You can spend day one exploring the French Colony and Paradise Beach. On day two, I would highly recommend taking surfing lessons at Kallialay Surf School. From there you can go to Auroville. You can hire bicycle and roam around. It will be worth it. But if you wish to go inside the Matrimandir, make sure you register yourself beforehand. On day three, take a half day trip to Pichavaram which is around 76 kms from Pondicherry and hiring a private cab is inexpensive. Pichavaram Mangrove Forest is the world's second largest mangrove forest which is visited only by a few. Boating there is a surreal experience and you will thank me later.
This is how we( me and few friends) cover the Pondicherry in 2 days. DAY 1 We had breakfast in the hotel and started around 9 am.
Went to rent the bikes since it was walking distance from the Hotel.
Chunnambar Boat House to see paradise beach
Paradise beach - Well maintained, clean and beautiful
Cafe Heart Church - another beautiful church
French colony - roamed around to see the buildings reach
Lunch at Café Stasi - nice pizza and other options
Auroville & Matrimandir - go to Visitor's Center to get the necessary details. To gain access to buildings reach you need an access token from the Visitors Center
Serene beach - spend some time and clicked a few pictures. It is adjacent to rock beach.
Spend an evening at Rock beach - just sit and enjoy the waves hitting rocks
Don’t miss the ice cream at GMT
Dinner at Les Chefs - tasty food and lot of verities. Day 2 Baker’s street - to try nice bakery items in breakfast
Mannakula Vinaynagar Ganpati temple - Vibrant Hindu temple known for its elephant blessings, ornately carved stone walls & golden chariot
Sri Aurobindo Ashram - did some shopping scented soap etc
Vedapureeswarar Temple - Beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Shivah
Church of Our Lady of Angels - Very beautiful church
French Colony - A stroll through the old French quarters
Rock beach - following places at a walkable distance
the French War Memorial
the majestic 19th Century Lighthouse
Mahatma Gandhi statue
Dr. Ambedkar’s Memorial
the French Consulate Good Luck!!!
For pondicherry, reach Chennai via train, flight or bus.
From Chennai start early in the morning, take a bus or cab to Mahabalipuram. Visit the Shore temple, Panch rathas, Krishna butterball and other places. Then take a bus to Pondicherry. Spend the sunset at Rock Beach and visit nearby markets and Church. Have some sea food in the dinner. Day 2: Rent out a bike in the morning. Visit Aurobindo ashram and Matri mandir, Promenade Beach, Sacred Heart Basilica, French colony and Auroville. My recommendation for food: Auroville bakery and Tantos pizza (must try) Day 3: Half day trip to pichavaram: https://www.tripoto.com/trip/a-half-day-natural-getaway-from-pondicherry-picchavaram-5c2385de31823 Then back to Pondicherry. Spend time for shopping in local markets. Happy travelling