Places of interest around Velankanni
Muthupet Lagoon Forest :
Muthupet is a town in Tiruvarur District. It is located between Thirutturaipoondi and Pattukkotai, and around 360 km away from Chennai. The town lies adjacent to the Bay of Bengal and is in the southernmost part of the Cauvery delta. Muthupet is bounded by Korayar and Bamaniyar rivers to the east and west respectively. The rivers Koriayar and Pamaniyar join near Muthupet, and there is a lagoon, which is rich in fish.
Muthupet is an ideal place for fishing, pearl hunting and bird hunting. It is well known for its fishing industries such as finfish (koduva), shrimp and crab. A natural mangrove forest, Alayathi Kadu, is one of the largest of its kind in India.
Muthupet Lagoon is located at the southern end of the Cauvery river delta on the Bay of Bengal, covering an area of approximately 6,803.01 ha of which only 4% is occupied by well-grown mangroves. The rivers Paminiyar, Koraiyar, Kilaithankiyar, Marakkakoraiyar and other tributaries of the river Cauvery flow through Muthupet and adjacent villages. At the tail end, they form a lagoon before meeting the sea.
The northern and western borders of the lagoon are occupied by muddy silt ground which is devoid of mangroves. The mangroves beyond Muthupet lagoon are discontinuously found along the shore and extended up to Point Calimere.
Muthupet mangrove forest was under the control of Chatram Department from 1853 to 1912 (Chengappa, 1918). The Government of the Presidency of Madras Gazette (1937) shows, from 1923 to 1936, half of the revenue obtained from selling mangrove products was paid to the revenue department and the remaining half was spent to maintain the â€œChatramsâ€?(Charity homes). The Government declared the Muthupet mangrove forest as revenue forest in February 1937 and accordingly the mangrove forest was handed over to the forest department of the Madras Presidency. The forest is maintained by Tamil Nadu Forest Department. The entire mangrove forest is divided into Palanjur reserve forest, Thamarankottai reserve forest, Maravakkadu reserve forest, Vadakadu reserve forest, Thuraikadu reserve forest and Muthupet reserve forest.