pondicherry

Best place to Visit in Pondicherry

About Pondicherry

Puducherry is a quiet little town on the southern coast of India. The unmistakable French connection, the tree lined boulevards, the quaint colonial heritage buildings, the spiritual sceneries, the endless stretches of unspoilt virgin beaches and backwaters and a surprising choice of restaurants serving a melange of cuisines provide a heady mix of experience that draws travellers from near and far to the city. It is the perfect place to come if you want to take the pace of life down a few notches.

Best Time to Visit Pondicherry

Pondicherry is one of the major attractions in South India. The salubrious weather of the place defines its true form. The best time to plan a vacation to Pondicherry is during winter months, from November till March.

Places to Visit in Pondicherry

Explore Auroville

Auroville - or the 'City of Dawn' - was conceived as a place of research into the ideal of human unity by the Mother, the spiritual collaborator of Sri Aurobindo. The idea is to build a futuristic city where people of goodwill can live together in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. Auroville came into existence in 1968.

Auroville - or the 'City of Dawn' - was conceived as a place of research into the ideal of human unity by the Mother, the spiritual collaborator of Sri Aurobindo. The idea is to build a futuristic city where people of goodwill can live together in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. Auroville came into existence in 1968.

Explore Auroville Beach

Auroville Beach - popularly referred to as Auro beach - as the name suggests is close to Auroville. It is situated at the right side of the ECR, opposite to the road leading to Auroville. Located about 12 kms from the main Puducherry town, its shallow waters and small waves make it an ideal place for swimming. It is a fairly popular destination and on weekends it can get rather crowded, whereas on weekdays it is relatively less so.

Explore Paradise Beach

This pristine private beach is meticulously taken care of and offers a host of benefits - from food and beverages to showers and restrooms, all just a few meters away. Swimming is permitted close to the shore only, as currents can be strong further in. Bring a change of clothes if you plan to take a dip.

Explore Promenade Beach

One can relax or take a stroll at any time of the day, though the best time would be early in the mornings and late evenings when the road is closed to vehicular traffic. This ensures that kids can run amok and people can enjoy the ambience without pollution and fear of speeding vehicles.

Explore Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens add great educational and recreational value to Puducherry. The gate leading to the garden is reminiscent of French architecture and it stands out from its immediate surroundings because it is smack in the middle of the old Tamil town. The Botanical Gardens were laid out in 1826 in ornate French style, with pruned trees, beautiful flower beds and gravel lined paths and fountains.

The French introduced many exotic plants from all over the world, many of which thrived. The sprawling 22 acres garden houses more than 1500 species of plants with placards indicating the species, common name and interesting information like the uses of the tree, amount of oxygen generated and its medicinal value; this could well qualify as one of the best botanical gardens in South India.

Explore Chunnambar

Chunnambar is situated 8 kms from Puducherry, along the Cuddalore Main Road. This tropical paradise is flanked by a quiet-flowing creek on one side. You can sail downstream to the sands and pitch up a cosy seaside tent for yourself. Overnighting within the tree-houses on the backwater provides a relishing experience of the great outdoors.

The beach at Chunnambar also known as Plage Paradiso or 'Paradise Beach' is located near the mouth of the backwater. The sand is pristine and the water is clean.

Explore Joan of Arc Statue

Joan of Arc (ca. 1412 - 30 May 1431), nicknamed "The Maid of Orleans", is considered a heroine of France and a Roman Catholic saint. She was born to a peasant family at Domremy in north-east France. Joan said she received visions of the Archangel Michael, Saint Margaret and Saint Catherine instructing her to support Charles VII and recover France from English domination late in the Hundred Years War.

Explore Kargil War Memorial

The Kargil War was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan that took place between May and July 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir and elsewhere along the Line of Control (LOC). The conflict is also referred to as Operation Vijay (Victory in Hindi) which was the name of the Indian operation to clear the Kargil sector.

The war is one of the most recent examples of high altitude warfare in mountainous terrain, which posed significant logistical problems for the combating sides.

Explore Old Light House

The French planned to build a tower displaying a light for the guidance of mariners at night. In November 1835, the area around the ‘mât de pavillon’ was selected and, in March 1836, the lighthouse erected by the engineer L. Guerre. It was a fluted tower built above a rectangular base, 29 m high, with 3 openings: a shop, a place for the watchman and an inner staircase leading to the top where the light was placed. The light was visible to a distance of 29kms.

Explore Puducherry Museum

The Puducherry Museum is located on Saint Louis Street and is open on all days except Mondays and national holidays between 10:00-17:00 hrs. The museum is located in the former Law Building. The museum has a collection of rare bronzes and stone sculptures from the Pallava and Chola dynasties and artefacts excavated from Arikamedu (an ancient port just 7 kms. from city that had trade links with the Roman empires).

Explore Arikamedu

Arikamedu, the ancient Roman trade centre is 4 Kms. south of Puducherry on the right bank of Ariyankuppam River. It has a long history that dates back to the second century B.C. The port town was inhabited by Romans, Cholas and French who left their mark on this wonderful place. The Roman treasure trail and Arikamedu river cruise take you down the History lane. It is an unforgettable experience that you wouldn't want to miss.

Explore Kamatchiamman Temple

The Kamatchiamman Temple is an important Pondicherry pilgrimage spot. The singularity of the temple lies in the unembellished form of the temple structure. The place of worship is frequently visited by the tourists and the local people who arrive in the temple to offer their prayers to the temple deity.

The austere Kamatchiamman Temple is one of the chief tourist’s attractions of the territory of Pondicherry although the temple is different from most of the other temples of South India.

Explore Immaculate Conception Cathedral

Immaculate Conception Cathedral is the cathedral mother church for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore. It is also known as "Samba Kovil", which is a phonetic corruption of "Saint Paul's Kovil" where "Kovil" means church. Located on Mission Street, this cathedral, which bears a strong resemblance to a church in France, was built in 1791 on the ruins of the older church.

From 1728 to 1736 a large church was built on the site of the present Cathedral. This third church was razed to the ground by the British in 1761 during the Seven Years War.

Explore Eglise De Notre Dame Des Anges

Looking out over the Bay of Bengal, with its frontage facing the rising sun, the church of Our Lady of Angels stands in the former Capuchins' square, surrounded by the streets Dumas, Surcouf and Romain Rolland. Between the church and the sea lies a little garden, in the middle of which stands a statue of Joan of Arc, armoured and carrying a battle standard. The statue and the garden bearing her name, were acquired and gifted by Francois Gaudart, politician and industrialist, shortly before his return to France in 1919. The statue was installed in April 1923.

Explore Jamia Mosque

Also referred to as the Khuthbha Mosque, it is believed to be built in the 17th Century, predating Colonial occupation and is a glaring example of the secular culture of the region and country. In all probability, it was the first Mosque built in Pondicherry. It was initially built at the present location of the Seventh Day School.

The mosque is built facing Mecca, the most revered pilgrimage for Muslims. The Khuthbha Mosque also houses the Dargah of Moulla Saiubu and organizes regular sessions of prayer.