Pondicherry, also known as Puducherry, is a city and capital of the Pondicherry union territory of Southern India. Though the place is small in geographical size this place was the largest French Colony in India. The city has a long and interesting history of trade and war.

A colonial touch blended with the robust Tamil culture, Pondicherry is just a two-hour picturesque drive away from Chennai. Blossoming bougainvilleas, crumbling cathedrals on leafy boulevards and 18th century colonial buildings color the former French colony of Pondy, which sits on the Bay of Bengal.

This photo of Pondicherry is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Pondicherry, a destination that promises travellers sanctity and serenity. It is indeed one of the most charming and mesmerising places to visit in South India

Below are the best places of interest in Pondicherry –

1. Paradise Beach, Pondicherry:

There are a few decent beaches to the north and south of town. Quiet, Reppo and Serenity beaches are all north of the Centre, within 8 km of Pondicherry. Chunnambar, 8 km south has Paradise beach (also known as the Plage Paradiso) water sports activities and backwater boat cruises. This is a little-isolated beach and in order to reach here, you must take a ferry which takes around 20–30 minutes.

2. Water Sports in Pondicherry: 

Pondicherry is quickly becoming every beach lovers favourite hideout. Several water sports along its white sandy beaches are another reason for travellers to love Pondy.

Water sports activities like scuba diving, parasailing, banana boat rides but also its unique cultural traits, excellent food varieties and innumerable sightseeing options, Pondicherry is a true delight to travellers who long for an off-beat travel experience.

3. Auroville Ashram: Founded in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo and a French woman known as “the Mother”, a place where you can relax and calm your inner being. The best way to experience Auroville ashram is to just sit in one of the cafes and talk to some of the residents about their experience of living in the city. The architecture of the city is as interesting as the concept.

Auroville Matri mandir Pondicherry ashram spiritual
IC: Pixabay

The main attraction here is the “Matrimandir”.

The best way to experience Auroville ashram is to just sit in one of the cafes and talk to some of the residents here about their experience of living in the city.

4. Botanical Garden: A popular tourist attraction of Pondicherry, Botanical Garden was established by C.S. Perrotet in the year 1862. The garden is home to several exotic varieties of rare plants as well as an aquarium.

This photo of Pondicherry Botanical Gardens is courtesy of TripAdvisor

This photo of Pondicherry Botanical Gardens is courtesy of TripAdvisor. This wide range of plants has been collected from various parts of India and around the globe. Aquarium is an interesting place to visit which abodes diverse collection of aquatic organisms as well as fish flora.

5. French War Memorial: 

French War memorial

French War Memorial is a stylish structure located in the Goubert Avenue and is dedicated to the soldiers who lost their lives in the First World War. On 14th of July every year, an annual commemoration ceremony is held here during which the monument is beautifully illuminated. This memorial offers a pleasant experience to all visitors.

6. Pondicherry Museum: 

Pondicherry Museum is in Bharathi Park, houses a fantastic collection of sculptures. It has the remains of the archaeological findings from the Arikamedu Roman settlement.

This photo of Pondicherry Museum is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Bronze sculptures of god and goddess, a wide gathering of temple lamps, handicrafts and art are also kept here. Some specimens of Chola and Pallava art from Pondicherry and Karaikal are displayed in the sculpture gallery.

7. Pondicherry Lighthouse: 

The new lighthouse at Pondichery is seen in the background, the old lighthouse is seen in the foreground.
Dr. Ajay B. MD

The Lighthouse is one of the remarkable landmarks in Pondicherry. The French Riviera of the East, Pondy has two lighthouses, an old one and the new one. Where the former has been closed for public appearance the latter serves as the spot for giving its visitors the most amazing bird’s eye view of the city.

8. Seaside Promenade:

This photo of Seaside Promenade is courtesy of TripAdvisor

 One of the things that do justice to Pondicherry’s French Roots is its beautiful Seaside Promenade. The area is well maintained, clean and beautiful and you can feel foam spray on your face while sipping a cooler in one of the many cafes at the promenade. Whether you’re visiting during the sunny day or the starry night, the Seaside Promenade is equally feeling good.

9. Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple: 

This photo of Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha and is said to have been established almost 5 centuries ago. The temple is situated behind the Raj Niwas, the sanctum is enshrined with a grand idol of Vinayaka called Vellakkaran Pillai.

10. Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus: 

Traveller photo submitted by tsashi (Feb 2013) Tripadvisor.in

The Church of Sacred Heart of Jesus is situated 2.5 km away from the Pondicherry Bus Station on the south boulevard of the town. One of the most beautiful Catholic Churches of Pondicherry, the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus beautifully showcases the Gothic architecture. Biblical words can be seen engraved on the entrance in Latin along with the images of Jesus and Mother Mary on the door at the entrance. Occasions such as New Year, Christmas Eve, and Easter Day are celebrated at the church in a grand way.

11. Barathiyar Museum at Pondicherry, a hidden treasure of Pondicherry– Interesting and absorbing. Tamil Poet & freedom fighter Subramania Bharathi’s life history showcased in a place where he lived shortly. Felt one’s trip to Pondicherry is not complete if this place is not visited. House converted into Museum is well maintained & clean. One can understand the art of communication & expression in those days. It is the elder’s responsibility to highlight to the children about our past and their struggles to retain their identity and how they connected & respected Gandhiji.

Bharathiyar House in Puducherry. He was staying there for 10 years
Bharathiyar House in Puducherry. He was staying there for 10 years.
Balogic

Subramanya Bharathi was a Tamil poet & a patriot. He had to flee British India due to his activities against the foreign rulers & arrived in Pondicherry in 1908 as a fugitive. He composed some of the finest patriotic & romantic compositions.

He built his home here which has been later converted into a museum honouring him & has become a place of pilgrimage for all Tamil followers.

12. Iskcon Pondicherry– Visit this place for a spiritual peek into your inner self. ISKCON’s core beliefs are based on highly revered traditional scriptures, particularly the Bhagavad Gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam. It is a great place to meditate, and is highly recommended on your trip to Pondicherry.

Pondicherry City Bike Tour with Breakfast

Have you been to Pondicherry? What are your best places of interest in Pondicherry?