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Pondicherry (Puducherry) - A City With Colonial Grandeur

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Pondicherry, officially known as Puducherry since 2006, is the capital city of the union territory known by the same name. Both the city and the territory boast of a rich legacy inherited from French colonialism which has contributed massively to the unique culture and heritage of the region. The union territory of Pondicherry is constitutive of four coastal provinces that are spread across three Indian states: Yanam (in Andhra Pradesh), Pondicherry city, Karaikal (both situated on eastern coasts of Tamil Nadu) and Mahe (located across the western coasts of Kerala).

Placed on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, the city of Pondicherry lies at a distance of about 162 km from Chennai. The region was under the French rule and was a major French colony from 16704 until 1954. The French enjoyed an uninterrupted rule in Pondicherry for about three centuries and left a great legacy which has manifested best the culture and architecture of the city.

A Potpourri Of Sightseeing Choices - Tourist Places In And Around Pondicherry

For a traveller who seeks a diversified travel experience, Pondicherry offers an excellent destination. The city has four fine beaches namely the Promenade Beach, Paradise Beach, Serenity Beach and Auroville Beach, which presents visitors with a rejuvenating holidaying experience. Another chief attraction of the place is the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, one of the best-known ashrams and meditation centres in India.

Auroville city, also known as the City of Dawn, attracts tourists with its unique culture, heritage monuments and architecture. Pondicherry houses a number of monuments and statutes including the Gandhi Statue, the Matrimandir, the French War Memorial, Joseph Francois Dupleix statue and the marble statue of Joan of Arc, located on Goubert Avenue. Other attractions of the city which demand a visit include the Pondicherry Museum, Jawahar Toy Museum, the Botanical Garden, Ousteri Wetland and National Park, the Bharathidasan Museum, Arikamedu, the Statue of Dupleix and the Raj Niwas.

The city has an interesting amalgam of religious places that consist of churches and Hindu temples. The most visited religious spots of Pondicherry are the Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges (also known as The Church of Our Lady of Angels), the Church of Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple, Varadaraja Perumal Temple and Kanniga Parameswari Temple.

City Of Unique Architectures

Pondicherry, a city blessed with sea and unique architecture, gives a mind-blowing experience to travellers when explored on feet. The entire city is constructed in a grid pattern and is best known for its significant degree of French influence. Many streets of the city have French names and palatial houses as well as villas, built in colonial architecture, that offer a magnificent sight to the visitors.

The city is separated into two quarters namely the French Quarter (also known as White Town or Ville Blanche) and the Indian quarter (known otherwise as Black Town or Ville Noire). The former is characterised by building built in typical colonial architecture and the latter boasts of ancient Tamil styles and designs. The fusion of these two unique styles gives the city of Pondicherry an air of elegance and distinctiveness.

Amazing Cuisines

Pondicherry, with its culture imbued with French and Tamil influences, offers a mosaic of culinary wonders to food lovers. Travellers can enjoy authentic French baguettes, brioches and pastries in this city along with traditional Tamil and Kerala cuisines. Le Club, Blue Dragon, Statsanga, Rendezvous, Sea Gulls, Le Café, La Coromandel and La Terrasse are some of the recommended places for an exquisite dining experience.

The streets and boutiques of the city serve as a paradise for those who enjoy shopping. The wide-ranging array of handicrafts, fabrics, stones, wooden sculptures, mats, pottery, perfumes, incenses, mirror works, lamps and candles offer an excellent shopping experience to those who stroll through the city. International Yoga Festival during December, the French Food Festival during the month of August and the shopping festival of January rate among the most frequented festivals of the region.

How To Reach Pondicherry

The city of Pondicherry enjoys good connectivity by rail and road. The region is pleasantly weathered and draws travellers from across the globe all through the year.

Best Time To Visit Pondicherry

With its unique cultural traits, excellent food varieties and a wide range of sightseeing options, Pondicherry is a true delight to travellers who long for a different travel experience.

Pondicherry is Famous for

Pondicherry Weather

Pondicherry
24oC / 75oF
  • Clear
  • Wind: ENE 20 km/h

Best Season / Best Time to Visit Pondicherry

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • July
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

How to Reach Pondicherry

  • By Road
    Pondicherry is well connected to the rest of the country by a good network of roads. Frequent bus services are available to Pondicherry from different parts of Tamil Nadu like Coimbatore, Chennai and Madurai. Buses bound for Pondicherry also start from Bangalore. Travelling by bus is the best option to get to and get around Pondicherry.
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  • By Train
    Pondicherry has its own railway station, being a very prominent Union territory. Trains from all major cities in the country stop at Pondicherry. Travelling to Pondicherry by train is also a feasible option.
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  • By Air
    The closest airport to Pondicherry is at Chennai. The airport at Chennai has regular domestic and international services and hence it’s a feasible option to travel to Chennai by flight and then travel to Pondicherry which is only 139km away.
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