Pichavaram Mangrove Forest Near Pondicherry
Location: 16-km from Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu
Pichavaram the second largest Mangrove forest in the world, near the temple town of Chidambaram, is one of the unique 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. The Pichavaram mangroves are considered among the healthiest mangrove occurrence in the world.Pichavaram consists of a number of islands interspersing a vast expanse of water covered with green trees. The area is about 2800 acres and is separated from the sea by a sand bar which is a patch of extraordinary loveliness. The Pichavaram mangrove biotope, with its peculiar topography and environmental condition, supports the existence of many rare varieties of economically important shell and fin fishes.
The Pichavaram mangroves attract an appreciable bird population of residents, local migrants and true migrants. At the mangroves, so far, 177 species of birds belonging to 15 orders and 41 families have been recorded.The availability of different habitat types such as channels, creeks, gullies, mud flats and sand flats and adjacent sea shore offers ideal habitat for difference species of birds.
The Pichavaram mangroves attract an appreciable bird population of residents, local migrants and true migrants. Amongst others, one can view birds like snipes, cormorants, egrets, storks, herons, spoonbills and pelicans. At the mangroves, 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. The availability of different habitat types such as channels, creeks, gullies, mud flats and sand flats and adjacent sea shore offers ideal habitat for difference species of birds and animals.
In the above background, the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation and the District Administration of Cuddalore District have proposed to conduct an Eco Tourism festival namely " DAWN FEST " (Vidiyal Vizha) at Pichavaram.
Highlights of Dawn festival
Ø Boat ride witnessing the Irula Tribes catching prawns and Crabs.
Ø Enjoying Folk and traditional instrumental music performances on a "Floating stage "from boats.
Ø Night dinner (Sea food festival).
Ø Viewing 'sun rise' in the back ground of South Indian instrumental music and yoga demonstration.
Ø Early morning Bird watch and Boating through the mangroves
Dawn fest offers a unique experience to international and domestic tourists at very nominal. This rare Eco-Tourism event also offers an opportunity to written the devastation of Tsunami and the spectacular recovery. We look forward to receiving the international and domestic guests for this greatest Eco-Tourism-Cum Ethnic event in South India. This information may kindly be paned on to the international and domestic tourists so that they have a chance to enjoy “Dawn Fest" which is nothing but a real feast to their eyes and ears.
- Chidambaram Nataraja Temple
There are just two things to do in Pichavaram — drift along the waterways in a boat and take photographs. The forest officer on duty will say that you can't take pictures, but no one really seems to pay attention to him.Pichavaram is known for its unique mangrove ecosystem, found in areas such as the Sunder bans in West Bengal and in Australia. The mangroves are trees rooted in a few feet of water and the whole area stretches to over 3,000 acres comprising more than 1,700 islets. A two-hour boat ride (Rs.125 per hour) through the forest is both soothing and exciting.The boat meanders through overhanging branches and dark channels. The waterways are fascinating — one can see egrets, spiders, terns and other creatures that would require a pocket encyclopedia for identification. The boatman assures you that the mangroves are home to water snakes, water dogs, foxes, turtles, crustaceans, waterfowl and more — a naturalist's dream come true.