Travel Experience - Best Places to Visit in Puducherry/Pondicherry

Puducherry, also known as Pondicherry, is the capital of the Puducherry Union Territory of India. This region of India has been under French occupation for almost 300 years and even today French architecture and culture can be seen here. In olden times it was the main center of trade with France. Puducherry was formerly the main city of the French colony in India called French India and was called Pondicherry. In September 2006, Pondicherry was officially renamed to Puducherry which means "new village" in the local Tamil language. It is situated on the Bay of Bengal. Today many tourists come here to get a glimpse of its beautiful beaches and erstwhile civilization. This place is very important not only from tourism point of view but also from spiritual and religious point of view. Due to this, lakhs of tourists come here every year.


TOURIST PLACES IN PUDUCHERRY


AUROBINDO ASHRAM PUDUCHERRY


Aurobindo Ashram was established in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo Ghosh. This ashram was led by Meera Alfassa till her death day, November 24, 1926, better known as 'Mother'. He also headed the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, which he founded in 1950 after the death of Sri Aurobindo. Children below the age of three years are not allowed in the ashram and photography is possible only after the special permission of the ashram management.  Accommodation and vegetarian food are available at a very low cost in Arvindo Ashram of Puducherry. With this, you can also take advantage of yoga and discourse there. Come, learn all the important things about staying at the Aurobindo Ashram.The main purpose of the guest house of Sri Aurobindo Ashram Society is to provide spiritual atmosphere. Since the demand for rooms in guest houses is very high, reservations should be made beforehand. Travelers can also take advantage of meditation and yoga here. However, non-vegetarian food, alcohol and domesticated animals are prohibited here. The check in time at the guest house is 2 pm and the check out time is 12 pm. The main gate of the guest house is open from 6 am to 11 pm.



AUROVILLE  PUDUCHERRY


Km from Pondicherry The remote Auroville (also called the early morning city) is a city where various nationalities and cultures meet. It is a city that is home to people from about 50 different countries and is widely considered to be a global city. Easily accessible by road, the city of Auroville is a beacon of cultural harmony and community life.  The city of Auroville, founded by Meera Alfassa, more famously called 'Maa', was started in 1968 as a project of the Sri Aurobindo Society. The idea of creating a universal place was the basis of establishing this city where men and women of all countries and cultures can live in harmony and thereby realize the dream of harmony and progress.   The city of Auroville consists of various areas such as peace zones, industrial zones, residential zones, international zones, cultural zones and green belts. The main attraction of this city is Matrimandir which attracts travelers due to its grandeur. Auro Beach is also located near the city which attracts travelers and tourists due to its beauty.


PARADISE BEACH, PUDUCHERRY


The beach is truly a paradise for people who love landscape photography. You will find many inspiring sights to capture even throughout the boat ride to the beach. Arriving after a spell of rains, the forest of mangroves on the river banks become a lush green blanket of leaves. As you approach closer to Paradise beach, the dark blue water of the Chunnambar river can be seen entering the sea at the 'sangamam'. On a perfectly bright day, you will enjoy various shades of blue stretching to the horizon and beyond. And if you are at the beach during sunrise, nature will put on an amazingly colorful show, a feast for your senses.
Timings: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


THE STATUE DUPLEIX,PUDUCHERRY


The Statue of Joseph Francois Dupleix, Governor of Pondicherry from 1742 to 1754, is located on the beach road. It is located in a children's park in Pondicherry. This statue is 2.88 m. Is long and is located at the southern end of the park. It was established by the French government in 1870 when their work for the French government received government recognition. At the same time another statue was established in France. This statue is located in the Gubert Avenue. This late governor was an integral part of French colonial India during its early period and contributed greatly to the objective of establishing French rule in India and was also noted as a qualified administrator. On coming to Pondicherry, it is suggested to visit the children's park and the statue located in it.


