There is a very deep connection between the film industries in Mumbai and Chennai. Bollywood and Kollywood have many things in common. Whenever there used to be a hit Hindi film, you could expect a remake in Tamil and vice versa. One such hit film in the early 1970s was Bombay to Goa. How do you make a remake here? Now, Chennaiites are as resourceful as the Mumbaikars are. They came up with their own version, Madras to Pondicherry.

How do you go to Pondicherry from Chennai? There is a train route, but the most popular one is the Chennai to Pondicherry bus route. Of course, you can go by car, but the bus route is the one that gives you nostalgic memories of the film, Madras to Pondicherry. The days have come a long way now with better roads and better buses on this route.

Let us look at how to book the tickets for the Chennai to Pondicherry bus journey.

Routes to Pondicherry:

There are two routes from Chennai to Pondicherry. One is via the East Coast Road via Mahabalipuram and the other via the Grand South Trunk Road via Tindivanam. Both these routes cover more or less of the same distance (156 km vs 161 km). The time taken for the buses to travel on the ECR as well as via Tindivanam is around 3 hours and 45 minutes (depending on the fickle Chennai traffic).

Plenty of options available:

There are innumerable State Transport buses available on this route. The traffic is such that even these buses prove inadequate. Hence, you have a number of private buses running on these routes. In addition, you have people travelling by their own vehicles as well. Therefore, it is never difficult for any person to catch a bus to travel to Pondicherry from Chennai.

Boarding points:

Literally, every Chennai to Pondicherry bus starts from Koyambedu Bus Terminus (also known as Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus CMBT). The routes are different right from the onset. However, there is no compulsion that you have to travel to CMBT to board the bus. You can board it from anywhere en route.

The buses that go via the ECR have halts at Guindy, Adayar, Thiruvanmiyur, and Sholinganallur before zipping past the city limits. Subsequently, you can board the bus at various places en route. The buses that go via the Tindivanam route have a halt at Perungalathur before continuing its journey via the Chennai bypass road. Again, there are a number of places where you can board the bus.

How to book Chennai to Pondicherry bus tickets?

There are a variety of options.

Current Tickets:

  • Since you can board the bus from anywhere en route to Pondicherry, you need not book your tickets from the origin to the destination. You can very well buy your current tickets from the bus conductor.
  • Alternatively, you can book your Chennai to Pondicherry bus tickets from the bus ticket booking counter at CMBT.

These are as far as booking current tickets are concerned.

Advance Booking Tickets:

You can buy Chennai to Pondicherry bus tickets online from various online ticketing agencies or travel agents. In case you wish to travel by the State Transport buses, you can log into the official website of the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation Ltd, and book your tickets online. The Puducherry Road Transport Corporation also runs buses from Chennai to Pondicherry. You can book the Chennai to Pondicherry bus tickets on these buses too by accessing the travel search engines.

In addition to the official Government website, you can book your tickets through travel search engines much in the same way you book airline tickets. There are various travel agencies that book tickets in both the State Transport buses as well as the private buses. You can also access the websites of the private tour operators and book your tickets online.

The tickets are available for both the routes. You have the option of boarding at any location even when you book your tickets in advance. However, this will entail you paying the entire fare from CMBT to Pondicherry.

The private buses also start from Koyambedu, just adjacent to CMBT.

Quality of buses:

There are different types of buses that run between Chennai and Pondicherry. The State Government runs normal buses as well as deluxe buses. Naturally, the rates are different. Similarly, you have the private tour operators running different types of buses including the Volvo buses.

The rates depend on the type of buses you travel in. The better the comfort factor, the higher is the rate


Booking bus tickets from Chennai to Pondicherry is easy given the fact that there are innumerable buses running between these two cities. It is a far improvement from the days of the film Madras to Pondicherry when there were maybe a dozen buses or so on this route.