Top things to do in Pondicherry

Top things to do in Pondicherry

Top things to do in Pondicherry

Pondicherry is not just a beautiful city for tourists to visit; it has a rich colonial history that dates back to 1674. The city continues to carry the influence of the French who were responsible for transforming the city into what it is today. Even today, this French influence is widespread in the city's people, language, culture, streets, buildings, beaches, shops, and multiple other spheres of life. The colonial culture and the south Indian character go hand in hand. Though the two worlds are from different extremes, they complement each other skillfully. A visit to Puducherry is like paying a visit to an older French era that is found far away from the land of the French. The city offers you the opportunity to observe and appreciate French architecture, cuisine, and culture in its cobbled streets, brightly colored facades, and pretty gardens that hang from the balconies. And if that is not enough, head to the many churches built using the colonial architecture and design style that includes stained glasses and intricate paintings.

The city occupies several entrancing beaches with water sports facilities, sunbathing spots, and other entertainment areas. Take a dip in the beautiful Bay of Bengal or stroll through the beachside promenades to fathom the visual extravaganzas of the sunset. Food in Puducherry is an adventure in itself. Just like the people, the cuisines served here are a luscious blend of French and Tamil traditions. If at one end you get to relish the dosas, idlis, sambar, chutneys, and filter coffee, at the other end you will find baguettes, jams, pastries, cakes, cookies, and chocolates. Take a trip to Auroville and get acquainted with healing qualities of nature in meditation at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Or, engage in some cultural activities or learn something new from the numerous workshops in the city.

1. Pondicherry Museum:

Considered as an absolute thrill for all history and art aficionados, Pondicherry museum displays an extensive collection of stone sculptures and rare artifacts from the French colonial time. Located in the former Law Building, the artifacts on display at this quaint museum have been excavated from an ancient port named 'Arikamedu' that is found in the city itself.

2. Botanical Garden:

Located in the heart of the Old Tamil Town, Botanical Gardens expands over an area of 22 acres and houses over 1500 species of plants. It also provides proper information regarding each of its species in the form of placards. Considered as one of the best botanical gardens in South India, the French-styled architecture and gravel-lined paths and fountains adds to the character of the gardens.

3. Kargil War Memorial:

Built by the Indian Army on the northern end of Rock Beach, Kargil War Memorial sanctifies the gallant soldiers who sacrificed their lives fighting for the country in the Indo-Pakistani War in 1947. Dedicated to the late brave soldiers of the country, the memorial has a sandstone wall with names of the late soldiers inscribed on it. Visit this memorial while you're in Pondicherry to expand your knowledge about the historical background of India.

4. Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple:

Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple is a famous 300-year old Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. The idol of Lord Ganesh inside this Hindu temple is one of a kind where Lord Ganesha, with his companions, is standing on three legs. Regarded as one of the popular Ganesha shrines, the temple flaunts the beautiful idol of Lord Ganesh on a golden chariot.

5. The Basilica of The Sacred Heart of Jesus:

Located just outside the Pondicherry railway station, The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is one of the premier attractions in the city. Known for its exclusive Gothic-styled architecture, this Catholic Church is considered to be a pilgrimage for the Christians. Depicting the life of Jesus and the Catholic saints in marvelous stain glass panels, this church is a must visit attraction.

6. Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges:

Pondicherry is known to be a land of churches since the days of its French colonization. Also known as Domas Church, Eglise de Notre Dame Des Anges is famous for its intricate stone designs made from limestone and an eggshell white color, giving it an appearance of marble architecture. Domas Church (Pink Church) is one of the most beautiful churches you will ever come across on the land of churches.

7. Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple:

Varadaraja Perumal temple is an ancient temple devoted to Lord Vishnu and all his 108 avatars. Built by the Chola kings of the 11th century, the temple is a masterpiece of Dravidian architecture.

8. Sri Aurobindo Ashram:

Founded by one of India's greatest poet-philosopher''Aurobindo Ghosh", Sri Aurobindo Ashram is one of the most known and wealthiest ashrams in the country. The spiritual essence and divine atmosphere of Sri Aurobindo and the divine 'Mother' make this ashram a blissful place for the visitors.
NOTE:
1) Children below 3 years of age are not allowed in the ashram.
2) Take permission of Ashram authorities before clicking photographs.

9. Serenity Beach:

Located a little away from the city center, Serenity Beach is a charming and exquisite beach that is a must-visit for people vacationing in Pondicherry. The entire shoreline is stretched with golden brown sand and the sparkling crystal clear water canopy will leave you awe-struck.

10. Immaculate Conception Cathedral:

This is a well-preserved cathedral that exhibits most of the remains that reveal the French essence that once ruled this land. The Cathedral's construction was completed in 1791. It also holds a bell tower, choir loft and a walkway where religious functions are frequently hosted.

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