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Pondicherry, now known as Puducherry, is a picturesque coastal city surrounded by the state of Tamil Nadu and the Bay of Bengal. Numerous tourists visit this union territory every year to get a glimpse of its past French heritage. It is one of the most famous places to visit near Chennai.

How to Reach Pondicherry From Chennai? 

Pondicherry has a domestic airport with flight routes to Bengaluru and Hyderabad. However, there are no direct flights from Chennai to Pondicherry. However, there are many different options to travel from Chennai to Pondicherry, as discussed below.

Railways

There are three to four trains connecting Chennai and Puducherry railway stations. A train journey in an unreserved compartment is one of the cheapest ways to reach Pondicherry from Chennai. However, it may be noted that the journey would span 5-6 hours.

Road

Pondicherry is well-connected to Chennai through roads. The Chennai to Pondicherry distance is about 150- 160 km, depending on the route you take. While there are many interior routes to reach Pondicherry from Chennai, choose the East Coast road (ECR) if you plan to take a road trip. Besides, it is the fastest way to reach Pondicherry from Chennai. The entire travel time should be completed within three and a half hours, considering moderate traffic on the ECR. 

Officially known as Mutthamizh Arignar Kalaignar Road, the ECR runs parallel to the seaside for most of the journey. The gushes of wind from the Bay of Bengal make the journey extremely pleasurable. It is one of the most scenic roads in India. 

Alternatively, you can also take a state or private bus. However, enquire well about the route the bus is going to follow. Remember, many private Non-AC buses go via the interior roads to avoid the toll tax. This may lengthen your journey, and you may miss out on travelling on the ECR.

However, AC deluxe buses provide a very comfortable travel experience and typically stay on the ECR.

Sea

Recently, the Chennai Port Trust announced plans to begin passenger ferry services from Chennai to Pondicherry, adding another option for tourists and local residents to travel between the two cities. 

At present, private cruise ships operate between Chennai and Pondicherry. These ships can take 1-5 days to cover the distance between the two cities depending upon the tour package and facilities.

Places to Visit in Pondicherry

Pondicherry impresses all the first-time visitors with the level of cleanliness all around. Even crowded public places like bus terminals are clean and litter-free.

The colonial buildings, churches, and statues are some of the best places to visit in Pondicherry. The French-style avenues and town planning are well preserved to this date. The experimental township of Auroville is another interesting place to visit.

Where to Stay in Pondicherry 

Club Mahindra Puducherry is one of the best resorts in Pondicherry to stay and unwind. The 24-acre property is located close to the sea with direct beach access making your stay comfortable as well as memorable. 

If you’re in Chennai, you have the golden opportunity to explore Pondicherry. Plan your trip in advance and get ready to be pleasantly surprised right from the beginning of your journey until your destination.

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