Away from the hustle and bustle of big cities... Puducherry is a quiet little town on the southern coast of India. The unmistakable French connection, the quaint colonial heritage buildings, the spiritual sceneries, the endless stretches of unspoiled beaches and backwaters and a surprising choice of restaurants serving a variety of cuisines draws travelers from near and far to the city.
It has a special vibe, not felt anywhere else in India. It is a blend of spiritual aura, colonial heritage, Tamil culture and the cosmopolitan flair of many nationalities in a small town
Board train at Hyderabad Deccan i.e., Nampally (04:55pm) / Secunderabad (05:15pm)
We will be reaching Chennai around 6 in the morning and board our private vehicle booked exclusively for Goadventure group. We will have to complete our basic freshen up in the train since we'll have breakfast on the way even before we reach our booked stay. It is a very scenic route from Chennai to Pondicherry which is called East Coast Road(ECR) where you have Bay of Bengal coastline all along the route. Enroute breakfast. We will not spend much time at the breakfast point since we have a very long day to go. The duration of journey from Chennai to Pondicherry is approximately 2.5 - 3 hours. Once we check into our booked stay we will freshen up, get ready and head to Auroville.
Auroville is a cashless experimental society where there are no laws, no racism, where everybody is treated equally and free to do whatever they want to do and are paid equally for the work they do and you can see people from different parts of the world who stay here volunteering full time. It is an amazing experience to visit Auroville community and have conversations with the people who stay there and check and experience their way of living. The Mantri mandir inside Auroville is a huge gold globe like structure used as a meditation centre and one of the most serene places in south India.
From here we will head to Paradise beach. There is no road way to Paradise beach, so we will have to take a ferry ride from Chunnambar Boat House to Paradise Beach. Paradise Beach is one the cleanest and best beaches in Pondicherry. You have different water recreational activities and food shacks here. We will complete our lunch here.
Our next stop for the day is the Pondicherry's famous French colony. French colony is a quaint area with French architecture and almost all cafes offering authentic French delicacies. This is the most instagrammable place in Pondicherry.
There's a lot to explore in French colony starting with
1. Immaculate Conception Cathedral which is a 300-year-old mother church for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Pondicherry,
2. Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha and Lakshmi (Temple Elephant) is the star here.
3. Aurobindo Ashram is a spiritual community and also the samadhi(grave) of Sri Aurobindo is present here.
4. French War memorial is a place dedicated to the people who belonged to the French India who lost their lives during World War 1.
French colony is located right along Rock/Promenade Beach. We also have a Gandhi statue at the beachfront of Promenade beach which is a must visit.
We will be spending the rest of the day here around French colony strolling along the Rock Beach and visiting the cafes there to enjoy French delicacies.
We can stay at the rock beach till midnight. Once done with our dinner we will head back to our stay and call it a night.
1. Carry an extra pair of clothes to change into if you plan on getting wet in the beach or do any water activities at paradise beach. You will have washrooms there.
2. Wear light coloured and breathable clothes as Pondicherry being a coastal place, the weather is going to be hot and humid.
3. Carry your own water bottles and we will refill them wherever possible to avoid littering.
Cafe suggestions from our side:
Le-Cafe (Beach view cafe)
Zuka for gelato and chocolates
Cafe Xtasi for wood fired pizza
Cafe des art
We will start our day very early today. Wakeup call at 5:00am. Serenity beach has the best sunrise view in Pondicherry. You can get into the water at the beach again here and can change once we get back to our stay. Once back to the stay, we will get ready, checkout and start to Mahabalipuram. Breakfast enroute. First place we will visit in Mahabalipuram is the shore temple, as the name suggests, it is located on the Mahabalipuram beach shore.
Next is the Panchrathas. Panch Rathas is a monument dedicated to the 5 Pandava brothers. Next we'll be visiting the light house, enjoy the eagle eye view of Mahabalipuram from the top of the light house but also be ready to climb the never ending stairs inside. Krishna's Butter Ball is a gigantic granite boulder resting on a short incline. We will have our lunch and spend some time at Mahabalipuram beach and then start back to Chennai to board our train. We will pack our dinner at the railway station.
Reach Hyderabad around 8am.