The East Coast Road is a fascinating drive, where one can experience the hustle of a metro, the charm of a laidback coastal town, and the enigma of a bohemian settlement – all a few kilometres from each other. Getting to Chennai from Bangalore involves a trip through the countryside of Tamil Nadu, on some of the best roadways in the country. After reaching Chennai, the adventure begins. These experiences are best done on one’s own terms, so it is recommended that the traveller enjoys the impromptu nature of a road trip in a self drive car rather than opt for a cab.
There is more to Chennai than the Tamil film industry, but a trip to AVM Studios offers a connection with this essential part of the city’s culture. Enjoy stops at some of the most iconic eateries in the city. Head over to Besant Nagar beach and try out the seafood in the food stalls there. Close to yet another iconic landmark, the Chepauk cricket stadium, one will find Nair’s Mess and its delicious fried seer fish. The mutton biryani at Buhari Hotel on Mount Road is another quintessential Chennai culinary treasure.
When one is done with the food, the next stops are the beaches of the city – explore Covelong Beach and the vibrant Elliot’s Beach, a nice place to unwind in the evening.
Further south, a slice of Europe waits in the warm, tropical setting of Pondicherry. The famed French Quarters are a source of pride for the citizens of this charming city. A walk on the Promenade is a must; some of the landmarks here include the Mahatma Gandhi Statue and the War Memorial. Pondicherry’s laidback pace is a sharp contrast from the buzz of Chennai. The French connection lives on in its bakeries and boulevards, complimented by the local flavours. Enjoy some fresh baguettes and coffee, or savour a tasty dosa.
Take a trip around the town and explore the beaches. Some of the popular ones are Paradise beach, Serenity Beach and Auroville Beach.
A visit to Auroville is an exciting, and educational experience. This large settlement on the hillocks off the ECR or East Coast Road is now home to some of the most innovative efforts in sustainable farming in the country. Auroville is also an important centre of modern spiritualism, and one can feel the harmony of the place as you explore its ashrams and cafes. Auroville is a place where visitors will find people from all over the world, and this reflects in the eateries in the place. From wood oven baked pizzas and cold soups to Tibetan momos, there are a wide variety of cuisines to try out.
Head down the road to the Nalla Resort, and sip on a cold beer on a grassy lawn, while reflecting on this East Coast adventure, while the waves of the ocean crash onto the coast just beyond.
For travellers looking for a self drive car in Bangalore, Zoomcar offers a wide range of vehicles – hatchbacks, sedans and SUVs, at very affordable plans. The attractions of Tamil Nadu’s seaside offer a refreshing perspective to all who experience them. Start planning now.