Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Tourism      Wildlife      Bird Sanctuary      Tamil Nadu     Nagapattinam    

Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary




Nagapattinam district, Tamil Nadu

Nearest Town


Velanganni (45km)

Main attraction



Best season


November to April

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Extending over 1,650 acres, Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary at Kodikkarai is located in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu. 45km South of Velanganni, the sanctuary consists 17 sq km of tidal swamps, which forms an ideal habitat for flamingos especially in December and January and other water birds. The proximity of delightful beaches, historic sites make this sanctuary a delightful and adventurous wilderness vacation.

The area was first identified in 1962 as an area of high conservation significance, birds by the late Dr. Salim Ali, the world famous ornithologist. The sanctuary was established on June 13 1967 to protect the forests, with an area of 24.17 km.sq. Later it was enlarged in 1988 to include the Great Vedaranyam Swamp and the Talaignayar Reserve Forest, and renamed as Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary, with a total area of 377 km².

The biodiversity consists of tropical evergreen forests, luxuriant mangroves, salt marsh to grasslands. The dominant trees of this sanctuary are Manilkara hexandra and Salvadora persica.

Insectivorous plants like Drosera burmanii and D.indica are also seen in this sanctuary. Halophytes such as Arthrocnemum indicum, Salicornia brachiata and Sessuvium portulacastrum are found in the marshy areas. The sanctuary boasts patches of mangroves predominated by Avicennia sp. and Rhizophora sp.lensis. Calotropis gigantea, Clerodendrum inerme, Pandanus tectorius , Ipomoea pes- capre, Spinifex littoreus, Zoysia matrella, Avicennia etc are the other dominant plant species found in Point Calimere. Aquatics plant species such as Aponogeton natans, Bergia capensis, Najas graminea and Sphenoclea zeylanica are largely found during the monsoon.

Around 250 different bird species have been spotted here. About 20000 Flamingoes visit this sanctuary every year. The greater flamingo and the lesser flamingo, Spot - billed pelican, Spoonbilled sandpiper, Asian dowitcher, Whitebellied seaeagle, Brahminy kite and Osprey are the major waterbird species found in Point Calimere. Rosy Pastors, Green pigeons, Koels, Mynahs, Barbets, Paradise flycatcher, Indian pitta, Blyth reed warbler, Crested serpent eagle, Shrikes, Eurasian Spoonbill, Northern Shoveler, Swallows, Drongos, Minivets, Blue Jays, Wood peckers and Robins among others.

Apart from these, 14 species of mammals such as Spotted Deear, Black Buck, Wild boar, Jackal as well as reptiles are also found in the Sanctuary. The swamp supports a major commercial fishing industry.

The sanctuary can be explored by jeep and it can be booked at Reception. Apart from flora and fauna, historical sites like Ramar Padam, Modimandapam and Old Chola lighthouse are located in the Sanctuary. Located on the highest point of land in the sanctuary, Ramar Padam carries the stone footprints of Lord Rama. Near to this there is watch tower where one can view the larger mammals and birds. The ruins of a 1000-year old Chola light house stands at the point known as Point Calimere. Here, the Bay of Bengal meets the Palk Strait. A modern lighthouse constructed in 1890 lies close to the spot.

The sanctuary is home to hundreds of  various mammals like Blackbuck, Blue bull, Nilgai, Hog deer, Sambar, Wild dog or dhole, Caracal, Wild cat, Hedgehog, Mongoose, Striped hyena, Indian porcupine, Rattle badger, Leopard, Wild pig, and Four horned antelope.

Besides bird-watching, the park has provided the facilities of an education and interpretation centre, a library, films, slides and binoculars. Boating facility is also available in the lake situated within the park.
A room dedicated to the memory of Dr. Salim Ali, which contains his bust, photographs, write ups, and some of his personal effects. There is public parking, bathrooms, drinking water facilities and a children's park in the reserve. For those wishing to stay overnight, the park also has a well appointed guest house with all amenities.

When to Visit : 
The park is best visited in winters when a large number of migratory birds arrive. For the benefit of bird lovers certain facilities have been provided like an education and interpretation centre, a library as well as films, slides and binoculars. There are hideouts and four watch towers located at different points. There is also boating facility in the Sultanpur lake inside the park.