Pondicherry is just like a dream, a dream that is full of clean sandy beaches, laid-back colorful streets and European architecture. Pondicherry is one of the few places in the country where history meets modernity. Pondicherry is officially known as Puducherry and famously known as Pondy and this place is a lively destination that offers everything such as pebble beaches, colonial architecture, historic sites and heritage and many more.
Pondicherry is nestled on the Eastern coast of the country and this place is one of the seven Union Territories in India. The Union Territory of Pondicherry includes four coastal regions such as Puducherry, Yanam, Mahe and Karaikal. Pondicherry is a place that was the home for the French and they blended South Indian culture with their own different tradition. However, the beautiful French Quarter in Pondicherry gives you a feel of Indian French culture as part of France still exists in the country.
Mahabalipuram to Pondicherry Trip
French-style villas, languages, streets and cuisine are some of the examples with a touch of Dravidian style culture. In Pondicherry you will be welcomed by overcrowded streets, Dravidian-style temples, shops and mosques. The French colony is just a small part of Pondicherry which is known as White Town and the rest of Pondicherry has an Indian vibe.
Mahabalipuram is a small town that is located in the state of Tamil Nadu. This place is famous for its historical temples and monuments, especially the very famous Shore Temple. This temple consists of 3 temples that are built in one single complex, that was constructed way back in the 8th century. There is another famous temple that is known as Pancha Rathas, they are a group of 5 temples that are sculpted in the form of Chariots.
The distance from Mahabalipuram to Pondicherry is 95 km.
Itinerary of Mahabalipuram to Pondicherry trip
Day 1- Start from Mahabalipuram and drive to Pondicherry
A private taxi driver will pick you up from the hotel or residence in Chennai then you will be going to Mahabalipuram which is around 56 km away from Chennai and almost takes one hour and 30 minutes to reach.
In Mahabalipuram, you will be visited Shore temple which is built by Pallavas and overlooks the sea. Then you will be visited Pancha Rathas which are dedicated to Pandavas and also visit rock-cut temples and a lighthouse from where you can witness the aerial view of Mahabalipuram.
Arjuna’s penance, Krishna’s butter ball and other rock-cut temples are also part of a group of monuments that are considered to e UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Then you will be driven to Pondicherry which is 95 km away from Mahabalipuram and take a rest for the day or you can go street shopping. As Pondicherry is famous for its clothes and other souvenirs. Then the driver will drop you at the hotel in Pondicherry.
Day 2- Visit Aurobindo Ashram, French Colony, Auroville
The next morning, after having your breakfast in the hotel, make a trip to Chunnambar Boat House and contemplate the serene atmosphere at Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple, where you can see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, then look for gifts at Senterus-Fleurs en Falcon, then can go for a stroll along the water at Seaside Promenade and then finally visit a coastal fixture at Old Lighthouse. After then you will spend your night at the hotel.
Day 3- Visit Manakula Vinayagar Temple, Pondicherry Museum, Botanical Garden
On day 3, after having your breakfast at the hotel your cab driver will pick you up and then you will be going to Vinayagar Temple, Pondicherry Museum and Botanical Garden. After visiting these places move towards your hotel, have dinner and take a rest.
Day 4- Going back to Mahabalipuram
On your last day in Pondicherry, you have to wave goodbye to the enchanting coastal cities of Tamil Nadu. Treat yourself to the zesty breakfast at the hotel and check out by 8 in the morning, then drive towards Mahabalipuram with a lot of happy memories from this trip.
Places to visit in Pondicherry
Aurobindo Ashram is located in the White Town of Pondicherry, this ashram has been named after its creator-Sri Aurobindo Ghosh. The foundation of this ashram was laid on 24th November 1926 when he was surrounded by his disciples all over after he retired from politics and settles in Pondicherry.
Aurobindo Ashram was established with the aim of helping people to attain moksha and inner peace. A number of tourists from all over India visit the ashram to experience and achieve spiritual knowledge.
This ashram is by far one of the wealthiest ashrams in the world. There are some of the amenities offered by the Ashram such as the library and the main building can be accessed only after receiving a gate pass from the Bureau Central or guest houses of the Ashram. Additionally, the ashram also has a spiritual center which has 4 houses that were inhabited by the Mother and Sri Aurobindo for different intervals of time. There exists a samadhi in the courtyard under the frangipani tree where the bodies of Mother and Sri Aurobindo were buried.
