Pichavaram () is located near Chidambaram in Cuddalore District, Tamil Nadu, in South India. The nearest railway station is Chidambaram from where it is accessible by road.
A view of the forest from the viewing tower
Pichavaram is home to the second largest Mangrove forest in the world, and it is one of the unique eco-tourism spots in South India. The backwaters, interconnected by the Vellar and Coleroon river systems, offer abundant scope for water sports such as rowing, kayaking and canoeing. The Pichavaram forest not only offers waterscape and backwater cruises, but also another very rare sight - the mangrove forest trees are permanently rooted in a few feet of water.
Pitchavaram Mangrove Forest January green in Pichavaram 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 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. Peak population of birds could be seen from November to January. This is due to high productive nature (in terms of prey organisms) of the ecosystem and coincidence of the time of arrival of true migrants from foreign countries and local migrants from their breeding grounds across India. The availability of different habitat types such as channels, creeks, gullies, mud flats and sand flats and adjacent sea shore offers ideal habitat for difference species of birds.
In the above background, the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation and the District Administration of Cuddalore District have proposed to conduct an Eco Tourism festival namely " Dawn Fest " (Vidiyal Vizha) at Pichavaram.
Road - East Coast Road to Pondicherry, Cuddalore Road and then the bypass to Chidambaram, a total of 248 km from Chennai and 357 Km from Coimbatore. Buses run frequently to Chidambaram and from there to Pichavaram (10 km.), Sirkazhi (20 km.), the Vaitheeswaran Koil (24 km.), Arikamedu (75 km., ancient Indo-Roman trading centre) and Gingee (132 km).
Rail The Chidambaram railhead connects to Chennai, Kumbakonam, Madurai, Tiruchirapalli and Thanjavur.
Air The nearest airhead is Tiruchirapalli, 168 km. from Chidambaram.
Views of Mangrove
File:Pichavaram1.jpg File:Pichavaram2.jpg|View from Watch Tower File:Pichavaram3.jpg|Inside the forest
Fishes and Birds at Pichavaram
File:Pichavaram4.jpg|Fishes jumping out of water File:Pichavaram Mangrove Little Egret.jpg|Little Egret (egretta garzetta) on mangrove File:Pichavarm Mangrove Eastern Great Egret.jpg|Eastern Great Egret (ardea modesta) in Pichavaram waters with Mangrove in the background