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A Journey to Pondicherry – Road Trips from Chennai

Chennai to Pondicherry is a much-loved getaway for residents of the bustling city. It is a laid-back town that has a rich legacy, and for those who want to escape the pace of Tamil Nadu’s capital, it is a very conveniently located destination.

The route to Pondicherry is around 166 km via the East Coast road and the drive is quite pleasant, with the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal always within reach. An early start is recommended for day trippers but Pondicherry, which has many attractions, is recommended for a weekend trip at least.

Attractions of Pondicherry

Pondicherry continues to enthral visitors because of its unique history and blend of cultures. The union territory was a French colony from the 17th century (despite being occupied by the British in some instances). Till this date, the very well-preserved and bustling French quarters provide the highlights of the main town.

Apart from the very aesthetic layout, the leafy neighborhoods, and the classic European architecture – Pondicherry’s French Quarters are home to the most popular restaurants and social hubs.

The seaside promenade, which is a pedestrian-only zone is full of grand monuments, some from the colonial era and some more recent – like the giant Mahatma Gandhi statue. An evening walk here is recommended – it is the favourite spot for townspeople to come and mingle.

Pondicherry is a great base for excursions into the surrounding landscapes. The backwaters of Chunnambar are a short 8-km drive from the town. One can enjoy a boat ride or go for an invigorating hike. There are many beaches in and around Pondicherry.

Paradise Beach encapsulates the coastal way of life very well. The swaying palms and the docked fishing boats provide the setting, and the sands and shacks are a wonderful stage for lonely walks or a rendezvous with loved ones. Serenity beach is another picturesque hub.

The Auroville township is a must-visit when one is exploring Pondicherry. Located on hills across a dramatic coastline, Auroville’s most famous landmark is the Matri Mandir – ideal for those who want some spiritual solitude. The communities here are trendsetters in organic farming and foodies can explore the different eateries that are located here. From organic dosas and wood oven pizzas to authentic Tibetan cuisines, one will come across many surprises. Across the East Coast Road, Auroville beach has shacks, and more food joins where travelers can soak in the tranquil atmosphere and indulge in some recreation.

Choose Self Drive Rentals

The best road trips are the ones with impromptu moments and unplanned stops.

This is possible when travelers make the journey on their own terms. Self drive rentals offer complete privacy and total control over the pace of the journey. App-based platform Zoom car offers a wide range of the latest hatchbacks, sedans, and SUVs at very affordable rental plans. Assurances like 24/7 on-road support make it a favored choice across India for long distance journeys.

Other popular scenic routes possible with a rental include Coimbatore to Ooty.