Ponting made 13,000 Test runs with his second hundred in three innings while Clarke raised his 19th Test ton following his unbeaten triple century in Sydney.
The experienced pair shared in a ground record fourth wicket partnership to have the tourists on the rack as relentless Australia sought to ram home a 4-0 series whitewash.
At the close on a sweltering opening day, Australia after winning the toss were 335 for three with Ponting unbeaten on 137 off 254 balls and Clarke 140 off 188 balls.
India claimed the wickets of David Warner (8) and Shaun Marsh (3) cheaply in the opening 10 overs and Ed Cowan (30) nearing lunch.
He was followed by Marsh, who again fell cheaply, lasting only 12 balls when he was bowled by a straightened delivery from off-spinner Ravi Ashwin.