How to get from Pondicherry to Madurai overnight sleeper bus. Best way to get to Madurai, public transportation. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India travel blog

 

So you’re backpacking around South India, and you’re going from…

 

Pondicherry…

 

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. best things to do in pondicherry. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

…to…

 

Madurai!

 

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. best things to do in madurai. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

 

How to get from Pondicherry to Madurai by taking an overnight bus

Pondicherry to Madurai overnight sleeper bus. Best way to get to Madurai, public transportation. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India travel blog

 

The quick list:

  • Buy your bus ticket
  • Arrive at bus departure point in Pondicherry
  • Get on the bus
  • Enjoy the bus ride! (And SLEEP!)
  • Get off the bus at Madurai drop-off point
  • Find a rickshaw to take you to your hotel!
  • Visit Madurai!

 

 

Buy your bus ticket

How to get from Pondicherry to Madurai bus. best way. How to buy book bus tickets. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

Leave for bus departure point in Pondicherry in evening

How to get from Pondicherry to Madurai bus. best way. Near Pondicherry bus station, pick-up point. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

Get on the bus

How to get from Pondicherry to Madurai bus. best way. Near Pondicherry bus station, departure timing pick-up point. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

Enjoy the bus ride! (And SLEEP!)

How to get from Pondicherry to Madurai bus. best way. overnight sleeper bus in india, interior. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

Get off the bus at Madurai drop-off point in morning

How to get from Pondicherry to Madurai bus. best way. Near Madurai Periyar bus stand, arrival timing drop-off point. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

Find a rickshaw to take you to your hotel!

How to get from Pondicherry to Madurai bus. best way. Near Madurai Periyar bus stand, rickshaw to hotel. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

Visit Madurai!

How to get from Pondicherry to Madurai bus. best way. visit best things to do in madurai. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

 

How long does the bus ride take?

So just to give an idea, these were the bus timings when I took this bus:

  • 10:15pm – Depart from near Pondicherry bus station
  • 1:30am – Stop for break at road-side rest area (10-15 minutes)
  • 3:05am – Stop for break at Trichy bus station (25-30 minutes)
  • 6:05am –  Arrive near Madurai Periyar bus stand

 

So to get from Pondicherry to Madurai, it was about an 8 hour bus ride. 

 

The timings listed on the bus ticket:

  • 10:00pm – Depart Pondicherry
  • 5:00am – Arrive Madurai

 

 

How much does the overnight sleeper bus cost?

I paid just under 900 rupees (US$13) for my Pondicherry to Madurai bus ticket.

 

 

So…

When you’re headed to Madurai from Pondicherry…

 

So you have a few options to get from Pondicherry to Madurai.

Which option you’ll want to go for will depend on your travel preferences and how comfortable you want to be during your overnight trip.

 

For me, I wanted:

  • AC bus
  • sleeper
  • single space

 

 

AC vs non-AC on overnight bus

I generally don’t mind traveling on a non-AC bus during the day.

Even if it’s hot outside, open windows on non-AC buses means that it’s a mostly manageable temperature during the bus ride.

 

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. non-ac bus. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

But at night, since I would like to increase my chances of being able to sleep, I prefer to have closed windows so I won’t be bothered as much by outside noises.

Traveling with closed windows also means you’re exposed to minimal dust and pollution during the bus ride.

If you’re not bothered by these things, then you might further consider a non-AC bus for your overnight trip to Madurai, and there will generally be more buses available too.

 

 

Sleeper bus

Another ideal “requirement” for me when traveling overnight by bus is to be able to lay down. 

Once again, there are more options (and it’ll be cheaper) if you don’t mind being in a (nearly) upright position all night. 

There are regular seats on overnight buses that do have the ability to recline somewhat.

 

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. reclining seats. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

But I’d still prefer to be completely flat!

 

 

Single vs double

Some buses allow you to book a double sleeper seat or a single sleeper seat.

If you’re traveling with a partner, then you’ll probably prefer to book the double.

But since I was traveling alone, I didn’t want to be sleeping directly next to a complete stranger, so I prefer to book a single.

 

Single sleeper seat

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. overnight sleeper bus, single. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

Double sleeper seat

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. overnight sleeper bus, double. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

 

How to buy bus tickets to go from Pondicherry to Madurai

So once you’ve decided how comfortable you want to be during your overnight trip, you can then see if there’s your preferred seat available for your travel date!

I used redbus to book my overnight bus ticket to Madurai. 

It’s also possible to buy bus tickets through a travel agency when you’re in Pondicherry. 

 

Booking redbus tickets

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. How to buy bus tickets. redbus. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

So once you put in your departure and arrival points, you’ll get a list of bus options.

This may include both government bus options, as well as private bus companies.

