Chennai’s ECR: Every Place You Can Cover in the Long Drive

There isn’t a single person that actually wouldn’t appreciate taking road excursions and taking in the beautiful scenery. If you would like to enjoy the most similar road travels, India provides various routes that will turn your journey memorable. Amongst them are the Leh-Manali path, the highways in Dehradun, and the Kodaikanal-Munnar highway. The East Coast Road (ECR) in Tamil Nadu is another magnificent road. This ride mostly along the Bay of Bengal coast provides breathtaking views and sightseeing opportunities to keep you fascinated and intrigued across the whole journey. This road, also recognised as State Highway 49, connects the capital city of Chennai with the town of Cuddalore

The road connecting Chennai and Thoothukudi passes through some of the most magnificent locations in Tamil Nadu. There will be monuments, museums, and other tourist attractions which you should not miss. Now, shall we take a glance at some of the sights you’ll get to see if you take a long drive through ECR?

Chennai’s ECR and all the beautiful places you can visit on your road trip (Until Pondicherry):
Kovalam Beach

Kovalam beach, nestled inside the coastal village of Covelong, has always been attracting tourists from all over the country since the 1930s. The beach’s rocky point soothes the tumultuous waves, making it perfect for going for a swim as well as other water sports without the worry of current flow. The immaculate shores and naturally beautiful vistas make this beach excellent for wandering about or sitting comfortably and admiring the scenery. People visit this coastline for the spa, which offers natural body toning treatments.

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Alamparai Fort

Alamparai Fort

The Alamparai Fort remains are tucked away along the ECR around 100 kilometres from Chennai. The fort was erected mostly during the Mughal reign in the 17th century and is well worth a stop. The fort’s layout is particularly spectacular, having been built using bricks and limestone over such a 15-acre space facing the Bay of Bengal. Massive walls and red bricks encircle the entire fort. You may take many Instagram-worthy photos of unspoiled beaches and backwaters from said fort’s vantage point.


Mamallapuram is a beach town on the Bay of Bengal, between both the Great Salt Lake as well as the Arabian Sea. The UNESCO World Heritage Site spans back to ancient times and is known for its magnificent temples and monasteries constructed mostly during the Pallava era. It is an excellent choice for real seafood. It offers numerous fine accommodations for different prices, making it an effective destination to spend the night.

Cholamandal Artists’ Village

You can discover indigenous, historic, and modern works by local craftsmen upon clay, wood, paints, pottery, textile, papers, and glass. Some of the fascinating things to explore at the Cholamandal Artists’ Village include art exhibitions, open-air theatre, statues, museums, antiques, live performances, sand and clay art, and cinematography.

Dakshinachitra Museum

Dhakshinachitra Museum

The Dakshinachitra Museum is a historical cross-cultural site dedicated to conserving and promoting South Indian identity via art, design, lifestyle, crafts, and performance arts. The gallery highlights the cultures of South Indian states such as Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Explore this museum’s historic dwellings to learn about historical cultures, browse for unique jewellery, handicrafts, and artworks, and watch a live presentation of the artisan’s skills.

Paradise Beach

As the name indicates, Paradise Beach is perhaps the most gorgeous place in Chunnambar, near Pondicherry. The coastline, also known as Plage Paradiso, is blessed with golden beaches and encircled by breathtaking scenery. The beach is much less busy and offers a steady breeze that is delightful and refreshing. Watching the sun set upon that western coast while sipping coconut water alongside excellent company upon this beach would seem to be everything you want in life.

Botanical Garden

Pondicherry has a strong French influence, whether in architecture or cuisine. Pondicherry’s Botanical Garden, in particular, exhibits “Frenchness.” George S Perrottet, a French naturalist and horticulturalists, transformed the property into a nature reserve in 1931. Trees, exotic plants, greens, fountains, and gravel-lined walks grew in the traditional French-styled environment. On weekends and holidays, the area is illuminated by the passion and excitement of people participating in musical water events.

Of course, there are more amazing places you can witness along the ECR while travelling to Pondicherry. But we decided to only include the ones we think are the best in our opinion. What are some of your other favourite places that you have explored on your road trip along the ECR from Chennai? Let us know!

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