Auroville in Pondicherry

How to Travel to Pondicherry

Shiva temple in Pondicherry

shiva temple in Pondicherry

Shiva Temple

By road

Pondicherry is well connected from all sides. Chennai is situated 160 km north of the city. Getting to Pondicherry involves a three hour road journey from Chennai. One can get a bus from CMBT in Koyambedu or from Thiruvanmiyur or Guindy. You can be sure of a seat only from CMBT in Koyambedu.

You can also take a taxi from Chennai Airport. Non-AC Indica seating 4 passengers will cost you about 3500 for one-way trip (as of August 2013)

The road from Chennai to Pondicherry (the East Coast Road, commonly called ECR) is a scenic highway and a normal journey would take about 3 hours. This route passes through Mahabalipuram, Kalpakkam, Pudupattinam, Idaikkazhinadu (Alamparai Fort also called Alambara Fort), Mudaliarkuppam (has a cool boat house), Marakkanam (contains large areas under salt pans), Kanagachettikulam/Kalapet etc. before reaching Pondicherry.

The other route that can be taken to reach Pondy is through the National Highway 45 (NH-45) famously called as the Grand Southern Trunk GST Road. This route passes through Tambaram, Madhurantakam, Melmaruvathur, Tindivanam before reaching Pondicherry. Both the major roads from Chennai are toll roads and approximately take the same time.

Pondicherry is about 320 km from Bangalore. Drive down National Highway 7 (NH-7) till Krishnagiri, take a left off the main highway (roadsigns mark the route) and then take National Highway 66 (NH-66) to Pondicherry. This route passes through Uthangarai, Chengam, Tiruvannamalai, Gingee and Tindivanam. One can reach Pondicherry either through Tindivanam (via Gingee) or Villupuram (via Thirukovilur). Gingee fort is also on the way to Tindivanam and worth spending some time at. It is a Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Heritage site. The total travel time should be about 5-6 hours. Do pack some food or snacks for the way as there are no good restaurants enroute.

Pondicherry is well connected to Cuddalore, Chidambaram, Karaikal, Nagapattinam, Velankanni, etc to the South by National Highway 45A (NH-45A). The road is well maintained till Chidambaram.
Pondicherry connects to the GST or NH – 45 in two places viz. at Villupuram by NH-45A and at Tindivanam by NH-66.

By train

Pondicherry is connected to Chennai by an electric broad gauge railway line through Villupuram. There are 2 passenger trains running daily to Chennai Egmore Railway station and Tirupati and there is a weekly express train service to Bhubaneswar. In addition to this, there is also a daily express train to Chennai Egmore.It is advisable to go by road rather than train to Pondicherry from Chennai as the journey is longer by train.

Bangalore Yesvanthapur(YPR) to Pondicherry(PDY) is connected by a 3-Tier AC Train called Garibh Rath Express. It covers a distance of 456 kilometres in each direction however it takes 10 hours 5 mins when operating as train number 12255 at an average speed of 60 km/hr (excluding halts).  Coach Composition comprises of 16 AC 3 tier coaches and 2 luggage cum generator coach taking the total up to 18 coaches.

By plane

Pondicherry has an airport with facilities for the landing of small aircraft like Dornier, Cessna, etc. As of summer 2014, SpiceJet has withdrawn its service to Pondicherry.

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