 

You can take a look at what your government bus options are (TNSTC), as this will likely be the cheapest option.

 

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. How to buy bus tickets. government local bus timings. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

TNSTC = Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation. Keep your expectations low for “ultra deluxe” government buses!

 

You can click on each of the options, and it’ll show you the type of seats so you can check.

For Pondicherry to Madurai buses, these will be regular seats you’ll get on a government bus. 

 

Since I was going for a sleeper seat, government bus wasn’t an option for this bus journey for me, so I was looking at the private bus options.

I generally don’t pay attention to a specific bus company or the reviews, and I’ll mostly just go for the seat type as a determining factor. (Many of the bad reviews seem to be “bus was late.”)

 

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. How to buy bus tickets. government bus or private bus. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

So you can click on each option to see what seats are available here too.

 

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. How to buy bus tickets. available seats, sold out. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

This is where you’ll also select your seat.

 

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. How to buy bus tickets. lower or upper seats. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

You can choose between lower berth and upper berth.

I try to go for lower and towards the front as much as possible, as I feel the bus ride will be less bumpy this way.

But for the bus ride to Madurai, only upper berth was available for single for the date I was looking at, so I went with upper. It was fine!

 

Once you select your seat, you’ll be prompted to choose a boarding point in Pondicherry.

The best way to know which location is closest to you is really just to use Google Maps to try to figure it out.

In the case of this bus from Pondicherry, it could also be easiest to board the bus at the starting location, even if another pick-up location is closer to you. 

I boarded at the first point.

This was near the main Pondicherry bus station.

 

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. How to buy bus tickets. bus timings, pondicherry pick-up locations. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

Then you’ll be prompted to choose a drop-off location in Madurai.

Once again, it could be best to just use Google Maps to determine which stop you want to get off at.

Although, I really don’t think it’ll be too big of a deal if you later decide to change the spot you want to get off at.

I got off at the last stop, near the Madurai Periyar bus stand.

 

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. How to buy bus tickets. bus timings, madurai arrival locations, drop-off points. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

And then, you’ll fill out your info!

 

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. How to buy bus tickets. pay for ticket. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

I was able to put in my US number (although they didn’t send any notifications to it).

I was also able to pay using my US credit card. 

When I used redbus to book another ticket a few weeks prior, it did require a second attempt, as the first attempt was declined by my credit card company as potentially suspicious behavior.

So if your foreign credit card doesn’t work, check your text messages and email to see if this is the case.

 

Then, once the booking went through, I received 2 emails.

 

One was from redbus…

 

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. How to buy bus tickets. redbus mobile ticket email. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

And then another one seemed to be specifically for the bus company I booked with. (Lucky Kitta Travels)

 

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. How to buy bus tickets. lucky kitta travels mobile ticket email. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

All you’ll need is these emails on your phone to board the bus. You don’t need a printout. 

I took a screenshot of both emails for easy access later on. 

 

 

Arrive at bus departure point in Pondicherry in evening

Lucky Kitta Travels booking office

So the bus company I went through was Lucky Kitta Travels.

They have an office in Pondicherry, and that’s where my boarding point was.

This was near the Pondicherry bus station. 

 

I took a rickshaw to get there, and the driver seemed to immediately know the location of “Lucky.” 

You can put the address listed in the email (No.190, Maraimalai Adigal Salai) to follow along on Google Maps with your GPS just to make sure. 

 

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. rickshaw to pondicherry bus station. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. rickshaw to lucky kitta travels near pondicherry bus station. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. lucky kitta travels near pondicherry bus station. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

So once I got there, I went into the office to confirm that it was the correct spot by showing the guy the emails.

 

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. lucky kitta travels near pondicherry bus station. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

There is a little waiting area if you want to sit inside, but it might get a little hot. 

 

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. lucky kitta travels near pondicherry bus station. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

There are no toilets on the bus, so I wanted to go to the bathroom before I boarded the bus.

There are pay-to-use toilets at the Pondicherry bus station that’s just a few minutes walk away, so I headed that way. 

 

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. pondicherry bus station at night. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. pondicherry bus station at night. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. pondicherry bus station at night. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. pondicherry bus station at night. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

The bathroom here is actually pretty clean, which you can’t always expect with public toilets in India! 

 

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. pondicherry bus station public toilets. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. pondicherry bus station public toilets. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

 

Is Pondicherry safe at night?

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. is it safe to take pondicherry bus at night. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

At the time I was leaving, around 9pm to 10pm, and in the area I was, it was very lively.

So for traveling at this time in the evening, I really don’t think there’s much of a concern in terms of night safety. 

 

 

Getting on the bus to Madurai!

Once it’s around 10-15 minutes before the scheduled departure time, you might want to go back into the office to see if it’s time to get on the bus yet.

In my case, the bus wasn’t visible from just in front of the office.

