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Crocodile Bank (14 km): Started by Romulus Whitaker, this is a farm where several species of Indian and African crocodiles and alligators are bred in captivity. In addition, Irula tribesmen, famed snake-catchers, demonstrate venom extraction. The visiting time is from 8 am to 5.30 pm. Entry Fee: Rs. 20 for adults, Rs. 10 for Children. Tel: 044 27472447.

Cholamandalam Artistic Village (35 km): This artists' cooperative, at Muttukadu, located in serene surrounding by the beach. Some eminent artists and sculptors live and work here, exhibiting and selling their creations at the gallery that is part of the village. Entry free. No holidays. Time: 9 am to 7 pm. Tel: 044 24490092

Dakshinachitra: One can see reconstructions of traditional houses and other artefacts from rural South India at this complex in Muttukadu, aimed at providing an insight into the lifestyle of the four southern states. Telefax: 044 24918943, 27472783/ 27472603. Entry Fee: Adults Rs. 50; children Rs. 25 Time: 10 am to 6 pm. Tuesdays closed.

Vedanthangal: This sanctuary is visited every year by thousands of migratory birds, which come during the winter to breed. Accommodation is available at the Forest Department’s Guest House. For reservation contact: Wildlife Warden.

Covelong (20 km): This small fishing village has a fine beach, where you can go wind surfing.

Alamparai (50 km): This Mughal era fort, now ruined, stands against the backdrop of backwaters and sands dunes, a perfect spot.

Mudaliarkuppam Boating (36 km): At this Boat House, run by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Corporation, you can hire row boats, pedal boats and motor boats. Tel: 044 25368358

Muttukadu Boat House (80 km): Tel: 044 27472369

Nitya Kalyana Perumal Temple (16 km): Also known as Thiruvidanthai.

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