How to Reach ECR from Within Chennai?

East Coast Road (ECR) in Chennai is a long stretch that begins from Chennai and currently ends at Pondicherry although it will soon reach the southernmost tip, Kanyakumari. Despite running for over 700 kilometers, ECR is one of the top tourist attraction in the state of Tamil Nadu. I am sure you would like to know why.

Travelling to east coast road at night

Traveling to east coast road at night

You are sure to view these along the ECR: amusement parks, cozy beaches, entertainment centers, adventurous water sports, fascinating temples, art houses, backwaters, and resorts.

Travelling across the east coast road is one of the memorable experiences when you’re in Chennai for the first time. If you had visited the Gold Coast of Australia, you will really value this one more, as fun here is endless and comes from a variety of entertaining sources right from a dive into the Bay of Bengal to a roller coaster taking you high in the air.

It takes a little over two hours journey to reach Mahabalipuram &  four hours to reach Pondicherry. It is not just about the well maintained roads, and infrastructure, the journey is through the history of Chennaipattinam, now Chennai formerly Madras, an English colony and the capital city of Tamilnadu.

Now, the question arises as to how to reach to these different attractions on this dual-lane highway. Think of all the different means of transport on the road and you get many options to take your pick.

Reaching ECR from Airport

Numerous taxi services operate from Chennai airport to various parts of the city.Pre-paid taxi services are available within the airport premises wherein, you settle the bill before starting the journey thereby eliminating  unnecessary bargains after reaching the destination. It not only offers privacy, but it comes at an affordable price. Taxi charges in Chennai are relatively less compared to other metropolitan cities in India.

If you planning to reach East Coast Road from the Chennai airport by yourself and prefer to commute in a less crowded mode of transport, call taxis are the best solution.

As a first-time tourist, you might not know any private agency for hiring a private car or taxi. In this case, I would recommend contacting any of the ECR hotels or resorts if you have booked any for your stay. They would have the facility to provide their guests with a private car for them to explore the road of entertainment.

Be it a family with 3 members or a group of 10+, you can be sure of getting a comfortable ride at the Chennai airport without much waiting.The approximate charge varies from Rupees 15-20 per kilometer.

The travel to Pondicherry with your family might cost you round about Rupees 2000 from Chennai airport. That certainly is worth spending!

For your knowledge, here are some rental rates (check with operator for latest) for 100 kilometers and for 10 hours: Indica for 1,200 INR, Tavira for 1,800 INR, IKON for 1,600 INR, Innova for 2,200 INR, Ford for 1,800 INR, Toyota for 3,500, and Tempo Traveller for 2,400 INR.

Reaching ECR by Bus

Your next option are the public buses run by the State Government. This is by far the cheapest mode of transport while in Chennai, as the cost ranges from 5 INR to 75 INR depending on the distance & bus type (deluxe or AC Volvo).

The bus junction of Chennai is at Koyambedu or CMBT bus stand as its popularly called.So if you are coming to city from Bangalore, Andhra pradesh or from any other state through buses, you will get down at the Koyambedu bus stand.

The route numbers of buses that connect Koyambedu with ECR are as follows:

  • Z568C  (C.M.B.T. to Mamallapuram/Mahabalipuram) – A/C bus
  • SP49 (C.M.B.T. to Kovalam) – Ordinary Bus

Are you from a different part of the city? Don’t worry. The table will help you to catch the right bus to ECR from important areas in Chennai:

Boarding Location Bus No.
Adyar SP19ET,SC51, XP19,S599, S588
Vadapalani SP49
T.Nagar S599,19H,SP49,Z599
Marina Beach SP19ET,XP19,S587

All of these government buses have stops near various ECR hotels, resorts & tourist attractions such as Muttukadu boat house.Therefore, even if you get lost, just look for a nearby bus stop and you can return safely.

Several other government and private buses also run along the east coast road up to Pondicherry.

Reaching ECR from Chennai Central railway station

Okay, let’s say, you come by train and you are in Chennai central railway station which is not easily accessible to Koyambedu, and you are too tired to go there!

As of now, there is only 1 bus service directly connecting ECR from central railway station

  • X19E (Broadway to Kovalam)

But the frequency of this service is limited with one bus running every 2-3 hours (approx.)

Hence, travelers choose to board from the nearby Thiruvanmiyur bus depot.

Thiruvanmiyur is connected to the city through a number of city train’s that travels all the way from Chennai central and travels through the other parts of the city before reaching Thiruvanmiyur.

chennai thiruvanmiyur bus stand

Thiruvanmiyur bus stand

From Central, one should get to the park town station connected through a subway where there are number of trains to Thiruvanmiyur.

It hardly takes 25-30 minutes to reach the other part of the city. The journey time will be approximately 25 minutes from the park town station to Thiruvanmiyur and a few minutes’ walk to reach the Thiruvanmiyur bus depot. In case if you don’t wish to walk we have share auto’s operating within short distances in the city that will drop you at the bus depot.

The frequency of buses from Thiruvanmiyur to the east coast road that goes until Pondicherry are as high as you can see in Koyambedu main bus stand.The list of options of buses from Thiruvanmiyur is as follows:

Thiruvanmiyur SP19ET,SC51,XP19,X19G,19H,19V,23A

You have the choice of taking an ordinary bus or an air conditioned bus at Thiruvanmiyur too.

 If you want to travel up to a few kilometers, a rented bike is also a good option, which is available in Mahabalipuram. In this town, many rental agencies charge you up to 350 INR according to bike you choose. You can inquire about these agencies at the reception of any ECR hotels.

Now that’s your ticket for one of the best scenic rides in India!

Travel options from, to & in ECR are plenty.For the best deals and for the updates, follow our website