State Highway 49
|East Coast Road
|Maintained by Tamil Nadu Road Development Corporation
||690 km (430 mi)
||Pondicherry, Cuddalore, Karaikal, Ramanathapuram, Kanyakumari
||Chennai, Kanchipuram, Vilupuram, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudukottai, Cuddalore Ramanathapuram, Tuticorin, Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari
State Highway 49, also known as East Coast Road (ECR) is a two lane highway in Tamil Nadu, India, built along the coast of the Bay of Bengal connecting Tamil Nadu's state capital city Chennai with Cuddalore via Pondicherry. The East Coast Road has been extended up to Kanyakumari via Chidambaram, Sirkali, Akkur, Tharangambadi, Karaikal, Nagore, Nagapattinam, Thiruthuraipoondi, Muthupet, Adirampattinam, Manora, Manamelkudi, Ramanathapuram, Koodankulam, Tuticorin. The total length of the road is about 800 km from Chennai to Kanyakumari.
The highway is a state highway, maintained by the Government of Tamil Nadu under the Department of Highways and Minor Ports. It was a two lane state highway, and has been partially upgraded to four lane divided highway.
The Chennai Locations in ECR are: Thiruvanmiyur, Kottivakkam, Palavakkam, Neelankarai, Injambakkam, Panaiyur, Uthandi, Muttukadu, Kovalam and Vilambur.
Prior to its completion, the East Coast Road mainly consisted of village roads. The connecting link then was the Old Mahabalipuram Road(SH-49A) till Mahabalipuram. Pondicherry was reached from Chennai through the still existent route via Tambaram, Tindivanam along NH45. In 2000, the State government signed a concessionaire agreement with the TNRDC in order to improve the road, at a cost of INR 60 crore. The 113-km long stretch from Akkarai to Pondicherry, dotted with resorts and beach houses, became a toll facility in March 2002 and was upgraded into a two-lane road from a small winding road passing through 154 villages.
In 2010, TNRDC announced that toll collections had reached an all-time high at INR 1.08 crore in December 2009 against the INR 54.67 lakh collected in April 2002 when toll operations started.
Four laning ECR
The four lane divided state highway
The ECR starts at Thiruvanmiyur in Chennai and is a part of the Chennai City roads till Uthandi. From Uthandi starts the beachway section starts as a toll road. The speed of the vehicles on this road is restricted to a maximum of 80 km/h. The State Government upgraded most of East Coast Road to a four lane divided, open access highway by 2015.
The ECR was made a toll road in April 2002. The ECR till Hanumanthai near Pondicherry is 113.2 km long and has a total of 22 bends. On an average 10,000 passenger car units (PCUs) use the road during rush hour and a total of 40,000 PCUs daily, up from about 5,000 daily before the construction of the road. The process of acquiring land for widening the 11.4-km stretch from Thiruvanmiyur to Akkarai covering six revenue villages (including Thiruvanmiyur, Kottivakkam, Palavakkam, Neelankarai, Injambakkam and Vettuvankani), which is under the control of the Highways Department, is under way. The stretch currently has width varying between 50 ft and 80 ft. After widening at a sanctioned cost of INR 3,540 million, the stretch would be uniformly 30.5 m (100 ft) wide and would have six lanes, a 1.2-m-wide median, footpath-cum-stormwater drain.ECR extends up to Hanumanthai. On the way to Hanumanthai, a famous location Marakkanam is situated. On the ECR road right side famous Bhoomiswarar Temple is situated. It is believed that Sri Bhoomiswara is the God for Bhoomi, hence, many perform pooja before buying land placing the sale agreement on His holy feet. Hence real estate promoters also rush to this location.
Places of interest
The ECR before 2012; some parts remain 2 lanes.
- Marundeeswarar Temple- Located about 4 km from Adyar and is one of the temples on the East Coast Road. Technically, this marks the beginning of the coastal road.
