A Journey Through Scenic East Coast Road

The East Coast Road (or ECR as it is fondly called) is a state highway (SH 49) in Tamilnadu built along the Coromandel coast of the Bay of Bengal, initially connecting Chennai with Cuddalore. At present it runs up to Karaikal, and is expected to be extended up to Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of India, and will cover a distance of 737 KM.

I have been travelling from Chidambaram to Chennai and back on a number of occasions for over four years, to meet my daughter who studied in Anna University CEG campus, Guindy. For most of my journeys I traveled  6.00 AM Rathimeena Volvo bus to reach Guindy, Chennai at around 10.00 AM and returned by 2.05 PM Multi Axle A/C bus reaching back to Chidambaram at around 6.30 PM ( 220 KM). I also traveled by a hired car on a few occasions.  

I have had the good fortune to experience a mesmerizing sea view, on number of occasions, lined with coconut trees, rice fields, tiny villages of fishermen, neatly arranged sailing boats, plain beach sand, and glimpses of the Bay of Bengal. 

On the way to Mamallapuram

ECR ( Near Chennai): On the way to Mamallapuram

The scenic beach way starts from toll gate

The ECR scenic beach way starts from toll gate

ECR is considered as one of India’s most scenic highway, and studded with a lot of tourist picturesque spots of historic, cultural and recreational importance. It has got a place in Outlook Traveller Magazine as an important road expressway. There are amusement parks, hotels, resorts and open air theaters that attract everyone.  Whether go by riding in a bus, biking or cruising in a car, the thrill is awesome. 

MGM Dizzee World, at Muttukadu, about 30 kms away from Chennai

MGM Dizzee World, at Muttukadu, about 30 kms away from Chennai 

Muttukadu boat house along East Coast Road, 36 Kms from Chennai, a wonderful picnic spot

Muttukadu boat house along East Coast Road, 36 Kms from Chennai, a wonderful picnic spot

Crocodile Bank is 44 KM from Chennai. It is a centre for herpetology and  consists of 3.3 hectares of farm area  where several species of crocodiles, alligators and snakes are bred in captivity in open surroundings.

Madras Crocodile Bank

Madras Crocodile Bank

While riding through ECR, sometimes, I find sea coast just a few feet away, and at some places, it is about a KM away, but, with nothing else the view of sea coast is breathtaking.

Sea Coast on the left

The ECR offers scenic views of the Coromandel coast

Mamallapuram, formerly Mahabalipuram, is a UNESCO World Heritage and a tourist town 60 km south of Chennai along the ECR famous for its Pallava culture and stone carvings.It was the major seaport of the ancient Pallava kingdom.

Shore Temple at Mamallapuram:  A mesmerizing stones structure that stands majestically on the edge of the sea

Shore Temple at Mamallapuram: A mesmerizing stones structure that stands majestically on the edge of the sea 

The Scenic views of the ECR just after Mamallapuram

Scenic views of the ECR just after Mamallapuram

With just another about 50 KM to go before Puducherry, there are plenty of opportunities to click camera every few kilometres thereon. The road passes through bridges constructed on the top of backwater … it is like water lashing the road; and salt harvesting (salt from sea water) fields. 

The ECR near Puducherry

The ECR near Puducherry: well maintained with series of trees on either side

Salt Harvesting fields

Salt harvesting fields

Further drive south winding its way to soak Puducherry’s unique French ambience. Puducherry (Formerly Pondicherry) is the former French colony and very popular weekend tourist destination specially for Chennaites. And further continue driving southward on ECR leads to Chidambaram, famous for for its Nataraja Temple with the roof of the sanctum sanctorum covered with golden plates.

Image for Ariyankuppam on the ECR, a sub-taluk town in Puducherr

Image for Ariyankuppam on the ECR, a sub-taluk town in Puducherry

ECR, near Chidambaram

ECR, near Chidambaram

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About subalcbasak

I am an Associate Professor of pharmacy at Annamalai University, Annamalainagar, Chidambaram,Tamilnadu. I am a person who is interested in pharmaceutical sciences and its education in India. Originally from West Bengal, I am now living in CHIDAMBARAM, Tamilnadu. I just want to share some of my subject basics; and thoughts associated with travelling and living. I aslo enjoy clicking camera, eating bengali cuisine, listening Rabindra sangeet, reading, learning, and open source of literature/publications.
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