Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mahabalipuram, Muttukadu & Crocodile Park - A visit to ECR attractions

We had been to the East Coast Road (ECR) during the New Year Holidays to see a few attractions. We rented/hired Tata Safari for Rs.1900 and visited a few tourist places along the coast, including Mahabalipuram. It is several years since I drove past ECR and the areas along ECR has grown by leaps and bounds. The road condition is really very good. There are lots of places to see/visit near ECR. Our first stop was at Muttukadu Boat House.
  

Also read: 

A visit to Arignar Anna Zoological Park - Vandalur
A visit to Children's Park & Snake Park in Guindy
 


I was quite impressed with the way in which the boat house is maintained. Muttukadu Boat House has adequate parking facilities, neat restaurant, and well maintained rest rooms. The boats had life jackets for everyone. Of course, they charged about Rs.400 for 7 people (which was on the higher end). There was a separate fee for still camera and camcorder (I guess I paid about Rs.50 for the camcorder and Rs.25 for the still camera). We had reached a bit earlier in the day (by 9.30 am). So, it wasn't very crowded. Also, the weather was very pleasant for boating. They also had water scooters. The motor boat driver took us around for nearly 20 minutes. The lake was clean and the scenery around was beautiful. We came back from the ride and paid Rs.10 as tip for the boat driver (Well, the driver asked for it even before we got down from the boat). We spent about an hour in the boat house.

We then visited the Crocodile Park. They charged about Rs.20 for adults and Rs.10 for the kids. However, the charge for video camera (camcorder) was whopping Rs.100. The crocodile park was maintained very well (except for the restrooms, which could be a bit more cleaner). This is the largest collection of crocodiles that I've ever seen in my life. They had pools in which there are nearly 100+ crocodiles. This justifies the huge amount that they collected for the video camera. They also have a pool with glass viewing and it was awesome. I believe you can also feed/touch crocodiles and we didn't try that (Though, there were a few head hunters roaming around. I guess they get a commission, if they sign-up people for crocodile feeding). We spent nearly 2 hours in the Crocodile Park. Kids would definitely love this place.

Our next destination was Mahabalipuram. Oh my god ! It was heavily crowded. I guess New Years weekend is the wrong time to go to this place. It took us nearly 30 minutes to get to the parking lot. Also, there was hardly any space to move around near the Shore Temple, parking lot. It is nearly 15+ years since I visited Mahabalipuram. The place has developed many folds. Our government has been doing a wonderful job of developing and maintaining the infrastructure, there. There are beautiful parks around every attraction, with proper rest areas & restroom facilities. We had packed and brought lunch with us. We had our lunch in the park. The entry fee was very nominal - just Rs.10 for one person. There was no camera or camcorder fee, in any of the Mahabalipuram attractions. We visited Shore Temple, Five Rathas, and Krishna's butter ball. We were very tired and didn't have the energy to climb to the light house. So, we dropped that from our list. We spent nearly 4 - 5 hours in Mahabalipuram and left the place by around 5.30 pm.

We made a stopover in Tiger's cave and it was very dark at that time. We went to the beach from there and spent a few minutes drenching our legs in the sea water. The return traffic was very bad and we reached home by 8.30 pm.

Overall, I was quite impressed with our government's job in maintaining these attractions. Most noticeable of all is the maintenance of rest areas and restroom. Kudos to them !!

This is the first mega outing since my R2I with entire family and friends. It was very enjoyable and memorable.

Also read: 

A visit to Arignar Anna Zoological Park - Vandalur
A visit to Children's Park & Snake Park in Guindy

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