Pichavaram is located near Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India. It has the 2nd largest mangrove forest and the number of mangrove trees are rooted in the backwaters which makes it the beautiful sight to enjoy.
Our trip started from Pondicherry. Chidambaram is about 80 kms from Pondicherry. We booked a taxi for round trip, it costed Rs. 1950. We left our hotel, Anandha Inn, at about 10:15 AM and reached Chidambaram at 12:00 PM. Unfortunately it was raining/drizzling on and off. First we went to the famous Nataraja temple at Chidambaram. The temple is very huge, some special event was happening that day, the temple was unbelievably crowded and combined with the rain it was bit unbearable for us. We walked around a bit, but it was impossible to get the darshana of the god that day. We came out and headed to the next stop, Pichavaram.
Pichavaram is actually on the way to Chidambaram from Pondicherry. We had our lunch at Saradha Ram Hotel before leaving. This hotel is situated opposite Chidambaram Bus stand. Nice hotel in that area, food option at that time was only thali lunch and it was good. It took about 30 minutes to reach Pichavaram from there.
It was still drizzling on and off and we were concerned how to do the boat ride that takes you through the mangrove forest. We took the least possible one which is for 1 hour duration of boat ride for Rs. 200. Immediately we were asked to go to a boat that is waiting. Luckily it wasn’t raining anymore, though it was still cloudy. Our next one hour was such an amazing and surreal experience.
It was just us and the boatman in the boat. With whatever little Tamil we could speak and whatever little English the boatman could speak, he was able to sell something extra for us. He told that the boat ride we bought doesn’t really cover going way deep inside the forest and he could take us there if we pay him Rs. 200 extra. Regardless of which trip you buy, this is some trick they play to make extra money I guess. By then we were excited by the beauty we had seen already and didn’t want to miss anything further, so we went with it and paid him.
The boat took us way deep inside the dense mangrove forest and what a stunning beauty! It is a must for a nature lover!! We enjoyed the back waters ride and the scenery as if we were in a dream land. Nature at its best indeed. I wish we could have stayed there for longer. If the weather was good, I would be back on another boat for longer time. Now it is in my list to visit again!
However, I felt these boat rides are bit costly and then the boatmen tempt you for something else for more money. So, go with an open wallet and plan to stay for the longer boat ride, you will be treated with an unimaginable beauty to enjoy. It is a lifetime experience, do not miss it if you are in the area.