Pichavaram mangrove forest

Pichavaram, one of the unexplored places in Tamil Nadu is the third largest mangrove forest in the world.  Situated in the district of Cuddalore, it is known for its extremely calm back waters and as a home to a variety of birds. The place became very famous after the movie Dasavatharam (2008)

How to reach :

The closest railway station would be the Chidambaram railway station. 

From the station go by walk  to the bus stand and ask for the bus to Pichavaram.

The bus will take you to a nearby village called Killai.

From there you can take an auto which is relatively cheap.

What to see:

Like I said Pichavaram is famous for mangrove forests. A boating trip around 2 to 4 kms in  the back waters is scenic and of unpolluted beauty of nature. Ask the boat man to stop near the island type trees and start walking to experience the walk on a floating forest. 
When to start:

The boat service starts around 9 in the morning. Since it’s an hour or two boat ride you can come back to chidambaram for lunch .
Where to eat :

The restaurants near the chidambaram temple is the best place to have your breakfast and lunch.

The villagers of the killai city claim that it was the mangrove forest that saved them during the Tsunami of 2004. The fares for the boating is cheap as it is conducted by Tamil Nadu tourism board. 
Another place to visit while on this trip is the famous Shiva Temple known for its architecture and historic excellence at chidambaram


Auroville (The city of Dawn)

Auroville which means The city of dawn, is a beautiful international settlement established in 1968 with the idea of bringing people belonging to different cultures of the world together to live in peace and harmony.

It falls on the way to pondy from Chennai. In the Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu. Around 10kms from the city of Pondicherry a once barren land is now converted into a self sufficient residential place, which lets people visit on a regular basis only during the day time, unless you have the intention of staying in one of their cottages.

Where to stay ?

I stayed in the Tibetian pavilion. A nice cottage type rooms. Well maintained and less expensive. The best place for someone who’s on a budget. If you are staying in Tibetian pavilion I suggest you to taste their momos, if you’re planning to stay there, the first thing to do is  to get yourself a bike for rent. Then book an entry for Matrimandhir as you cannot go there in the first day itself. The best part is you will not have proper access to your mobile network, which enables us to connect with the person next to us rather than to someone over the internet.

What to see?

Visitor centre:

That’s where you get your pass to  visit the Matrimandhir and know about auroville and a much better information on the idea behind auroville. There are a lot of cafes and a boutique around the visitor centre one of them is open for dinner, which has the best ambience and candle light dinner. If you’re on a one day trip you can be there from 9 to 5. The visitor centre doesn’t charge you anything to let you visit. You can even hire a bicycle and roam as long as you like.


In the middle of the town is the Matrimandir, an important attraction which was conceived by Alfassa as “a symbol of the Divine’s answer to man’s aspiration for perfection”. Silence is maintained inside the Matrimandir to ensure the tranquility of the space and entire area surrounding the Matrimandir is called Peace area. Inside the Matrimandir, a spiraling ramp leads upwards to an air-conditioned chamber of polished white marble referred to as “a place to find one’s consciousness”.

Matrimandir is equipped with a solar power plant and is surrounded by manicured gardens. When there is no sun or after the sunset, the sun rays on the globe is replaced by a beam from a solar powered light.

Visit the Matrimandhir you would know what heaven looks like. Excellent architecture that blows your mind leaves you astonished the whole trip to there. You will surely experience your inner spirit kindled.

Best season to visit auroville:

There is no particular season to visit auroville but I would suggest you visiting between October to march as the weather would be pleasant and you can experience the early morning mists.
Visiting hours :

Auroville only permits outsiders during the day. The visitor centre stays open daily from 9am – 1pm and 1:30 – 5pm and 

Sundays from 9:30am – 1pm and 2 – 5pm.

How to reach there:

Auroville is around 12 km (7.5 mi) north of Pondicherry. It can be easily reached via the East Coast Road (ECR) which connects Chennai and Pondicherry. The visitor centre and Matrimandir can be reached by travelling 6 km (3.7 mi) westwards from the signposted turnoff at the ECR.