The City with French Flavour
Pondicherry offers a fine blend of gorgeous beaches, reminiscent of French colonial rule and unique culture. Officially known as 'Puducherry', the city positions itself in the Southern corner of India. It served as the capital of Pondicherry union territory. The city offers an amalgamation of east and west and facilitates travellers to experience south Indian culture as well as French architectural colonies. Acclaimed for its palm-fringed beaches, serene backwaters, spiritual sites, dramatic fishing villages and Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry tourism attracts visitors from far and wide.
The history of Pondicherry alias Puducherry dates back to 200 years ago. It was among the first cities in India that came under the rule of French colony. With an intention to annex Pondicherry from the French, the British declared numerous attacks but are of no use. Finally in 1793, the British conquered the land by taking advantage of their inner conflicts. The struggle for freedom started from here. In 1954, the Govt. of India and France came on unison and Pondicherry was unified with Indian union.
Major Tourist Attractions in Pondicherry
Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Founded in 1920, Sri Aurobindo Ashram is the abode of Sri Aurobind and the revered Mother Mirra Richard, known as Maa. They spent most time of their life at the place. This is the seat of peace. Sri Aurobindo delivered sermon of a peaceful community from this Ashram. The ashram encompasses various buildings. The dwellers are of a diverse community of 1200 members with 400 students of the Centre of Education. The Samadhi of Sri Aurobindo draws a lot of respect from his followers.
This is the true specimen of community living and flourishing. Perceived as a “Universal Town”, Auroville is the place where people with different cultures, beliefs and nationalities live in peace. This wonderful city of community living was initiated by Maa, the revered disciple of Sri Aurobindo. Still the development is on. Matrimandir, a modern architectural wonder, is a special draw here.
Serving as an enchanting tourist attraction in the city, Botanical Garden was established in the year 1826. It envelops a good variety of exotic plants and has an aquarium. The aquarium showcases many sea living organisms, including a variety of fish flora. A Flower Show is organized here in February, which is another major draw of the garden.
The Pondicherry museum houses a rich collection of sculptures. Visitors can also find here a nice collection of snail shells, which are brought from the Pondicherry. Some specimen of the sculptures from Pallava and Chola temples are also exhibited in the sculpture gallery.
French War Memorial
Lies in the famous Goubert Avenue, the French War Memorial is a remarkable structure for those soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the First World War. Annual ceremony is celebrated every year on 14th July. During the period, it gets illuminated beautifully.
Best Time to Visit
Between October and March.
Pondicherry is known for its culinary integration. Bona Fide French Baguettes, Pastries and Brioches are the famous eating items. Tourists can savour French Food at the local restaurants. Traditional Indian food is also available.
Shopping in Pondicherry mainly includes leather bags, wallets and sandals. Tourists can also purchase handmade batik paper and incense sticks.
There are ample options to stay in Pondicherry. The accommodation ranges from guest house, hotels and lodges.
How to Reach
Pondicherry is well-linked to Chennai with regular rail services. Chennai can be easily accessed from all the major cities of the country.
An excellent network of wide roads and regular bus service from all the nearby cities make it easy to reach the city.