Auroville

Auroville is a futuristic township also called as “City of Dawn” which was created with the idea of all humans living together in harmony. The main attraction is the golden globe (Matrimandir), at the centre of Auroville. It is a tranquil location dedicated to sustainability which provides an escape from the outside world.







Sri Aurobindo Ashram

Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry was founded in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo. The Ashram hosts many meditation activities and focuses on spirituality and yoga as a means for inner peace. The mausoleum of Sri Aurobindo can be found at the centre of the ashram.





Puducherry Museum

Trace the French roots and even older histories at the Puducherry museum. Explore the wonderful collection of artifacts, relics and historic treasures. From archeological findings of Arikamedu Roman settlement, to Chola and Pallava dynasties, there are various eras of history preserved here.

Listed among the top attractions in Pondicherry, the museum has stone-carved statues, bronze sculptures of Indian Gods and Goddesses, fossilized trunks of ancient trees, models of modes of transportation, brass temple lamps, church relics, handicrafts, coins, shells and fossils. A completed section is dedicated to the history and legendary French colonial information. Do check out the painting gallery which has colonial prints, Tanjore paintings as well as contemporary works in glass, colors, pastels, and oils.



Arikamedu

Arikamedu is a heritage site located about 7km south of Pondicherry. It is the only surviving historical place in South India with a cultural continuity from 300 BC-1800 AD which was acquired by the Archaeological survey of India since 2004. It flourished as an Indo Roman trade centre during the 1st century BC.







Light house

The Lighthouse is one of the remarkable landmarks in Pondicherry. Puducherry has two lighthouses, an old one and the new one.  Originally built by the French, the old light house has been closed for public appearance but the new light house serves as a spot which gives its visitors the most amazing bird’s eye view of the city.



Promenade beach

This beach is a favourite destination for tourists and locals alike and stretches along the coastline of the city of Pondicherry, starting from the war memorial and ending at the Dupleix Park on the Goubert Avenue. There are some sea facing restaurants which offer local culinary delights.







Serenity beach

This pristine beach is flanked by palm trees and golden sands. It also has a good view of the Bay of Bengal stretching into the vast expanse. It is located towards the northern side of Pondicherry and is easily accessible from the Pondicherry bus stand. The beach is also a photographer’s delight with the tall palm trees on the side and waves of the sea across the backdrop of the horizon giving an enchanting view.



Paradise beach

The beach route between Pondicherry town and Paradise Beach itself is mesmerizing with its thick mangrove forest cover making the backwaters appear green. Some rare bird species also call this place home. Apart from its picturesque beauty, the beach also offers some exciting water adventures.







Ousteri lake

Also referred to as Osudu Lake, it is situated about 10 kms from Puducherry town and has been recognized as one of the important wetlands of Asia by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). This freshwater lake is a home for a variety of flora and fauna with a complex structure comprising of wetland, mudflats, and water.



Paradise beach

Auroville beach is located about 12 km from Pondicherry near Auroville. Its shallow waters and small waves make it an ideal place for swimming. The long stretch of beach has many points of entry and exit with hotels and guest houses along the shore.





Places to Visit in Pondicherry

If you are here only for one day, a trip to the French Colony should definitely top the list. This part of the town has numerous attractions and delightful architecture that would indulge your senses.

The French Colony, also known as the White Town area, this two-century-old French quarter of Pondicherry is a must-visit. One can find a plethora of interesting colonial places dotting the lanes. The French influence is so great that even the streets are named in French. The grid-like patterned streets are also reflective of how the ancient planned city of Rome was built. Here are a few places to visit in the French colony of Pondicherry in a day:

1. La Maison Rose, Pondicherry

La Maison Rose is an excellent example of old French colonial architecture that has been converted into three boutique shops – Domus, Oh la la and Amethyst. While here, you can shop for unique souvenirs, jewellery and clothes. The interiors of the La Maison Rose retain the vintage allure supplemented with books and paintings of the bygone era.

  • Location: Romain Rolland Street
  • Timings: 10.30 AM – 10.30 PM, all days of the week

2. Villa Helena, Pondicherry

Villa Helena, a heritage hotel with a beautiful garden restaurant, is another fine example of an old colonial-style building in White Town. Vacationers can enjoy sumptuous multi-cuisine food and cocktails here, while soaking in the old-world charm of the place.

  • Location: Bussy Street
  • Timings: 12 Noon – 3 PM, 7 PM – 10 PM, all days of the week

3. Eglise De Notre Dame Des Anges, Pondicherry

The Eglise De Notre Dame Des Anges is one of the oldest churches in the White Town area, built in the 18th Also known as the Church of Our Lady of Angels, this magnificent church is an architectural feat that resembles the Basilica at Lourdes in France. From the church, you can see the pristine green waters of the Bay of Bengal. Apart from a towering statue of Mother Mary holding baby Jesus, this historical site has an intricate statue of Joan of Arc. Another interesting trivia is that the only mass in Pondicherry is held here.

  • Location: Dumas Street and Surcoof Street
  • Timings: 7.00 AM – 6.30 PM

4. Rock Beach, Pondicherry

It is one of the most beautiful beaches in Pondicherry, and is also known as Gandhi Beach or Promenade Beach. It stretches for about 1.5 km and offers an amazing view of the scenic landscape and the iconic landmarks that surround it.

  • Timings: 24 hours
  • Activities: Enjoy a leisurely stroll admiring the panorama

5. French War Memorial, Pondicherry

If you are a history enthusiast, you must definitely visit the French War Memorial built in 1937, dedicated to the martyrs of World War I. Located near the beach, the memorial serves as the venue for Bastille Day celebrations on July 14 every year.

  • Location: Goubert Avenue
  • Timings: 10.00 AM – 5.00 PM, all days of the week.

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