Pichavaram is your go-to destination if you love being surrounded by the calmness of river water and a thick coat of greenery. Here is a complete travel guide to this serene village of Tamil Nadu. Pichavaram is home to one of the largest mangroves in India.
Pichavaram is located to the south of Puducherry. This village is perfectly nestled within touching distance of the second largest mangrove in India. The locals have set up a business that involves guiding tourists through tranquil river waters engulfed by thickets of mangroves and nothing else.
How to Reach Pichavaram
If you wish to get to Pichavaram from Chennai, you can head to Puducherry first and then travel further to experience Pichavaram. Hiring a car in Chennai would be roughly a 3 to 4 hour drive from Chennai to Puducherry and another 2 hours from Puducherry to Pichavaram. Puducherry itself is a coastal town and offers tourists with the beauty and luxury of various hotels to choose from. Most of these restaurants provide direct access to the sea and hospitality of the highest order.
Solo travelers can take the same route that passes through Chennai and Puducherry atop ST travel buses and private buses. Most of the hostels in Puducherry form an abode for youngsters of various cultures and interests. From one of these spots, you can board buses to reach the mangrove village. Pichavaram is a must visit if you’re staying at Puducherry.
From Puducherry, the best time to leave for Pichavaram is early in the morning since the journey lasts for 2 hours. It is preferable to visit the village before noon as the climate gets hot in Tamil Nadu at midday. The earlier one leaves, the more pleasant will be the climate at Pichavaram.
A Solo Bus Ride from Puducherry to Pichavaram
Solo travelers can reach Pichavaram by taking a bus to a small town called Chidambaram and then another bus to Pichavaram. Traveling by bus is quite a wholesome experience as most of the fellow passengers are locals heading to work or fisherwomen with their baskets. The view of stunning landscapes from the vehicle is also serene.
Tourists can witness small farms with a variety of vegetation and green, golden and blue sprawled across the grasslands as the bus navigates through remote villages. Canals run on both sides of the narrow roads, while rice fields thrive in plenty across this region. Transport buses play upbeat and groovy South Indian music, which adds life to the experience.
An Idyllic Ride through Pichavaram's Backwaters
Transport buses drop you to the gate of the mangrove forest area. On entering, you can see the only building in the area on one side and a garden on the other. Tickets to the ferry are available in this building along with information about the mangrove and some important instructions. Tickets cost upwards of 300 INR for a rowboat and 1,500 INR for a motorboat (which may have changed over time). The rowboat provides an experience filled with peace and tranquility.
Once you purchase a ticket, the authorities ask you to relax and wait near the small jetty. Boats come in and pick up passengers at random since one doesn’t need to pay here. These are private boats and tourists don’t need to share them with anyone else. You can enjoy the solitary ride with absolutely no disturbance.
The boat rows through tiny mangrove islands and mangrove thickets that look extremely mystical yet beautiful. You can witness absolute silence once surrounded by the green foliage, with just the rhythmic sound of water ripples causing the odd jump in decibel levels. Everything seems to stand still, apart from an occasional leaf or twig falling from above.
This surreal boat ride lasts for approximately 45 minutes, which is enough to explore the entire backwater vicinity. If the oarsman is confident and knows enough, he might even guide you into the denser thickets beyond the permitted area. They also oblige when you want to stop at a particular spot for a few minutes to get some cool clicks or simply enjoy the refreshing atmosphere.
Remember to ask your oarsman to take you to spots that will provide you with stunning snapshots for your Pichavaram album. The oarsmen are simple, polite, and cooperative villagers. They strive to make your ride pleasant.
The scenery around Pichavaram’s mangrove forests is almost dreamy and out of this world. You can catch a glimpse of locals and fishermen going about their daily life. On returning from the backwater trip, you can find useful refreshments at a small store in the vicinity or simply visit the garden area for a pleasant stroll. From here, your experience at Pichavaram is complete. You can head back to Puducherry in the same mode of transport to continue discovering such marvelous tourist destinations across the state of Tamil Nadu.
Pichavaram is a perfect tourist spot for those who seek peace and tranquility in the lap of Mother Nature!