With Chennai at about 160 kilometers (100 miles) north of the city, getting to Pondicherry involves a three hour road journey from Chennai. You can get a bus from CMBT in Koyambedu or from Thiruvanmiyur or Guindy. You can be sure of a seat only from CMBT in Koyambedu.
The drive from Chennai to Pondicherry on the East Coast Road, commonly called ECR, is scenic, and takes about 3 hours. Most tourists, however, cannot resist the sight of the seashore kissing the road, and make a photo stops en route. This route passes through Mahabalipuram, Kalpakkam, Pudupattinam, Idaikkazhinadu (Alambara Fort), Mudaliarkuppam (has a cool boat house), Marakkanam (contains large areas under salt pans), Kanagachettikulam/Kalapet etc. before arriving into Pondicherry.
The other route that can be taken to reach Pondy is through the National Highway 45, popularly known as the Grand Southern Trunk GST Road. This route passes through Tambaram, Madhurantakam, Melmaruvathur, Tindivanam before reaching Pondicherry. Both the major roads from Chennai are toll roads and approximately take the same time.
Pondicherry is about 320 kilometers (200 miles) from Bangalore. You can drive down National Highway 7 till Krishnagiri, then take a left off the main highway (road signs mark the route) and then take National Highway 66 to Pondicherry. This route passes through Uthangarai, Chengam, Tiruvannamalai, Gingee and Tindivanam. You can reach Pondicherry either through Tindivanam (via Gingee) or Villupuram (via Thirukovilur). Gingee Fort is also on the way to Tindivanam and worth a brief pause. The total travel time should be around 5 to 6 hours. For your journey, don’t forget to pack some food or snacks as there are no good restaurants en route.
Besides, Pondicherry is well connected to Cuddalore, Chidambaram, Karaikal, Nagapattinam and Velankanni to the South by National Highway 45A. The road is well maintained till Chidambaram. Pondicherry connects to the GST or NH-45 in two places viz. at Villupuram by NH-45A and at Tindivanam by NH-66.
Pondicherry is connected to Chennai by an electric broad gauge railway line through Villupuram. There are two passenger trains running daily to Chennai Egmore Railway station and Tirupati, in addition to a weekly express train service to Bhubaneswar. Besides, there is also a daily express train to Chennai Egmore. Pondicherry is also accessible from Bangalore. Train starts from Bangalore on Friday night 2315 hours, and the return journey begins on Saturday night 2200 hours.
Pondicherry has an airport with facilities for the landing of small aircraft like Dornier, Cessna, etc. But it is not available for public use presently.