South India has always been on the travel bucket list of many! Today we are going to reveal three places on the east coast of India to visit if you’re planning a quick or long weekend trip!
We are talking about Chennai, Auroville and Pondicherry. There is something for everybody here – be it the delicious local food, diverse culture, relaxed vibe, scenic beauty, lovely beaches, age-old heritage monuments and holy places of worship. One of the best holidays that you could think of during this winter season is to travel to Chennai-Auroville-Pondicherry.
Places to visit in Chennai:
- Marina Beach
The Marina Beach is highly famous for being the second longest beach in the world, and ranks first in Asia. It is definitely one the finest beaches in India – a must-visit for all beach lovers. Soak up in the salty breeze and clear blue water, and watch the beautiful sun set into the sea.
- Sri Parthasarathy Temple (Singarachari Street)
You will get to see one of the best architectural works here at this 8th-century Hindu Vaishnavite temple dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is close to the Marina beach and its pyramid architectural shape will amaze you with its beauty.
- T Nagar-
Authentic silk sarees from Chennai are very popular, and if you wish to buy a few, then you should surely visit T Nagar. In this neighbourhood, you will find sarees in all colours and materials. However, we recommend to go there in the odd hours since it can get very crowded in the evenings.
This cultural hub is located in the southern part of Chennai, and is famous for being home to the 17th-century Kapaleeshwarar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Dravidian style of architecture, intricate sculptures and vibrant colours emanate a peaceful atmosphere.
Where to eat in Chennai:
It would be a mistake to come to Chennai and not taste some traditional Chettinad style food. Ponnusamy Restaurant is a great place to satisfy your meat cravings. With delicious dishes like Crab Masala, Fish curry and Fish fry, you’ll definitely have an excellent meal. For some authentic South Indian food like Dosa and Idli Sambar, you can visit Ratna Cafe.
Auroville, a universal city built on the prime value – Peace for everyone, is a beautiful and futuristic place located just 3 hours away from Chennai. There are many local buses that you can take from the city to reach here.
Places to visit in Auroville:
It is a spherical temple located in the centre of the city covering a wide area, where people come to seek physical and mental peace. The beauty of the temple with its gold discs and the beautiful Auroville Botanical Garden area is sure to mesmerize you.
- Auroville Beach (situated at the right side of the ECR, located about 12 kms from the main Pondicherry town)
This beach creates a picturesque scene with its yellow sand and lovely blue tides of water. Here you can perform lot of recreational activities on the beach. On weekends, although it attracts lots of tourists, the beach in not dirty, and people visiting there follow strict rules of cleanliness.
- Cultural activities
There are lot of places for cultural activities like Africa Pavilion , Pitanga Culture centre, Mohanam, Pyramid art centre, Gallery Square Circle – Kala Kendra, Bharat Bhawan where everyone can learn about different cultures in the world.
Where to eat in Auroville:
Head to Tantos for some delicious pizzas and iced tea. It is also a great place to relax with your friends in the evening. You can also eat at cafes like Aurelec Cafeteria, Auroville Bakery, Happy Food Restaurant & Market, Jolly Kimbap, Ganesh Bakery & Cafe, Dreamer’s Cafe, Farm Fresh Cafe, Eateries Frites Corner, Kipaak Farmer’s Cafe and much more.
Pondicherry, one of India’s union territories, was previously a French colonial settlement. Its French legacy is preserved in its French Quarter, with tree-lined streets, mustard-colored colonial villas and chic boutiques. It would take you almost thirty minutes to an hour to reach Pondicherry from Auroville via NH32. You can opt for buses or private cabs to reach there.
Places to visit in Pondicherry:
- The French Quarter
Tucked away in a part of the town in this absolutely pretty little area called The French Quarter. Hire a bicycle amd tour around the colony filled with bright coloured walls, lovely villas and cobbled streets. Also, this place is totally Instagram worthy, hence a must-visit for photographers!
- The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Mahatma Gandhi Road | Sacred Heart Square)
This church 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. It is located close to railway station and it also houses a small bird sanctuary. Entry here is free of cost and people of all religions and customs are welcome.
- Rock Beach (White Town, Pondicherry)
The light-blue tides and clear air make the Rock beach popular among tourists. This beach isn’t very crowded as it is widely spread over a large area, hence allowing everyone to enjoy some precious time with themselves or with a loved one!
Where to eat in Pondicherry:
There are a lot of good restaurants in Pondicherry where you will always get some amazing food. Some of its top rated restaurants include Le Chateau (0.2 km away from rock beach), Palais de Mahe (0.1 km away from rock beach), Surguru (near Aurobindo Ashram – famous for Indian and Asian food, and is vegetarian), Café Xtasi (serves the best pizzas and Italian food), and the list of bars include Kofi Bar, Toxic, Poudou Poudou, Pub Zipper, L’Aqua.