on 17.26-sq-kms surrounded by sea and shore, comprising forests of tidal
swamps, dry evergreen forests of mangroves, this coastal sanctuary also
known as "Kodikkarai", is 90-km southeast of
Thanjavur in a wetland which
juts out into the Palk Strait separating India and Sri Lanka. It is noted
for the vast flocks of migratory waterfowl, especially flamingos, which
congregate here every winter.
The sanctuary is vast, mostly shrub-land, shaped by the violent monsoon winds and treated mercilessly by feral cattle, horses and the graceful buck. At present cultivation of lobster has been started as the number of birds is decreasing.
Point Calimere sanctuary is bestowed with population of varied wild life such as Chital, Wild boar, Bonnet macaque, Black Buck, Flamingos, Teals, Gulls, Terns, Plavers and Stilts. Special attractions are close encounters with Dolphins and Turtles, which often come quite close to the shore.
Variety Of Birds Visiting The Sanctuary
Between November and January, the tidal mud flats and marshes are covered with Teals, Curlews, Gulls, Terns, Plovers, Sandpipers, Shanks, Herons and up to 3000 Flamingoes at one time.
In the spring, a different set of birds - Koels, Mynas and Barbets are drawn here by the profusion of wild berries. From April to June there's very little activity; the main rainy season is between October and December.
Road: The easiest way to get to Calimere is by bus from Vedaranyam, which is the nearest town linked by frequent bus services to Nagappattinam or Thanjavur.
There's a Forest Department Rest House with adequate rooms at Point Calimere, though all meals will have to be arranged with the staff. It's best to make a reservation for the rest house with the Forest Officer in Thanjavur.