 

So once it’s time…

Get on the bus!

 

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. pondicherry bus departure timings - getting on the bus. lucky kitta travels. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. pondicherry bus departure timings - getting on the bus. lucky kitta travels. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. pondicherry bus departure timings - getting on the bus. lucky kitta travels. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

Pondicherry to Madurai overnight bus. bus driver seat. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

Pondicherry to Madurai overnight bus. sleeper bus interior. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

Pondicherry to Madurai overnight bus. sleeper bus interior. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

Pondicherry to Madurai overnight bus. sleeper bus interior. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

Pondicherry to Madurai overnight bus. sleeper bus interior. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

Pondicherry to Madurai overnight bus. sleeper bus interior. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

Pondicherry to Madurai overnight bus. sleeper bus interior. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

Pondicherry to Madurai overnight bus. sleeper bus interior. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

You can find your seat number on the bus ticket, and then look for the corresponding seat number on the bus.

 

Pondicherry to Madurai overnight bus. reserved seating number bus ticket. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

 

Luggage storage

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. luggage storage for suitcase. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

I put my suitcase under the seat. 

I was also traveling with a backpack, which came up top with me to my seat. (Always keep your valuables nearby!) 

 

 

AC control

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. ac bus - hot or cold. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

On this bus, you could control whether the air blows on you, in case you get a bit cold or hot.

 

 

Outlet for charger

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. light and plug outlet charger. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

Sleeper buses also generally have an outlet for you to charge your phone or other devices. 

I didn’t test this outlet to see if it works, but I’ve used it successfully on other buses.

 

 

And then once the bus has departed Pondicherry…

 

 

Try to SLEEP!

Pondicherry to Madurai overnight bus. sleeping on bus. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

Pondicherry to Madurai overnight bus. sleeping on bus. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

 

Rest area

The bus stopped twice during this bus ride. 

During these rest times, you can buy some water and small snacks, and you can also use the bathroom.

 

The first stop was at a little road-side area, at around 1:30am.

 

Pondicherry to Madurai overnight bus. map of rest area location. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

Pondicherry to Madurai overnight bus. rest area break roadside for food snacks. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

Pondicherry to Madurai overnight bus. rest area break roadside for food snacks. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

Pondicherry to Madurai overnight bus. rest area break roadside for food snacks. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

Pondicherry to Madurai overnight bus. rest area break roadside for toilet bathroom. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

Pondicherry to Madurai overnight bus. rest area break roadside for food snacks. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

Pondicherry to Madurai overnight bus. rest area break roadside for food snacks. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

This was about a 10-15 minute stop.

The toilet was okay. 

 

The second time was in the major city of Trichy (aka Tiruchirappalli), and it was at the Trichy bus station.

 

Pondicherry to Madurai overnight bus. map of rest area location - trichy bus station. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

Pondicherry to Madurai overnight bus. rest area break at trichy bus station, Tiruchirappalli. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

Pondicherry to Madurai overnight bus. rest area break at trichy bus station, Tiruchirappalli. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

This was about a 30 minute stop.

I had to hold my breath when using the toilet. (It was very smelly.) 

 

 

Arrival in Madurai!!

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. Madurai arrival timing morning first stop. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

There are several stops in Madurai.

You can follow along on Google Maps with your GPS to know if you’re approaching your stop.

Announcements in the local language of Tamil also came on over the loudspeakers on the bus with each major stop in Madurai.

Or if you will be getting off at the last stop, that will be pretty easy to figure out too! 

 

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. Madurai arrival timing near Periyar bus stand. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

Around Periyar bus stand, where I got off, there were plenty of rickshaws around.

As a foreigner, I was approached right away. 

It took the help of a few locals (they looked at the map I showed them) and a call to my hostel to make sure the rickshaw driver knew where to go. 

 

Pondicherry to Madurai bus. rickshaw from near Periyar bus stand to Madurai hostel. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India

 

Explore Madurai!

Pondicherry to Madurai overnight sleeper bus. Best way to visit to Madurai from Pondicherry, public transportation. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India travel blog

Pondicherry to Madurai overnight sleeper bus. Best way to visit to Madurai from Pondicherry, public transportation. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India travel blog

 

Pondicherry to Madurai overnight sleeper bus. Best way to get to Madurai, public transportation. Backpacking Tamil Nadu, South India travel blog

 

HAPPY PONDICHERRY TO MADURAI OVERNIGHT BUS RIDE!

 

The need-to-know India travel tips!
If it's your first trip to India, be sure to see these tips for getting around India on a budget, and more! Also be sure to see how to spend one month in South India and 2 weeks in North India, as well as tips for the Golden Triangle. And, overnight sleeper bus travel isn't so bad, and neither is traveling in general class on the train!

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