This marshy bird sanctuary, 55km southwest of Mamallapuram (an easy day trip), is a spectacular 30-hectare breeding ground for many kinds of waterbirds, which migrate here from November to February. Each year around 30,000 birds – from openbill storks to brahminy kites – mass at Vedanthangal Lake and its marshy surrounds. The top viewing times are dawn and late afternoon.
A taxi day trip to Vedanthangal from Mamallapuram costs around ₹2500.
On public transport, first go to Chengalpattu, an hour’s bus ride from Mamallapuram en route to Kanchipuram, then take a bus to Vedanthangal via Padalam (possibly changing buses again). Most Vedanthangal buses go to the sanctuary entrance, but some stop at the village bus station, 1km away.