India offers some of the best conditions for sea kayaking in the world, yet is relatively undiscovered by kayakers. Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, is a great place to explore the regions sea kayaking from. Flights from across the world land in its international airport making kayaking here only a short step (or paddle!) away.
While kayaking is yet to full develop equipment hire centres do exist in the region and are taking off as ecotourism becomes increasingly popular. Hire of kayaks are relatively cheap here compared with most other destinations.
For those who prefer lengthy sea kayaking trips and have the experience required to conduct such trips the Gulf of Mannar between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka is considered one of the best places for sea kayaking in the world. There’s dozens of islets to explore and the area is renowned for its natural beauty.
There’s coral reefs, exotic bird life and traditional fishing to admire as you paddle between the islets. The region has long been popular with serious kayakers and was first explored by Oscar Speck in the 1930s when he kayaked from Germany to Australia.
Those who prefer river kayaking can find locations dotted around Tamil Nadu including in Amaravathinagar where competitions take place and a kayaking school can help you explore the area around the Amaravathy Dam.
Many of the locations for kayaking in Tamil Nadu are a significant distance from Chennai so you make need to fly or be prepared for a several day journey by car.
As Chennai kayaking is still quite new it’s advisable to bring your own equipment such as a folding kayak if you want to get the most out of canoeing and kayaking in the area. There’s plenty of rivers much of which have suitable white water so you won’t be short of potential areas to kayak, although as with any area without professional kayaking guides its essential you take safety precautions.