Chennai to Pondicherry by Road – Distance, Time and Useful Travel Information

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Why travel from Chennai to Pondicherry?

Pondicherry is the most visited, most popular, and one of the most scenic beach retreats near the metro city of Chennai. Whether you are looking for a quick weekend getaway or an elaborate beach vacation, Pondicherry is the answer to all your travel needs. The peaceful, old French town is blended with colonial heritage, millennial trappings, and the pristine beauty of the expansive bay and sparkling shores. The best way to visit Pondicherry from Chennai is to drive. Rent a car from car rentals in Chennai with Savaari, you get the opportunity to enjoy the drive down the East Coast and make the trip more exciting and interesting.  

Chennai to Pondicherry by road

Traveling from Chennai to Pondicherry by car

The route from Chennai to Pondicherry goes through the East Coast Road and is one of the most popular drives in South India. With a car rental from Savaari, you can enjoy the drive through the scenic landscape, with the Bay of Bengal on one side and ancient temple towns and villages of Tamil Nadu on the other. Along the way, you will pass through some popular tourist locales where you can make a stop and add some adventure to the trip. Let us help you discover the best routes and travel plans for an unforgettable trip from Chennai to Pondicherry.

Best time to take a road trip from Chennai to Pondicherry by car

Sitting on the Bay of Bengal, on the Coromandel Coast, Pondicherry experiences a typical coastal climate. The summer months of April and May are extremely hot, while the months after monsoon are more pleasant and make for the best time to travel and explore the town’s treasures. The rainy season, however, can get rough on the sea and most water sports are restricted at this time.

Route 1: Chennai to Pondicherry via East Coast Road

Chennai to Pondicherry Road Condition via East Coast Road

This is the shortest and the fastest route to reach Pondicherry from Chennai. It is also the most recommended route by Google maps and used by travelers.

Chennai to Pondicherry Distance via East Coast Road

The Chennai to Pondicherry distance on this route is nearly 150 KM and takes about three hours to reach. This route has tolls and there might be some Chennai to Pondicherry traffic due to roadwork. But for best information on Chennai to Pondicherry road conditions always check for real-time traffic updates and follow live maps.

Here’s a basic Chennai to Pondicherry road map for this route:

Chennai -> Mahabalipuram -> Edaikazhinadu -> Kalapet -> Pondicherry
Chennai to Pondicherry Map

Popular sights/monuments that you will encounter along this route:

  • Madras Crocodile Park, Kelambakkam – A natural marshland and wildlife reserve housing crocodiles, near Chennai city.
  • Dakshina Chitra Heritage Museum, Muthukadu – A state run, living-history museum dedicated to South Indian heritage and culture, good for a quick visit.
  • Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram – An 8th century temple, sitting on the shore of Bay of Bengal and a landmark site of Mahabalipuram. Stop by for photo ops, views or take a day tour.
  • Mahabalipuram Lighthouse, Mahabalipuram – An old lighthouse on the Mahabalipuram beach, known for viewing sunrise and sunsets and a popular site for photography.
  • Alamparai Fort, Edaikazhinadu – Stop by the relics of this ancient fort sitting on the shore. 
Mahabalipuram Lighthouse
Mahabalipuram Lighthouse

Places to eat along this route

  • Sangeetha Veg Restaurant, Muthukadu – Local highway side diner serving vegetarian South Indian dishes, good for family and big groups.
  • L’attitude 49, Mahabalipuram – A resort restaurant serving global cuisines, known for dining with great views.
  • Sahara Restaurant, Kalpakkam – Local diner serving north and south Indian meals, specializing in biriyani.
  • Nivi’s Delhi Dhaba, Kanchipuram – Lakeside diner serving North Indian dishes and dhaba style food, good for families and big groups.

Route 2: Chennai to Pondicherry via NH 32

Chennai to Pondicherry Road Condition via NH 32

This is an alternative route to reach Pondicherry and Chennai. This route is a little longer and also takes a little more time than the previous one.

Chennai to Pondicherry Distance via NH 32

The distance on this road is 165 Km and takes nearly three and half hours. There might be some occasional traffic on this route between Chennai and Pondicherry. Always check real-time traffic and live maps for the most updated information on Chennai to Pondicherry road conditions.

