Part of this Chola Trail trip was a visit to Pichavaram. It is the second largest Mangrove forest in the world, and is located near Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu.
Apart from the size ( around 2800 acres) and beauty of the mangrove, the trees, mainly Avicenia and Rhizopara, are said to have protected the shore from the huge tsunami that struck a few years back. Hence the shoots are now being planted on the east coast near Pondicherry and Cuddalore as well.
The marshy water, never more than 3 feet deep, is filled with prawns and crabs. Small fish keep jumping up out of the water. Almost lyrical. Besides there are lovely birds one can spot if one is lucky and visits in the correct season.
Boating opens around 9 am till about 5pm. You can choose between row and motor boats. You can opt for the basic ride or agree to be taken into the labyrinth of waterways ( for an extra fee) which is what most people opt for anyway. And if you wish, there is a small beach, about six kilometeres away in the water.
The boat manager's number in case of need is 9176995838.