What comes to your mind if I say Pondicherry? Most people would normally know that it’s a Union Territory and we can afford cheap alcohol everywhere.
But you know what? It is a place where the vast chronicle of Pondicherry history meets the vogue of the city.
In this article, will take you through best places to visit in Pondicherry for anyone who is looking for an Itinerary.
The entire city nestled on Eastern coast of India that blends French and South Indian unique traditions.
Particularly the Pondicherry French colony that portrays the French style of Villas, Streets, Churches and restaurants will be the best exemplify to go back in time after ages.
It’s a place for all genres such as Travel enthusiasts, honeymooners, solo travelers, progenies and friends to booze up.
Also we have got multiple options for beach bums, history geeks, peace cravers, wanderers and pilgrims.
So I hope this extensive blog on best places to visit in Pondicherry will be helpful for you to cover most of the places. Let’s dive in,
Pondicherry Weather :
Being closely located near the sea, the climate won’t be that enjoyable during summer (March to June). It witnesses a lengthy summer that makes the weather hot, sweaty and sticky.
During monsoon (July to September/October), were accompanied with heavy rainfall. At times the rainfall can be very harsh and if you wish to travel, make sure to carry an umbrella or raincoat to celebrate the showers.
Next comes my favourite mellow season, Winter (November to February) that would surely welcome you with cold breezes other than normal times.
However, the weather in Pondicherry during winter will be considered as the best time to visit. And during this time, you will get a chance to take part in the yoga festival, workshops and seminars related to various topics.
Things to do and places to visit in Pondicherry :
As I mentioned before, the places offer various tourist locales, you can visit and do lot more things in a day or two.
Coastal Fringes – Pondicherry Beach
People are normally two types when it comes to travel? One who loves lush greens whereas the others who loves beaches. So Pondicherry is for the Thalassophiles, a place that surrounds with vast region of coastal area.
- Paradise Beach, Pondicherry
This beach functions as a separate island, located 6 km away from the main city. From the chunnambar boathouse you’ll get an access to reach paradise beach. The beach has utterly stunning views of shining white sand along with some water activities to engage with. If you want to enjoy it’s tranquil presence, try visiting the place during off-season (September to November).
Activities : Boating, Beach volleyball, Canoeing, Kayaking, Jet skiing, water dance, beach rally
Accessible Time : 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
- Serenity Beach, Pondicherry
One of the best Pondicherry beach that assures serenity. You’ll get a chance to do surfing with guidance, if the surfing training school has access. Also you can walk by along the seashore to explore vibrant cafes and markets.
Activities : Surfing, Place to relax
Accessible Time : Early Morning to 7:00 PM
- Rock beach / Promenade Beach, Pondicherry
A classic beach with giant sized rocks placed in front of the seashore building on more beauty to its actual nature. It is one of the most known and famous beaches in India, stretching to 1.5 km long bordered by a long walkway. You can see locals presence for walking, jogging, strolling and many tourists show up to watch the sunrise every morning. To enhance the charm of the beach, you have food carts, sea-faced cafes, hotels and restaurants to chill out and relax.
Activities : Visit Gandhi statue, war memorial and Dupleix park, skating, walking/jogging, No water sports available
Accessible Time : 05:00 AM to 08:00PM
- Auroville Beach, Pondicherry
Auro Beach is one of the unused or unusual beaches in Pondicherry located 10 kms before the city range. If possible, one can spot dolphins playing near eyesight if the beach is not flocked with locals or tourists. Auroville Beach has some of the best beach resorts in Pondicherry with shacks and cottages.
Activities : Swimming, Sightseeing of local’s lifestyle
Accessible Time : 06:00 AM to 06:00 PM
Pondicherry French colony (An Indo French culture)
Pondicherry French colony are commonly referred to as White Town. Many tourists come here to explore the “French Architecture”. This area is filled with elegant colonial mansions amid tree lined avenues, beginning with ‘rue’ to represent as French streets along with numerous parks and charming cafés.
Those showy buildings, villas, and cafes will leave you awestruck which turns you to click for the memories you cherish lifetime. Particularly, the vibrant doors you won’t say no to seize it in your phone.
Other than Christians, people would love to visit churches to encounter its magnificent structure and antique portrayals. Here are the list of two must visit churches you should never miss,
- Our Lady of the Angels Church
This church is also called Elise De Notre Dame Des Agnes, built in the later half of the 19th Century. The church was painted in mellow pink and cream color and is located on Dumas Street, White Town. Among other details, it is a must visit spot to witness the limestone interior and evening visit to this church is highly recommended.
