Chennai - Pondicherry (155 Km/ approx. 3- 4 hours)
Meet our representative at Chennai Airport and transfer to Pondicherry. Check In to hotel. Overnight stay in Pondicherry.
After breakfast, proceed to Pondicherry sightseeing - Aurobindo Ashram, Government Museum, Also visit the Auroville town - a UNESCO endorsed 'utopian society'. Return back to hotel. Overnight stay in Pondicherry.
Pondicherry – Mahabalipuram / Mamallapuram (99 Km/ approx. 1- 2 hours)
After breakfast, check out and transfer to Mahabalipuram / Mamallapuram. Check in to hotel. Overnight stay in Mamallapuram.
Mahabalipuram / Mamallapuram
After breakfast visit Mahabalipuram sightseeing of Shore Temple, Pancha Pandava Rathas, Arjuna's Penance, Caves and Mandapams. Overnight stay in Mamallapuram
Mahabalipuram / Mamallapuram- Chennai (55 Km/ approx. 1- 2 hours)
After breakfast, check out and transfer to Kapaleshwar Temple, Fort St. George, Government Museum and Marina Beach. Check in to Hotel. Overnight stay in Chennai.
After breakfast, check out and transfer to Chennai Airport.
Mahabalipuram Situated on the shores pf Bay of Bengal, it was once a port of the Pallavas. The Pallava art flourished here from 600 to 749 AD. They have created many marvelous mountains with Sclptural Panels, Caves, Monolithic Rathas and Temples. CAVES – there are nine rock cut cave temples, the Krishna cave is notable for its realistic portrayal. In the MAHISHASURMARDINI CAVE, on one side is a magnification base relief of lord of Vishnu in his cosmic sleep and in contrast on the side is goddess Durga fighting a buffalo – headed demon.
THE SHORE TEMPLE an integral part of Mahabalipuram sightseeing tours, is one of the oldest temples belonging to the 8th century AD and is a good example of the first phase of structural temples constructed in Dravidian style. It has two shrines facing east and west. ARJUNA'S PENANCE is one of the world's largest and fitness stone base-relief (27 meters long and 9 meters high) depicting Arjun's penance. This huge Whale-back-shaped rock faces the sea, and is split with a fissure in the middle. On the other side are god's semi-gods, men, beasts and birds, earthly and supernatural beings.
FIVE RATHAS are five monolithic temples each created in a different style. They are known as Panch Pandava, and the four Rathas are supposed to have scooped out of a single rock formation. The Rathas with their Gouprams, multipillard and sculptured walls and Vimanas were built in Dravidian style In 7th century. Other interesting monuments are Ganesa Ratha, Varaha cave, old light house, Krishna's butter ball etc. Tiger cave, 5 km north of the main complex, was an open air threate where cultural programmes were held for the benefit of the royal families.
At government College of Architecture and Sculpture training is given in various branches of temple art and architecture according to 'Silpa Shastra'.Mahabalipuram is easily accessible from Chennai by local transport, private as well as state government operated coaches, taxis etc.
Following trips can be organized as a part of Mahabalipuram Pondicherry Holiday Packages
DAKSHINA CHITRA(Day Excursion from Mahabalipuram): Art and craft village houses crafts people from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. It also has theatres, shops, libriries and archives.
KANCHIPURAM (Day Excursion from Mahabalipuram): A City of Thousand Temples, Kanchipuram is one of the seven sacred cities and considered as the second holiest place in India. It was successively the capital of the Pallavas, the Cholas and the Rayas of Vijaynagar. The city was also the seat of learning Shree Sankarachrya, Appar and Siruthonder. The great Buddhist Vhikku Bodhidharna lived and worked here.
There are 126 temples in Kanchi and a few more on the outskirts. EKAMBARNATHA TEMPLE, the largest temple decated to lord shiva, was built originally by Pallavas and later improved by the Cholas and the king of Vijaynagar. The 57 meter high Rajagopuram is one the tallest in south India. The Centre of attraction of this massive temple has the 2500 years old Mango tree which still bears fruits with four different flavours on its four major branches.