SACRED HEART CHURCH OF JESUS, PUDUCHERRY


Sacred Heart Church of Jesus is one of the most famous and important churches in Pondicherry. The church is designed in the Gothic style of architecture and attracts many tourists throughout the year. The most attractive and easily visible feature of this church is its stained glass windows that reflect the time of Jesus' life. This church is a place that gives the visitors a feeling of peace and peace. On December 17, 1907, a large number of people were gathered in this church for the first time. The township around the church was established in 1908. This church recently celebrated its centenary in the year 2008.
Timings: Monday - Saturday: 7:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Sunday: 8:00 AM - 6:30 PM


RAJ NIWAS, PUDUCHERRY


The Raj Niwas in Pondicherry is currently the official residence of the Loftinite Government of Pondicherry. Long ago the Raj Niwas was the official residence of Yusuf Francois Dupleix, the French Governor of Pondicherry. Historically, Pondicherry is a very important place and Pondicherry has been a witness to the social, political and cultural changes that have taken place over the centuries.


FRANCE WAR MEMORIAL, PUDUCHERRY


The France War Memorial in Pondicherry was built in memory of the war heroes who died in the First World War. This monument was built in 1971 and every year on July 14, Bastille Day, this monument is decorated with beautiful lights. On this day, tribute is paid to French martyrs. This tradition till date is a classic example of how Pondicherry is associated with its French roots. The memorial is located at the Goobert Avenue in Pondicherry and is open for travelers throughout the day. Once in Pondicherry, visit the memorial and pay tribute to the martyrs.


JAWAHAR TOY MUSEUM, PUDUCHERRY


The museum houses a wide range of dolls and toys collected from all over the country.The collection features around 140 dolls, all attired wonderfully in colorful dresses and each one carefully labeled. Also often referred to as doll museum, it is a delightful place to visit.


ARIKAMEDU


Arikamedu is a historical site. This place is 3 km from Pondicherry. Located on the tropical coast in the south. In Periplus it is called Pedoc. Archaeological Survey of India excavated at some places in Arikamedu in 1945 AD. The antiquities of a huge goods warehouse have been available in two sector excavations at Arikamedu. Arikamedu was built in 50 AD. Four sorted construction levels have been detected in sector two. The remains of pottery have been found from Arikamedu, which dates from the first century BCE to 200 AD. Many Roman items have been found in the remains from Arikamedu, including two-handled vases of wine, Roman lamps, Roman glass, etc. Remnants from Arikamedu reveal that Arikamedu was a prosperous trading port city on the eastern seaboard, with close trade links with China, Malaya and Rome. From here only Indian goods, beads, muslin, fragrant substances, perfumes, spices and silk were loaded, but according to the interest and samples of the Romans, goods were also manufactured and sent to Rome. From Rome, large quantities of gold came to India in exchange for these items. On the basis of various evidences, it can be said that the use of the Roman resident Arikamedu in the first century BC. Continued until the second century BCE. The Romans paid the value of goods mainly in gold currencies.
Timings: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM.


BOTANICAL GARDEN AND AQUARIUM


Botanical Gardens and Aquariums in Pondicherry Were founded in 1826 by Parrotte. The Botanical Garden is a collection of exotic plants that are of interest to biology students and researchers. This garden and aquarium is located near the south gate of the major bus stand and is spread over 22 acres of land. It became a major horticulture center in Pondicherry in 1960. The aquarium has a wide variety of marine life making it a popular tourist destination. It gives the visitors a unique glimpse of aquatic life. This garden has a children's train, a dancing fountain, some rare varieties of beautiful fish and six fountains.

LIGHTHOUSE PONDICHERRY


During the 19th century, the only landmark for the mariners arriving in Puducherry / Pondicherry was the Red Hills, 3 km towards the west of town. To provide the visitors from the ocean with right sight, the French planned to build a lighthouse. Following this, in March 1836 the old lighthouse was erected under the guidance of L. Guerre. After being into existence for years, in 1979 it was discontinued. In the same year came the present Lighthouse which is one of the most visited attractions in Pondicherry. The 157 ft high tower is a host to several cultural events, music fests and commercial activities.With the advancement in years, the difference between the two in terms of architecture is quite prominent.


