Chennai – Pondicherry
Chennai is popularly referred to as the “Gateway to South India” from where a journey into the rich heritage of the country starts.
The city is a perfect blend of traditionalism and a bustling cosmopolitan life, both of which are ideally reflected in the numerous tourist attractions in Chennai. The capital city of Tamil Nadu, Chennai provides ample scope for sightseeing to visitors from all over the world.
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”. Pondicherry is also a popular weekend destination, which can be reached easily from the nearby cities such as Chennai and Bangalore,
Tourist Attractions in Chennai
Fort St. George:
Built in the 17th century, this fort was built under the supervision of Francis Day and Andrew Cogon and houses St. Mary’s Church and a museum. Built in 1680, St. Mary’s Church is the oldest Anglican Church in India and has some of the oldest British tombstones in India. It was here that the marriage of the couple who founded the Yale University in the States was solemnized.
The museum has on its display many relics belonging to the times of British Raj in India and exhibits a collection of contemporary paintings as well as the rare military paraphernalia such as weapons, uniforms, coins, costumes and medals.
The biggest temple in the city is a fine specimen of Dravidian architecture. The Shaiva temple has 13th century inscriptions and a 37-metre gopuram remarkable for its intricate carvings depicting stories from Hindu mythology.
Sri Parthasarathi Temple:
The 8th century Krishna temple was built under the patronage of the Pallavas and enshrines idols of the five avataras of Sri Vishnu. The small temple inside is dedicated to Vishnu’s consort, Vedavalli Ammai.
San Thome at the southern tip of Marina features the beautiful stained glass window at the basilica depicting the story of St Thomas and the central hall that has 14 wooden plaques depicting scenes from the last days of Christ. The 3-ft high statue of Virgin Mary was imported from Portugal in 1543.
The Snake Park and Children’s Park:
The snake park with diverse Indian snakes and reptiles and nearby children’s park with a large playing ground and a good collection of birds and animals are worth a visit.
The Marina Beach:
The 12-km long famous Marina Beach is the second longest beach in the world. It is best to visit the beach early in the mornings or late in the evenings when the area becomes a virtual fair ground with food stalls and other entertainments.
The Theosophical Society:
The world headquarters of the much-famed Theosophical Society that promotes study of comparative religion, philosophy and science is in Adyar enclosing shrines of all faiths, Garden of Remembrance and 95-year old library with an astounding collection of rare Oriental manuscripts written on palm leaves and parchment.
In Thiruvanmiyur, Kalakshetra or ‘Temple of Art’ aims to train, encourage and revive interest in Bharatanatyam, classical dance form of Tamil Nadu, textile designing and weaving and is one of the best in its arena.
The Birla Planetarium at Kotturpuram is the most modern planetarium in the country with the fully computerized projector. Nearby is the Periyar Science and Technology Museum that may of interest to fans of science and technology.
National Art Gallery and Government Museum:
The museums at Egmore, founded in 1857, display exhibits related to archaeology, geology, anthropology, numismatics, botany and zoology along with sculpture and armory.
The memorial to the great poet-saint of Tamilian literature, Tiruvalluvar, is actually the replica of the temple chariot in Thiruvarur. A 33m tall statue of the saint has been installed in the chariot. His famous work Thirukkural has been inscribed on stone in the front hall corridors of the chariot. The memorial is said to have the largest auditorium in Asia with a capacity of 4000 people.
Tourist Attractions in Pondicherry
The most prominent place in Pondicherry is Sri Aurobindo Ashram. It is the place for cultural and spiritual study. Ashram has a hand made paper factory from which sales fantastic paper works.
One can buy various kinds of products like hand printed saris, dresses and cosmetic goods in trip to Pondicherry. You can enjoy walking on the sea beach in evening.
The resorts, cottages, cafes and bar enhanced the beauty of the beaches. Some well known beaches are Serenity beach, Karaikal beach, Mahe beach Paradise beach and Yanam beach in Visit Pondicherry.
10 km away from Pondicherry there is a township called Aurovill which is famous for its scenic beauty created by the green trees. This place is the symbol of communal harmony. French architecture is one of the things to see in trip to Pondicherry. Old houses and churches bear the mark of the French architectural beauty. Mansion of Ananda is a fabulous work of Indo French architecture.
One can find Anglo French textile mills in visit Pondicherry. Eglise de Sacre Coeur De Jesus is a church built in a splendid Gothic architecture. You can visit Botanical garden and Tour Packages for Pondicherry museum.
Sri Gokilambal temple is the most beautiful architecture in visit Pondicherry. There are number of luxurious hotels and resorts that can give you the comfortable accommodation facility. You can also stay at Ashram guest house.