- Sholinganallur Prathyangira Devi Temple - The temple is located close to the junction and halfway down the link road of ECR and OMR. The Goddess, Shri Maha Prathyangira Devi is throned, gigantic and powerful. Regular poojas are offered every day and special poojas during festive season.
- ISKCON Temple Chennai - Inaugurated on 26 April 2012, the ISKCON Temple at Akkarai, Sholinganallur is the largest Radha Krishna temple in Tamil Nadu. Opening hours: 04:30 - 13:00, 16:00 - 21:00. Open on all days
- Cholamandal Artists' Village - Founded in 1966, by K.C.S. Paniker, now an art destination in the state.
- DakshinaChitra - It is a center for the traditions of art, folk performing arts, craft and architecture of India with an emphasis on the traditions of South India. A project of the Madras Craft Foundation (MCF), a non-profit organisation. DakshinaChitra opened to the public in December 1996. The center occupies ten acres overlooking the Bay of Bengal, at Muttukadu, twenty five kilometers south of Chennai, on the East Coast Road.
- Muttukadu boat house - Located at 23 km from Adayar, this area is maintained by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation, and offers rowing, wind surfing, water skiing, and speedboat riding.
- Thameem Ansari Darga - Located at Kovalam or Covelong is a Muslim shrine.
- Covelong - Located at 26 km from Adayar, this bay is the site of a colonial Dutch Fort, and a fishing village with wind surfing opportunities.
- Tiger Cave - ancient place with large rocks located before five kilometres from Mamallapuram.
- Thiruvidandai - One of the 108 important places of vaishnavites, this small hamlet houses the temple of Nithyakalyana perumal.
- Madras Crocodile Bank Trust - Center for herpetology
- Mahabalipuram - A UNESCO World Heritage Site with Pallava sculptures and shore temples.
- Sadras - A Dutch fort that is in ruins now. First battle between the British and the Dutch was fought here.
- Puducherry is a Union Territory of India. It is a former French colony, consisting of four non-contiguous enclaves, or regions, and named after the largest region, Pondicherry. The territory was officially known as Pondicherry until 2006 when it was renamed Puducherry.
- Cuddalore - Cuddalore, is a Municipality in Cuddalore district of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.Thiruvanthipuram, Thirupathiripuliyur temples and Silver Beach are located in Cuddalore
- Alamparai Fort - is the ruins of an old Moghul fort which was destroyed by the British in the 1700s.
- Tharangambadi - is a town in the Nagapattinam district. It was a Danish colony from 1620 to 1845, and in Danish it is still known as Trankebar/Tranquebar. Danish Museum, New Jerusalem Church, Fort Dansborg were situated here.
- Karaikal - Karaikal is a port city in the Union Territory of Puducherry. It is a former French colony.
- Nagore -Nagore is a town in the Nagapattinam District, Tamil Nadu, India. It is located approximately 12 km south of Karaikal and 5 km north of Nagapattinam. Tiruvarur, Mayiladuthurai, Muthupet are nearby towns. It has a population of approximately 30,000.
- Vedaranyam - Kodikkarai (Point Calimere) - Vedaranyam is a coastal Town of Nagai Dt.
- Muthupet Lagoon - Muthupet Lagoon is located at the southern end of the Cauvery river delta on the Bay of Bengal, covering an area of approximately 6,803.01 ha of which only 4% is occupied by mangroves. The rivers Paminiyar, Koraiyar, Kilaithankiyar, Marakkakoraiyar and other tributaries of the river Cauvery flow through Muthupet and adjacent villages. At the tail end, they form a lagoon before meeting the sea. The northern and western borders of the lagoon are occupied by muddy silt ground which is devoid of mangroves.
- Mallipattinam (Manora Fort) - Mallipattinam is a coastal village of Thanjavur District with a fort.
- Ramanathapuram - hosts the Raja Palace.
- Erwadi Dargah - hosts an Islamic shrine.
- Tuticorin - Thoothukudi also known as Tuticorin, is a port city and a Municipal Corporation in Thoothukudi district of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Thoothukudi is the headquarters of Thoothukudi District.