Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Alamparai fort and backwaters off ECR

Alamparai fort is one of the lesser known places of tourist interest on the east coast road (ECR) that connects Chennai and Puducheri (Pondy). Not much has been done by tourism department to promote this place and in a sense that is good. Too much of commercialization spoils beauty of the place.
View from top of Alamparai fort near PondyAlamparai fort is a severely ruined fort with only few fragments of the wall intact. Along with a beautiful backwater and adjoining sea, this scenic and serene place is ideal for spending few refreshing hours.

Where is it? How to go to Alamparai fort?
It’s off ECR (East Coast Road), some 40 kms from Mahabalipuram while driving towards Pondichery. No major signboards available on the roadside. After driving for about 40 kms, drive slowly. You’ll spot a village/town- called Kadapakkam, wherein you’ll see a small signboard- white letters on a blue/green background, which indicates that you’ve to take left turn to go to Alambarai fort. Take that road-drive for 2kms, road splits into two- take the right one, you’ll reach the fort in about a km. Share autos are available from this town to this fort.
Board displaying History of alamparai fort
Refer the photograph for a brief history. It was built in 17th century by the Mughals and has subsequently changed hands several times, British were the last known owners/rulers here. The fort was damaged due to several wars and also due to recent tsunami that his the east coast.

What to do?
Backwaters is very scenic- I find it better than Pondy backwaters-Good and safe for a swim. Local fisherman offer to take you for a ride on the boat-charges will be in the range of Rs. 200-500 for 30 mins-depends on number of people, how good you can bargain and other factors. It’s illegal, No life jackets offered and not much help around if something goes wrong. So use your discretion before opting for the boat ride.Boy on a boat- Alamparai backwaters

Other than boat ride and swim, fort area is nice for exploration, photography or for just relaxation. Not much of shady areas available to protect one from sun in the noon, but evenings will be nice. Very isolated area, so move out before its dark.

Except one small makeshift shop that sells few items not much refreshments were available. Carry your own food, but please do not litter the place.

Be sure to add this place to your itinerary if you’re planning a Mahabs or Pondy trip.

October 2009 Update: Visited this place again and water levels were much higher-Some of the land you saw in first photo was not visible.

Other offbeat destinations: Maravanthe * Nagara fort * Yercaud * Kuruva Island, Wayanad * Durgam Cheruvu, Madhapur, Hyderabad * Gingee fort *


Mridula said...

Have you uploaded more pictures? Sounds like my kind of a place.

Shrinidhi Hande said...


Have shared some more photos with you. Didn't keep the album public as it had friends and others

Thamizhari said...

Thanks shrinidhi...... nice place from ECR....

Thamizhari said...

Thanks for your blogger,,,,,really nice one from ecr

Shrinidhi Hande said...

You're welcome

gobi sam said...

very good information ..thanks

gobi sam said...

very good information... love to see this place.. tom we were planning to go ter ... ur post helped me a lot

Srijothi Vijendran said...

Hello, the place seems to be very nice. Is it safe to go there as a family with a 2 and a half year old kid? Your thoughts will be very helpful. Thanks!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Gobi: Great

It is NOT safe to leave the kid unattended in water.

Otherwise, it is fairly safe place to visit overall. Kid can play in water a bit near the rocks under close supervision