I stayed in Chennai for 20 months but i never find time to visit beautiful places like pondi and pichavaram. As my transfer to Hyderabad was confirmed, i wanted to explore as many places as possible in and around Chennai in the last week. So we planned for 1 day trip to Pichavaram Mangrove Forest, pondicherry and chidambaram temple. Venki, Kamal, Vamsi, Basha, Hussain, Jagadish accompanied me during this trip.
Immediately after coming to Chennai we planned a two days trip to pondicherry, but due to many reasons it didn't happened. I modified my plan and included pichavaram and chidambaram, but the duration of the trip is reduced to one day. Many friends scared me that 1 day will not be sufficient to cover all these places. But i stick to my plan and covered all the places leisurely. My plan was to start with pichavaram(230km from Chennai), then to chidambaram(15 km from pichavaram) and then in return visiting chunnambar boat house and pondicherry.
We booked a innova and started in Chennai at around 4 a.m . Drive through the ECR road was really amazing, as it was too early there was no traffic and we reached pondi with in 90mins. Our driver don't know the way to pichavaram, so with help of GPS in our mobiles, we reached pichavaram boat house. There we hired a boat for 2hrs for which they charge 1500. Around 7 a.m we started in the boat as per the schedule, so that we wont be tired after the boat ride due to the humidity there. Initially they will row the boat far from the mangrove plantations for about 30 mins, then they will take us to an unexplored beach. Truly that was one of the best beach i had seen till date.
This beach was completely damaged during the tsunami, still we can find some traces of damage happened that time. We enjoyed max there, after having some pics of the beautiful nature we again embarked for the return trip. While starting for the return trip we bargained boat driver for 300 bugs for taking us deep into the mangrove plantation. As per government policies, no body will allowed to take boat close to the plantations. But if we offer some money to boat driver they will definitely take through the plantations.
After few minutes, boat driver took us deep into the forest and we were really amazed to see them. We have a proud feeling that, we were in amidst of the world's second mangrove forest after amazon. Until then i saw mangrove forest only on the screens, after seeing this i was dazed by its beauty. Truly a worth visiting location for nature lovers. After completing the full boat ride we came back to the starting point. At the starting point there is a view point, where we can see clear picturesque view of mangrove forest fully. After having a great start to our trip, we started to chidambaram.
We started from chidambaram to pondicherry, our plan is to visit The Chunnambar Boat House which is located just 8 km from the Pondicherry city, along the Cuddalore Main Road. This particular boat house is a great place of tourist attraction. Whenever you visit Pondicherry, chunnambar is an excellent place for relaxation.The water is clear and it is also an ideal place for beach sports. The beach at Chunnambar is also known as Plage Paradiso, which is located near the mouth of the backwater. A short, pleasant cruise into the sea from here could reward you with the memorable sight of Bay of Bengal. The Chunnambar Beach and Backwater Resort is maintained by the PTDC. You need to get an entrance ticket for Rs. 5 and pay Rs. 15 for your camera as well. For the boat ride you have different options. You can pick from a backwater speed boat ride, a jet ski or a boat ride to the Paradise Beach. The backwater speed boat ride is a lot of fun and can be had in groups of four. The cost of a boat ride to the beach is Rs. 75 per person. The boat ride and paradise beach was too good and enjoyed a lot. Paradise beach is almost like a private beach, well maintained and even u can find life guards keep on warning us.
We started at chunnambar boat house to pondicherry at around 6 p.m and visited rock beach, roamed around there for few minutes and then started return journey to chennai at around 8 p.m. As we are not interested in visiting Auroville, Aurobindo Ashram, we left these places which are famous tourist places to visit in pondicherry. By this, our one day trip came to end with lots of enjoyment and lots of memories.
4.00 AM :- Started from Chennai in Innova, Drive through ECR
5.30 AM :- Reached Pondicherry (165km) and proceed to Cuddalore road.
7.00 AM :- Reached Pichavaram (70km) and started boat trip to mangrove forest.
10.00 AM :- Started to Chidambaram (15km) and visited Temple. Lunch
1.30 PM :- Started to Chunnambar Boat house (60km)
3.00 PM :- Reached Boat House, took boat ride and visited paradise beach.
6.00 PM :- started to pondicherry Rock Beach (20 km)
8.00 PM :- Started from Pondicherry to Chennai through ECR.
10.00 PM :- Finally reached Chennai. End of Trip.