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Weekend in Chennai – On & Off ECR

October 29, 2007

ECR – East Coast Road is a scenic 4 lane road running from Tiruvanmayur in Chennai to Pondicherry. Beautiful to drive, but look for temporary dividers on the road used to check the speed of the vehicals. Its pleasant to drive at night as the road itself looks beautiful.

I will try to cover all the places that i am aware of along ECR starting from Tiruvanmayur (I will try my best to maintain the order, but no promises). Lets start where the ECR starts….

Marundeswarar temple:
Marundeeswarar Temple is located in Tiruvanmiyur outskirts. The Tiruvanmiyur bus terminal is in the vicinity and not more than a kilometre from the place. One more important reference point is the East Coast Road. The temple lies off the East Coast Road just few hundred metres from the originating point of the road.

Cholamandal Artist’s Village:
Cholamandal Artist’s Village is situated on the East Coast Road, some eight kilometres further south of the Chennai city. The place represents an important arts centre in the state of Tamil Nadu. Cholamandal Artist’s Village is built over eight hectares of land in the Injambakkam region which exists as an extension of the Chennai city.

Prarthana Theatre: Check previous post in this series.

Shiridi Sai Baba Temple:
Take the left after Prathana drive-in theatre (on the Neelangari – ECR road) to reach this temple.Its Approximately 8.5 kms from Adyar. The temple itself is very big and is in a calm clean, breezy and peaceful place.

Jagannathan temple:
An exact replica of the Puri Jagannath Temple. Those who have not been to Puri can take a look at this temple. The temple is situated at Kannathur on ECR about 20kms from Adyar. For the onlooker the shrine resembles a replica of Puri temple. The complex is built by Sri Jagannath Spiritual Educational Cultural Trust.

Mayajaal: Check previous post in this series.

Nithya Kalyana Perumal Koil:
As the name denotes, a temple dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara and is in Tiruvidanthai, which is 10 minutes drive from Mayajaal along ECR.

Tirupporur Murugan Temple:
Tirupporur temple is an ancient one dating back to the Pallava period and is one of 33 major temples in Tamil Nadu dedicated to the worship of Murugan, is also known as the Poriyur or Samarapuri temple. Tirupporur is situated 25 kilometres northeast of Chingleput and is connected by bus service with Chennai at a distance of 45 kilometres.

This ‘living museum’ of Southern India come before Muthukadu and is almost halfway between chennai and Mahabalipuram. It showcases the lifestyle, arts and crafts of the four South Indian states. It has relocated real 18th, 19th and 20th century houses and recreated village streets & work places. Dakshinachitra also has a number of cultural performances all year round. And best of all, their restaurant serves a wide variety of authentic south Indian delicacies.

Muthukadu: Check past writeup in this blog

The Orchid Gardens:
Orchid Gardens is located at Poonjeri in the World Heritage town. The new tourist attraction has come up on a 1.75-acre plot on the non-beach front of the ECR, a few yards away from the Mahabalipuram intersection.
A reclaimed muddy road leads to the massive canopy that shows the way to the Orchid Gardens. There are nearly 30 varieties of showy and colourful flowers.

Alamparai Fort:
Two-hour drive down the East Coast Road ( 100 km ) is Kadapakkam. Turn eastwards into the narrow village road and drive for about 3 kilometers till you cross a small bridge. After this, the road turns into a sandy track. A few hundred yards after a right turn at the next fork takes you to the ruins of Alamparai Fort
The significance of the fort is displayed on a green board at the entrance. The board gives us a peek into the history of the ruins of this 18th Century fort. One can experience the majestic fort from the back waters even better. There are many local fishermen who are more than happy to take u on a boat ride around the fort in the back waters for a mutually agreed amount.

There are also couple of resorts along ECR like, MGM resorts, VGP resorts, Taj Fisherman’s cove, Golden Chariot etc., you can have a look at their websites to see whats on offer.

There are a lot of restaurants, dhabas, fast food joints, quite and tucked eateries along the road, so one can explore and experiment a lot on food.

Now time for some extras 🙂

The only Dollar shop in chennai as far as i know is on ECR near Injambakkam. There are couple of stores where you can get some exclusive handicrafts and artifacts along ECR, there is a store exclusively for old clocks ( the ones with a pendulumn, if you still remember), A terracota shop somewhere and lots more.

For the adventure seekers there is catamaran’s ride at Taj fisherman’s cove, details can be checked on their site. Its around 100 bucks per person per hour as i know, do check. Do take some spare clothing, if planning to attempt. Good to have somebody on the shore to take care of your belongings while you are out on the sea. For those who dont know whats a catamaran’s ride, catamaran is a type of boat used by fishermen. One will be taken far into the sea and trown out into the water with a lifejacket clinging to you, once you are done enjoying your stay you are pulled back into the catamaran and the journey to the shore starts.

Mahabalipuram/Pondy are great weekend getaways from chennai which can be reached through ECR. For more info you can start with these links.

Note: This is just an attempt to put down various options that are available in and around chennai to spend weekends (naturally which i am aware of…). For any additional information about the place ask localites, search net, look into yellow pages.

If you have anything to add, or know a place along ECR that i didnt mention, do leave a comment.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. ramesh permalink
    November 15, 2007 8:32 pm

    pl tell me where sai temple in old mahapali puram road (krishna karanai)

  2. Suresh permalink
    June 15, 2008 10:48 am

    Beautiful effort. Very informative. Loved it. Thanks

  3. Suresh permalink
    June 15, 2008 10:49 am

    can u please tell me more about the location of the Puri Jagannath Temple in ECR? does it come after Sai Baba Temple? you can mail me at Thanks

  4. iaminchennai permalink
    June 15, 2008 3:43 pm

    Thanks for the comments suresh.
    I did a small research for this as i am new to the city at that time.
    And for the temple, its after the sai temple when travelling from adyar. I am not sure of the exact place, you start asking for the place called “Kannathur” which is along ECR

  5. madhu permalink
    July 11, 2008 11:19 am

    very useful. Thanks.

  6. iaminchennai permalink
    July 11, 2008 5:09 pm

    You are very much welcome

  7. Jennifer permalink
    August 21, 2008 12:05 pm

    Thanks for the info. Can you give me more details about the location on the Cholamandal Artist Village? We spent an hour driving back and forth looking for it and could not find it anywhere 😦 Are there any landmarks? Thanks!

  8. iaminchennai permalink
    August 23, 2008 3:41 pm

    Its in Injambakkam, along the ECR. If you are travelling from Adyar to Mahabs, it will come on your right. Anybody along ECR will help you in locating it.

  9. sridhar permalink
    August 30, 2008 4:14 pm

    Very useful information, can you help me by giving more information on resorts

  10. Rajalakshmi permalink
    November 10, 2008 8:30 am

    There is actually another dollar shop in chennai-in besant nagar. bang opposite the besant nagar nilgiris super market.

    there are also many private beaches on the way to the toll gate(some of them are accessible by the public). most of the small lanes towards the left lead to these beaches(the ones in uthandi are quite safe).

  11. Digital Dhosth permalink
    October 1, 2009 5:57 pm

    Dakshinachitra is cross cultural living museum of four Southern States, focusing and rebuilding the art, architecture, lifestyles, crafts and performing arts of South India. But, at their craft bazaar they are selling North Indian crafts. It contradicts……

  12. Aru permalink
    January 16, 2011 10:06 am

    can people stay at the Shirdi baba temple?
    where can travellers stay for the night at low cost on ECR?

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