4. East Coast Road – Chennai – Pondicherry – Potpourri Highway
The 113 KM stretch on State Highway 49, connecting Tamil capital Chennai to one of India’s prettiest Union Territories – Pondicherry, is known as the East Coast Road. The road starts from inland Chennai city before hitting Uthandi, from whence, it becomes a two-lane beachside toll road. Meandering alongside the majestic Bay of Bengal, this road is one of the prettiest sights around the country and is dotted by plenty of tourist attractions that can serve as periodic pit-stops for those in the mood for sight-seeing and history hunting. Historically a French occupied territory, you will see plenty of French influence in the little fishing hamlets along the way.
Here are some popular tourist destinations along the way worth checking out if you have the time:
ISKCON Temple Chennai – the ISKCON Temple at Akkarai, Sholinganallur is the largest Radha Krishna temple in Tamil Nadu, built over an area of 1.5 acres and five levels.
Muttukadu Boat House – is located 23-25 KMs off Adayar. The water sport facility run by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corp. offers water sports like wind surfing, rowing, water-skiing, speed-boat riding, etc.
Dakshina Chitra – if you’re an art enthusiast, this Living Arts center is a must visit. Located 25 KMs from Chennai, Dakshina Chitra is a heritage village – an attempt to preserve some aspects of traditional South Indian living by constructing a ‘living’ village, using several traditional South Indian measures. The center focuses on folk performing arts, craft and architecture of South India.