Kodikkarai (Point Calimere) Sanctuary
The Kodikkarai sanctuary surrounded by sea and shore, comprising forest of tidal swamps, dry evergreen forests, and mangroves is famous for its migratory water birds. In the spring the green pigeons, rosy pastors, koels, mynahs, and barbets are attracted by the profusion of wild berries growing on trees and shrubs. In winter, the availability of vegetable food and insects attracts paradse flycatchers, Indian pitas, shrikes, swallows, drongo, minivets, blue jays, woodpeckers, and robin on its tidal mud flats and marshes of the backwaters. It is also endowed with animals like spotted deer, black buck, wild boar, bonnet macaque, as well as reptiles. Vast flocks of flamingos (about 5000-10000) can be seen at the Great Swamp, to the west of this sanctuary especially in December and January.
Vadaranyam is the main service station connected by regular bus service from Thanjavur, Chennai, Nagapattinam, and Trichy. From Vedarnayam, buses and vans are available for transportation to the sanctuary 10km away. Accommodation is available at the Forest Rest House, Kodikkarai, reservation Phone: 04365-253092.
On the swollen tip of Tamil Nadu's central coast past the sweeping acres of saltpans around Vedaranyam, is the swampy wetland of Point Calimere, where hordes of blackbuck roam free. Located just across the Palk Strait from Sri Lanka, this jutting piece of land is also known as Kodiakkarai Bird Sanctuary and is a mixed habit of dry evergreen forest and swampland. The best time for animal sighting is from March to August while October to January is ideal for bird watching. From November to February, the sanctuary becomes the winter retreat for over 250 species including rare migratory arriving from faraway Poland, Russia and Iran barheaded geese, eastern steppe eagles, black bitterns, Indian black-crested bazas and Ruddy shelducks. The main highlight takes place in December to February, when the swamps are rouged pink with the endless ballet of flamingos descending in thousands to feast on shrimps and prawns. Spot-billed pelicans and teals also frequent the place. In the dense forests one discovers other animals and birds, including the vibrantly winged Indian pitta.
Thamppuswamy Illam Forest Rest House Phone: 04365-252724 and Veliman Illam are the only overnight options. Booking can also be done via the Wildlife Warden in Nagapattinam Phone: 04365-253092. Only tea stalls can be found near the sanctuary, but vegetarian meals are available in Vedaranyam at Karaivani .
It is 55km south of Nagapattinam, 8km south of Vedaranyam on SH-63. Kodiakkarai, Nagapattinam District 611011. Open 6am to 6pm, all year round.
Total Area 17.26 sq km Location Nagapattinam district Nearest town Thanjavur 90km, Nagapattinam 68km and Vedaranyam 10km Best Season November-April Annual rainfall 1500mm Info Wildlife Warden, Nagapattinam Phone: 04365-253092.
Guided Tours: Wildlife Warden, Collectorate Building, Nagapattinam 611002. Phone: 04365-253091/25309.