Here’s a basic Chennai to Pondicherry road map for this route:

Chennai -> Chengalpattu -> Perumbairkandigal -> Tindivanam -> Kiliyanur -> Pondicherry
Chennai to Pondicherry Map 02

Popular sights/monuments that you will encounter along this route:

  • Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur – A local zoo with large, natural enclosures for Asian mammals and an expansive forested area, good for a quick drive around or short safari.
  • Palar River View Point, Kanchipuram – Expansive river banks with panoramic views of the countryside, good for sunset views or afternoon breaks.
  • Muthalamman Temple, Maduranthakam – A beautiful, ancient temple with classic Dravidian architecture in stone, locally regarded as a sacred site.
  • Omanthoorar Park, Tindivanam – A public park with gardens dedicated to the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
  • National Fossil Wood Park, Thiruvakkarai (off NH 32) – A protected national geo-heritage monument and conservatory, housing fossils and prehistoric evidence, worth a quick detour and exploring.
Arignar Anna Zoological Park
Arignar Anna Zoological Park

Places to eat along this route

  • Sathyam Vegetarian Restaurant, Chengalpattu – A comfortable vegetarian restaurant specializing in classic South Indian meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Vasanta Bhavan, Acharapakkam – Standard highway side casual diner serving traditional snacks and meal plates, good for quick stops.
  • Oorvasi veg restaurant & cafe lounge, Tindivanam – Plush eatery and lounge serving vegetarian fare, snack food, and meals, family-friendly, group-friendly.

Chennai to Pondicherry Best Route

While you can take any of the two routes, we recommend Route 1 Via East Coast Road. The road conditions are excellent and the time taken is less. However, it is advisable to check live traffic updates before leaving for your trip.

Other means of traveling from Chennai to Pondicherry

By Train

You can also reach Pondicherry from Chennai by train. There are only about 24 trains as of now plying between these two destinations. Of these, 14 trains run daily. So you can visit the Indian Railways website for your Chennai to Pondicherry train bookings, or choose your options from the multiple online portals.

The fastest train is NDLS PUDUCHERRY EXP (22404) which covers the distance between Chennai and Pondicherry in about three and half hours.

By Flight

Although there is an airport in Pondicherry, at Lawspet, 8.1 Km from Auroville, there is no air connectivity between Chennai and Pondicherry at this time. For all Chennai to Pondicherry flight updates and information, visit any online travel portal or airline website.

Explore Pondicherry Like a Local: A Handy Guide

Known to be the best beach destination on the East Coast, Pondicherry attracts people with its colorful heritage, pristine landscape and peaceful vibes. From cultural milieu to spiritual bliss, Pondicherry has something for everyone. With our tips and suggestions, you can experience its colonial French and Tamil past and explore the charming locales.

Attractions in Pondicherry for Sightseeing

Start your Pondicherry tour with a walk to the Promenade Beach and the Rock Beach, the two most popular tourist hangout places in town. Take a walk through the White Town and explore the awe-inspiring French villas and old mansions. For the history buff, there’s the Pondicherry Museum, French War Memorial, Arikamedu – an ancient Roman site with archeological ruins. Take a trip to the nearby Paradise Beach, known for quaint resorts and white sandy beaches. For a trip through spirituality, visit the Shri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville.

Pondicherry’s cuisine is heavily influenced by its colonial heritage fused with ethnic flavors, making it a beautiful mix of classic and contemporary. With its French, Portuguese, Vietnamese colonizers and native Tamil settlers for centuries, you can expect an array of flavors in this coastal town.

Visit these best places in Pondicherry to sample its local flavors-

  • Baker Street, Bussy Street
  • Villa Shanti, Suffren Street
  • Café Des Art, Suffren Street
  • Coromandel Café, Romain Rolland Street
  • La Maison Rose, Romain Rolland Street

Hotels and resorts – Accommodation in Pondicherry

Place NameAddressPhone Number
La Closerie32, Rue Dumas St, White Town, Puducherry, 605001095852 63377
Maison Perumal Hotel & Restaurant44, 58, Perumal Koil St, Heritage Town, Puducherry, 6050010413 222 7519
The Promenade23, Goubert Ave, White Town, Puducherry, 6050010413 222 7750
Cours Chabrol60, Goubert Ave, White Town, Puducherry, 6050010413 222 1740
Villa Du Ocean14, Romain Rolland St, White Town, Puducherry, 6050010413 2337666