Pondicherry Tourism

Pondicherry is a union teritory which lies within the state of Tamil Nadu.The inherent ambience of Pondicherry becomes most evident in the oldest part of the town which flanks the seashore boulevard.Quiet beaches and peaceful resorts to the north and south balance the towns bustling, yet easy going life. But Pondy hasn't only its own special attractions to offer.

Colonial buildings which trace back to the 18th century, line along a grid of straight clean streets and house the French institutions, private homes and businesses, and the sprawling premises of the famous Sri Aurobindo Ashram. The visitor is greeted by mellow colours of cream, yellow, pink and grey with flamboyant bougainvillae bursting over gates and compound walls of cool courtyards.

It is a perfect base to explore the rich destinations around it, even in daily trips: Auroville, the international City of Unity; the imposing Gingee Fort, the holy temple towns of Kanchipuram, Tiruvannamalai and Chidambaram, the heritage sculptures and magnificent rock temples of Mamallapuram, and the cool and lush hillstations of Yercaud and Kodaikanal.

Pondicherry is an ideal getaway if one wants to getaway from the maddening crowds and rush of the city. Pondicherry is also famous for the Aurobindo Ashram, an international institution that teaches the practice of yoga. This city has always been one of the calm and quiet in comparison to other Indian cities. Pondicherry still offers exquisite hand made papers and pottery also one can enjoy the French flavor that has captivated this town for a long while know. The earliest description of the city of Pondicherry can be traced back to 2nd century B.C.


By Air - Nearest airport is situated at Chennai, located 135-km from the city.

By Rail - Pondicherry is connected with a meter gauge link with Chennai via Villupuram by the Pondicherry Express which is 36 km. from the city.

By Road - Pondicherry has a good network of roads, which connects it with most of South India.


The Best Time to Visit Pondicherry is Between October to March.


Plage Paradiso ( Paradise Beach ) - At Chunnambar, 8 kms from the town, along Cuddalore Main Road , lies this stretch of tropical paradise. Flanked h a quiet-flowing creek on one side. In fact, you can sail downstream to the sands and pitch up a cozy seaside tent for yourself. Overnighting within the tree-houses on the backwater banks provides a relishing experience of the great outdoors.

Aurobindo Ashram - The main building comprises the houses of Shri Aurobindo and The Mother (Mirra Alfassa, a French woman who accepted Aurobindo as her spiritual mentor and guide and later became his most important disciple). In the courtyard are the samadhis of Aurobindo and The Mother where their mortal remains have been enshrined. Visitors are allowed to visit the samadhi between 8am and 6pm everyday. The other places of interest in the Ashram complex are the International Education Centre, guest houses, libraries and the cottage industries.

Karaikal Beach - Sunrise-watchers can catch their magnificent view over the bay, with the pretty Arasalar river reaching out to the sea. Alternatively, you can canoe or kayak in picture-book surroundings. Have a round of beach volley ball. Or, armed with the angling gear, you can reel in a surprise.

Government Park - The Government Park is the centre of old colonial part of the town and provides a cool and lush green anchor around which most government buildings are situated: the Lt. Governor's Palace, the Legislative Assembly, Government Hospital, but also the Ashram Dining Room in a beautiful Villa, the Cercle de Pondichery, which is a private club, and old Hotel Qualité.

Jimper - This is one of the foremost medical institutions in the country. JIPMER, which is Jawaharlal Institute of Post-graduate Medical Education and Research, was established 20 years ago and is one of the most prestigious institutions of its kind in the country.

Botanical Gardens - Just off West Boulevard, the gardens planned by C.S. Perrotet in 1826, have a good collection of exotic flowering plants from India and abroad. There is also an aquarium here which has some rare species of ornamental fish.

Pondocherry Museum - Opened in 1984, this museum has on display some fine antiques apart from sections devoted to archaeology, geology, sculpture, handicrafts, objects of art, printing and armaments. Among the exhibits on display are the bed used by Dupleix, a palanquin and a pousse-pousse which resembles a rickshaw.

Auroville (10kms) - This city of dawn was designed by the French architect Roger Arger and was started as an experimental commune where people of all nationalities irrespective of caste, creed or religion would live together in harmony. About 550 people from different countries live in the 40 settlements of Auroville. It is advisable to hire bicycles to look around as the village is too large to wander through on foot. Surrounded by lakes and gardens, the sphere shaped Matri Information Centre at Promesse the first stop is Here, a 25 hectare farm and orchard where organic agriculture has been practised successfully.

French Institute - Situated on Dumas street, this internationally acclaimed institute was established by the renowned French Indologist Dr. J. Fillozet in 1995. The institute has separate sections on science, technology, ecology, cartography, pedagogy, Indian languages and culture. The Romain Rolland Library has a collection of over 60,000 books, some of which are rare French volumes. The institute conducts research in arts and sciences and is perhaps the only permanent link with France in Pondicherry.

Chunnambar Water Sports Centre - Facilities for boating are available at the Boat House on the River Chunnambar, 8 kms from Pondicherry. The backwater and the lush greenery on both sides of Chunnambar provide an ideal setting. Boats are available on hire on all days of the week.


There few good restaurants in town.

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