Away from loud scream of city lifestyles, Pondicherry, the “City of Dawn” is bustle free town of the south coastal region of India. The distinctive connection with France, the cunning colonial architectural building with heritage, the tree fringed thoroughfare, the spiritual cityscapes, the very distant virgin beaches and unique backwater and with many attributes Pondicherry converted in Puducherry draws tourists from all over the world. It is the ideal holiday destination to spend the vacations if the globetrotters wish to get peacefulness and tranquility in pristine nature while in trip.
Puducherry, Yanam, Karaikal and Mahe- these four coastal regions have helped to form this Union Territory. Among these four exclaves two regions namely Puducherry and Karaikal are situated on the east side of Tamil Nadu. On the other hand, West coast of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala grabs other two French Indian enclaves viz. Yanam and Mahe.
The former French colony of Puducherry has been converted into Union Territory of India on the 7th January, 1963 and this Union Territory has been renamed as Puducherry on 20th September, 2006. Since the French rule, travel enthusiasts had an eagerness to experience the attraction of this place and nowadays this interest has increased in many dimensions.
Pondicherry or Puducherry is flourished with myriads of tourist attractions. 10 most of the popular places to visit in Pondicherry are described below for the tour enthusiasts.
Auroville is an international village girdled by greeneries along with cashew nut plants. This picturesque village is located at a distance of 8km from Main Pondicherry city. Auroville is the dream come true endeavor of Mother Mira Alfassa. Her dream was to set up a village where people would live peacefully and united irrespective of cast, color and creed.
Read : Plan your trip to India
A lotus shaped urn which is called “Matri Mandir” is the center of attraction of this village made of different soils from 124 countries. Tourists from all over the India and outside of country come to acquire the knowledge of Supramental Consciousness.
The Sri Aurobindo Ashram is one of the attractions in Pondicherry. On the 24th November of 1926 this hermitage was brought into being by famous Indian freedom fighter Sri Aurobindo and his spiritual collaborator Mira Alfassa. This ashram is based on yoga sermon where seekers of the truth come to gain an understanding of the art of living.
Nowadays this center of the religious retreat is the address of more than 1500 spiritual admirers from various places of the globe. Instead of being different community, the goal of life of every seeker is same under the spiritual guidance of Sri Aurobindo and Mira Alfassa. The credo of the harmonious community, orchid garden, a tomb of Aurobindo is very alluring for the travel lovers all over the world.
Pondicherry Museum is located in the heart of the town. A large number of sculptures and historic or prehistoric stone artifacts from an ancient port Arikamedu which are supposed to be the Roman Settlements of 2000 years ago are conserved in this museum.
Apart from these findings, some rare graven figures, statues and bronze sculptures of Chola and Pallava dynasties draw the tourist attraction magically. The historians and archeologists from the group of trippers may collect the thorough knowledge regarding the French colonial lifestyle from this museum in Pondicherry.
French War Memorial
Goubert Avenue, Pondicherry is the location of French War Memorial which was constructed in 1971. It is the cenotaph of these great soldiers who attained martyrdom in World War I for the country. A massive statue of Mahatma Gandhi attracts the tourists vie with in front of this memorial. This memorial is gracefully embellished with variety of lighting fixtures on 14th July every year.
This day is considered as Bastille Day on which date inhabitants of Pondicherry and nearby cities pay homage to the great martyrs. It is needless to say that this memorial is truly famous among visitors and one of the best tourist places in Pondicherry.
Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple
Among various temples in Pondicherry Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple is the oldest temple. The location of this Hindu temple is M.G Road of Pondicherry. To witness the old shrine of 600 AD tourists from different countries make crowd in this Union Territory. The engraved pillars of this temple are the perfect carrier of Dravidian architecture. The colorful pyramidal towers in this temple hold the models of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. This temple is devoted to Varadaraja Perumal who is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
However, the temple is accomplished with the statues of central characters of Ramayana i.e Rama, Laxman, Sita and Lord Hanuman. All idols are collected from the sea. The local fishermen brought these idols one after one. Even another incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Lord Narashimha is increasing the beauty of the temple. It is one of the most popular pilgrimage spots in not only Pondicherry, rather in South India.
