Day 4 - Pattukotai - Point Calimere - Velankanni - Chidambaram

Map for day 4

Knowing that the Sanctuary at Point Calimere will be open to public only 10 am we started late from Pattukotai after breakfast. Rode through the state highway to reach Vedaranyam and enquired for Point Calimere . Nobody had a clue of it! Then we realized the actual local name is Kodiyakkarai. From Vedaranyam Point Calimere is around 15 kms.

Beyond Vedaranyam till Point Calimere there are only Salt Pans on both sides . Reached Point Calimere and as Ananth described it has few huts , one government guest house , one TASMAC ( Govt operated liquor store ) , a bird sanctuary and a wildlife sanctuary.

Wildlife sancturay is on the left when coming from Vedaranyam and the bird sanctuary is on the right. Went to the Wildlife Sanctuary and was surprised to see nobody at the gate. Waited at the Forest officer's office for few minutes before the forest officer turned up. We realised that we were the first visitors to the sanctuary in many days!!!

Bikes were not allowed inside the Sancturay. Only option was to take a auto ride into the Sanctuay!!! Yes thats crazy! The Piaggio Ape share auto ( tumtums) are our vehicle for the safari inside the sanctuary! Probably the only kind in the entire world! The officer gave us a phone number and asked us to call the auto driver. After few minutes the auto appeared and it was driven by a kid!

After seeing all this we knew there is nothing in store for us at the Sanctuary. Took the hot ride in the afternoon inside the sanctuary. End of the Sanctuary is a sea shore. There is a light house and a couple of watch towers. The animals belonging to this sanctuary are deers, wild horses and jackals. Deers were spotted easily. We wanted to see the horses at the beach . This was the only reason we came here. When we reached the beach it was deserted. We could spot the foot marks of the horses but couldn't see them. Spent sometime at the shore clicking few pics.

Could spot the trails of the horses in this pic

It was a nice feeling to be the lone occupants of the sea shore . But it was a terrible time to be there. Evening would have been the perfect time to enjoy the spot.

On the return we spotted few horses. Clicked some pics and were back at the forest office.

Our next stop was Velankanni which was just 40 kms from there. Reached Velankanni and headed for a good restaurant for lunch. Spent more than an hour at the restaurant to relax in the AC with decent food. After that visited the Church and headed towards Chidambaram.

Again it was a night ride for us. Reached Chidambarm and booked a good room for the night. I went to catch up with my school mate who is a Doc at the Annamalai Univ. We had dinner at a famous eating spot at Chidambaram which was flooded with the students from the univ. We waited for a good 45 minutes. But the wait was completely worth the food!

Next day was to ride back home via Pondicherry.