As you know, the East Coast Road (ECR) is the entertainment highway of Chennai and there is even boating available on that road! The Muttukadu boat house is established and being maintained by the TamilNadu Tourism Development Corporation. This spot is located around 30 KM from Chennai (On the ECR) and it is located in between MGM Dizzee World/Dakshinachitra & Kovalam beach. After you cross MGM keep looking for a large over-bridge that crosses this backwaters. On your right, you’ll be able to see the boat house.
The kind of boats available here, duration of the ride, amount/tariff and other such information for the Muttukadu boat club is given in the above photo. Of course, these things are subject to change with time, but you can get a general idea about the types of boat/rides available here.
As expected with any boat club, pedal boats, row boats, motor boats are available. The pricing is also quite economical (if you go as a group). But what surprised me is, they have two water scooters/aqua scooters!! But of course, that 520 rupees for 5 minutes for these water scooters is not very impressive! How about making it 15 minutes?
I have been to this Muttukadu boat house a couple of times when I was young(er) and at that time I went on the boat ride. This time, I went alone and somehow it felt awkward to go for a ride, all alone by myself. Not that I think twice before going to a movie theater/coffee shop alone *I do that all the time*, but in this location I felt like that.
They are giving life-jackets to all the visitors these days. Earlier, it was not there. Also, they have constructed a new waiting room (with a bamboo roof) for people to wait and watch the boats from inside. Even outside the room, there are enough chairs for people to sit and watch the boats. There is a restaurant here, but I am not sure about the quality of food.
As you can see in the above photo, there is a boat-jetty. One has to walk the ramp*!* to get to the boats. There are enough people to help you and there are enough drivers as well. They seem to be able to handle the weekend crowd quite well (which was not much, when I went). These are salt-water backwaters. Yes, I have tasted the water when I was young!
The lake/backwater is quite large and the boat has enough room to go around. Of course, unlike other mountain-locations, the surroundings is not scenic (there are no water-falls, hills etc.), but it’s a different experience to ride under that over-bridge and see the large buildings on the backdrop. Bird lovers will love this spot as they can spot so many kind of birds on both sides of the over-bridge. Bring your birding scope, if possible.
They are going to introduce sailing and water-sports in the future, it seems. Hopefully these things will come fast and the prices kept attractive.
So, what has been your boating experience? Which location do you like?