Everybody loves road trips. They are a fun way to explore the country and also bond with your co-travellers. A Chennai to Pondicherry road trip is an all-time favourite amongst tourists and locals. There are different routes one can explore when driving from Chennai to Pondicherry. Before you start on your road trip, make sure you get your car checked by the mechanic and load everything before you start. Although you can make this trip any time of the year, the best months are from October to February. The weather is pleasant and just perfect for sightseeing. Avoid March to June months when the weather is very hot. Also, July, August and September are rainy months.
The best part about a road trip is that you can stop wherever you want to and are not tied down by any fixed schedule. Stop on the way or stay at one of the famous hotels in Pondicherry. Pondicherry has a moderate temperature, but it can get humid. So pack light cotton clothes and comfortable shoes or sandals. Do not forget to carry sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hat or cap.
Popular Routes from Chennai to Pondicherry
ECR, NH32 and NH48 are the routes one can take for Chennai to Pondicherry road trip, but the East Coast Road (ECR) is most popular as it is shorter and more scenic. NH32 is about 170 km while NH48 is 204 kilometres in distance
The picturesque East Coast Road along the Bay of Bengal coastline is the most popular route when driving from Chennai to Pondicherry. The distance is approximately 160km and you can cover the trip comfortably in 3.5 hours. Get amazing views of the water and sun reflected in it, as you drive along this route. An added advantage is that you pass famous sights like Alambara Fort, Mahabalipuram, Mudaliarkuppam, and Kalpakkam, a nuclear facility. You can stop and explore these locations at your own pace. Get ready for an amazing road trip from Chennai to Pondicherry.
Where to Stop En-route Chennai to Pondicherry
As the Chennai to Pondicherry road trip is short, it will take approximately three hours for you to reach your destination. You can plan accordingly and stop on the way to explore the exciting sites and locations.
• Cholamandal Artists’ Village:
Visit the Artists’ Village, which is one of the largest cooperatives in the country for artists. You can take a look at the sculptures and paintings on display at the Cholamandal Artists’ Village. Enjoy theatrical and dance performances in the open-air theatre of the village.
• Kovalam Beach:
Kovalam Beach is immensely popular and is located in Covelong, a small fishing village. Walk on the soft, white sand and gaze at the beautiful natural views.
• Portuguese Catholic Church:
One must visit this church dedicated to Our Lady of Mount. It was constructed in the 18th century and you are sure to be impressed by its grotto and the bell tower.
• Alamparai Fort:
This fort was built in the 17th century and is made of rocks. Reminiscent of Mughal architecture, you can enjoy gazing at the scenic backwaters from several vantage points within the Alamparai fort.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site is also known as Mahabalipuram and dates back to the 8th century. Explore this coastal town and enjoy an authentic seafood meal at one of the many restaurants here. You will find many options for both vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare.
If you want you can even break your journey and stay at some great hotels along this route. Some good options are Purple Lakeview, Elite Inn, MGR Regency Comfort Hotel, Villa Sentosa Heritage Hotel and more.
Enjoy the Sights in Pondicherry
Once you reach Pondicherry, relax and rest after the road trip. There is no dearth of hotels and accommodation in Pondicherry. There are hotels and rooms available to suit all budgets and preferences.
After a good nights sleep, you can wake up refreshed and rejuvenated the next day, all set to explore Pondicherry. Here are some of the must-see sights in the city.
• Sri Aurobindo Ashram:
Another famous highlight in Pondicherry is the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. It is surrounded by gardens known as the Peace Area. Take a look at the huge, optically perfect glass globe in the inner sanctum.
• Botanical Gardens:
The Botanical Gardens boast of 22 acres of greenery and house a vast variety of unique flora and an aquarium on the premises. There is even a toy train to keep the children busy.
• Serenity Beach:
One of the most popular beaches of Pondicherry, the pristine surroundings and clear waters are just the right place to unwind and relax. Just enjoy the sun and the sands and the calm breeze; this is a perfect place for some rest and relaxation.
• French Quarter:
Visit the French Quarter and you will feel as if you have entered France in India. It is hard to miss the quintessential French names in the leafy boulevards and the elegant French-style villas with cascading, flowering creepers over the arched windows.
Just plan your road trip carefully and mark the list of the places you are interested in. Ensure that you book your room in an excellent hotel for a comfortable stay, with a reliable travel portal like Cleartrip.