Pondicherry officially known as Puducherry, a glimpse of the old French colony, is the capital and the most populous city of the Indian Union Territory of Puducherry. The city is located in the Puducherry district on the southeast coast of India and is surrounded by the state of Tamil Nadu with which it shares most of its culture and language.
How to reach Pondicherry
Pondicherry is well connected to Chennai via the East Coast Road through Mahabalipuram. There are daily bus services from several main stops from Chennai
PDY/Puducherry (Pondicherry) is connected by train to Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai as well as other important cities such as Kanyakumari, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Bhubaneshwar, Bangalore.
1. Matrimandir, Auroville
Matrimandir, a Sanskrit word which means “Temple of The Mother”. It is in the center of Auroville, where “Aurore” meaning dawn and “Ville” meaning city. The Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram established it in 1968. Auroville believes in peace and wants that all men and women should believe in peace and harmony keeping the caste, color, creed, and nationality aside. You can learn about the history of Matrimandir, Auroville in a short introductory video.
2. Aurobindo Ashram
Sri Aurobindo (born Aurobindo Ghose; 15 August 1872 – 5 December 1950) was a great Indian philosopher, yogi, guru, poet, and nationalist.At Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo developed a spiritual practice he called Integral Yoga.
In 1926, with the help of his spiritual confederate, Mirra Alfassa (referred to as “The Mother”), he founded the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Ashram gives you a chance to know about the life of Sri Aurobindo Ghosh.
The main Ashram building, where the Samadhi of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother is located, is open to all during visiting hours: 8.00 a.m. to 12 noon and 2.00 to 6.00 p.m. Here you can see all beautiful exotic flowers and the peaceful environment of the ashram will fill you with tranquillity.
- Promenade beach
Promenade beach is also known as Rock beach or Gandhi beach or Pondicherry beach. Known by many names is best for evening walks along the beach. It is a 1.2-kilometer-long stretch in Pondicherry, which starts from War Memorial and ends at Dupleix Park on Goubert Avenue.
- Serenity Beach
The name itself defines the beauty of this beach. Here you can explore the vibrant beach cafés and the beachside flea markets and stroll around and relax.
- Paradise Beach
Also known as Plage Paradiso, Paradise beach is famous for water sports activity. The beach can be accessed from Chunnambar boathouse in boats and kayaks and one of the most beautiful private beaches in Pondicherry.
- Auroville Beach
Auro Beach is one of the best and unusual beaches in India, located near Auroville in Pondicherry. It is a famous beach in Pondicherry for beautiful seashells. The beach is famous for swimming and surfing.
4. Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
There are 21 Basilicas in India and one of them is in this French colony of India – Pondicherry. This church was set up by the French missionaries in 1908 which was given the status of the Basilica in 2011. The church is the first-ever basilica in Pondicherry, the 6th one in Tamil Nadu, the 20th in India, and the 50th one in Asia. This is one of the most beautiful Catholic Churches of Pondicherry. It is also known as “Parent of Church for Catholics”. Intricate designs in the glass panel show the life of Jesus. This beautiful church is a must-visit if you are planning a trip to Pondicherry.
5. Pondicherry Lighthouse
The lighthouse was initially set up in 1836 and then rebuilt in 1970. The graceful 29-metre-high structure, has round tower and square base, which is now converted into a museum is worth a visit due to its historical importance. It was constructed by the French rulers
Location: located at Dubrayapet, Pondicherry
Best Time to Visit: During sunset
Timings: 03:00 PM – 7:00 PM
6. Pondicherry Museum
Pondicherry museum gives us a chance to get the insights of rich history of India, especially South India, as well as world history. This place is full of artifacts and coins collection, also this museum is famous for the largest collection of Chola Dynasty bronze sculpture and various artifacts of Pallava Dynasty.
Location: Eswaran Kovil Street, Canteen St, Puducherry
Timings: Tuesday to Sunday – 9:00 am – 6:30 pm. Closed on Mondays and national holidays.
Entry fee: The entry fee for the children is INR 5 per child. The fees for the Indian Nationals is Rs. INR 10 and for the foreign nationals are INR 50 per person.
7. French War Memorial
The French war memorial was constructed in 1970, to honour the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the country in World War I. And is one of the best attractions in Pondicherry trip.
Location: White Town, Pondicherry
Best Time to Visit: Early morning hours so that you can enjoy the nature and can spend some pleasant time in war memorial
Timings: 10:00 – 5:00 pm
8. White Town
White Town was the residential quarters of the french in Pondicherry. The entire neighborhood has great examples of colonial French architecture and is often compared to seaside towns in the south of France. With heritage buildings and a large number of French cafes, the biggest highlight is the White Town Promenade, one of the most beautiful promenades in India.
9. Immaculate Conception Cathedral
Immaculate Conception Cathedral or Eglise de Notre Dame de la Conception. Immaculate Church is a beautiful place of worship established in the year 1686. and it is dedicated to st. Peter.
10. Cafes in Pondicherry
Pondicherry is a paradise for foodies. you can experience the well-defined seating, amazing sea views, and beautiful cafes such as the Le Cafe, Coromandel café, café des art, Café De Flore (Nutella crepes must try), Tanto (famous for finger-licious pizza) & Rendezvous Café .the White Town Promenade is one of the most visited places in Pondicherry. Hidden behind its French exterior are influences of Indian and local Tamil cultures as well, evident in the handicraft’s markets and street food.