‘You don’t need magic to disappear. All you need is a destination’
Pondicherry is the largest Union territory in India and is the capital of Puducherry district. It was a former French colonial settlement until 1954. This place has been officially identified by its alternative name Puducherry in Tamil since 2006. This city achieved its identity only after the arrival of French, Dutch, Portuguese and British colonialists. Pondicherry is also a notable tourist destination in India as it is decorated by many colonial buildings, structures, statues, temples, and churches. This city is linked to Chennai via the scenic East Coast Road through Mahabalipuram.
Pondicherry sightseeing places:
If you are planning to buy Pondicherry tour packages, you need to know about these places.
Auroville, founded by the ‘Mother’ Mira Alfassa, is basically a global city in South India committed to the ideal of human unity- an observation of Sri Aurobindo. It is a place where men and women from diverse countries can unite and stay in harmony. The opening and closing time of Auroville is as given: Monday- Saturday: 9:30 AM- 12:30 PM, 2:00 PM – 4:30 PM and during Sunday 9:30 AM- 12:30 PM.
Located at Marine St, White town Sri Aurobindo Ashram is one of the famous Ashrams in India. Devotees from various parts of India come to visit this Ashram. Children below 3 years of ages are not allowed to get into the Ashram. Photography is allowed only after it is permitted by the Ashram authority. Shri Aurobindo Ashram opens at 8:00 AM and closes at 6:00 PM.
Next, to the Aurobindo Ashram, there is Manakula Vinayakar Temple a holy place in Pondicherry. This sacred temple was constructed nearly about three centuries ago and still remains in its magnificent prestige. It is located in Francois Martin St, White town. Its opening and closing time are as given: Monday to Friday 5:45 AM- 12:30 PM and 4:00 AM- 9:00 PM.
Pondicherry Museum is an excellent gallery of sculptures, bronze weapons, handicrafts from Pallava and Chola dynasties. This ancient museum is located at Saint Louis Street just opposite to the Raj Nivas. This place is opened from 10 AM- 5:00 PM from Monday to Saturday.
Located at Ranga Pillai Street, Bharathi Park is the most appreciated popular public space in town. It is called the green center of the city; as it’s a kind of place where residents can breathe a sigh of relief in the lap of nature. This Park opens at 6:00 AM and closes at 9:00 PM.
Located at South Boulevard Botanical Garden is a nature park in Pondicherry. This place adds immense refreshment and educational value to the city. In this 22 acres greenery, there are more than 1500 species of plants are present. There is also an aquarium which shows the diversity of marine life. It charges Rs 10 for adults and for children Rs 5.
Located at Nonankuppam along the Cuddalore Main Road, this backwater tourist spot is 8 km from Pondicherry main town. Here in Chunnambar, tourists get refreshed and pleased as nature remains unspoiled. The sand is spotless and the water is crystal clear and so this place is called ‘Plage Paradiso’ or Paradise Beach.
This beach is popularly known as Auro Beach, the close short form of the original name. Located on East Coast Road this place is 12 km from Pondicherry main town. The water of little depth and calm waves make this beach ideal for swimming. There are so many points of entry and exit on this stretched beach.
It is a private beach that offers you good food, shower, and restroom with the wonderful scenic beauty of the sea. Here the waves are powerful so swimming is allowed close to the shore only. This beach opens at 9:00 AM and closes at 5:00 PM.
Pondicherry takes pride on Promenade Beach as it shares a remarkable horizon view over the seashore. Locating on the Beach Road Promenade Beach is 1.5 km long. Best time to visit this place is early morning or late evening when there is less traffic as the kids can enjoy and run without the fear of speeding vehicles.
Varadaraja Perumal Temple:
Located at M.G Road (which lies 2.5 km away from the bus stop of Pondicherry), this temple is the most ancient temple in Pondicherry. The age of this temple dates back to 970 AD. This holy ancient structure reflects the Dravidian architecture and the pivotal Lord of this temple is Lord Vishnu. The best time to visit this religious site is between 6 AM – 12 PM and 4 PM – 9 PM.
Old Light House:
Stationed at Goubert Avenue this old lighthouse is an eminent landmark in Pondicherry. This 29 meters high structure was constructed in 1835 and was shut down in 1979. Though old this spot is an interesting place to visit for the tourists. This lighthouse shares a distance of 3 km from Pondicherry bus stop.
French War Memorial:
Next, to the lighthouse, there is French War Memorial, another popular tourist attraction. This structure is an honor to the soldiers who laid down their lives during First World War. There is a small garden surrounding the monument. This memorial is among the famous tourist attractions in Pondicherry. The best time to visit this place is between 10 AM – 5 PM.
Mahatma Gandhi Statue:
Sharing a distance of 2.5 km from Pondicherry bus stop, this statue of Mahatma Gandhi is situated at the beach front of Pondicherry. This famous statue is made by eminent sculptor Roy Chowdhury from Chennai School of arts and crafts. It is one of the major landmarks in the city and attracts a large number of tourists.
Jawahar Toy Museum:
This amazing toy museum is located near the old lighthouse on Goubert Avenue just next to the Gandhi Maidan in Pondicherry. This unique toy museum owns a mind-blowing collection of toys wearing variety traditional costumes of the particular region. This museum remains open each day of the week from 10 AM – 5 PM except Mondays and national holidays.
These places should be included in your itinerary if you have planned to spend one day in Pondicherry. Most of the places are located close by and have excellent transportation connectivity. When you plan wisely you can easily cover several places in one day in Pondicherry.