Why Pichavaram Visit in Tamilnadu Never Works Out as Planned

Pichavaram Mangrove Forest
Pichavaram Mangrove Forest

If you are a true nature lover, you can never sit calm after knowing about Pichavaram. This is an eco-tourism Village in Tamilnadu, situated along the shores of the Bay of Bengal.

Pichavaram can also be tracked easily as it is very near to Chidambaram, a famous place for pilgrimage in the Cuddalore District of Tamil Nadu, India.

Pichavaram is known for its Mangrove forests and backwater’s beauty. The Mangrove Forests of Pichavaram are the second largest in the World and the largest in India. The world’s largest Mangrove Forest is in Bangladesh.

I had an opportunity to see the magnificent creation of nature when I came to know about it from a website. I collected the details of nearby places and planned to visit the following places:

  • Pichavaram Mangrove Forest
  • Chidambaram Temple
  • SamiyarPettai Beach

1. Pichavaram

We were staying at Tiruchirappalli (Trichy) in Tamilnadu and our main target was Pichavaram. Pichavaram is about 180 km from Trichy and we planned to travel it in our car. We started Google Maps’ navigation for our destination ‘Pichavaram Car Parking’. It was showing a 180 km distance and was going to take around three hours to reach there.

We started at 7 am.

The roads were in good condition and the day was cool. We enjoyed our journey throughout. The month was January and November to February, and sometimes up to March are considered to be the best months for visiting Pichavaram.

We happily reached Pichavaram by 10.15 am.

But, it had started raining heavily. We were skeptical about it as we faced drizzling just before reaching Pichavaram.

The place was wrapped in complete rains and the boating was fully stopped. The enjoyment had gone.

Pichavaram Boating
Pichavaram Boat Booking

Barely another four or five people were there. We waited and tried to grasp the situation inside our car. They too were hiding in a shelter and waiting for the rains to stop.

The watchman informed that boating can not be there, till the rain continues. So some hope was there.
We immediately thought of going to the Thillai Nataraja Temple at Chidambaram and praying to God for stopping the rains. 

In any case, we were going to visit that too.

Chidambaram was only 15 km from Pichavaram Car Parking. We had crossed it while coming from Trichy. And now we were going back, deviating from our original plan. We had planned to visit the temple in the evening hours. But now it seemed better for two reasons: to utilize our time and of course, to make a special prayer to god.

It took half an hour to reach there. 

2. Thillai Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram

The temple had become a shelter for people to get protected from rains.

We were among them, not sure of our next course of action if the rain continues.

However, we concentrated on the present moment and purpose.

Chidambaram Temple
Chidambaram Temple Gate

We were at our second destination, Thillai Nataraja Temple. This is one of the oldest lord Shiva Temples in India. 

It is located at the center of Chidambaram town in Tamilnadu. One must visit the temple to feel the sacredness and vastness of the temple. 

Tamilnadu is famous for its ancient temples. Besides Thillai Nataraja Temple, you can have an exclusive visit to the 9 famous Navagraha Temples in Tamilnadu.

The paintings on the roof and walls are mesmerizing. The carvings and sculptures on the temple walls give a live look.

Thillai Nataraja Temple
Thillai Nataraja Temple Roof Paintings

The temple timings are from 6 am to 12 noon and then 5 pm to 10 pm on all days of the week. It was 11.15 am as we reached inside the temple. A lot of rush was there and we had to make it fast to complete darshan before noon.

We worshipped and also prayed to god for clear weather. It was a miracle to see brightness as we came outside the temple.

We rushed back, and in that hurry, we messed up with the roads. We followed many times re-routed muddy roads suggested by Google Maps. It took 1 hour to come out of the maze and reach back to Pichavaram out of our already squeezed schedule.

Pichavaram Boating Price

When we reached car parking again, we were shocked to see that the parking was full and there was no place left for us.

We could park our car with great difficulty. 

The place was full of the crowd as other people also had prayed to God but from there itself. 

A long queue was waiting at Boating Ticket Counter. We patiently waited for our turn.

We could see from the Boat Tariff display that rowboats as well as motorboats, function daily from 6, am to 4 pm. 

The boats are run by Tamilnadu Tourism Development Corporation Ltd.

Pichavaram Boat Tariff
Pichavaram Boat Tariff Chart

The Row Boating minimum ticket price is Rs 340 (for 4 persons/ hour). It covers about a kilometer roundtrip which is sufficient to reach the Mangrove Forests and come back.

If you are a bigger group you have the option to hire a 5 or 6 person capacity boat at Rs 420 and Rs 500 respectively, for the same period and distance. But, if you are only two persons, you can seek another such pair and hire a four-seater rowboat, as there is no provision for a two-seater boat. This will make your trip somewhat economical.

Since we were four persons we did not face any difficulty and hired a rowboat for Rs 340/-. 

An 8 seater motorboat is available at the price of Rs 1500, covering a larger area of 2 km. It moves very fast and takes only 40 minutes. 

It is an advantage if you have less time and/or want to cover a larger water area. It goes towards the sea. 
The disadvantage is that motorboats do not enter deep inside Mangrove Forests.

You can increase your ride time and area by paying extra to the boatman. But it will be off the records and thus not advisable due to risk factors involved.

It is better to keep it short and sweet.

Pichavaram Mangrove Forest

As you sail into the backwaters, you reach the Mangrove Forests.

Pichavaram Boating
Pichavaram Boating

A closer look at the leaves and the bunch of stick-like trees is amazing. Sailing through the dense mangroves in a boat on backwaters is a never forgettable experience.

The mangrove forest trees are rooted only in a few feet of water. The depth of water in mangroves is about 4 to 5 feet. It is not risky and I recommend choosing a boat ride and venturing deep inside the Mangrove Forest to have a royal feeling of entering into a fort.

After completion of the boat ride, don’t forget to take a bird’s eye view of the sprawling Mangrove Forest area from the watchtower, with an entry fee of Rs 5.

Pichavaram Watch Tower
View from Watchtower

For meals, you can not depend upon their pantry. You should bring your food packs. Pichavaram pantry has very limited eating options.

If you want to have good meals, go to Chidambaram city.

3. SamiyarPettai Beach

Our last destination was SamiyarPettai Beach. This beach is 21 km from Chidambaram and 15 km from Pichavaram Parking.

Lots of tourists visit SamiyarPettai Beach. The beach is popular for its cleanliness and its vicinity with Pichavaram.  There is a well-maintained parking facility.

Beach Parking

It will be easier for you to reach SemiPettiyar Beach via a shorter route., if you have hired a taxi or driving your vehicle.

The beach is extremely calm and beautiful. The oceanic waves give a roaring welcome to you. 

It is thrilling to see the waves acquiring phenomenal height due to strong winds, and another wave cascading over them.

The waves look like small waterfalls. These high and strong waves diminish gradually towards shore and give a pleasant kiss to your feet.

SemiyarPettai Beach
SemiPettiyar Beach

You can enjoy bathing as well, as the waters are clean.

After enjoying our made-out day, we started our back journey at the predecided time, 4.30 pm, and reached Trichy at 8 pm.

Conclusion

You never know what is going to happen the next moment. Despite our roller-coaster schedule, we covered the three places successfully in a single day. I always recommend Thillai Nataraja Temple and SamiyarPettai Beach to include in the Pichavaram visit plan. 

Keep enjoying life.

Happy Traveling.

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