A maze of roots and stems! Pure visible drama! For those who can’t afford a visit to the Amazon rainforests don’t lose coronary heart. Pichavaram mangrove forests are the simply accessible desi (Indian) model! Judged the world’s healthiest mangrove and the second largest after the Sunderbans, this floating forest needs to be skilled firsthand.
Are you eager in eco tourism? Splendid vacation spot can be at Pichavaram, close to Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu. Pichavaram is the World’s second largest mangrove forest on the planet overlaying an space of 2800 acres. It is a perfect eco tourism spot of India.
Detour from Chidambaram
Our meant vacation spot was Chidambaram, a holy temple city in Tamil Nadu. On our drive from Cuddalore, we noticed a street diversion fourteen km north of Chidambaram. The diversion board indicated ‘mangroves of Pichavaram simply 10km down the street’. We made a fast choice. A bit of off the overwhelmed monitor will certainly add to the thrill of the journey we thought.
Chidambaram temple stays open until ten within the evening and this detour might simply match within the itinerary. The street to Pichavaram seemed slightly pockmarked, however that didn’t deter us. In any case it promised a rendezvous with the world’s healthiest and second largest mangrove forests. Quickly we had been on the Pichavaram Boat home.
Pichavaram Mangrove Timber
As I approached the place I noticed the place hasn’t been commercialized but. There have been just some boats ready to take the vacationers round, a bathroom, a watch tower and a cafeteria.
No touristy chaos in any respect! There have been some resorts and motels close to Pichavaram. The place has some fundamental lodging amenities too, however we didn’t discover them. Until one is concerned in a challenge or a research concerning the place, two to 3 hours or a day journey suffices as an introduction to this distinctive ecosystem.
A number of boating packages can be found. We selected a motor boat. “You’re fortunate madam, weekends are very crowded and there are lengthy queues for boats”, commented the boatman, Murugan, as I stepped into the boat. I used to be silently excited concerning the journey as we set off for the mangrove forests. Most likely I used to be within the sixth grade after I first examine mangrove timber. And it was with the identical sixth grader’s inquisitiveness that I used to be scanning the place.
Until I visited this place I had solely learn in books and seen photos of the mangrove timber. It was at all times very troublesome for me to visualise how timber can float. At Pichavaram, I noticed them for actual.
One glimpse and I noticed how the identify ‘floating timber’ matches completely! The timber did look as in the event that they had been truly floating. Lengthy finger-like roots appeared to fade into the waters. One will get the impression that the branches loaded with plentiful foliage are standing on stilts.
Pichavaram is a lot just like the mangrove timber of Sunderbans Nationwide Park in West Bengal. Overlaying an space of two,800 acres (11 sqkm), that is the world’s second largest mangrove forest after the Sunderbans. Wikipedia mentions that Pichavaram mangroves are the healthiest mangroves on the planet. These floating forests are positioned on the confluence of Uppanar tributary of Coleroon River, Vellar River and the Bay of Bengal.
I used to be advised there are 4,000 canals encircling 1,700 islands coated with dense progress of mangrove timber. This big stretch of the mangroves is separated from the ocean within the east by a sandbar. I used to be bit apprehensive if the Pichavaram boating time we chosen can be ample to see all.
The extra we explored the canals and islands, the extra curious we obtained. Good inexperienced sights! Utterly mesmerising! We floated previous them into the marginally eerie darkish interiors. Our eyes continuously looked for any shifting creature although we felt fairly protected with the boatman beside us. Murugan felt fairly inspired seeing our eagerness to know extra concerning the place and stored
sharing his information with us.
There have been a wide range of timber. Murugan appeared to know every one in every of them by their scientific names. The wooden from these forests is put to a number of makes use of. He defined how every is put to a particular use, for instance, the porous trunks are perfect for boat constructing we had been advised. The native folks round make their residing from these, he mentioned. He even talked about there’s a ban on assortment of timber for firewood functions. Fishing has at all times been the principle supply of revenue although.
I strongly consider folks like him ought to be made official tour guides. They perceive their neighborhood and panorama higher than anybody and are probably to sincerely work for the progress and conservation of the realm.
The evergreen timber develop to a medium top within the saline coastal sediment habitats. They develop in tropical and subtropical areas, to be correct, between the latitudes 25° N and 25° S (25 levels north and 25 levels south) solely. Because the timber are effectively tailored to flourish within the saline waters, the foundation system is exclusive. Partly inside water and partly out within the air, it’s able to inhaling oxygen. The seeds germinate whereas they’re nonetheless on branches. After an affordable progress, they fall off into water, rising quickly after that. Ripe fruits that fall from the timber drift away to colonise new areas.
Mangroves present a lot wanted habitat to wildlife like Bangos fry, shrimps, mud crab, different marine species and salt tolerant species of crops. Birds like Watersnips, Cormorants, Egrets, Storks, Herons, Spoonbills and Pelicans migrate right here for the season. For those who plan to go to this place to see the birds, greatest time can be from September to April, when the place is teeming with loads of fowl exercise. We noticed a wide range of birds. I hoped to search out some crabs too or a snake camouflaged and hidden among the many roots, however none had been in sight.
As Murugan took us to the interiors of the forests, it turned evident why Pichavaram backwaters is a a lot wanted ‘taking pictures locale’ for filmmakers. Kamal Hassan’s Dasavatharam film has scenes and songs shot right here. There was satisfaction within the boatman’s voice when he talked about how his native place had develop into world well-known due to this one film. Most likely he isn’t conscious how mangrove timber play a vital position within the safety of the planet.
This small coastal stretch is much safer and ecologically useful when in comparison with the remainder of the ocean entrance. Thanks to those thick mangroves! These lush greens lock carbon away in bulk. Nurturing the mangroves thus makes it a cheap method to curb local weather change. In a state of affairs the place all technological and engineering options to stabilise the coastal areas fail, these mangrove forests defend the shoreline.
In the course of the Tsunami of December 2004, the lack of lives round this explicit stretch of mangrove timber was much less in comparison with different components of coastal Tamil Nadu. Your entire stretch of timber was uprooted and ravaged however the timber absorbed the shock of the ferocious waves and other people residing right here escaped the direct wrath of the killer waves.
Murugan narrated how fishermen who noticed the approaching tall waves moved into the mangrove timber and escaped demise. Having learnt the lesson that ‘if man protects nature, it can defend man from its fury,’ the locals now look after these timber rather more.
Severe efforts are on to put Pichavaram on the world eco-tourism map. As soon as that is carried out so the native folks can have a much better life, regular revenue working as guides with out giving up their unique career of being fishermen. Moreover educating the vacationers, it will possibly generate funds for conservation.
So take that detour to Pichavaram. It’s price it!
That is eco tourism: accountable journey to fragile, pristine, and normally protected areas that strives to be low impression and (typically) small scale. It helps educate the traveler; supplies funds for conservation; instantly advantages the financial growth and political empowerment of native communities; and fosters respect for various cultures and for human rights.
Pichavaram backwaters is a perfect vacation vacation spot for nature lovers, eco tourism promoters, and nature photographers. For journey sports activities buffs, there may be plentiful scope for rowing, canoeing and kayaking. All that Tamil Nadu Tourism Board that’s selling Pichavaram as an ecotourism spot asks you to take care to deliver again all of the disposables. And that I’m certain all eco acutely aware folks would fortunately do.
Methods to Attain Pichavaram
Nearest airport – Neyveli Airport (44km), nearest railway station – Chidambaram Railway station (11.1km).