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With large number of temples of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Goddess Kamakshi, and Jain temples Kancheepuram is looked upon by the world as a place to visit to sooth and heal one’s soul. Kancheepuram has a steady flow of tourists, the influx of which increases during November and February. Since Kancheepuram is of great tourist importance, public transport in Kancheepuram plays an important role in making life easy for tourists. Kancheepuram is located adjacent to Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu which makes Kancheepuram even more strategically important to commute. Public transport in Kancheepuram is covered by public and private buses, railways, private auto, rickshaws and taxis. Kancheepuram is located around 75 km from Chennai International Airport which connects it to the rest of India and the whole world. World is really small!
Buses in Kancheepuram
This is the most widely available and used service in Kancheepuram. There are both private and government buses available to travel within Kancheepuram and nearby cities of Tamil Nadu. The Chennai to Bangalore National Highway, NH 4 passes the outskirts of the city which makes Kancheepuram easily accessible. Government bus services are provided by the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation which connects Kancheepuram to other nearby cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Tirupathi, Thiruthani, Tiruvannamalai, Vellore, Salem, Coimbatore, Villupuram, and Pondicherry. There many routes to and from the city among which there are two major routes to Chennai, one connecting via a place called Guindy and the other via Tambram.
Apart from Government buses, private operator buses also ply on Kancheepuram roads in abundance Till date there are around 500 buses plying on 191 routes in an around the city. The Metropolitan Transport Corporation in Chennai introduced AC and Deluxe buses in Kancheepuram in 2008. The air-conditioned bus service be operates between T.Nagar and Kancheepuram (route no.576) and deluxe buses operates from Poonamallee to Kancheepuram (route no.576C) and between Tambaram and Kancheepuram (route no.579C). The maximum fare levied on the passengers is Rs.75/.
Taxis and Cab services in Kancheepuram
Though bus service is good in Kancheepuram but many like to tour the city in a cab. One can rent a taxi on hourly basis or per km basis. If you want to travel within Kanchepuram the fare may be anywhere around Rs. 9 – 10 per km or Rs. 90 to Rs. 100 per hour for economy cars without AC. Fares will go up for AC cars and luxury cars. You can also rent a car to travel to and from nearby cities like Chennai, mammalapuram etc.
Auto-rickshaw services in Kancheepuram
Those of who want to enjoy private tours in and around city ignoring the crowded buses but still don’t want to pay hefty amounts in taxis or cabs, a fitting option is also available in Kancheepuram which is auto-rickshaw. Auto rickshaw can be hired privately or shared, both ways auto services are lot cheaper than the taxi or cab but costlier than the bus service. Auto rickshaw in Kancheepuram runs on meters, below is the description of the fare break up:
Auto fares: Rs 25 for the first 1.8 km, after that Rs. 12/- per km
Waiting charges: after the initial 15 min, Rs. 3.5 for every 5 min or Rs. 42 per hour.
Night charges (11:00 pm to 05:00 am): 50% extra of the day time charge.
Trains in Kancheepuram
Kancheepuram has a good connectivity of Indian railways comprising of express (long distance trains running weekly or bi-weekly) , passenger trains (long distance trains running daily) and the EMU (short distance or local trains running daily) spanning across Kancheepuram. Kancheepuram has a railway station named Kanchipuram which is a part of the Chennai railway division of the Southern Railway zone and is coded as CJ.
Kancheepuram railway has three platforms and four tracks and an auto rickshaw stand. There are almost ten express and passenger trains passing through Kancheepuram railway station and several local trains at regular intervals.