MANAKULA VINAYAGAR TEMPLE


Built before the 15th century, the ancient Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple is located 400 meters away from the Bay of Bengal in White Town, Pondicherry. This shrine is dedicated to Bhavaneshar Ganapathy - a form of Lord Ganesha, who is known as the remover of obstacles. In Tamil, manal means pond and kulam means sand. When the temple was made, there was a pond full of sand close to it; hence, the name Manalkulam was given to the religious edifice. An ancient story associated with the temple states that almost 300 years ago, a saint named Thollaikkathu Siddhar attained samadhi in the premises of this pious site. Since then, it is believed that bringing newborn babies to this shrine before taking them to any other shrine is auspicious. Many festivals are celebrated in this religious complex throughout the year. Brahmothsavam is one of the major annual festivals celebrated here (August and September). Devotees and tourists come here from all corners of the country to seek blessings of the deity and to admire the splendor of this prominent place of worship. "


PONDICHERRY MUSEUM


Pondicherry Museum is another milestone which should not be missed once visiting Pondicherry. The museum has a gallery which has many sculptures and many important archaeological items dating back to the Arikamedu Roman system. This museum is a storehouse of rare artifacts of ancient times. The collection displayed here includes many rare brass statues and stones of the Chola and Pallava dynasties. The museum also has a very good collection of oysters brought from the Pondicherry region. This museum gives visitors an opportunity to learn about the colonial past of Pondicherry and provides a good insight into the colonial rule of France in India. On coming to Pondicherry it is very easy to come to Pondicherry Museum. It is located in Bharti Park.
Timings: Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM .

SRI GOKIAMBAL THIRUKAMESHWAR TEMPLE


Sri Gokilambal Thirukameswar Temple is also known as Villianur Temple. One of the famous temples around pondicherry, this shrine is not just a religious destination but a major tourist attraction as well, thanks to its marvelous architecture. The presiding deity here is Lord Shiva, worshipped in the form of Thirukameswar (Shiva Linga). Gokilambal refers to the goddess worshipped with Shiva in this temple. It is an ancient temple that dates back to the 12th century when this place was under the rule of the Chola dynasty. If legends are to be believed, a Chola king once suffered from leprosy. He worshipped Lord Shiva and got cured of his ailment. As a mark of his gratitude for the Lord, he built this temple.

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CATHEDRAL


One of the oldest tourist sites in the city, the cathedral was visited by Mother Teresa during her visit to Puducherry. Revel in the blissful ambiance. Attend the Holy Communion. It is also called as “Samba Kovil”, which is a phonetic corruption of “Saint Paul’s Kovil” where “Kovil” means church.  The Jesuit Fathers came to the French colony of Pondicherry as missionaries in 1689. There they bought a very large garden to the west of the French Fort. They wanted to build a church of their own faith. In the 1692 with the funds from Louis XIV, king of France, a church was established. In the following year it was demolished by the Dutch. A quick second church was built which too did not last long. A third church was built again which was razed by the British. A grander church was planned and work started. On 20 June 1791, the Church was consecrated by Bishop Champenois. The Bell tower and choir loft were added later. The Sanctuary was remodeled in the year 1970. Here, the mass is performed at 5:15 am to 6:15 am from Monday to Saturday while on Sundays; it begins at 5:00 pm.

HOW TO REACH PONDICHERRY

BY AIR
The nearest airport to Pondicherry is in Chennai. Regular domestic and international flights are available from Chennai Airport and hence it is a good option to fly from Chennai to Chennai from where you can go to Pondicherry which is only 139 km. is far.

BY TRAIN
Pondicherry has its own railway station, being a major union territory. Trains from all the major cities of the country stop at Pondicherry. Traveling to Pondicherry by train is also a good option.

BY ROAD
Pondicherry is well connected to the rest of the country by a good network of roads. Buses are available from cities like Coimbatore, Chennai and Madurai to get here. Tourists visiting Pondicherry can also travel to Pondicherry from Bangalore. The bus fare here is much cheaper than other parts of the country.










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