Pichavaram Trip

If you are in Chennai and want to go on a trip for a weekend or a long weekend (say 3 days), Pichavaram + Pondicherryis a pretty good plan.Some facts about Pichavaram first:
  • You should be prepared to spend 3 hours in a boat
  • If you can’t swim and are afraid, don’t worry, the water is only 3 to 5 feet deep
  • If you are afraid of snakes, the TTDC rooms at Pichavaram are NOT the place to stay
  • The last one hour of the boat ride is really boring
  • There are NO crocodiles in the backwaters – So they say!
  • Bonus fact: The Pizza hut in Pondy serves BEER!! 🙂
There are two ways to do a trip – one, do it our way (the wrong way) and the other, learn from our mistakes and YOU do it the right way!Right Way – From Chennai to Pichavaram!It will take 5 hours by car, from Chennai to Pichavaram. That time includes a quick 30 mins for breakfast. The earlier you reach Pichavaram, the better. The reason you might be going to Pichavaram is the boat ride through the mangrove forests. It gets really really hot and humid. So go early, if you start from Chennai at 5 AM, you can reach Pichavaram by 10 AM. Finish the boat ride by 2 PM and head back to Pondicherry.
Or if you can manage the heat (its really hot!), you can start late from Chennai.
Start from Chennai @ 7 AM Saturday. Have a good breakfast at Pondicherry (Pondy) by 9 AM (If you are really hungry, then you can stop at some restaurant on the highway). Have breakfast and start from Pondy @ 10 30 AM and reach Pichavaram by noon. Do what you went there to do and bail out of there before sundown. Leave Pichavaram by 5 PM. Reach Pondy by 7 PM. Book a place, have dinner, take a walk with your girl friend (oops.. getting carried away, are we!). You can start from there Sunday morning or afternoon and reach Chennai by sundown.hope that was helpful!

What we did! The wrong way! 🙂

Will tell you how we went about the plan to go to Pichavaram

We(4 people, 2 could drive) started from Chennai, by car, on Saturday morning at 7:30. The plan was to go Pondy from Chennai via Thindivanam, as the roads are better, bigger. We reached Pondy by 11:30, stayed there till 3:30 and reached Chidambaram (We overshot Pichavaram, which is 6 Kms before Chidambaram) by 5:00. The road is two-lane and have to be careful driving on those. Even though Pichavaram is only 70 Kms from Pondy, it takes one and a half hours to reach.

There is a hotel at Chidambaram to stay. Take that choice if you have to spend the night there, its a much better and safer option than spending the night at the Pichavaram TTDC room. Since we were four guys and didn’t know what Pichavaram had to offer, we started from Chidambaram at 5 30 and went to Pichavaram. That’s a 6 Kms from Chidambaram and then Off-road (almost) for another 10 Kms. It goes through small villages. Picturesque! yes. But safe, no! goats, kids, people in the middle of the road. And the road is 1.5 lane I guess! 🙂

We went to the TTDC guest house. Built right on the banks of the backwaters. Beautiful view! They serve dinner there and the rooms cost INR 400 for 2 beds. Its poorly maintained. The plaster on the wall is peeling off and there was snake in the bathroom. That was the next day morning. Wait… will get there in a while!

We had dinner at the TTDC place. I could see only 4 rooms and only two of those were occupied (that too by us!). We heard that we might get to meet the occasional fox or snake(s). The electricity went off for a two mins, I guess, twice. And THAT IS SCARY. So, Please don’t go with family. FREAKY!! That’s when we realized why there are no occupants.

We were told that the boat trip lasts for 4 hours – 3 hours on the water and 1 hour at the beach.

So we decided to go boating real early @ 7 AM so that we can be back by 11. We were planning on having lunch at Pondy.

A row boat, that can accommodate 4 people + 1 boatman, costs INR 600. Motor boat costs INR 2000 and motor boats are not allowed to go through the mangrove forests, so we were told. We took the row boat and had to “gift” the boatman another INR 400 to take us through the mangrove forest.

It takes close to 1.5 hours to reach the shore. And an awesome beach. It’s a beautiful place to be… worth all the trouble – power cuts, drive, money, snakes. Had lot of shells and some skull too 🙂

You can spend an hour at the beach. It gets really hot. And we hadn’t had anything to eat too. We got only water bottles and cola with us. After spending an hour at the beach, we went back on the boat, which was really boring this time. We reached our rooms by 11 AM and took a quick shower before leaving for Pondy. And as entered the bathroom, from the corner of my eye I could sense some movement at the corner of the bathroom – a snake!! Got my camera out and shot a pic- the sole reason many of you are here at this blogspot!

After a quick shower from another bathroom, we pushed off to Pondy for lunch. We reached Pondy by 1:30. After lunch guys got “carried away”. So, we started from Pondy at 5:30 and reached Tambaram, Chennai at 7 PM. It took us 45 mins from Tambaram to Guindy 🙂

And that was the trip that we did! – Wrong Way BUT FUN!!

and saw a big crab too..

More of Pichavaram pics will be coming up at potofshots.com

cheers

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