The journey through the green fields and empty roads took me to the place that is home to the 2nd Largest Mangrove forest in the world.. I was at Pichavaram, about 15-16 kms ahead of Chidambaram. It should take about 4hrs from Chennai [Chennai--Pondicherry- Pichavaram- Chidambaram]
The backwaters interconnected by the Vellar and Coleroon rivers is home to these rich green Mangroves that stretch for miles together. The water canals that run like little roads between the forests offer a hideout for birds and other creatures. To explore further, one can enjoy a boat ride that is quite popular among the tourists. if you are lucky, you might witness the fish flying out from the water, sometimes into the boat in the process.
There is a tower from where one gets a full 270degree view of the Mangrove forests and the ocean beyond as well.
Pichavaram has also been featured in quite a few movies, the most recent being the opening scene from Dasavatharam starring Kamal Hassan.
From Wikipedia-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 2,800 acres (11 km2) and is separated from the sea by a sand bar which is a patch of extraordinary loveliness.The Pichavaram mangrove biotope, consisting of rare species like Avicennia and Rhizophara; presents a special attraction, with its peculiar topography and environmental condition. It supports the existence of many rare varieties of economically important shell and finfishes.The Pichavaram mangroves attract an appreciable bird population of residents, local migrants and true migrants. Amongst others, one can view birds like Watersnips, 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.