Sun & Serenity on East Coast : Puducherry and Mahabalipuram

28 –2 March, 2020 | 4 Days/3 Nights

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Puducherry is a city of contradictions. From the firmly traditional saris and dhotis of the Aayyas (grandmas) and the That has (grandpas), the popular and modern café culture of the French, to the bohemian, and enigmatic lifestyle of the folks at Auroville … there is a little bit of something for everyone! Everyone who comes to Puducherry finds a place, everyone fits in—possibly why Puducherry still has such a magnetic hold over people’s imagination!

In Puducherry, we will visit the historic French Quarter, where quaint French houses can still be found on gorgeous tree-lined avenues, and the streets still have French names!

We are also excited to take you along on a magical journey through the Pitchvaram Mangrove Forest! Known to be the world’s second-largest mangrove, after the Sunderbans, the Pitchvaram Mangrove Forest spreads over 1,100 hectares before joining the Bay of Bengal.

Prepare to be stunned at its biodiversity—the mangrove has over 50 islands, 4,400 canals, which are home to 200 species of birds and innumerable varieties of seaweed, fish, turtles, and otters! We will end this memorable trip with a scenic boat ride at Pitchvaram—something that is sure to be the highlight of your 2020 travel calendar! We will also visit is one of the five holiest places to worship Lord Shiva and known to be one of the oldest active Chola temples, the Nataraj Temple at Chidambaram.

Any trip to Puducherry would be incomplete without a trip to the hallowed grounds of Auroville! Having caused waves when it was first founded in the 60s for its principles of peace and humanity, Auroville still beguiles people and crowds of tourists throng to it every year.

After living the bohemian life, we end our weekend with a visit to Mahabalipuram to see the ancient shore temple, the panch rathas, and other rock carvings. Make sure to keep some extra room in your bags for a little shopping at the local leather stores before heading back to Chennai.

Our itinerary promises to be a fun, relaxed one where you chill out or move at a
the slightly more frenetic pace and ‘do Puducherry’.
The choice is yours!

We have picked the perfect time of the year for you to be in ‘Pondi’, as the locals affectionately say. We will stay at a charming 19th-century colonial heritage guest house located in the French Quarter that was built in the 19th century and has oodles of character.

Join Wonderful World for an unforgettable holiday to this unforgettable destination.

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PRICE

  • Accommodation on a twin-sharing basis.
  • Transportation as mentioned in the itinerary (pick-up from and drop off at Chennai airport)
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Entrance to all sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • Guide for the Heritage Walk
  • Guide for Chidambaram Temple
  • Guide for Pitchvaram Mangrove Forest.
  • Guide for Auroville.
  • Tips for Tour Guides & Boatmen
  • Services of a trip lead from Wonderful World throughout the trip
  • GST at 5%
  • Insurance.
  • Any meals not mentioned in the itinerary. (There are many places to eat in the French Quarter, so you have the flexibility to try what you like, but we can certainly suggest some places)
  • Any beverages, alcoholic or non-alcoholic.
  • Any personal expenses.
  • Any other item or service not mentioned in Inclusions above.
  • Any cost arising out of unforeseen circumstances like ill‐health, land blocks, bad weather, etc.

ITINERARY

Day1
Thursday; 28th February, Chennai – Puducherry (Includes Dinner)
  • Pick up from Chennai airport at 10 a.m. and drive to Puducherry.
  • Lunch en route.
  • Check-in to the hotel by 2.30 p.m. and relax for a bit.
  • Head out for a Pondi Boulevard Walk at 4 p.m.
    We will cross ‘Le Petit Canel’ (yes, Pondi still has a lot of street names in French, which we find adorable), and take a walk through the historic French Quarter.
    We will then take a relaxed stroll on one of India’s very few pedestrian-only promenades at twilight. It’s a fun place to relax and sit on the rocks. Take a moment to let your system adjust to a slightly more laid-back pace of life while watching the locals get to their 10,000 steps by sea.
    Once the stars come out, we will stroll down to have dinner at a cute little. French café before heading back to our heritage hotel.
Overnight at Gratitude Heritage.
Day2
Friday; 29th February, Puducherry (Includes Breakfast & Lunch)
    Wake up early, at 6 a.m., to capture the essence of Puducherry with a sunrise over the water on the Promenade. For those who prefer the luxury of sleeping in, you can do just that.
    After Breakfast at Gratitude, we start our day trip by taking a guided tour of Chidambaram temple, 60kms. from Puducherry. Spread over 50 acres, it is known to be the capital of Chola dynasty making it one of the oldest surviving active temple complexes in South India. Cholas considered Nataraja as their family deity, so this temple has the bejewelled image of Nataraj. It depicts Lord Shiva as the lord of the dance and is one of the few temples where Shiva is represented by an anthropomorphic idol rather than the classic, anionic lingam.
    Keeping up with the vibes of the temple, we take a simple vegetarian lunch at Chidambaram before heading to Pitchvaram Mangrove Forest. It’s a half an hour drive from Chidambaram passing by paddy fields and colorfully painted village houses.
    At Pitchvaram, we take a picturesque guided boat tour into the Mangrove forest that may last up to 2 hours.
    We drive back to Puducherry by sunset. Evening at leisure.
Overnight at Gratitude Heritage
Click here for detailed itinerary