Day 1: Of Serenity and Community
Auroville is an experimental township founded by Mirra Alfassa to bring to life the vision of Sri Aurobindo Ghosh. The visitor’s centre and Matrimandir are the main attractions. Matrimandir is made as a centre for meditation and sitting in quiet thought. The passes to Matrimandir are booked at least 10 days in advance and in order to enter, you need to arrive there at 8:30 am in the morning. But you are free to visit the visitor’s centre and the premises around it without any advance booking. Do not miss Auroville in your Pondicherry itinerary as it is worth the hype.
2. Serenity Beach
Serenity Beach in Kottakuppam can be your first introduction to beach life in Pondicherry. Here you can sit back and relax while watching the waves, go sea-shell hunting, or build sandcastles. There is a natural stone bridge that you can walk on while taking in the breathtaking surroundings around you.
3. Cafe des Arts
To put a perfect end to your day, head over to Cafe Des Arts for a bite. This cafe is a renovated 19th-century French building with delicious offerings and a comfortable ambience. Do note, that it is often crowded and you may need to wait a while for a seat.
Day 2: Of Natural Heritage and Iconic Structures
1. Pichvaram Mangrove Forest
Journey into the heart of the thick mangrove forests in Pichvaram. Boat rides offering to take you on this journey are available in plenty and you have a choice between a paddle boat and a motorboat. This is the world’s second-largest mangrove forest and is an important ecological heritage. It is at a distance of 60 km away from Pondicherry, so you can either catch a bus or take a hired cab. Make sure to take the boat ride either in the morning or evening as the sun is harsh in the afternoon.
2. Chidambaram Temple
The Thillai Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram boasts of being the oldest temple in South India and it is dedicated to Nataraja, the dancing form of Shiva. The Nataraja idol is the main highlight along with the temple complex with its beautiful Dravidian-style architecture.
3. White Town
White Town is the charming part of Pondicherry. Here you will find quirky cafes, posh restaurants, and picturesque French structures that line the streets. The entire town with its quaint buildings makes for a perfect aesthetic backdrop to your pictures. You can take a stroll on the streets of White Town or cycle through them for pure leisure.
4. Promenade Beach
Promenade Beach also known as Rock Beach due to the rocks that flank its shore, is located right at the end of the lanes of White Town. Here you can stroll along the “Promenade” that stretches along the shores and enjoy the sights and sounds of the beach. The beach also experiences gorgeous sunsets that you simply should not miss.
5. Le Cafe
It is not an exaggeration to say that this low-key cafe has the best sea view. Le cafe is located right next to the beach on the promenade and provides a host of tasty meals and beverages at a reasonable price.
Day 3: Of Devotion and Prayer
1. Paradise Beach
Paradise Beach in Pondicherry is another beach that you can add to your Pondicherry itinerary. You can spend a peaceful leisurely day here or indulge in the multiple water activities available. The activities can cost anywhere from 500 to 1500 depending on your choice of sport. So do get a change of clothes if you intend to do them.
2. Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is said to be a blend of French and Indian architecture. This magnificent church has exquisite stained glass windows and 24 columns that have biblical verses inscribed onto them. This marvellous structure needs to be a part of your 4-day Pondicherry itinerary.
3. Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Pondicherry
The Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Pondicherry is over 300 years old and one of the oldest churches in Pondicherry. Escape to this beautiful ethereal church and enjoy its peaceful ambience.
4. Bay of Buddha
Give your 3rd day in Pondicherry a luxurious end by dining at this popular restaurant, the Bay of Buddha. It has a rooftop restaurant that overlooks the sea. With great food and a pleasant ambience, this restaurant is worth a visit. So do find a place for this in your Pondicherry itinerary.
Day 4: Of Shopping and Indulgence
1. Crafts Bazaar
The handicrafts scene of Pondicherry is adequately contained in this place called Crafts Bazaar. You get great pieces at awesome prices. Everything from home decor to jewellery to handlooms, Crafts Bazaar has it all. It also sells authentic leather, which Pondicherry is known for at a reasonable rate. Make sure to take a bag for all the things you are going to be tempted to buy.
2. SUN’d Art
If quirky and cute speaks to you, then SUN’d Art will do too. Here you will find toys and clothing that are handmade yet trendy. Be ready to splurge for yourself and your loved ones as the items here will tempt you like no other.
3. Coromandel Cafe
End your 4th and the last day in Pondicherry with style. Head over to this popular cafe with
charming interiors and delicious food, for a quick bite before calling it a day.