Pondicherry’s southern part of new bus stand is the location of an important tourist spot for the travel enthusiasts. It is an old Botanical Garden founded almost 200 years ago. The touch of French influence is everywhere in this garden. The main entrance is structured in such a way that it doesn’t signify the Tamil style.
Being situated in a Tamil town, the Botanical Garden is uniquely adorned by French architectures. The pound stoned paths, abundant trees, an ornamental and musical fountain make the entire garden center of attraction for the visitors. The French horticulturist and botanist George S. Perrottet designated the place as Botanical Garden in 1931.
Basilica The Sacred Heart of Jesus
Consecrated Basilica The Sacred Heart of Jesus on 17th December, 1907 at the boulevard of Pondicherry. The cathedral was built according to gothic architectural pattern and this church has become the pride of Christian community throughout the world. It was constructed with 24 columns on a base of 50 meters length and 48 meters breadth.
The amazing stained glass of windows of this cathedral with representation of devoted 28 saints has brought this 18 meter high construction to the height of popularity. A beautiful grotto along with devotion chapel and Parish Hall beckons the globetrotters.
As Pondicherry is situated on the coastal line of Bay of Bengal, numbers of beaches flourish the place to become one of the most enjoyable holiday destinations in India. Among the beaches, Promenade Beach is the main attraction of Pondicherry tourism. Besides the turquoise blue sea water, cool and refreshing breeze Promenade Beach is adorned with loads of statues of prominent international personalities and buildings.
Due to the existence of statue of Joan of Arc to Dupleix Statue and Mahatma Gandhi Statue, from Heritage Town Hall to Old Light House, the Promenade Beach is always crowded with tourists of different cultures. This Pondicherry beach is perfect place for evening strolling in calm and refreshing environment.
Ousteri Lake and National Park
Ousteri lake and National Park is another tourist attraction of Pondicherry. It is situated in between Pondicherry and Villuppuram Road with almost 4 square kilometers in area. This man-made fresh water lake has been acknowledged as one of the significant wetlands in Asia by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Natural and Natural Resources).
This famous lake is enriched with myriad types of flora and fauna. In winter and summer season the wetland is full of migratory birds along with a vi-fauna and wide range of vegetation. Due to the presence of golden oriole, white breasted water hen, open bill stork, white ibis, tailor bird, painted stork and many more species trippers love to visit this water-body with full of interest. Pondicherry Tourist Development Corporation and Forest Department has many plans regarding this spot.
Firstly it is planned to be developed on the border of Vedanthangal Bird sanctuary of Chennai. For safe keeping of migratory birds and for ecological importance, the adjacent water-body will be litter-free, horn-free and plastic-free zone shortly. Currently the house-boat service is the best part of this wetland. So it is needless to say that a dime a dozen of shutterbugs cannot leave the scope to take endless snaps of this panoramic natural beauty.
Bharati Park is commonly known as Government Park is the perfect greenery of Pondicherry, the French Town. The wide presence of variety trees provides solace from the scorching heat of sun in summer time. The park is very popular public area due to its amazing features. A small pond offers swimming opportunity for the children coming to the Bharati Park.
This area is decorated with multiple granite benches where visitors can take rest. Even sauntering under the cool shades of trees is really dynamic experience for every visitor. Another attraction of this park is Aayi Mandapam from which the park has been divided into four equal parts. Trippers may experience countless ancient sculptures besides these four lanes.
The Raj Nivas and The Museum have stately constructed buildings in the Bharati Park or Government Park. The Raj Nivas is the palace of former French Governor of this Union Territory and The Museum houses loads of excavated collection of a historic and prehistoric era.