some of the roots are aerial roots that assist the plants in getting oxygen over the surface of the water. You can see roots hanging in the air as you ride along the mangroves and you can conquer their branches!
The open backwaters with the green waters are cool, fresh air and the odor of salty water are very much enjoyed.

Here you can make a deal with the shipman to avoid all the hassle. Ideally, a 45-minute ride around the mangroves will be offered by the government boat service, which does not get deeper into the forest, the best part of the tour. Usually, they accept to take you to the deep forest for a bit farther if you request the boatmen. It's worth it, but if something goes wrong, it doesn't take responsibility for the tourism department! Our boatman offered to bring us into the deep forest himself and went off the regular route. When we deeper into the mangrove forest, it was a beautiful view, and we were greeted by canopy of mangrove root!

boat ride in pichavaram mangrove forest.

The channels through the mangroves get smaller, deeper, and you have to dovetail to keep the roots from dropping! You'll yell excitedly as the boat runs in calm, dark waters and roots like a tent over your head. At certain points, the roots are very thick and the plant is quite large, it's nearly like a wooden bar wall, sunlight is flowing in here, and the effect is magical!
Sometimes when the sun is weak, the path looks furious, as if it is close to you, as the boat cruises slowly in peace. You wonder if the boat will really navigate through the narrow turns.

Dasavatharam's initial scenes were shot here.


The official boat ride is approx. 45 minutes, although boatmen will take you to the deep wood, they will ensure that you come back within the specified time. This view of the main water bordered by mangroves persuaded us that we had to return outside to the city.
Our natural heritage, the Pichavaram mangroves, protect the coast, how can we preserve them? Sometimes we must think, are we disturbing the fragile ecosystem when hundreds of tourists visit such places and motor ships slide in the backwaters? Should we just allow the mangroves to live peacefully? Or, would these tours let people know what a beautiful planet it is and how much more attention it deserves from us?

Point to remember
.  The drive to Pichavaram from the Chidambaram is less than 30 minutes. We don't know if Chidambaram provides decent public transport, "Your own car is the mantra."
.  Boat schedules between 8 am and 5 pm. There are 1-hour excursions to Pichavaram Beach, 2-hour rides and 4-hour journeys. Hours and excursions by the tourism department are subject to change.
.  Pichavaram offers a resort, but the reviews are not great, staying in Chidambaram is a better idea.
.  There can be large crowds and time to wait for the boat on weekends and on holidays.
.  Plastic is not allowed and doesn't clutter mangroves even if you bring none.
.  Summer in these areas could get very hot; in the cooler months, plan your trip.
.  You can fly from Chennai to Chidambaram and Pichavaram for a weekend.

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