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Pondicherry – A French City In India

Pondicherry is a mesmerizing place with an impression from a French colonial past. Also known as Puducherry, this place lies sun soaked on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal in Tamil Nadu state. The beautiful beaches always invite you to spend quality time there like for a romantic date, river cruise or camping at seaside. The Pondicherry Travel Guide goes for a stroll through streets with French names or dig deep into the colorful market place. The fact we were unaware was this popular tourist destination is a union territory of India. Pondicherry tourism is famous for it’s architecture, mosques, churches, culture and it’s food. It’s very popular because of it’s connection with French. Pondicherry Travel Guide provides information about this region. Location of Pondicherry is about 162 km south of Chennai (Madras). The languages spoken in the region includes Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam along with English and French.

 

 
Walk the Tracks/Sightseeing:

Pongal:

Dedicated to the Sun God, this is the most revered festival in South India. Celebrated every year in the month of January, this 4-day festival marks the onset of a new year. There is a festive spirit in every corner of the town as people decorate their houses, buy new clothes, offer prasad and prayers to the deity.

Pondicherry Museum:

Pondicherry museum is the best place in Pondicherry for historians, archeologist and art lovers as the Pondicherry Museum has on display a fantastic collection of sculptures, handicrafts, archaeological findings from the Arikamedu Roman settlement and items from the French colonial time such as furniture and coins, among other things.

Sri Aurobindo Ashram:

Pondicherry is synonymous with the Aurobindo Ashram. This Ashram is 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.

Do visit the library and the crafts centers that make everything from perfumes to Ayurvedic medicines. One can also buy handmade paper mâché dolls from the ashram’s factory or gorge on mouthwatering pizzas at Pizza D’Auro, a popular eatery close to the Ashram. There is also a cafeteria in the ashram that serves snacks, meals, and desserts.

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus:

This is one of the highly revered religious places in Pondicherry which is located on the south boulevard of the town. This magnificent church is an excellent example of Gothic architecture and is adorned with colorfully stained glass panels illustrating the life events …

The very quaint victory monument – French War Memorial is located in White Town, Pondicherry. To commemorate the martyrs of the First World War, this elegant structure was built in the year 1971

French war Memorial:

The French War Memorial is beautifully illuminated to pay homage to those valiant soldiers on 14th July every year – the occasion of Bastille Day (French National Day). People from the city and beyond visit the memorial to offer respect and veneration.

This has been built in the center of the beautiful Bharati Park, Park Monument (Aayi Mandapam) is one of the most iconic structures of Pondicherry. Named after a famous female courtesan named ‘Aayi’, this monument was built during the period of Napoleon III in the 16th century. According to folklore, Aayi destroyed her own house to build a reservoir to supply water in the city.

Park Monument or Aayi Mandapam:

This is an imposing milky white structure that flaunts brilliant Greco-Roman architecture. The presence of flowerbeds, well-manicured lawns and gorgeous fountains around the monument greatly accentuates its exquisiteness.

With a well maintained and vast shoreline that is lined with dense palm groves, this Paradise beach truly exudes romance at every step. Frequented by beach lovers and honeymoon couples from all corners of the country and beyond, this beach stretches over several miles.

Paradise Beach:

With it’s undamaged and vast shoreline that is lined with dense palm groves, this Paradise beach truly exudes romance at every step. Frequented by beach lovers and honeymoon couples from all corners of the country and beyond, this beach stretches over several miles. This is Located along Cuddalore Main Road, approximately 8 kilometers from the city centre, this beach is easily accessed by boat. There are many upscale resorts and well-decorated restaurants on the beachside that await tourists to step in.

Ousteri Lake:

One of the best picturesque attraction, Ousteri Lake or Osudu Lake is worth a visit. Located at a distance of approximately 10 kilometers from Pondicherry, this spectacular water body covers a surface area of 390 hectares.
It’s been recognized by The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) as one of Asia’s important wetlands. Consisting of water, marsh, and mudflats, this site is inhabited by more than 40 migratory birds. Golden Oriole, Painted Stork, White Ibis, Openbill Stork, Tailor Bird and Spotted Owlets are some of the unique bird species that can be seen here. Apart from bird watching, you can indulge in boating at this lake.

Best time to Visit this beautiful place:

 

Pondicherry is a magnificent place for art lovers and travelers. There is a humidity as well as it’s close to the seashore. Best time to visit this place is in during the winters. That is one can visit this place from November to March.

Getting There:

By Air

The airport at Pondicherry can accommodate the landing of a small aircraft only and has flights coming in from Bangalore and Hyderabad. However, you can get a connecting flight if you are coming from Delhi, Kochi, Kolkata, and Mumbai. Chennai is the second nearest domestic as well as international airport which is approximately 135 kilometers away from Pondicherry. The Chennai airport is well connected to all major cities across the globe. Once you reach the airport, you can hire a private taxi to reach Pondicherry.

By Train

The nearest rail station from Pondicherry is Villupuram, which is about 35 kilometers away from the town. The railhead is well-connected to cities like New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, and Trivandrum. Two of the most popular trains are New Delhi Pondicherry Express and Nagercoil Express. Once you reach at the station, you can hire a taxi that will drive you to the city.

By Bus
There are several buses that ply frequently from Chennai, Thanjavur, Trichy, Coimbatore, Bangalore, and Madurai to Pondicherry. Both private and state-owned buses are available. The bus fare will depend upon the distance covered

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