- Immaculate Conception Cathedral Church
Located on Mission street, it was built in the late 18th century. Constructed with a blend of white-yellow mix to look catchy from the exterior.
Other Tourists Places to visit in Pondicherry
Pondicherry is not only famous for modernity, it even talks about tradition too. Below you can see other places to visit in Pondicherry with family and friends,
- Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple – Most popular Tourist attraction, located very near to Sri Aurobindo Ashram. As the temple had been in existence before French occupancy; it was considered as one of the oldest buildings in Pondicherry. This temple is dedicated to famous Hindu god Lord Ganesha.
- Sri Aurobindo ashram – It was established in 1926; a serene place queued with visitors to take the ashram tours. As the places are filled with many devotees, visitors are requested to maintain complete silence.
- Pondicherry Museum – Located at Ranga pillai street; This museum has a great collection of local historic souvenirs, some stone sculptures from 6th to 10th century, a bronze gallery and different carriages.
- French War Memorial – Located very next to Gandhi statue; a must visit place to the living memory of soldiers who sacrificed their lives for their country. You can see the eight pillars but restricted from walking into the grounds.
- Statue of Joseph François Dupleix – Once a Governor in mid 18th century; the idea of French boulevards dividing canal and the city shows his brilliance to make the entire White town or French colony a standout. As a token of remembrance, his statue was built on Goubert Avenue near GMT ice-cream parlor.
- Botanical Gardens – This place is extremely quiet, if you find noise on other spots. People won’t visit here much, entrance is free. You can take a walk into the trees and spend your leisure time.
- Auroville, Pondicherry – The Ashram commonly referred to as “The Golden Dome” positioned in the middle of a beautiful garden is considered as one of the best tourist attraction spots in Pondicherry. This place was created as “home for all” regardless of culture and tradition, anyone can come and live in peace together.
Other than beaches and churches above spots will keep you busy for more than a week. For a weekend getaway, make a list for yourself on places to visit in Pondicherry before starting your trip like what to cover and what not to.
If you’re an epicure, Pondicherry would be the paradise for you. You can have different variety of authentic foods, some of them are :
- Sri Kamatchi Biryani Veedu – The ambiance of this place is too good. This restaurant offers old tradition tastes and their most favorite dishes are Omelette varieties like chicken omelette, mutton omelette, prawn omelette and fish omelette that is served in the shape of a ladle.
- Le café, Promenade – This is the only café located near White Town’s waterfront seated facing sea shores and is available for 24 hrs. It is maintained by the government with an ever-lasting same tradition. They offer multi-cuisine and among those my favorite is continental dishes.
- Mutton Samosa Café – Apart from popular cafes; located exactly opposite to Pondicherry railway station. Heard out from the locals about this shop and headed up to give a try. It tastes awesome and very unique, you’ll get a samosa for 20/- Rs and mutton soup as an add-on.
- Zuka Chocolate Café – An authentic chocolate boutique imports cocoa and whips up yummy hot chocolates, desserts and unusual inventions like the chocolate pakora for all the chocoholics.
This market will be put up on Nehru street for every Sunday where you can do a lot of street shopping. You surely end up buying a lot of things with less spending and you can buy souvenirs, candles, apparels, incense sticks, oils and many more at an affordable price.
Hope I have covered all the places to visit in Pondicherry and its offerings. For me, as a whole Pondicherry was one of my favorite bucket lists when it comes to the beaches, exploring history, savories of Tamil and French cuisine and mainly to get along with those French colonies.
One general information to all the travelers, before starting your journey I recommend you to go through Pondicherry Govt websites about Pondicherry Tourism for any recent updates since the place was nestled in a coastal area.
How to Reach :
- From Chennai to Pondicherry –
- Distance : 170 kms
- Travel time : 3 to 4 hrs
- Mode of Transport – by bike, car or bus
- From Bangalore to Pondicherry –
- Distance : 360 kms
- Travel time : 6 to 7 hrs
- Mode of Transport – by bike, car, bus or train
Other nearby places to visit in Pondicherry :
There are other few places that you can include in your 2 -3 days itinerary,
For readers, I guess I’ve answered all your queries that are in your mind about what best places to visit in Pondicherry.
Your feedback and suggestions about this article will be obliging to correct my next article. Also let me know if you would like to write a blog about any other places.
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