Enjoy a serene escape from metropolitan Chennai on this private day trip to Pondicherry. Discover the region’s unique cultural and spiritual heritage with visits to Sri Aurobindo Ashram and the Pondicherry Museum. Your private guide will teach you all about Pondicherry’s French colonial influences, which are still apparent in the region’s people, language, government and cuisine. Then, in Auroville, a fairly new town with a progressive spiritual community, explore inside the unique domed Matrimandir temple, an important place for practitioners of Integral yoga.
After pickup from your Chennai hotel in the morning, you’ll drive approximately 2.5 hours by private, air-conditioned vehicle to the Pondicherry region.When you arrive, your professional guide will take on a tour of this spiritual community, home to Sri Aurobindo Ashram, a spiritual site founded by Sri Aurobindo and his collaborator, known locally as ‘The Mother.’ Walk to the nearby Pondicherry Museum, located in Bharathi Park. Along the way, your guide will point out various structures that display effects of French colonial influence. Inside, discover the museum’s outstanding collection of artifacts, sculptures and archaeological findings from the ancient Arikamedu settlement, a Tamil fishing village that traded with the Romans. In between sightseeing, your guide will recommend a great restaurant in Pondicherry where can enjoy some French-Indian fusion cuisine (own expense).Then, you’ll drive approximately 4 miles (6.5 km) to Auroville, a small town and spiritual community also founded by Mirra Alfassa. Here, you’ll visit Matrimandir, meaning ‘Temple of the Mother’ in Sanskrit. Marvel at the plated gold of its 98-foot high (30-meter) dome with a lotus-shaped foundation urn. Wander inside to see the stark-white interior and large crystal in the center. Learn from your guide how this temple is an important spiritual place for practitioners of Integral yoga. After your tour, you’ll be driven back to your Chennai hotel or the Chennai airport for your departure flight.