You may come here to pay respect by laying flowers on it.
Auroville has located around 15 km from the city of Pondicherry and is located in Tamil Nadu. Auroville was founded in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa, a disciple of Aurobindo and fondly known as the Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Society.
This place is the epitome of peace and proves as the ideal escape for the ones in search of peace. One of the best ways to experience the Auroville ashram is to actually just sit in one of the cafes and talk to some of the locals here about their experience of living in the city. The Aurovilleans as they call themselves live together on the principles of tranquility, harmony, sustainable living and divine consciousness which was the philosophy of the Mother.
Manakula Vinayagar Temple
Sri Manakula Vinayagat Temple is an ancient temple that is dedicated to Lord Ganesha and is said to have been built almost 5 centuries ago. This temple is located behind the Raj Niwas, the sanctum is enshrined with a grand idol of Vinayaka called Vellakkaran Pillai. This temple attracts a large number of devotes, especially on the 18th day of the Brahmostsavam festival and Ganesh Chaturthi is another major festival that is celebrated here with great joy and fervor.
Although, the temple is not without a legend. According to the myth, a Frenchman with a number of frantic attempts tried to remove the Ganesha idol from the temple. But when the idol was removed, it reappeared on its own. Persuaded with the power of the idol, the Frenchman converted into an ardent devotee of the lord.
Pondicherry Museum is located in Bharathi Park and this museum houses a fantastic collection of sculptures. The museum has the remains of the archeological findings from the Arikamedu Roman settlement.
Bronze sculptures of gods and goddesses and a wide gathering of temple lamps, handicrafts and art also keep in this museum. Some specimens of Chola and Pallava art from Pondicherry and Karaikal are showcased in the sculpture gallery of the museum.
The Botanical Garden is a famous tourist attraction of Pondicherry, it was established by C.S Perrott in the year 1862. This botanical garden is home to several exotic varieties of rare plants and an aquarium.
A wide range of plants has been collected from different parts of the country and around the globe. The aquarium is an interesting place to visit which abodes a diverse collection of aquatic organisms and fish flora. You can also see the various methods of fishing adopted in the coastal areas being displayed in this botanical garden.
The Lighthouse is one of the famous landmarks in Pondicherry. The French Riviera of the East, Pondicherry has 2 lighthouses, an old one and the new one. At this place, the former has been closed for public appearance the latter serves as the spot for giving its visitors the most amazing bird’s eye view of the city.
In the 19th century, the only landmark for the mariners arriving in Puducherry was the Red Hills, 3 km towards the west of town. To offer the visitors from the ocean with right sight, the French planned to establish a lighthouse. In 1836 the old lighthouse was erected under the guidance of L. Guerre.
After the deactivation of the older lighthouse, the one which stands high at present has been able to gain loads of attraction. Therefore, you may experience a good amount of footfall over here. It is also a spot for taking some amazing pictures, so you must keep your camera on a roll.
Raj Niwas is formerly known as Palais du Government, Raj Niwas is an 18th-century building presently serving as the residence of the Lieutenant Governor of Pondicherry. This place is not open to the general public, the structure of the building serves as a major tourist spot in Pondicherry.
At this place, you will also see an old court featuring the Legislative Assembly that is located within the building’s premises. Although, the prime attraction of Raj Niwas is the monolithic pillars of the buildings which were bought here from Gingee Fort after it was seized in the year 1751. A few more pillars from Gingee Fort which is currently surrounded by the Gandhi Mandapam on Promenade Beach as well. There is also a water monument that is lying amid the well-maintained garden of the Raj Niwas.
Inclusions in this trip
- You can stay on a double and triple sharing basis
- Breakfast on days 2, 3 and 4
- Sightseeing as per the itinerary
- You will get a comfortable vehicle such as Sedan or SUV for sightseeing on all days as per the itinerary
- You will get a professional driver cum tour guide
- You will get AC vehicle transfers from Mahabalipuram
Know before your trip to Pondicherry from Mahabalipuram
- Entry tickets to the places are not included in the package
- You must maintain the surroundings clean
- Airfare, train fare or bus fare is not included in the tour package.