Krishna Dev Raya constricted outer stone walls of the temple in 1500. KAILASNATHA TEMPLE was constructed in the 8th century and has a beautiful panel depicting Lord Shiva and Parvati during a dance. The Ardhanareeswarar is one of the best sculptural wonder. VIKUNTA PERUMAL TEMPLE – this Vaishnavite temple dates dark back to the 8th century and was built by Nandivarman Pallava. Battle scene depicting Pallava Valour are carved on the panels surrounding the main hall. VARADRAJA TEMPLE – the 100 pillared hall of this temple stands testimony to the artistry of the sculptors of Vijaynagar. The annual Garudotsavam festival (May – June) is very colourful and draws thousands of devotes. KAMAKSHI AMMAN TEMPLE dedicated to the goddess Kamakshi (Parvati) is one of the three holy places of sakthi worship in India and was built by the Cholas in the 14th century.
Kanchipuram is also known for its thriving handloom industry. The silk weavers settled here 400 years ago and today it is known to be the producer of best silk sarees. Tiruttani, 42 km from Kanchipuram, has a temple which is one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya. Situated on a hilltop, the temple is accessible by road as well as the 365 steps on the hill which are said to represent 365 days of the years. The Karthikai festival in December attracts lots of tourists. VELLORE, 64 km from Kanchipuram has the fort which is one of the best examples of defense architecture in this part of the country. The strong bastions of the fort defended the Vijaynagar Kings until their defeat in 1565. Tipu-Sultan held the fort for some years before he was defeated. His family was imprisoned here and their tombs now lie to the west of the fort.
Pondicherry appears a tiny speck on India's sprawling eastern coast. A vedic association glamourises its past. Sage Agastya is believed to have set up his ashram here in the distant Vedic past. The evidence is sought in the town's ancient name – Vedapuri, and in the nomenclature of the old presiding deity of the area, referred to as 'Vedapurishwara' also known as 'Agastishwara'. Sanskrit scholarship thrived in Vedapuri, a couple of centuries after the decline of learning at Nalanda in Bihar.
In the first century, the Roman traders navigating between the East Indies and the Red sea had set up a trading post and a settlement here, Fifteen centuries later, in 1673 Pulicherry a small fishermen's village on the Coromandal coast 160 km south of Madras, was acquired by Frenchmen as a trading post for the Frech. The new settlement was called Pucuherry. Two dacades later, it was occupied by the Dutch. Then arrived Dupleix, who thought of Pondicherry in the same terms as Clive thought of Calcutta. For 15 years the British battled with the French enclave. From 1761 to 1816 it was object of intense internecine rivalry between the British and the French, finally occupied it for an uninterrupted spell from 1816 to 1954.
In 1954, Pondicheery, Karaikal, Yanam and Mahe, four widely separated French pocket on the eastern and western coasts of India, returned to mother country, peacefully. Today, Pondicheery Is the common haedquaters for karaikal, Yanam and Mahe.
SRI AUROBINDO ASHRAM: Aurobindo Ashram forms the nucleus of many activities and trade in Pondicherry. It is product of Aurobindo's inspiration and Mira Alfassa's earnestness. The main Ashram on Rue de lal marine houses the buildings where Aurobindo and Nirra Alfassa lived and died.
AUROVILLE: Auroville is an experiment in International living where men and women could live in peace and progressive harmony with each other above all creeds, polities and nationalities; it is a developing town 10 km from Pondicherry.
RAJ VILAS: Once the residence of famous Governor Dupliz, this imposing palace is today the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry.
THE BEACH: The Pondicherry beach with its 1.5 km long promenade is one of the best place in Pondicherry to have a stroll, a swim or a Sun Bath.
THE PONDICHERRY MUSEUM: The Pondicherry museum is a treasure house of antiques with a section on French India which is housed in rooms done in typical French style. It houses specimen from Pallva sculptures to a bed slept in by Dupleix. Also on display are some fine antiques, handcrafts and ornaments.
There are numerous temples and churches in Pondicherry.
Out of the 350 temples, 75 of are dedicated to Lord Ganesha. The Varadaraja and the Villenour's Thrikakeswarar temples date back to the 12th century.
A large number of churches like the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Eglis de Noter Dame Des Anges are other legacies left behind by the French.
Mahabalipuram Pondicherry Tours or Mahabalipuram Puducherry Holiday Packages can be customized by Swan Tours leading travel agents in India. There are different kinds of hotels and resorts in Puducherry and Mahabalipuram starting from budget hotels to luxury resorts.