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  • Places to visit in Pondicherry are known for preserving the remnants of French heritage with Indian culture and offering a jolly good time to tourists. From its beaches to historical monuments and from its temples to churches, Pondicherry is an interesting tourist destination in India. The laid-back charm of Pondicherry is clearly visible when you visit the quaint French part of the town while tourists will also cherish the authentic Indian feel that the city brings through its culture and people.

    Some of the famous Pondicherry tourist places are Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Rock Beach, Ousteri Lake, VaradarajaPerumal Temple etc. Tourists in Pondicherry can also indulge in various water activities like surfing, scuba diving etc. if they are seeking an adrenaline rush. For seekers of spirituality, Pondicherry is known for Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville attracting thousands of tourists to explore this beautiful city. For nature lovers too, Pondicherry is a serene retreat replete with various beaches and lakes that takes the breath away of the tourists on the first glimpse. Along with that, Pondicherry is a great place for shopping lovers and foodies alike. 

    With so many unique and exciting list of places to see in Pondicherry, it is probably a dilemma for all the tourists where to go and not to do in such a short time. In order to make your vacation lovelier, we have compiled the most fabulous places which will help you discover the best of Pondicherry Sightseeing on your short and memorable trip. 

    Best places to visit in Pondicherry in one day are:

    Pondicherry Beach
    Raj Niwas 
    Promenade 
    Pondicherry Museum 
    Park Monument ( Aayi Mandapam )
    French War Memorial
    Manakula Vinayagar Temple
    Bharati Government Park 
    Chunnambar Boathouse 
    Pondicherry Botanical Garden

    Travelling to Pondicherry for the First Time? Check out the following Guides for a perfect Holiday:


    1) Things one MUST DO in Pondicherry.

    2) Beaches in Pondicherry to spend some amazing time.

    3) Best resorts in Pondicherry for a relaxing stay.


  • Must Visit Places in Pondicherry

  • 01Pondicherry Beach

    Pondicherry Beach
    Image Credit : Pruthiraj Tripathy-Flickr

    Pondicherry Beach is a paradise for all beach lovers and best among all the Pondicherry tourists places. It is flanked by a flowing creek on one side and is also known for its tree houses, which are located on the backwaters. The beach is a budget one in South India as it is cheaper to access and accommodation in Pondicherry is lesser when compared to other beaches and their resorts or hotels in the country. 

    The seashore is also known for organising a wide range of activities including cruises in the backwaters, trekking, beach volleyball, chess, picnic, themed events, table tennis, and catamaran rides for travellers. All these activities along with the beautiful surroundings, waters and golden sands is what makes this beach perfect for a holiday.

  • 02Sri Aurobindo Ashram

    Sri Aurobindo Ashram
    Image Credit : balaji shankar venkatachari-flickr

    One of favoured tourist places in Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo Ashram is where people come to seek spiritual harmony and enlightenment. It once served as a spiritual community and is known for being the abode of spiritual guru, Sri Aurobindo.

    During the early half of 20th century, Aurobindo stayed here along with his few disciples and Mirra Alfassa, the mother of the ashram and his spiritual collaborator. Once he withdrew from public view, all the responsibilities of the place were handed over to the Sadhaks, his spiritual aspirants. The ashram is also responsible for founding the concept of peaceful co-existence in a township. Auroville, the township in Pondicherry is the direct product of the ideals and aims of this ashram.

    The ashram can be visited from 8 in the morning to 12 noon, or from 2 in the afternoon to 6 in the evening. This place is popular for following the internal yoga concept, which seeks to bring a transformation in life. It also follows the existential rule of living, wherein people are motivated to find a meaning of their life and attain divine perfection.

  • 03Rock Beach

    Rock Beach
    Accentuated by the beauty of rocks sitting against the serene waters, Rock Beach is a beautiful getaway among places to see in Pondicherry. Whether you’re looking for a pleasant stroll while the splashing waters drench your feet or grab a bite while watching a beautiful sunrise, Rock Beach is amongst the most recommended Pondicherry tourist places for everyone. 

    Timings: It is open for 24 hours
    Price: Entry Free 
    Location: White Town, Pondicherry
    Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: Rock Beach is located 3 km away from the bus stand in Pondicherry.

    If in Pondicherry than one cannot miss to spend some time on the beautiful beaches of Pondicherry.
  • 04Raj Niwas

    Raj Niwas
    Image Credit : Jean-Pierre Dalbéra-Flickr
    Raj Niwas in Pondicherry is the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor. It is one of the most important buildings, which once served as a palace during French colonization of the country. It used to be the residence of Dupleix, the official French Governor, who was notorious for trying to destroy Manakula Vinayagar Temple. 

    Currently, the Niwas is located in the Government Park and parts of it are opened for the public. Dr Iqbal Singh, the present Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry resides here. The place is well known for its parks and gardens, along with sculptures from medieval and contemporary era, giving a keen insight into the culture and life of Pondicherry. 

    Never think to miss any of these things to do in Pondicherry if memories is what you want to take back home.
  • 05Auroville

    Auroville
    Image Credit : okramesh-Flickr

    Designed by popular architect Roger Anger, Auroville is a strategically planned, experimental township that aims to develop India through the idea of peaceful co-existence. The township, located close to Pondicherry is often referred to as the ‘City of Dawn’ and is named after Sri Aurobindo.

    Auroville is the best place for those who seek to learn more about India and its spirituality. It was created to bring progressive harmony aims to transcend creed, culture, politics and nationalities. Visiting here is truly a unique experience. Take a break from your Pondicherry sightseeing and visit this spiritual escape.

    The project was initially founded in the 1960s by the spiritual collaborator of Sri Aurobindo. The society founded this project to ensure that people attain divine perfection and find meaning of their existence through peaceful living with one another. The place also houses a large architectural marvel called Matrimandir, which features 56 kilograms of gold on its dome along with golden mounts. The building, which glows with sunlight, is widely considered as a harbinger of peace, serenity and tranquillity. The Matrimandir is a middle point of this township and a popular place of interest.

  • 06French War Memorial

    French War Memorial
    Image Credit : Deep Hazarika-Flickr

    French War Memorial is a popular place of interest. Built on the Goubert Avenue or The Promenade, it serves as a reminder of those valiant soldiers who lost their lives during the World War-I from 1916 to 1919. The memorial, built in 1971, is reminiscent of the fact that war leaves fatalities behind and doesn’t answer any questions or offer any solutions. On the Bastille Day, i.e. 14th July every year, the memorial is illuminated in a beautiful manner, ensuring that locals and travellers can pay homage to courageous martyrs who laid down their lives.

    Closely located to the Gandhi Statue and surrounded by eight pillars, this statue reminds one of the era gone by and the Indian struggle for independence. French influence can be seen close by as an iconic, marble statue of Joan of Arc, located here.

  • 07The Pondicherry Botanical Garden

    The Pondicherry Botanical Garden
    Image Credit : Nadarajan T

    All over the world, botanical gardens are tourists’ delight. This Pondicherry Botanical Garden is no different. Providing respite from the heat and hustle-bustle on main roads, this garden serves as one of the delightful places to visit in Pondicherry.

    Located south of the New Bus Stand, it is a reminder of French architecture, providing an insight into how architecture in France developed and how colonization has had an impact on the development of Pondicherry. Built in 1826, the garden was initially laid out in ornate style so that locals could picnic and enjoy their free time refreshing themselves amidst trees, grasses and flowers.

    Tourists can enjoy the sight of fountains, gravel-lined paths, beautiful flowerbeds and pruned trees. One of the most ornately designed gardens in South India, the botanical beauty houses around 1500 varieties of plants. If you are looking for an opportunity to get upclose with nature this is one of the best Pondicherry tourist places.

    The Pondicherry Botanical Gardens are well known for exotic species of different plants procured from all over the world. Every weekend musical fountain shows are organised.

  • 08The Pondicherry Museum

    The Pondicherry Museum
    Image Credit : BEV Norton-Flickr

    The city of Pondicherry is widely known for its sculptures, architecture and cultural influences. Those who wish to acquaint themselves with Pondicherry should, therefore, visit the Pondicherry Museum which is a hub for art enthusiasts, history lovers and explorers.

    The museum is known for having remains from the Arikamedu Roman settlements. At the same time, it features a rare collection of bronze and stone sculptures that provide information and insight into the Chola and Pallava dynasties of India. Apart from this, the museum also houses some of the rare artefacts from Roman empires that once lived in Pondicherry.

    The museum is also popular for artefacts from literature and Dravidian culture. One of its regions is the Bharathidasan Museum, which is named after the popular Pondicherry poet and playwright. Here, one can find French diaries and other artefacts that reveal facts about how architecture in this city has flourished over the years. This museum must be at the top of your list of Pondicherry tourist spots.

  • 09Promenade

    Promenade

    The Promenade, also known as the Goubert Avenue is one of the best places to visit in Pondicherry. Designed in a French style, it has boulevards and swaying palm trees all around. The seafront is best when visited in the early morning, when you can enjoy calm and tranquil nature and refresh yourself with a morning walk. This is also great for those who wish to socialize with locals and other joggers.

    After the jogging or morning walk, make sure that you try tea stalls and coffee stalls here. The place is great for enjoying the sound and mist of sea breeze. It is also known for its bustling bazaars in the evening. If you love the bustle, then evening is the time to visit. But if you favour serenity, make sure you visit it during the morning hours.

  • 10Park Monument (Aayi Mandapam)

    Park Monument (Aayi Mandapam)

    Another tourist places in Pondicherry Park Monument is Park Monument. It is an attractive, alluring destination that is located in the picturesque area of Government Park. Built during the period of Napoleon-III during the 16th century, this is a place that will transport you to the era gone by.

    Currently, it is referred to by the name of Aayi, who was once a renowned courtesan. If the local stories are to be believed, Aayi destroyed her home and made a water tank instead of it. The king then believed that the candle lit house was a sacred place. It is widely believed that the tank was responsible for serving and bringing water from town to French engineers. This hassle free destination offers an insight into the lives and times of people in 16th century.

    Adventure seekers never misses to get some thrills in Pondicherry. Push yourself to do some adventure activities in Pondicherry.

  • 11Bharati Government Park

    Bharati Government Park

    Bharati Government Park is one of the most organised parks in the country. This important place to visit in Pondicherry is designed in such a way that it serves as its green centre. Considered to be a French Town, this park is now an area that bustles with life, thanks to a number of locals and travellers who visit here with their families and kids.

    The park features a beautiful pond and a local museum. Nestled around hills and traffic parks, this is where kids can learn and enjoy a variety of things. It is divided in four, almost equal parts and showcases an amalgamation of ancient sculptures and modern statues. The place is also known for housing Raj Niwas, the residence of the Lieutenant Governor. It once served as the Palace of French Governor of Pondicherry. An art gallery in the South and an Eastern side with French bandstand are popular in this park. When visiting here this is the place where your Pondicherry sightseeing should start from.

  • 12Ousteri Lake

    Ousteri Lake
    Ousteri Lake is a gorgeous tourist spot among places to see in Pondicherry for boating and appreciating the beauty of nature. It is frequented by visitors for many reasons be it grabbing a bite at its various restaurants, enjoy riding on a boat or just enjoy the sunset while sipping your coffee. This important freshwater lake is recognised as an IUCN designated wetland and a source of many beautiful migratory birds who flock here. 

    Timings: The visiting hours at Ousteri Lake is from 9 am to 5 pm
    Price: The ticket price at Ousteri Lake varies according to the choice of boat you wish to hire
    Location: It is located about 10 kms from Pondicherry
    Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: Ousteri Lake is situated 10 kilometres from Pondicherry bus stand
  • 13Chunnambar Boathouse

    Chunnambar Boathouse
    Image Credit : Ashwin Kumar

    Chunnambar River is widely popular for its backwaters, which offers travellers the opportunity to enjoy picnicking with their families and children. Among the tourist places to visit in Pondicherry, this boathouse not only allows one to stay in a luxurious manner, but also ensures that travellers enjoy the trip of a lifetime amidst nature and greenery.

    The boathouses here are driven by the crew and oarsmen in the Chunnambar River. They have one, two or three rooms along with sundeck, balcony areas and other facilities ensuring that you stay in a leisurely manner. Apart from boathouses, the river here also has a water sports centre, where travellers can enjoy a wide variety of recreational activities. A feeling of serenity and calm that is unique to this place with an unparalleled view that you cannot find it in any other of Pondicherry tourist places.

  • 14Serenity Beach

    Serenity Beach
    For those looking for a day filled with tranquillity, Serenity beach is a mesmerising visit in Pondicherry sightseeing for all the tourists. It boasts of the resplendent beauty of nature with its golden sands and blue waters that greet the visitors with a panoramic view. The beautiful beach offers surfing and serves a great spot to laze around under the shade with your book or just enjoy the company of your loved ones with a refreshing day in Pondicherry. 

    Timings: It remains open 24 hours for visitors
    Price: Free 
    Location: Kottakuppam, Pondicherry
    Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is located about 7 kilometres from Pondicherry Bus Stand

    The secret of a perfect vacation is to stay in a resort, and the beach resorts of Pondicherry makes sure that you have a memorable one.
  • 15Old Lighthouse

    Old Lighthouse
    Built in the 19th century by the erstwhile French rulers in Pondicherry, the old lighthouse is one of the most important historical places to visit in Pondicherry. It once offered the only light for guiding the ships in the sea across the Red Hills and today stands as an integral reminder of engineering and architecture. This interesting spot in Pondicherry is a delightful visit for those fond of history and looking for places to try their hand on photography. 

    Location: Rock Beach, White Town, Pondicherry
    Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It can be reached at a distance of 3 km from the bus stand in Pondicherry.
  • 16Statue of Dupleix

    Statue of Dupleix
    One of the major attractions in Pondicherry, this statue was built in 1870 to honour the French governor Dupleix who ruled Pondicherry up to the year 1754. About 3 metres in height, this statue located in Goubert Avenue is made of granite and symbolises the legacy of French colonial rule over Pondicherry. Situated at the end of the Rock Beach, this statue is a pleasant visit for those interested in history and visit the children’s park where it is located. 

    Location: Marquis Dupleix Goubert Ave Street, Duppuypet, Puducherry
    Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is just 2.6 kilometres from the bus stand in Pondicherry
  • 17The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

    The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
    Known for its elegant gothic architecture, Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is one of the most popular places to visit in Pondicherry. Offering prayers to the Almighty, devotees congregate here at this revered place of worship. It is known for having the glass pictures of 28 saints and many glass panels depict the life of Jesus adding to the interesting sights of this church in Pondicherry. 

    Timings: The mass timings here are 5:30 am, 12:30 pm and 6:00 pm from Monday to Saturday. For Sunday, the mass timings are 5:30 am, 12:00 pm and 5:00 pm
    Price: Free 
    Location: MG Road Area, Puducherry
    Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is about 2 kilometres away from Pondicherry bus stand
  • 18Mahatma Gandhi Statue

    Mahatma Gandhi Statue
    Situated across the street from Jawaharlal Nehru statue, the Mahatma Gandhi statue is a renowned tourist place for history buffs in Pondicherry. The famous statue is surrounded by eight granite pillars that are believed to be bought from Gingee that is a fort located 70 kilometres away from the city of Pondicherry. Encompassed by a garden, it is an interesting point of interest for many people in Pondicherry Tourist Places. 

    Location: Beach Rd, White Town, Pondicherry
    Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is just 3.7 kilometres from Pondicherry Bus-stand
  • 19Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges

    Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges
    Exuberating beautiful influences of French architecture, Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges is one of the most religious places to visit in Pondicherry. The church has a gorgeous white chapel and is known for its statue of Mother Mary holding baby Jesus in her arms. There are also many relics and statues of Joan of Arc which makes it worth a visit. One should visit the church on Sunday where the only mass is celebrated in Pondicherry. 

    Timings: Its open from 7:00 am to 6:30 pm 
    Price: Free 
    Location: Rue Dumas, Pondicherry
    Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is about 2 kilometres from the bus stand in Pondicherry
  • 20Immaculate Conception Cathedral

    Immaculate Conception Cathedral
    Image Credit : wikimedia - Google
    Also known as ‘samba kovil’, Immaculate Conception Cathedral is a beautiful church and one of the oldest tourist places in the city of Pondicherry. It is a reminder of Portuguese styled churches of Goa and known as the mother church for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore. One must visit Immaculate Conception Cathedral when mass services are performed to appreciate the spiritual ambiance of this place of worship. 

    Timings: It is open from 7:00 am to 12:00 pm and then from 3:00 to 8:30 pm
    Location: Mission St, MG Road Area, Pondicherry 
    Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: The bus stand is 2.2 kilometres away from Immaculate Conception Cathedral 
  • Other Places to Visit in Pondicherry

  • 21Paradise Beach

    Paradise Beach
    One of the most spectacular places in Pondicherry for nature lovers, Paradise Beach is known for its splendid backwaters and its glittering golden sands. The mangrove forests makes it a haven for birdwatchers as well as for avid photographers. The number of beach shacks makes the outing exciting with their delectable street food. The best time to visit Paradise Beach is during sunrise and combine it with a quiet stroll. 

    Timings: The opening hours from 9 am to 5 pm
    Price: Free 
    Location: 40, Goubert Avenue, Pondicherry
    Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is located at a distance of 8 kilometres from the bus stand
  • 22Varadaraja Perumal Temple

    Varadaraja Perumal Temple
    This well known Vaishnavite temple is a notable temple built in the Dravidian style of architecture in Pondicherry. Built by the Cholas and later expanded by the Pandyas, VaradarajaPerumal Temple is famous for its five tieredrajagopuram and the enchanting idol of Lord Vishnu that stands in sanctum of the temple. The temple looks the most beautiful when it is decorated during the festivals of Diwali, Pongal and Tamil New Year. 

    Timings: The timings are from 6:00 am to 12:00 pm and then from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm
    Price: Entrance is free 
    Location: Mahatma Gandhi Rd, Heritage Town, Pondicherry 
    Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: The temple is located 2.5 kilometres away from Pondicherry bus stand
  • 23Cluny Embroidery Centre

    Cluny Embroidery Centre
    One of the most interesting places, Cluny Embroidery Centre is where you can see underprivileged women working wonders with their hand stitched designs. The workshop is run by a local convent and offers some of the most stunning vintage handicrafts not found anywhere else in Pondicherry. Along with appreciating the brilliant work done at this heritage French bungalow, Cluny Embroidery Centre offers many shopping opportunities for tourists. 

    Timings: It is open from 8:30am-12pm and 2pm-5pm daily
    Price: INR 2000-15000/ USD 30-230
    Location: White Town, Pondicherry
    Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is about 3 kilometres from Cluny Embroidery Centre
  • 24Manakula Vinayagar Temple

    Manakula Vinayagar Temple
    Image Credit : McKay Savage-Flickr

    This Hindu temple, located in Pondicherry is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. It is widely considered a popular pilgrimage site. The temple and its antiquity reminds one of how Indian culture and heritage didn’t wither away even after years of colonization. During Dupleix’s tenure, several attempts were made to destroy the temple, but Hindu populations always managed to protect it through protests and threat of Maratha invasion.

    Revered for its beauty and structure, the temple came into existence even before French came to the country. Constructed before 1666 AD, this place of worship has different names and types of Lord Ganesha. Meaning ‘sand around pond’, several scholars have written about this temple.

    This place is also known for a saint, Thollaikkathu Siddhar, who stood 6 feet tall and had a broad forehead with blissful eyes. He is said to have attained enlightenment from this temple and later sacrificed his body here. People bring in their new born children here for getting blessings. 

    The shrine is well-known for its golden chariot, which has been made through donations by different devotees. 7.5 kilograms of gold has been used for constructing this chariot, which was estimated around INR 35 lacs. The chariot was first run in a grand ceremony on 5th October 2003. Now, it runs once a year on Dusherra.

  • 25Kanniga Parameswari Temple

    Dedicated to the Goddess Shakti, KannigaParameswari Temple is known for seamlessly amalgamating the French style with traditional Deccan architecture. This spiritually notable temple draws in a number of tourists who come here to seek the blessings of the goddess on important occasions like festivals, marriages etc. The elaborate design of this temple makes it a must-visit for photography lovers in Pondicherry sightseeing. 

    Timings: This temple is kept open from 6 am to 11 am them from 5 pm to 8 pm.
    Price: Entrance fees is free. 
    Location: M.G. Road, Pondicherry 
    Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is located 2.5 kilometres from the bus stand in Pondicherry
  • 26ISKCON Pondicherry

    ISKCON Pondicherry
    For those looking for spiritual Pondicherry tourist places, ISKCON Pondicherry is the place to go and feel the divine connection. It was established to spread Krishna consciousness in the region and attracts devotees from far off places. Tourists can visit ISKCON Pondicherry to seek meditative relaxation and enjoy the bhajans and artis dedicated to the lord. 

    Timings: The timings at ISKCON Pondicherry is from 5 am to 8:30 pm. 
    Location: No. 2-B, 7th Cross Corner, Krishna Nagar Main Road, Krishna Nagar, Pondicherry 
    Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is located 3.1 kilometres from Pondicherry Bus Stand. 
  • 27Sri Karaneswara Nataraja Temple

    Sri Karaneswara Nataraja Temple
    Based on the structure of Great Pyramids of Giza, Sri Karaneswara Nataraja Temple is a prominent temple in Pondicherry tourist places dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple complex has three paths for pradakshina according to Indian traditions and certainly a sight to behold for both the devotees and tourists. The unique temple is oriented towards north while the entrance faces south as the Indian tradition considers Shiva as the Teacher of the South

    Timings: The opening timings are from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
    Location: It is located on the beach at Pudhukuppam
    Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is located 17 kilometres from Pondicherry bus stand. 
  • 28The Ganesh Garden

    The Ganesh Garden
    This tiny botanical garden is maintained by a French couple and an interesting visit among Pondicherry tourist places. This well maintained offers a lot of exciting insights into the world of plants and trees and people can go there to enjoy some relaxing time with their loved ones. All those who appreciate the company of nature, Ganesh Garden is a great place to discover Pondicherry

    Timings: It remains open from 9 am to 11 am and then from 4 to 6 pm
    Location: Ramaraja St, MG Road Area, Pondicherry 
    Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is just 2 kilometres from Pondicherry bus stand
  • 29Veerampattinam Beach

    Veerampattinam Beach
    Veerampattinam Beach is one of the most beautiful places in Pondicherry sightseeing. This village holds an integral place in Pondicherry’s history and hosts some of the most exuberant festivals. It is known as one of the most gorgeous beaches in south India and attracts a lot of tourists. Visitors at Veerampattinam beach can also watch the fishermen who work with their traditional nets to catch their daily fish.

    Location: Veerampattinam, Pondicherry 
    Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is about 10 kilometres from the bus stand
  • 30Cafe Xtasi

    Cafe Xtasi
    Famous for its thin crust pizza, Café Xtasi is an absolute for foodies vacationing in Pondicherry. With its rooftop ambience, this café is a great spot for hanging out with your loved ones and enjoy munching on some delicious snacks. Some of the famous dishes offered on its menu are pork chops, peri peri chicken, pasta etc.

    Timings: The opening hours at Café Xtasi are from 11 am to 11 pm
    Price: INR 900/ USD 14 for two 
    Location: Shop No.245, Mission Street, MG Road Area, Opposite VOC School, Pondicherry 
    Distance from Pondicherry Bus Stand: It is situated 2.3 kilometres from Pondicherry Bus stand 

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Adventure in Pondicherry

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