Pondicherry is a blissful town that has always remained a beautiful tourist destination, offering the vestiges of French occupation, architecture, and customs. It is like experiencing France within India. The beaches are clean and the breeze from the sea is refreshing. Read more.
Pondicherry, located about 200 km from Chennai, is better known as the old French settlement that bestowed a kind of unique signature to the architecture and aesthetics of this place. Facing the bay of Bengal and visited by a number of tourists every year, Pondicherry is a nice destination for a pleasant holiday experience. Just imagine that you wish to explore France under an Indian backdrop and see it coming true as you arrive here. The road signs, old architecture, wide landscape, etc. make Pondicherry a charming town. This is where you need to go when you are looking for a relaxed and enjoyable vacation and it does not matter whether you are traveling alone or with your family. It is the place for refreshment, fun, and some exotic French wine that is served with steak. There are many cheap hotels in Pondicherry which offer a reasonable tariff. A budget accommodation that does not weigh too much on your wallet definitely makes your trip more delightful. Annai Residence, Hotel Jayaram, and L’Escale are some of the budget hotels in Pondicherry which offer a value-for-money kind of experience.
The Many Tourist Attractions in Pondicherry:
Pondicherry beaches – Nothing matches the serenity and fun of visiting a beach. The lack of skyscrapers and the vast sight of water stretched till the horizon is a magnificent view to indulge in. The clean and well-maintained Auroville, Promenade, Paradise, and Serenity beaches of Pondicherry are a must-visit.
Lighthouse of 1836 – Built so many years ago, this signature lighthouse of Pondicherry is a witness of the gone times. You can no more enter the lighthouse, but even a look from the distance is worth it.
French War Memorial – Lives lost in wars are tragic and deserve honor. To this essence, the French War Memorial is a minimal construction of four pillars raised as a homage to the soldiers who died during the World War I.
Gandhi Statue – Great people are great sources of inspiration. The Gandhi Statue on the Promenade beach is a reminder of this. The eight pillars you would spot around the Gandhi Statue are monolithic structures from the 17th century. Simply an amazing sight!
Aurobindo Ashram – You would probably have heard of it already. Now is the time to visit this place which was founded by Sri Aurobindo in 1926. This serene place is home to those who seek spiritual bliss.
Auroville – In 1968, Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual collaborator, Mirra Alfassa, also known as the Mother, built this place. She built it with an aim to create a town that could be the shelter of all spiritual healings and transform individuals into better beings. Breathtakingly beautiful, Auroville is a delightful site to visit in Pondicherry. The place teaches calm and composure of mind, body, and soul.
Pondicherry through the dawn – Even if you are a night dweller who wakes up late through the day, this experience in the Pondy town is not to be missed. Fire up your alarm clock and set it to the sunrise time. What you would witness as you arise from the bed is a spectacular sight of the serene blue sky, the reddish yellow reflection of the arriving sun on the face of water, and a silhouette of the palms against the whole backdrop.
Pondicherry churches – The town boasts of 32 churches. The exquisite and grand French architecture is enchanting. The sight of the white structures against your sight is truly a peaceful feeling to undergo. Some of the popular churches here are: Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Sacred Heart Church, and Church of Our Lady Angels.
Chunnambar Boat House – Now this is not a houseboat if you are thinking so. It is the place where you can hire a high-speed boat and cruise into the sea for a jaunt along the beaches.
Ousteri or Osudu Lake – Slightly away from the main town, this is the place to visit if birdwatching is one of your hobbies. You would spot some migratory birds here.
Arikamedu – Here is a site of archeology in Pondicherry. It is believed that Arikamedu was a port of major trade between Ancient Rome and Tamil Nadu. Many sculptures and articles found here trace their origin to the era of Ancient Rome.
Pondicherry is a fascinating tourist destination for those with a liking for great places in India. It is surely worth the planning. It is even better if you make advance bookings in one of the hotels in Pondicherry to save time after your arrival. When you reach here, try the refreshing Scuba Diving, although the best time for this fun activity is either February to April or September to November. Savor the local cuisines of Pondicherry that makes this place just more special. Pondicherry has its own airport and the train connects it directly to Chennai.