Pichavaram is a beautiful Mangrove forest near Pondicherry. They have boat rides available and these forests provide some amazing views, very similar to the ones shown on Discovery Channel or National Geographic. Pichavaram was the first place we visited in Pondicherry and it certainly set the bar way high for the other places. Our Next stop was the Rock Beach in Pondicherry.
The entire boat ride takes 2-3 hours and includes a half an hour stop at a beach island. It took us some time to reach the Actual forest and the scorching heat of the sun was killing us. There was obviously no shade to protect us there. So try getting a hat or a cap to protect yourself from the almighty Sun God.
We had to pay the boat man ₹100 to take us to the most beautiful spots here, and it was well worth it. There were narrow passageways through dense mangroves that almost blocked the scorching sun. Many times the side of the boats grazed the trees because the pathway was too narrow. But the best part was yet to come.
The Beach was an absolute delight. This is one of those spots which you feel is perfect for shooting a song sequence in a Bollywood movie. Everything was just perfect. The clean Beach, the trees, the wind. , this was truly one of the most beautiful beaches I have been to. This place as we would expect was pretty badly hit by the tsunami. There were a couple of houses in the mangrove forests that had to be abandoned.
There are some restaurants near the ticket counter, but I am not sure how good they are. We had packed food for ourselves so we just halted at a wide and empty place on the way back. It was a relief to be in the AC Car after what the Sun had done to us. How did people live without ACs!
What suprised me was the way these places have been maintained. They are absolutely clean and while bribing is the norm , if it helps keep the people happy and the preserve the beauty of this place its well worth it. This is one place where one must visit. Pondicherry has won my heart for sure.