To most locals, ECR (East Coast Road) is the beginning of the journey that takes them to Pondicherry and beyond. But there’s so much to do on ECR itself that sometimes you miss out on all the fun.
Amusement Parks, Crocodile Banks & Boating: Awesome Things To Do On ECR
Cholamandal Artists' Village
If you’ve never been here, it is going to be an experience you will never forget. It was set up in 1966 and is still the largest artists’ commune in the country. Artists live in this village where their art is put up on display, alongside art from across the years. It’s now one of the most popular places in the country for international artists to meet and spend time. The Cholamandal Artists’ Village has galleries that you can walk through, displaying art by artists living in the village and they also have an exhibition that runs all year long. There’s also a book shop, a gift shop and a cafeteria, allowing guests to spend a full day just enjoying the art.
VGP Universal Kingdom
There’s no way you’ve driven down ECR and missed the VGP entrance because it’s not just bright, it’s pretty large and inviting. Started in a time when India didn’t any amusement parks, VGP has become quite a staple in the city of Chennai. Right next door is the resort VGP Golden Beach, where you can stay while you’re having a good time at the park. And they’ve got tons of rides for kids to enjoy, for the whole family to enjoy as well – including a Ferris Wheel, Balloon Racer, Dashing Car and more. They also have fun water rides that make for a really good time! And when you’re done, you can head over to the Snow Kingdom to escape the heat and enjoy some winter fun.
Tickets: INR 450 (for children – the Universal Kingdom & Aqua Kingdom), INR 550 (for adults – Universal Kingdom & Aqua Kingdom) or INR 795 (or children – Snow Kingdom, Universal Kingdom & Aqua Kingdom)
MGM Dizzie World
Another amusement park along the same stretch of road is Dizzie World and like any good amusement park, they have rides for all ages. You might think it’s only a good escape for families with kids, but it is a great place to go and hang out even with your friends and make a weekend of it.
They’ve got some rides perfect for the kids, like Cup Saucer, Dizzie Express, Rocket Tower and Shoe House, plus rides for adults like Kamikaze Ranger, Revolution, Tomb Raider and so much more. And something more is the amphitheater that will keep you entertained for hours!
Tickets: INR 549 (for children) and INR 699 (for adults)
The lake is most famous for boating and the boathouse set up alongside the lake allows you to rent a boat or hire a boat for half an hour. You get to spend some time around the lake and come back. It’s actually quite enjoyable because you get to go around the lake a few times (depending on the duration of the ride) and see parts of the city you didn’t know existed. Very serene and calming that’d be a good break from hustling in the city!
Pricing: INR 530 (three seater speed boat), INR 560 (eight seater motor boat), INR 200 (four-seater rowboat) and INR 120 (two-seater pedal boat)
The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust
If you’ve never held a baby crocodile in your life before, then this is definitely something that cannot be missed. Not only do they have baby and adult crocodiles, but The Madras Crocodile Bank also has a night safari, which allows you to truly experience the Tamil Nadu wildlife after the sun goes down. Every Sunday evening, before the park closes, there’s a feeding of Jaws one of the largest crocodiles in the park, and it is a sight to behold. They have regular feedings of the other animals through the day on Sundays, so make sure that’s when you stop by for the full experience. What other animals do they have? They also house water birds and even have a nesting beach for Oliver Ridley Sea Turtles. Night Safari is from 7pm–8.30pm (Tuesdays to Sundays)
Tickets: INR 30 (for children under 10), INR 50 (for adults), Night Safari tickets are INR 100 (for children under 10) and INR 200 (for adults)