Point Calimere, also called Cape Calimere,( கோடியக்கரை Kodiakkarai), is a low headland on the Coromandel Coast, in the Nagapattinam
district of the state of Tamil Nadu
. It is the apex of the Cauvery River delta, and marks a nearly right-angle turn in the coastline. A historic landmark here was the Chola Lighthouse
, destroyed in the tsunami of 2004.
The forests of Point Calimere, also known the Vedaranyam
forests, are one of the last remnants of the dry evergreen forests that were once typical of the East Deccan dry evergreen forests ecoregion. The Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary, with an area of 24.17 km sq , was created on June 13, 1967. The sanctuary includes the cape and its three natural habitat types: dry evergreen forests, mangrove forests, and wetlands.
In 1988, the sanctuary was enlarged to include the Great Vedaranyam Swamp and the Talaignayar Reserve Forest, and renamed the Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary
, with a total area of 377 km sq. Point Calimere homes the endangered endemic Indian Blackbuck and is one of the few known wintering locations of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper. It also holds large wintering populations of Greater Flamingos in India.
The area is dotted with salt pans and these hold large crustacean populations that support the wintering bird life. Pesticide residues running off from agricultural fields and shrimp farms has entered the ecosystem and many species have high concentrations of DDT and HCH in their tissue.Not far from Point Calimere is the mangrove forest of Muthupet.
Several sites of religious, historical or cultural importance are located within the sanctuary: