35 Best Places to Visit in Pondicherry - 2019 With Photos
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Explore All (10)
Like travelling back in time, Pondicherry is a great weekend escape from Bangalore. Beautiful beachfront, resorts, cathedrals and a walk in the French colony will help visualize what the bygone era must have entailed.

You could simply wander though the warm town of fishermen and witness how artisans craft beautiful artefacts. The lavish heritage buildings adorn Pondicherry are a sight to behold. Seeped in history and Spirituality, Pondicherry offers a generous helping of both. Head to the Aurobindo Ashram or the National Museum.Also, check out best beaches in Pondicherry and things to do in Pondicherry

Places to Stay: Best Beach Resorts in Pondicherry 
Shri Aurobindo Ashram

Aurobindo Ashram or the Sri Aurobindo Ashram is a spiritual group (ashram) situated in the union territory of Pondicherry. The ashram was a small community that expanded over some time as more and more disciples of Aurobindo Ghose gathered around to seek spirituality.

Aurobindo Ghose founded this ashram after he left his political career and aspired to inherit spiritualism in his life. A few followers of Aurobindo joined him in the ashram with the same aim of seeking spirituality. Located in eastern Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo Ashram has become a hub of tourists who are inclined towards divinity and simplicity in their lifestyle.

The ashram is popular not only in India but also in other countries because of the work put forth by the community towards the healing of humanity. The ashram in its initial days only had a few buildings but later, as more and more people joined, the ashram grew bigger and presently, it consists of many small buildings that are adjacent to each other.

The ashram provides all the basic needs of its members for living a healthy and simple life. There is a library in the ashram where members can read and learn about the history and teachings of the place. Also, there are various cultural facilities like dance, theatre, music, arts, and sports for the all-round development of the members. The ashram is managed by a board of five trustees who make sure that the legacy and vision of Aurobindo Ghose remains in the ashram.

Rock Beach
Image Credit : wandercrumbs

Rock beach is regarded as one of the most attractive sight-seeing places in Pondicherry. This beach is situated on the busy streets of Pondicherry. In the evening, a lot of activities take place on the beach which makes the place even more happening. It is surrounded by restaurants, art galleries, and the famous French war memorial is just 0.4 km away from the beach. In order to get a sunrise view, many people book a hotel near the rock beach. You will also find many food outlets located nearby. So you can spend your evening enjoying your favorite food and a scenic view.

Location: A beauty spot at the heart of the city, Rock beach is located in White Town, Pondicherry.

Best Time To Visit: It is a memorable moment when you see sunrise or sunset at the beach. Most people tend to visit the beach in evening or the early morning. You can give a refreshing start to your morning in midst of this serene spot.

Distance From Pondicherry Bus Stand: The Rock beach is situated at the distance of 2.7 km from Pondicherry bus stop. It might take just 10 minutes to cover this distance.

Raj Niwas

The Raj Niwas building is constructed on the foundation of a hotel named Hotel De La Compagnie. This is the government house of the Pondicherry and is a blend of both Indian and French architecture. The previous name of this Raj Niwas is Palais du Government. The Raj Niwas isn’t open to public but it is one of the attractions in Pondicherry. Most of the people who went on a trip to Pondicherry will surely pay a visit to this Raj Niwas to enjoy the Indo-French architecture. The monolithic pillars, fountain are the biggest asset of this Raj Niwas. They enhance the look of the construction as well as add royalty too. The public can go into the Raj Niwas on some special days and occasions only.

Location:

White Town

Pondicherry 605001

Best Time To Visit:

The Best Time To Visit: Raj Niwas will be between 12 pm and 1:30 pm as you will be allowed into the house. The point to remember here is the passes are limited to 40 per day.

Timings

The Raj Niwas will be open between 12pm and 1:30 pm

Distance Between Pondicherry Bus stand and Raj Nivas

The distance from Pondicherry bus station to Raj Nivas is 2.6 kms which can be travelled in 4-5 mins.

Image Credits: thehindu.com
Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Pondicherry

Immaculate Conception Cathedral is also known as Samba Kovil. It is the mother cathedral church for all the Roman Catholic Archdiocese. The Immaculate Conception Cathedral present in Pondicherry is pretty much similar to the Immaculate Conception Cathedral present in France. The church was built in 1791 and still looks at its best. The lady holding the Jesus statue is present in the front of the church. Many people love the old charm that this church exerts and adore it. This is definitely one of the best places to visit in Pondicherry. This beautiful piece of architecture will leave you spellbound.

Location:

Mission St.

MG Road Area

Pondicherry 605001

Best Time To Visit:

Visit this church in between April to June.

Timings

Similar to other churches you can visit the church at any time and peace of mind is guaranteed.

Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand to Immaculate Conception Cathedral

The distance from Pondicherry bus stand to Immaculate Conception Cathedral is 2.2 kms which takes 2-3 minutes to travel.


Basilica Of the Sacred Heart Of Jesus, Pondicherry

About the Place:

This church, one among the 21 basilicas in India, is a famous pilgrimage for roman catholic Christians and considered one of the best places to visit in Pondicherry.It was built in 1908 by French missionaries. The sacred heart Basilica, a 100- years- old structure represents gothic architecture. It is 50 meters long, 48 meters wide and 18 meters high. Inside the church, there are 28 glass paintings which are a depiction of the life of Christ and saints of the church. The church has a huge area on the exterior too.

Location:

The church is located on the south boulevard of Pondicherry. Its address is 132, Subbaiah salai, Pondicherry, 605001.

Best Time To Visit:

This sacred abode of Jesus remains open throughout the year. People visit the church in masses during the Christmas festival. Though there is no specific time of the month to visit, a large number of outsiders can be seen here during winters considering the climatic condition of Pondicherry.

Timings:

Monday-Saturday: 7:00 AM – 6:30 PM

Sunday: 8:00 AM – 6:30 PM

Distance From Pondicherry Bust-Stand

The church is situated 2.5 Km away from Pondicherry bus stand towards south boulevard.


French Soldiers Memorial (War Memorial)

The French soldiers memorial is constructed in order to honor the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the country in World War I. The war memorial was constructed in 1970 and is one of the best attractions in Pondicherry. The memorial is decorated beautifully on 14th July of every year and is celebrated as Bastille Day. The people from complete Pondicherry and remaining other places visit this war memorial and respect the soldiers in the form of homage. The war memorial is smaller in size and doesn’t take much time to take a trip around it. The memorial itself has a good and positive vibe which make many people from in and around Pondicherry to visit it.

Location:

White Town

Pondicherry 605001

Best Time To Visit:

The Best Time To Visit: this war memorial is in the morning. You can enjoy the nature as well as spend some pleasant time in this place.

Timings

The French Soldiers memorial is open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Distance from Pondicherry Bus stand to French Memorial

The distance from Pondicherry bus stand to French memorial is 3.5 km which take 2-3 minutes to travel.


Promenade Beach

A stretch starting from War memorial and ending at Duplex park, Promenade Beach is a 1.2 -kilometer long stretch. It has some other best Pondicherry tourist places near it including Old lighthouse, The War Memorial,  Heritage Town Hall etc. 

The beach is a crowded spot of Pondicherry where travelers enjoy sports and hang out with their loved ones. You can also enjoy the mouth-watering street food of the food stalls present at the corners of the beach. Not only this, if you love handicraft materials, then the beachside shops offer beautifully knitted handicrafts too. 

This is the most preferred Location: by nature lovers and wanderers for sightseeing in Pondicherry.

Location: It is located at Beach Road, Pondicherry starting from War memorial and ending at Dupleix Park.

Best Time To Visit: With its busy street and breathtaking sunset view, the beach is most likely to be visited most in the evening time.

Timings: The beach can be visited any day of the week from 5 am to 8 pm.

Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: The Promenade beach is at the distance of 2.5 km via South Boulevard from the bus stand. This will take approximately  9 minutes to reach the bus stand from the beach.


Chunnambar Boathouse

About the Place:

This place is located along the Cuddalore Main Road. If you are a person who loves boat riding, then this is heaven for you. Chunnambar Boathouse which is 8 km from Pondicherry offers you a chance to sail downstream and create a night camping experience for yourself. This boathouse is also called as Paradise Beach. You can spend your day enjoying beach sports and getting sun-kissed. Chunnamabr Resort offers rental boats for visitors as well as organizes beach sports. There is a multi-cuisine restaurant called as Seagulls, which serves delicious Chinese and Tandoori food.

Location:

It is located at Pondy-Cuddalore Road, Nonankuppam. This is 8 km away from Pondicherry.

Best Time To Visit:

It is advisable to visit this place for the rides and water sports during afternoon time and come back to the shore by evening.

Entry Fee

Entry fee is Rs. 10 per head, with extra charges for different water sports.

Timings

The boathouse remains open from 9:30 in morning till 4 pm in evening.

Distance From the Pondicherry Bus Stand

The two places are 6.4 k away. If you travel via Cuddalore Road, it will take around 15 minutes to reach the destination.

So this is Pondicherry, a place that has a variety to offer. If it is known for its sacred churches and historical monuments, one cannot forget the adventurous time it gives you with its beachside views and water sports. Indeed this small territory is a unique combination of fun and tranquility. So now are you convinced to book a ticket to this land of beaches, this winter?


Mahatma Gandhi Statue

The statue located on the Promenade Beach is an important landmark among all the Pondicherry tourist places. It also offers a view of Old Lighthouse and the famous Nehru Statue. This is a 4 meters high statue which is surrounded by granite pillars brought from Gingee, a fort situated at a distance of 70 km from Pondicherry. Mahatma Gandhi Statue is formed by Roy Choudhary, a renowned sculptor from Madras school of arts. There is a square space in front of the statue. This space is called as Gandhi Thidal, which is used for musical activities.

Location:

It is again situated at Beach road, White Town, Pondicherry. Now you can not only enjoy the scenic view of the beach but also explore this historical statue.

Best Time To Visit:

Since it is situated near the beach, it is best to visit this place either during sunrise or sunset.

Distance From Pondicherry Bus Stand:

It is located at beach road, which is 2.5 Km from the bus station. So your all the sites are in close proximity to each other as well as the bus station. Isn’t this the best thing for outsiders?

Serenity Beach

This is the perfect spot to relax and get all the tensions out of your head. The name serenity was picked exclusively for this place as it is the most beautiful and outstanding shoreline.  This shoreline is considered as a heaven for the newly wedded couples which is why most of the couples pick Pondicherry as their honeymoon spot to enjoy the beauty of Serenity beach. It is one of the most peaceful places and you will enjoy the shore from the bottom of your heart. You can do surfing here to pump up the adrenaline rush in you. The lovely palm trees and beautiful surroundings will give you the most peaceful experience.

Location:

Kottakupam

Pondicherry 605101

Best Time To Visit:

It is a beautiful beach and you can visit at any time of the day but it is better to visit the beach at morning and evening to have a pleasant experience.

Timings

The beach will be open from morning 5 AM to evening 7 PM.

Distance from Pondicherry Bus stand to Beach

The distance from Pondicherry bus stand to the beach is 7.9 km and it takes 7 mins to reach the beach from bus stand.


Statue of Dupleix

This 2.88 meters high statue was commissioned as a symbol of French rule in Pondicherry. This granite statue was erected in the memory of the French governor named Joseph Francois Duplex. He ruled Pondicherry between the years 1742 to 1754. He tried to prevent the British domination in Pondicherry and is one of the famous French governors. Because of the defeat in a Second Carnatic war, he resigned for his governor post and went back to France. The statue of Dupleix has been built in 1870. The statue is situated on beautiful granite columns and gives a peaceful and ambient look to the city. This statue is considered as a major landmark and the historic representation of the city.

Location:: Statue of Dupleix is located at children’s park present at

Goubert Avenue

Beach Road

Pondicherry-605101

Best Time To Visit::

Tourists can visit the statue of Dupleix at morning, afternoon and evening. It is not good to visit the place at night.

Distance from Pondicherry Bus stand to Statue of Dupleix

The distance from the statue of Dupleix to Pondicherry bus stand is 3kms. The time taken to travel from bus stand to statue is 30mins. There are cab and auto services between the statue and bus stand.


Pondicherry Light House

How can one miss visiting one of the best sight seeing places in Pondicherry, the Pondicherry light house? This nineteenth century light house is one of the amazing tourist attractions present in it. It was constructed by the French rulers and is one of the main city attractions in Pondicherry. The French rulers planned to build this light house in order to make the people who travel by understanding that they are in Pondicherry now. The design of this light house is a little bit different from the design of the usual light houses. The tower was built on the rectangle base.

Location: of Pondicherry light house

This Pondicherry light house is located at Dubrayapet

Pondicherry, 605004

Best Time To Visit:

The Best Time To Visit: Pondicherry Light house is at the time of sunset.

Timings

The light house of Pondicherry will be opened at 3 pm every day and will be closed by 7 pm.

Distance from Pondicherry Light house to Pondicherry Bus stand

The distance from Pondicherry light house to Pondicherry bus stand is 4 kms and can be travelled in 12 mins.

Image Credits: dreamtrails.in
Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges

Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges or Our Lady of Angels is one of the most beautiful and amazing Pondicherry tourist places. The church is present at the corner of Surcoof street and Dumus street. The architecture found in this church is Greco-Roman which gives you a nice feel. One can experience an angelic feel in the church which is divine. The white chapel of this church is very famous too. The limestone and egg white brought a new and different color to the chapel. Inside the church you can find various beautiful paintings and sculptures which will leave you spell bound. Point to remember is it is the oldest church present in Pondicherry.

Location:

The Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges is located at

Rue Dumas

White Town

Pondicherry.

Best Time To Visit: Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges

You can visit and enjoy the beauty of this church at any time but the best months to explore this church are from September-February. The church looks amazing at this time

Timings

Similar to various other churches there are no specific Timings :to visit Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges, you can visit at any time you want.


Sri Karaneswara Nataraja Temple

Sri Karaneswara Nataraja Temple is the most different temple present in the world. The temple is constructed in the shape of a pyramid and is located at Pudhukuppam beach. When the temple is seen for the first time you will wonder whether it is a pyramid. The Sri Karaneswara Nataraja Temple is dedicated to the deity Lord Shiva and is one of the best Pondicherry tourist places. The temple is designed with best in class architecture and attracted many people around the world. Founded by Karan Singh, the Auroville foundation chairman, the temple made a statement back in 2000 only. This is the most different yet amazing temple present in the world.

Location:

Gangiamman Koi Street

Pondicherry 604303

Best Time To Visit:

You can explore the temple at any time of the year but visiting the temple in the months of February and march will give you a different experience.

Timings

The temple will be opened from

  • 6:00 am to 12:00 pm and

  • 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Veerampattinam Beach

Each and every beach present in Pondicherry is amazing. Veeramapattinam beach is one of the best sightseeing places in Pondicherry. If you are planning a trip to Pondicherry then don’t forget to visit this outstanding beach. 

This is the lengthiest beach present in Pondicherry and is the best attraction of Pondicherry. Veermapattinam is the coastal village present in Pondicherry. The village is 7 kms away from the Pondicherry center but the buses are always available so there is no need to worry about it. The veeramipattinam hosts one of the biggest festival called temple car festival. 

The visitors of this beach are provided an option  to see the real fisherman working at some dedicated spots. The clean and long beach is the perfect pick to enjoy your vacation. The beach isn’t so crowded so if you are from one of those who loves to stay peaceful then this is the right place.

Location:

The beach is located along the village Veerampattinam which is located between Pondicherry and Cuddalore.

Best Times To Visit

Beaches can be visited at any time so there are no boundaries to visit this wonderful beach. But vacationing in monsoon is advisable.

Timings

The beach is opened at 8:00 am and is closed at 9:00 pm in the night.

The distance between Pondicherry Bus stand and Veerampattinam Beach

The Distance between Pondicherry Bus stand and Veerampattinam Beach is 9.6 km and it takes nearly 16-20 mins to travel.


Cafe Xtasi

Enjoy the tasty dishes from different kinds of cuisines at this wonderful place. This is the best pick if you are interested to taste various kinds of dishes. Whether it may be hot coffee or yummy pizza this place provides you with all kinds of food items. The beverages and pizzas offered at this café are mouth watering and have a lot of craze among the people. It is the best hangout place for friends.

Location:

245, Mission Street

Opposite VOC School

Pondicherry

Best Time To Visit:

There is no Best Time To Visit: this place, whenever you have a craving to have some tasty food then crash at this café.

Timings

The place will be opened at 11:00 am in the morning and is closed at 11:00 pm at night.

Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand to Café Xtasi

The distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand to Café Xtasi is 2.3 kms which takes approximately 8 mins to travel.

Image Credits: cafechennai.in


 ISKCON Pondicherry

ISKCON (International society for Krishna Consciousness) temples are very famous all over India. They are present in almost all metropolitan cities and are founded by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. If you are from those people who like to have a peace of mind and like to meditate then this is the right place for you. 

The temple gives you the most ambient environment which helps you in finding inner self. The serenity, divine feeling that one gets after visiting this temple is beyond words.  Most of the people adore the beauty of the temple as well as the charisma of the deity Krishna. 

The idols in these ISKCON Temples are different from idols used in other temples and look like the best idols present in the world.

Location:

No. 2-B

7th cross corner, Krishna Nagar main road

Krishna Nagar

Pondicherry 605008

Best Time To Visit:

The temple can be visited at any time of the year and it is sure that you are going get the most peaceful experience in your life.

Timings

  • 6:00 am to 12:00 pm and

  • 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Distance from Pondicherry bus stand to the ISKCON temple

The distance from the bus stand to ISKCON temple is 6 kms.


Kanniga Parameswari Temple

Explore the uniqueness of Kanniga Parameswari temple’s architecture which is a perfect blend of Indian and French architecture. Goddess Shakthi is the deity who is prayed in this temple. She is one of the most powerful goddess according to the Hindu mythology. You can see the mixture of Tamil and French architecture in the designing of this temple. The ceiling of the sanctum present inside the temple is designed in the Tamil traditional style. The temple is one of the famous attractions in Pondicherry and people from all over the country visit the temple.

Location:

MG Road

Pondicherry 605001

Best Time To Visit:

The temple is always wonderful and you can pay your visit at any time of the year without any hesitation.

Timings

The Timings :to visit this amazing temple are

  • 6:00 am to 12:00 pm and

  • 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Distance From Pondicherry Bus stand to Kanniga Parameswari Temple

The distance between Pondicherry bus stand and Kanniga Parameswari temple is 3kms which can be travelled in 5 mins at most.


Bharathi Park

About the Place:

This is the green blanket of Pondicherry. It is surrounded by lush green trees. There is a reason for why it is listed among the best places to visit in Pondicherry. Its panoramic view makes it the frequent spot for picnics.  

At the center of the park, there is this famous monument called Aayi Mandapam. It was named after the famous lady courtesan, Ayi. There are many buildings around this park including Villa Aroume, French Army Band, Chamber of commerce and The general hospital.

Location:

This park is located at Rue Saint Gilles Street, White Town. If you want to calm yourself, this is a perfect place for you.

Best Time To Visit:

This beautiful park takes you to the lap of nature. If you visit here at sunrise and sunset, you would be able to witness the most charismatic view.

Timings:

The park remains open from 6 am in the morning to 8 pm in the evening. So you have an entire day to spend in midst of nature’s blanket.

Distance From Pondicherry Bus Stand:

It is just 2.5 km from the Pondicherry bus stand. So you would not take more than 10 minutes to travel in between the two places.


Paradise Beach

Paradise Beach or Plage Paradiso as it is known, is a popular tourist destination of Chunnambar. This Pondicherry beach got its name because of the peaceful experience it offers to its visitors. To access this beach, you need to take a boat ride from the town of Pondicherry. This is also one of the reasons why the beach got its current identity.

This isolated beach of Pondicherry is a great weekend respite to enjoy with your family, friends, and relatives. After enjoying a boat ride from Pondicherry town to the Paradise beach, visitors usually relax on the extraordinarily soft sands of the shore.

The beach route between Pondicherry town and the Paradise Beach itself is mesmerizing. It has an unparalleled charm with its thick mangrove forest cover making the backwaters appear green. If you had a chance to explore Paradise Beach immediately after the monsoons, the backwaters here appear fresh and lush green.

An avid bird lover must surely get a pair of binoculars to spot on some rare bird species. If you have the photographic spark in your genes, this beach is a haven for you then. With the changing climatic conditions, the currents of the Paradise Beach turn out to be extremely high. It is, therefore, advisable to avoid getting close to the deep waters.

The moment you feel hungry, approach the nearby shacks to find some quick foodstuffs or simply sip some fresh and tender coconut water. Since ages, people of nearby villages visit this beach early in the morning for some astounding sunrise views along the eastern coast. Apart from its picturesque beauty, the beach offers some exciting water adventures to spice up the journey of every adventure buff visiting here. 

Auro Beach

Auroville beach or in short Auro beach is one of the most beautiful Pondicherry tourist places. Auro beach is located a kilometer away from the Serenity beach and is the best place to enjoy the cool waters. This is less crowded beach compared to the Serenity beach and is the best place for the people who are hoping to get some privacy and enjoy their lonely time without much noise. This is the first place picked by many youngsters to hang out and takes a walk. If you want to enjoy pleasantness and spend your time peacefully then think no more and crash in Auro beach. The hard rock present in the beach adds extra beauty to it and enhances the look of the beach.

Location:

Bommayapalayam

Pondicherry 605101

Best Time To Visit:

As it is a beach it depends on the individual preferences, if you like to be kissed by morning sun shine then go in the morning or want to relax and enjoy the sunset then go in the evening.

Timings

No one is allowed past midnight into the beach

Distance from Pondicherry Bus stand to Auro Beach

The distance from Pondicherry bus stand to Auro beach is 10.1 km which take nearly 20 mins to travel.


Arulmigu Kokilambigai Vudanurai Thirukameswarar Thirukovil

Arulmigu Kokilambigai Vudanurai Thirukameswarar Thirukovil is also known as Sri Gokilambal Thirukameshwara Temple or Villanur temple is one of the famous Lord Shiva Temples. Lord Shiva can be viewed in the form of Shiva Linga in this temple. The temple was constructed by Cholas centuries ago and is in Dravidian architecture. Another specialty of this temple is the sunrays that touch the deity on 9, 11 and 19th of a month named Panguni which can be considered as a month in between March-April. The importance of this temple is related to the Chola King Dharmabala Chozhan.

Location:

The Arulmigu Kokilambigai Vudanurai Thirukameswarar Thirukovil is located at

E-Car St, Villanur

Pondicherry-605110.

Best Time To Visit: Temple

The Best Time To Visit: this amazing temple is during the celebration of a festival named Bramhotsavam. The festival is for ten days and the temple will look at its best.

Timings

The temple is opened from

  • 6:00 am to 12:00 pm and

  • 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand to Temple

The distance between Pondicherry bus stand to this temple is 7.8 km and it takes 22 mins to travel.


Golconda

Golconda is the first modern building present in Pondicherry and it is surely present in the list of places to visit in Pondicherry. It is considered as the introduction of modernism to India. It is a home to accommodate philosopher named Sri Aurobindo and was later converted as a dormitory. Golconda was designed by the famous architects George Nakashima and Antonin Raymond. The building is sensitive to the environment and is one of the best constructions of the modern era. It was build during the period of 1937-45. Golconda is a three storey building with two wings which are connected by a stair case in between. It was a kind of do it yourself project for the devotees present in the ashram and was build with both skilled and nonskilled people.

Location:

Dupuy St.

White Town

Pondicherry 605002

Best Time To Visit:

Golconda can be visited at any time of the day.

Timings

There are no particular Timings :to visit the place, you can go there at any time.

Distance from Pondicherry Bus stand to Golconda Ashram

The distance from Pondicherry bus stand to Golconda Ashram is 3 km which take 3-4 mins to travel.


Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Puducherry

This temple is dedicated to Vishnu and is a Vaishnavite temple. The temple was build in the 12th century and follows Dravidian architecture. The principal deity of the temple is Venkatachalapathy and the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Lord Narasimha Swamy is placed right behind the Venkatachalapathy idol. The architecture of this temple is similar to the architecture of Vedhapureshwarar temple. The five feet idol present in the temple has been buried in the earth and was found by some archeologists. The idol of Lord Vishnu is just marvelous and the smile surely gives the devotees positive vibes. Actually, the history tells that the temple was built for Lord Sree Rama, his wife Seetha and Hanuman but before bringing the idols to the place the idol of Narasimha Swamy was found.

Location:

Mahatma Gandhi Road

Heritage Town

Puducherry-605001

Best Time To Visit:

The Best Time To Visit: this amazing temple is at morning time.

Timings

The temple is opened from

  • 6.00 am to 12.00 pm

  • 4.00 pm to 9.00 pm

Distance from Pondicherry Bus stand to Varadharaja Perumal Temple

The distance from Pondicherry bus stand to Varadharaja Perumal Temple is 2.6 km and it takes 13 minutes to travel.


Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple

About the Place:

It is one of the most popular tourist destination situated in Pondicherry. This is a Ganesha temple and has a religious importance attached to it. It was constructed three centuries ago. inside the temple, stone walls have carvings of forty incarnations of Lord Ganesa. 

Also, there is one shrine which is dedicated to Lord Murugan. The architecture style of this temple has a striking resemblance to south India. There is one elephant Lakshmi in the temple, who gathers coins from the tourist and showers her blessings. This sacred importance of the temple makes it one of the most common names in the list of places to visit in Pondicherry.

Location:

This temple is situated at Koli Street, opposite the Governor Office in Pondicherry.

Best Time To Visit:

It takes only half an hour to one hour to complete the prayers and get a view of the temple. It is not much crowded on the usual days. However during the mega-festival during months of August and September, people from all around the world visit this temple.

Timings:

The timing for offering prayers extend from 5:45 am morning to 12:30 am in evening and 4:00 pm to 09:30 pm.

Distance From the Pondicherry Bus Stand

The temple stands at a distance of 2.7 km from the bus stand. It is hardly a 10 minutes journey. If you are Lord Ganesa devotee, this is a good news for you.


Auroville Beach

Auroville Beach is a prominent beach, situated near to Auroville in Pondicherry. Located at about 12 km from Pondicherry, it is an ideal place for weekend getaways. Popularly known among the locals as Auro Beach, it offers a picturesque landscape with the crystal blue waters and the phenomenal sunrise and sunset. 

Every year, tourists from India and different countries of the world visit the beach in large numbers to experience the golden beach sands and the silent waves. It is a perfect place for swimmers and surfers. The name of the beach is derived from the renowned Auroville township. It is a tranquil place ideal for meditation and peace. In 1968, Mirra Alfassa “The Mother” christened the concept of the town Auroville.

Location:Auroville Beach is located at Bommayapalayam, which is 12 km from Pondicherry. It is located on the right side of the East Coast Road near the Auroville Beach bus stop.

Timings:
The beach is open every day from morning 7 AM till evening at 6 PM.

Entry fee:
A nominal entry fee of INR 5 is charged to the visitors of the beach.

Visitor's Facility:
There are beach chairs and hammocks available for visitors to relax and sunbathe. Surfing boards are available on rent. Visitors can also swim and relax in the waters. 

Parking Facility:
There are no parking facilities inside the beach. Visitors need to park their car outside before entering the beach premises.

Distance from Pondicherry bus stand:
Auroville beach is located at about 8.3 km from the Pondicherry bus stand if you avail the Mahatma Gandhi Road first and then the East Coast Road.


Pondicherry Museum

The Pondicherry Museum is a wholesome cradle of artefacts that is located on St. Louis Street in Puducherry (erstwhile Pondicherry). The displays in the museum give visitors valuable insight into the rich history of India, especially South India, as well as world history. The museum is also known as the Pondy Museum or the Pondicherry Museum. While there are many notable artefacts housed in the museum, it is known for its collection of rare, exotic and fascinating relics from the Pallava and Chola Dynasty whose rulers reigned during the 3rd to 10th centuries.

This museum has a number of exclusive displays consisting of stone sculptures and 81 bronze statues from the Chola periods, which has been obtained from the archaeological site of Arikamedu. This site used to be a trading centre located 7 km away from Puducherry and was known to have trade connections with the Roman Empire in the past. One of the main attractions of the museum is the fossilised remains of a prehistoric tree trunk that can be found in the courtyard and the foyer.

An ancient transport coach and an old palanquin are displayed in the centre of the ground floor of the museum. Another fascinating relic is the ‘pousse-pousse,’ an old, archetypal rickshaw which required two assistants, one for steering and the other for pushing the vehicle from behind. A perfectly preserved, fully functional and well-maintained model of the pousse-pousse can also be found on the ground floor.

The Pondicherry Museum is home to a rare collection of old and intricate bronze lamps and statues dedicated to different gods and goddesses, collected from almost all the dynasties that have ruled India through the centuries. Well preserved relics dating back to the ancient times of the Romans, Greeks and the Tsung Period of China, can also be found displayed in this Museum. The museum also has a Geology room which displays old coins, shells, fossils, French furniture and remains from ancient churches as well.

Matrimandir

credits: Aschevogel

An edifice of spiritual significance, the Matrimandir is a place for those who practice Integral yoga. Matrimandir is a Sanskrit word and is referred to as ‘Temple of The Mother’ or ‘Mother’s Shrine’ in English. Situated almost 10.3 km away from Pondicherry, this concentration centre can be found in the center of Auroville. The foundation of this place was developed by The Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Based on Sri Aurobindo’s teachings, the concept of the ‘Mother’ represents the idea of helping humankind to move ahead of its present life. Or, the ‘great evolutionary, conscious, and intelligent principle of Life’.

The Matrimandir consists of a Geodesic dome covered by golden discs, surrounded by the central Peace Area, an amphitheatre, a banyan tree, and encircled by twelve gardens. The central dome has the Inner Chamber which is used for meditation. To stabilize the geodesic dome of Matrimandir, four main pillars are constructed which are known as Maheshwari, Mahakali, Mahalakshmi, and Mahasaraswati. The construction and architecture of this whole place are solely based on Sri Aurobindo’s teachings.

History of Matrimandir 


credits: Premasagar


Matrimandir is one of the most important edifices of the Auroville township near Pondicherry. The concept of this place was developed by The Mother. By 1968, she decided to include a Pavilion, named “Matrimandir”, which means, The Mother’s Shrine. The site was almost barren but still, she included a lone Banyan tree and twelve gardens into the plan. The names were Existence, Consciousness, Bliss, Light, Life, Power, Wealth, Utility, Progress, Youth, Harmony, and Perfection.

In January 1970, The Mother introduced and asked a French architect, Roger Anger, to begin the work of Matrimandir. The final design was approved by The Mother in 1971. The design included Matrimandir on an oval island and surrounded by twelve gardens. In the month of February, the foundation stone was laid and excavation work also started. It took almost 37 years to completely build the Matrimandir. In 2008, the construction was completed and opened.

Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden in Pondicherry is a landmark site on the map of the city in terms of its great recreational and educational value. The entrance to the garden bears the nostalgia of the French colony that was set up here during 1816. The garden stands out from its surroundings in terms of its location. It is situated right in the middle of old Tamil Nadu town. The garden was established in 1826 in a very authentic and ornate French style. Right from the architecture to arrangement of trees and materials used to deck up the garden, all bear the deep reflections of French culture.

Ousteri Lake

About the Place:

Ousteri lake is one of the famous wetlands of Asia. This is the most freshwater lake in the union territory of Pondicherry. If you are looking for a place for a nice evening stroll, this lake is the best option. You can also see a lot of birds here, during the months of March and October. There is a chance to get a boat ride costing rs. 100 per person from the boating point near the lake. It is also called as Osudu Lake. It is located at a distance of 10 km from Pondicherry. This freshwater lake is a home for a variety of Flora and Fauna. The lake has a complex structure which comprises of wetland, mudflats, and water. If you are a person who enjoys being surrounded by miracles of nature, Ousteri Lake is a place for you. This is one of the most peaceful site among all the Pondicherry tourist places.

Location:

It is located on the Vazhudavoor road in Pondicherry. It is 10 km away from the main township of Pondicherry.

Best Time To Visit:

Winter season is the recommended time to visit this lake. You can enjoy the soft breeze as well as watch different species of birds during this time.

Distance From the Pondicherry Bus Stand

Ousteri Lake is situated at a distance of 10 km from the Pondicherry bus stand. In order to travel between both the points, you will take 30 minutes.

Image Credits: Flickr
Aayi Mandapam

About the Place:

Aayi Mandapam, a monument which is named after a lady courtesan, Aayi is situated at the center of Bharathi Park. It is also called as Park Monument. The monument was built during the reign of Napolean for the supply of water to the French city. There is a story behind the construction of this park monument. It is said that Vijayanagar king, Krishnadevraya was once traveling to meet Uyyakonda. On his way, he saw a mansion, which was well maintained. He thought of it as a temple and prostrate before it and offered his prayers. Actually, it was not a temple but house of a local devadasi. She decided to dismantle her house and construct a pond for the village.

Location:

It is situated at the center of the famous Bharathi park in White Town, Pondicherry.

Best Time To Visit:

It is advisable to visit here after the rains as it will be a major relief form the hot climate of the place.

Timings

It opens at 6 am in the morning and get closed by 9 pm in the night.

Distance From the Pondicherry Bus Stand

It takes just 11 minutes to cover the distance of 2.5 km between bus stand and Aayi Mandapam.


Arikamedu

About the Place:

Arikamedu which means eroding-mount has been a trade center for Romans for years. It is the most popular excavation that was carried out in the year 1940 by Mortimer Wheeler. It used to be a home for people from Rome, Cholas and French people. It also used to be a fishing town earlier which was later altered into a harbor town. Excavations carried out these years have revealed many artifacts like Amphorae- the pink wine jars, having two handles and Arretine ware- burnt clay utensils. There is no evidence of Arikamedu settlement which is existing other than this. Arikamedu got damaged in the cyclone of 2011. However, The French Mission House still remains intact. Interestingly, this site also had some artifacts from Chinese origin.

Location:

This place is about 4 km away from the Pondicherry. It lies in Southern India, in Kakkayanthope.

Best Time To Visit:

October to March is the appropriate time to visit this hot humid place.

Distance From Pondicherry Bus Stand

This famous archaeological site lies at a distance of 8.5 km from the bus station. This might take around  25 minutes to cover this distance.


Pondicherry Science Centre And Planetarium

About the Place:

So here is a place for science lovers. If you are among those people who love to experiment, you are at the right place. This is a public science planetarium which is set up by National Council of Science Museums. Here students conduct various experiments and demonstrations. It has a section called The Fun Science Gallery. Here anyone can come and explore different aspects of science in an entertaining way. Another section called The Children’s Corner brings a variety of puzzles for kids. It is an entertaining yet learning session for youngsters. The science park helps the visitors to know about principles of science. This place is different from all the Pondicherry tourist places.

Location:

It is situated at First Cross Road, Lawspet, Pondicherry.

Best Time To Visit:

It remains open for all the days except Monday. So you can visit here for the remaining 6 days.

Entry Fee

It charges a nominal fee of Rs. 5 and Rs. 10 for the children whose age is below 1 years and for the adults, the fee is Rs. 10 and 20 for the science center and planetarium respectively.

Timings:

It remains open from 10 am to 4:30 pm for all the days except Monday.

Distance From Pondicherry Bus Stand:

It is situated at a distance of 4.9 km from the bus station. It will take you around 12 minutes to cover this distance.


Immaculate Conception Cathedral

About the Place

This church is one of the most popular Pondicherry tourist places. Being 300 years old, It is regarded as the oldest site in Pondicherry. It is also known as “ Samba Kovil”. Here Kovil means church and samba stand for saint paul. This cathedral mother church is meant for Roman Catholics. In the front of this church, there is one statue of a lady and she is holding infant Jesus in her arms. This place has its own religious importance and it is regarded as a major tourist attractions in Pondicherry. The structure of the church is well-constructed with the beautiful exterior as well as interiors.

Location

Immaculate Conception Cathedral,  which is one of the best places to visit in Pondicherry, is situated at Mission St., M.G road area.

Best Time To Visit

Travellers from all around the world visit this holy church whenever they travel to Pondicherry. 8 December marks the fest of this church and many people from neighboring states come to celebrate it.

Timings

Mass timings:

5:15 AM to 6:15 AM – Monday to Saturday

5 PM – Sunday

Distance From the Pondicherry Bus Stand

It is situated at a distance of 2.5 Km from Pondicherry bis station.


Bharathidasan Museum

About the Place:

Bharathidasan was a Tamil poet who was born in Pondicherry. He was a disciple of Bharathi. Both of their works are often compared as they are equally praiseworthy. He also wrote some scripts for films on the issue of women empowerment. His home was later converted into a museum which preserves his great literary works. Some of his best compositions were created in this house. His works reflect the golden age of Tamil literature. If you are a person who has literary interest and if you have tried enough sightseeing places in Pondicherry, you must visit this museum.

Location:

The museum is situated at Ranga Pillai Street, Pondicherry.

Best Time To Visit:

You can visit the museum anytime throughout the year except for Monday. Monday is considered as a weekly holiday.

Timings:

The museum remains open from 10 AM. To 5 PM. except for Mondays.

Distance From Pondicherry Bus Stand:

You need to cover just 2.3 km from the museum to the bus stand. It would hardly take you 7 minutes. So your destination is closer than you calculated.


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