Pondicherry is the capital city of The Union Territory of Puducherry and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South India.
A French colony until 1954, this coastal town retains a number of colonial buildings, churches, statues, and systematic town planning, as well as urban architecture of the local Tamil style. As such the town has been dubbed "The Europe of India". The town struggles to preserve what little remains of the ambiance once created by this unique mix of cultural heritage. It nevertheless draws tourists from around the world and from across India. Pondicherry is also a popular weekend destination, which can be reached easily from the nearby cities such as Chennai and Bangalore, principally because lower taxation on alcoholic beverages makes drinking in the Union Territory enclave much less expensive than in neighboring states.
Upon your Arrival Pick up from Chennai Airport by our Tour Guide. Then, We drive approximately 14.5 miles (23.3 km) to Mahabalipuram, or what is now called Mamallapuram. This UNESCO World Heritage-listed city is full of rock-cut monuments built between the 7th and 9th centuries. We Visit Five Rathas , Mahishasuramardhini Cave, Krishna Mandapam, Arjuna's Penance, The Shore Temple, Krishna's Butter Ball. After finish the tour we transfer to our Hotel. Dinner & Over Night Stay. Meal: Lunch & Dinner
About the Visiting Place:
Mahabalipuram, also known as Mamallapuram is a town in Kancheepuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
It is around 60 km south from the city of Chennai. It is an ancient historic town and was a bustling seaport during the time of Periplus (1st century CE) and Ptolemy (140 CE). Ancient Indian traders who went to countries of South East Asia sailed from the seaport of Mahabalipuram.
By the 7th century it was a port city of South Indian dynasty of the Pallavas. It has a group of sanctuaries, which was carved out of rock along the Coromandel coast in the 7th and 8th centuries : rathas (temples in the form of chariots),mandapas (cave sanctuaries), giant open-air reliefs such as the famous 'Descent of the Ganges', and the Shore Temple, with thousands of sculptures to the glory of Shiva. The group of monuments at Mahabalipuram has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has an average elevation of 12 metres (39 feet). The modern city of Mahabalipuram was established by the British Raj in 1827.
After Breakfast we are now moving to our Local Pondicherry Sight seen Tour. Our Visit is Madrimandir. Lunch. Then we visit the Ousteri lake boating. After finish the boating and sightseeing we will move to the Villianur Church(Church of Our Lady). And then we visit the Sri Kokilambika-Sri Kameeswarar temple After visit the Temples we return back to Pondicherry Beach area and then back to our Hotel . Dinner. Overnight Stay at Hotel. Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
About the Visiting Places:
The Matrimandir (Sanskrit for Temple of The Mother) is an edifice of spiritual significance for practitioners of Integral yoga, situated at the centre of Auroville initiated by The Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. It is called soul of the city and is situated in a large open space called Peace. Matrimandir does not belong to any particular religion or sect.
Ousteri Lake is located towards north at a distance of 10 km from Pondicherry town (Pondicherry– Villupuram road). The wetland covers an area of about 390 ha (lies in both Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry) with a wide range of aquatic species and is mainly a bird sanctuary. The vegetation ranges from small herbs to trees, which supports migratory avifauna as well as native birds during summer and winter. The government of Pondicherry is proposing to set up an Ousteri National Park in the region acquiring lands from neighbouring villages
Church of Our Lady, Villianur :
In the whole of Tamilnadu, the ancient place of Our Lady of Lourdes in Villianur. The presence of this Shrine is the pride of the Pondicherry state. The people of Pondicherry have got great affection to this place. This is the centre of religious unity, tolerance, Co- operation and integration. With the social and religious leaders of Villianur, we're having a "Council for Human rights, Values andrespect" which works for the solidarity among the people of various caste, creed, religious and social states. And the arch-diocese of Pondicherry is proud to have this a shrine in its territory.And we are blessed with this Shrine. Our Ladyeally lives here and protects the people who come here.
We have got at Villianur the three important religious centers, Sutthanpet mosque for Muslims, temple of Shiva for Hindus and Our Lady of Lourdes for Christians. During the feast of each centre all the religious people co- operate without considering their religious differences
Sri Kokilambika-Sri Kameeswarar temple– Villianur :
While offering the Deepa Aaradhana to the deity, a mantra is chanted – beginning as "Om Rajadhi Rajaya Prasahya Sakine" (Sanskrit) in which the word ‘Kameswwara" occurs in the middle of the chanting. Those desirous of the darshan of this deity Kameeswara should go to Kokilambika-Kameeswarar temple in Villianur near Puducherry. This Nama (name) is pronounced in all the temples. The significance of the temple relates to the history of a Chola King Dharmabala Chozhan ruling Kamalapuri then who suffered from leprosy due to his Karma in his previous birth. He worshipped Lord Shiva in this temple and got cured. He created a town here which was earlier a forest of Vilwa trees and also constructed a temple and named the place Vilwanallur which in course of time changed as Villianur. The temple has a mention in Thevaram hymns.
Prasava Nandhi :
The other significance of the temple is the Prasava Nandhi. Prasava means delivering a child. Though Nandhi (the bull vehicle of Lord Shiva) usually installed facing the deity, there is also a small Nandhi before this Big Nandhi. Kala Bhairava in the temple graces here without His Dog vehicle and therefore, the place is venerated as a place of salvation. Rays of Sun fall on the presiding deity on 9, 11 and 19 in the month of Panguni (March-April) offering his worship to the Lord.
Lord Narasimmah, Indira, Sun, Adisesha (the divine snake), Cupid (manmatha), Moon, King Dharmabalan, Sakalanga Soundari, Govindan and others had worshipped in this temple. Lord Shiva graced his darshan to Lord Vishnu here on a Poornima day falling on a Sunday. Following this event, devotees throng the temple on Poornima days (Full Moon day) falling on Sundays hoping that the darshan would bring them the boon they seek.
Once, Lord Vishnu and Brahmma wanted to establish their supremacy over the other and asked Shiva to decide the issue. Lord Shiva said that the one who would find His feet and crown would be the winner. Brahmma played a trick and had to incur a curse. When Brahmma prayed to Lord Shiva for the relief, he was advised to grow Vilwa trees on the banks of River Mutharu in the Thondaimandalam region and worship Lord Shiva for the release. Brhamma followed the advice of Lord Shiva and got him released from the curse
After Breakfast Today we proceed our Pondicherry city Tour. We cover :
1. Sri Aurobindo Ashram
2. Sri Manakula vinayagar Temple
3. The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Pondicherry
4. Basilica of Sacred heart church
5. The Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges (The Church of Our Lady of Angels), Pondicherry
6. Bharati Park (Government Park) in Pondicherry
7. Botanical Garden
8. Promenade Beach: War Memorial, Chief Secretariat, The Promenade, Le Café, Mahatma Gandhi statue, Dupleix Park
After finish the Tour we will return back to our Hotel. Overnight Stay at Hotel.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
About the Visiting Places:
The Sri Aurobindo Ashram is a well known and wealthy ashram in India, with devotees from India and all over the world flocking to it for spiritual salvation. Its spiritual tenets represent a synthesis of yoga and modern science. The Ashram was founded in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo Ghose, an Indian freedom fighter, poet, philosopher, and yogi.
Mirra Alfassa (also known as ‘The Mother’)
was one of Auribindos followers, who was born in Paris and was so inspired by his philosophy that she stayed on in Pondicherry. After 24 November 1926, when Sri Aurobindo retired into seclusion, she founded his ashram (Sri Aurobindo Ashram), with a handful of disciples living around the Master. With Sri Aurobindo's full approval she became the leader of the community, a position she held until her death. The Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust,which she had registered after Sri Aurobindo's death in 1950 continues to look after the institution. The idea of Auroville or the "City of Dawn" was conceived by ‘The Mother’.
Manakula Vinayakar Temple:
Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple was in existence before the French came and settled in Pondicherry i.e. before 1666. It has a golden spire and walls portraying forty different forms of Ganesha. The temple also has a smaller shrine dedicated to Lord Murugan, who is Ganesha’s younger brother. Over 5000 devotees flock to this site everyday. There is also a temple elephant, Lakshmi, who gives blessings to the devotees.
Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus situated on the south boulevard of Pondicherry in Puducherry, India, is an oriental specimen of Gothic architecture. It contains rare stained glass panels depicting events from the life of Christ and saints of the Catholic Church. In recent years it has become one of the famous pilgrimage spots for Christians.
Bharati Park (Government Park) in Pondicherry
The Government Park or Bharati Park is in the green centre of the Town. The Aayi Mandapam is a famous monument which lies at the center of the Bharati Park. The Government Park in Pondicherry is aptly located in the central region of the old colonial town. The significance of this park is derived from the fact that it is surrounded by some of the most important government buildings like the Lt. Governor's Palace, the Legislative Assembly, Government Hospital, Ashram Dining Room, the Cercle de Pondichéry private club, and the old Hotel Qualité.
The Botanical Garden is located south of the New Bus Stand. The gate leading to the garden is reminiscent of French architecture and it stands out from its immediate surroundings because it is in the middle of the old Tamil town. The Botanical Gardens were laid out in 1826 in the ornate French style, with pruned trees, flower beds and gravel lined paths and fountains. Perrottet was largely responsible for transforming the place into a botanical garden in 1831. The French introduced many exotic plants from all over the world. The gardens also have a musical fountain which is active over the weekends, with two shows in the evening
Promenade Beach (or, known as, "Pondicherry Beach")
is the popular stretch of beachfront in the city of Puducherry, India, along the Bay of Bengal. Its a 1.2-kilometre-long stretch in Pondicherry, starts from War Memorial and end at Dupleix Park on the Goubert Ave.