Pondicherry, also known as Puducherry, is the capital of the Union Territory of Pondicherry and also one of the most popular tourist destinations in South India. Located along the Coromandel Coast, Pondicherry is a former French colony and has been touted as the French Riviera of the East. Popularly called as Pondi, this pretty little town is known for its astounding beauty, large boulevards, brightly painted houses with high compound walls, colonial buildings, gothic churches, classic heritage monuments, serene beaches and authentic French cuisine. For eager travelers, backpackers and families alike, Pondicherry is the perfect holiday destination to experience the best of French culture and history.There are so many places to visit and experience Pondicherry Tourism. Here is the list of 5 best Places to visit in Pondicherry.
Pondicherry Beach or Promenade Beach is one of the most popular places to visit in Pondicherry along the coast of Bay of Bengal. This beach is also known by multiple names like Rock Beach due to rocks along the beach, Gandhi Beach because of statue of Mahatma Gandhi. It is a 1.5 km long stretch of rocky beach with benches and wide pavement for morning and evening walks. This is one of the wonderful locations to observe some of the most amazing sunrises in India. The beach has statues of Jeanne d’Arc Dupleix, Mahatma Gandhi, and War Memorial. There is also a 27 m tall old Lighthouse near this place.
Spread over an area of 22 acres, Botanical Gardens is one of the most visited Pondicherry Tourist Places and is also a famous retreat for locals as well as tourists. The main gate of the garden is reminiscent of French architecture and is in contrast with the Old Tamil Town around. The garden was laid out in 1826 in an ornate French style with pruned trees, beautiful flower beds, gravel lined paths and fountains.
Though the garden was started by the French colonists, Perrottet was instrumental in transforming the place into a botanical garden in 1831. Visitors can see his memorial in the center of Botanical Gardens. The musical fountain show in the evenings of weekends makes Botanical Garden look even more enchanting. It also boasts of a Japanese rock structure and an aquarium.
Paradise Beach is an isolated beach located at Chunnambar near Pondicherry. This is one of the most popular beaches of Pondicherry and also one of the best Pondicherry tourist places. The beach attracts large number of tourists due to its smooth sand and crystal clear waters. Also known as Plage Paradiso, this beach offers spectacular boating facilities in Chunnambar River, with the lush green plantations and backwaters in the backdrop. This beach is famed for its lovely sunbathing options and resting under the cool breeze of palm trees. Beach volleyball, water sports equipment, beach umbrellas, nets and fishing rods are also available at Paradise Beach.
Auroville is an experimental township and a universal town of humanity, where people can live peacefully, irrespective of nationality, colour, caste and creed. It was founded by Mirra Alfassa in 1968 and was designed by the French architect Roger Anger. The purpose of Auroville was to emphasize human unity and was endorsed by UNESCO and the Government of India. Auroville houses the Matrimandir at the center. It is a 100 foot high spherical structure with the lotus bud shaped foundation. Its outer walls are decorated by gold-encased discs. The structure has an exquisite meditation chamber of white marble floor and walls. It is described as a place of perfect peace immersed in light refracted through a prism inserted in the topmost part of the dome. It has around twelve gardens, lakes and an amphitheater. Paradise beach is must include tourist place in all Pondicherry Tour Packages.
Sri Aurobindo Ashram is an ashram and a spiritual center located in Pondicherry. Founded by Sri Aurobindo and Mirra Alfassa, The Mother, in 1926, it is one of the major highlights of Pondicherry and is visited by thousands of people from all over the world. The ashram is also the place of Samadhi of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. It is one of the most popular places to visit in Pondicherry for those who wish to attain eternal peace and harmony. It comprises several buildings and there are around 1,200 members along with 400 students living in this center. Thousands of tourists, followers and visitors come here during festivals.