Do you know which was the French Capital in India?
Well, no points for guessing; it's Pondicherry - the European nugget nestled in southeast India!
For many, the mention of Pondicherry brings to mind serene landscapes, clear beaches and delicious food that takes you on a European gastronomical adventure. From sightseeing to scuba diving - Pondicherry offers a wide range of experiences to its visitors!
The eye-catching colonial structures with mustard yellow facades ladened with bougainvillea flowers are a delight to the sight and are perhaps the best representation of Pondicherry’s French ties. With its picturesque views and calm surroundings, a walk down Pondicherry’s famous promenade is sure to mesmerize you to the core!
If you are planning a getaway to Pondicherry this Christmas-New Year holidays, allow us to be your guide to the stunning land as we compile the most popular places to visit when in Pondicherry.
Paradise beach is truly a class apart! The beautiful beach is sprinkled with glittering golden sands and is rather quaint which is why it is one of the top attractions in Pondicherry.
Reaching the beach is an experience in itself! One needs to board the ferry travelling through the backwaters surrounded by thick mangrove forests, which takes around 30-40 minutes to get you to the golden shores.
You can enjoy walking on the silky sands and clicking some great photos, or sit and enjoy the waves lap upon your feet or even enjoy fishing here. In fact, you can rent fishing rods at affordable prices too!
The Promenade beach is a popular place to visit in Pondicherry. The rock-lined shore stretches for about 1.2 kilometres. So take a walk on the Promenade, stop to admire the statue of Marquis Duplex, visit the First World War Memorial or simply sit on the rocks and watch the crashing of waves.
The French colony is a treat to the eyes and a pleasure to the senses. Clean roads, a beautiful beach, long coconut trees, and the beauty of flowers all around are the perfect combination for absolute tranquility. You can sit on the rock beach and enjoy the sound of the waves. If you like photography then the mesmerizing views of this place are worth capturing.
Immaculate Conception Cathedral
The Immaculate Conception Cathedral is the oldest church in Pondicherry. It was built by the first Jesuit Fathers in 1689. Don't forget to pay a visit to marvel at its typical Jesuit tower, known as the mother church for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese.
You can participate in the church ceremonies at the esplanade in front of the cathedral.
Serenity Beach, as the name suggests, offers peace to all who visit. The beach is 12 km from the city center and is one of the must-visit places in Pondicherry. Its warm golden sands with a trail of rocks leading to the cerulean sea, makes for a perfect spot to unwind. Relatively isolated, Serenity Beach is a favourite among honeymooners.
Known as the City of Dawn in Pondicherry, Auroville is an experimental township that is famous for its soothing environment, beautiful landscape, and picture-perfect floral beauty that will relax your inner soul.
People from all over the world visit Auroville to enjoy its beauty. The prominent Matri Mandir is also located here. Other features that make this place so unique are its splattering of bookshops, cafes, and restaurants.
Aurobindo Ashram is one of the most sacred places in Pondicherry and is very popular among spiritual seekers around the globe. Built in the name of Sri Aurobindo, who fought for our Nation's Independence, this Ashram is a quaint place where you can sit and meditate for hours on end. Inside the Ashram, you will find the great master, Shri Aurobindo, resting peacefully in his grave.
Aurobindo Ashram is one of the top tourist spots in Pondicherry, famous for its positive vibes that serenades the senses and makes you feel at peace.
Here you will see the wonderful collection of artifacts and historic treasures from a bygone era. From archaeological findings of the Anikamedu Roman settlement to the remains of the Chola and Pallava dynasties, various eras of history have been preserved here at the Puducherry Museum.
The Museum is replete with stone-carved statues, bronze sculptures of Gods and Goddesses, fossilized ancient trees, ancient modes of transportation models. You will also see brass temple lamps, church relics, handicrafts, coins, and shells.
Don't forget to check out the art gallery that houses a plethora of colonial prints, Tanjore paintings and contemporary works in glass, colours, pastels, and oils.
The places described on our list will ensure you have an unforgettable experience in Pondicherry. Do visit and share your experiences with us.