Roadtrip from Chennai-Pondicherry-Pichavaram-Chidambaram-Mahabalipuram

Tripoto
5th Oct 2018
Photo of Roadtrip from Chennai-Pondicherry-Pichavaram-Chidambaram-Mahabalipuram by Rajasree
Day 1

The roadtrip from Chennai to Pondicherry is a must go, especially through the East Coast Road(ECR). Literally as the name suggests, it's a drive along the coastline and you see beaches towards the right as you drive away to the destination. It a photographer's paradise! You can stop your car in between to get to the untouched beaches. This reminded me a lot of the roadtrip I had to Varkala, Kerala. It has similar topography with beach on one side while we drive.

From Pondicherry, it's just 11kms, approx 20 mins ride to Auroville, which is a peaceful community of people from all over the world! Best place for some yummy food and hippy clothes shopping at dirt cheap rates.

If you have time, do a prior booking for a tour of mantrimandir, the most ornate exquisite meditation room I had ever been to!

Photo of Pondicherry, Puducherry, India by Rajasree
Photo of Pondicherry, Puducherry, India by Rajasree
Photo of Pondicherry, Puducherry, India by Rajasree
Photo of Pondicherry, Puducherry, India by Rajasree
Photo of Pondicherry, Puducherry, India by Rajasree
Photo of Pondicherry, Puducherry, India by Rajasree
Photo of Pondicherry, Puducherry, India by Rajasree
Photo of Pondicherry, Puducherry, India by Rajasree
Day 2

Pondicherry to Pichavaram is 64kms, approx. one and half hour ride. Pichavaram Mangrove forest is the second largest Mangrove in the world! Yet its still underrated and not given the due recognition it deserves. Extremely beautiful place. Hire a boat to take you through the mangroves for a fun day.

After Pichavaram Mangrove Forest, it's the same route to chidambaram Natraja temple, 14kms ahead. This temple has exquisite architecture inside out! Intricate sculptures are a stand out! Unfortunately, photography inside the temple was prohibited.

If you have time, please visit Thanjavur Brihadeeshwara temple too, which is another architectural marvel.

Photo of Pichavaram Mangrove Forest, Pichavaram, Tamil Nadu, India by Rajasree
Photo of Pichavaram Mangrove Forest, Pichavaram, Tamil Nadu, India by Rajasree
Photo of Pichavaram Mangrove Forest, Pichavaram, Tamil Nadu, India by Rajasree
Photo of Pichavaram Mangrove Forest, Pichavaram, Tamil Nadu, India by Rajasree
Photo of Pichavaram Mangrove Forest, Pichavaram, Tamil Nadu, India by Rajasree
Day 3

On my way back to Chennai, had visited all major Group of Monuments which is part of UNESCO World Heritage site in Mahabalipuram, or as the locals call it, Mamallapuram.

The highlight of this roadtrip was the stark difference in architecture. In Pondicherry you see the French Colonial architecture with colourful walls, long french windows, etc.. Chidambaram has temple architecture which typically depicts a story from ancient literature. From that to Mahabalipuram, which is the architecture from 8th century, built with blocks of granite or some are monolithic rock cut architecture.

This trip was the perfect blend of architecture and nature from serene beaches at Auroville and Pondicherry, to the cool Mangroves at Pichavaram.

Photo of Roadtrip from Chennai-Pondicherry-Pichavaram-Chidambaram-Mahabalipuram by Rajasree
Photo of Roadtrip from Chennai-Pondicherry-Pichavaram-Chidambaram-Mahabalipuram by Rajasree
Photo of Roadtrip from Chennai-Pondicherry-Pichavaram-Chidambaram-Mahabalipuram by Rajasree
Photo of Roadtrip from Chennai-Pondicherry-Pichavaram-Chidambaram-Mahabalipuram by Rajasree
Photo of Roadtrip from Chennai-Pondicherry-Pichavaram-Chidambaram-Mahabalipuram by Rajasree
Photo of Roadtrip from Chennai-Pondicherry-Pichavaram-Chidambaram-Mahabalipuram by Rajasree
Photo of Roadtrip from Chennai-Pondicherry-Pichavaram-Chidambaram-Mahabalipuram by Rajasree
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