Backwaters always exude a certain charm which is difficult to explain and can only be felt- A place where sea meets land and then leaves a part of itself for everyone to enjoy. If you think Kerala is the only place where you can get a glimpse of these you are mistaken.
Tamil Nadu has a beautiful beach and fort to offer you in a small village of Kadpakkam just 50 odd km from Pondicherry and 100 km from Chennai. You can take a bus or a taxi from either place.
|Salt pans through the bus window on the way from Pondicherry|
If you are looking for some activities on the beach there are actually none. You can ask the locals for a boat ride or play with the kids. Kids will happy to teach you how to body surf on a log of wood happily.
The fort is 10 minutes shared auto rickshaw ride from the highway where the bus will drop you. The drop-off is a good point if you want to eat some local food or buy a drink. Do not expect any fancy place the restaurants are small shacks. We had our lunch here and paid a total of 110/- for three people. The order comprised of egg dosas and half fried eggs for my companions and two plain dosai for me served with chutney and some chicken curry gravy.
The shared rides would cost you 10/- one way. If you want to walk it is doable distance of 3.5 km The road will take you through the village with greenery on either side interrupted by small huts.
|Kadpakkam village from Auto|
The fort is now a ruin with its outer wall braving the elements. The wall has given away to people and flora and is broken in parts. There is a small religious structure inside. ASI’s description talks of a fort which served as a trade center and you can imagine a bustling market with shore full of vessels. In present day the shore is lined with small fishing boats.
|Almparai Fort walls|
The beach is secluded and doesn’t get much visitors on weekdays, Sundays are busiest. There are no changing facilities, toilets or showers on the beach so plan ahead if you plan to cross the backwater and sit on the sea shore.
|Fishing boat at the beach|
If you are lucky you might be able to walk to the sea. During low tides water really goes down and walking across is not a problem. Originally from Rajasthan I have always yearned to be close to water and enjoy it. Though I have been to a few beaches and have stayed in house boat in backwaters this was different.
I always thought sea would be far from backwaters but no here we were sitting on a small patch of land with see on one side and backwaters on the other.
|Local Bonding (Behind us you can see sea coming in)|
It could be easily a day trip from either city- Chennai or Pondicherry.
If you need to use facilities and are not comfortable out in the open, request the locals. They are really friendly people. We were informed that there had been a film shoot a few days back and Sundays are the busiest.