15 Best Places to Visit in Pondicherry in One Day - 2020
Sun, sand, sea, colourful buildings and a confluence of cultures, there is so much to do and so many places to visit in Pondicherry in one day, that one is simply lost for choice! The numerous cafes including the Cafe des Arts and Villa Shanti, and splendid beaches like Rock Beach and Promenade Beach will leave you coming back here for more. But what stands out is the spectacular architecture of this French colony, which is truly a sight to behold.

We’re ensuring you make the most of your
one day trip in Pondicherry. Start with the prominent township, Auroville, make your way to the Aurobindo Ashram, and seek blessings at the Manakula Temple. Move along to White Town, where every sight is in close proximity to one another.

Tread along the streets while soaking in the prettiness of Pondy. Head to the coast, past the beaches where you can enjoy some leisurely activities. End your day with the Botanical Gardens, a trip to Paradise Beach and a boat ride at Chunnambar backwaters. Here’s all that you can and should visit if you have just a day in this scenic town.

Here are some of the best places to visit in Pondicherry in one day: 

01

Auroville

Auroville

Begin your journey with ‘The City Of Dawn’. Arguably one of the most tranquil sights in Pondicherry, Auroville was built in 1968 as a futuristic township where people from all walks of life can live in peace and progressive harmony.

A visual treat here is the Matrimandir, a dodecagon marble dome dedicated to meditation, with an optical glass globe at its centre, allowing a shaft of sunlight to stream in. This focused sunlight is believed to enhance concentration whilst in the midst of peace. Make sure you visit the boutiques, the bookshop and the cafeteria and ride along on e-cycles while here.

Location
: Auroville Universal Township, Town Hall, Auroville, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu 605101, India

Timings
: Daily 9:30 am - 5:30 pm

Price
: Free Entry.

02

Old Lighthouse

Old Lighthouse

The Old Lighthouse was built by the French, back in 1836, as a guidance for mariners, who up until then relied only on the Red Hills to approach Pondicherry. It was originally a simple rectangular base with a shop, an area for the watchman and an inner staircase leading to the light which shone up to a distance of 29 kms.

As time moved on, a second storey was added and a 1000-watt revolving light replaced the original one. Today, the Old Lighthouse has been converted partly into a museum while a new one has been constructed to the south of Pondicherry.

Location
: Goubert Ave, White Town, Puducherry, 605001

Timings
: Tues - Sat - 9 am to 5 pm | Sun-Mon - 3 pm to 5 pm

Price
: Rs. 10 per person

03

Bharathi Park

Bharathi Park

Surrounded by lush greenery, a picturesque pond, a hill, and granite benches, Bharathi Park is an ideal picnic-spot if you’re travelling to Pondicherry with family.

The area around the park is dotted with ancient sculptures, statues and stately buildings, including the Raj Nivas, the Museum and more.

Take a stroll, sit by the pond, enjoy some quality time with your loved ones, whilst you make the most of an unhurried experience.

Location
: 20, Rue Saint Gilles Street, White Town, Puducherry, 605001

Timings
: 6:30am–8:30pm

Price
: Free Entry.

04

Botanical Gardens

Botanical Gardens

Built in colonial times, the Botanical Gardens boast of French architecture, standing out from the Southern-style surroundings. The sprawling 22-acres garden has more than 1500 species of plants, including endangered and exotic ones, making it one of the best gardens in South India.

The garden also offers toy train rides, musical and dancing fountains that you can catch only on the weekends, an aquarium, pruned trees and beautiful flower beds, all which add to the aesthetic of the venue.

Location
: Maraimalai, Maraimalai Adigal Salai, Near Anna Statue, Ambedkar Nagar, Orleanpet, Puducherry, 605001

Timings
: Daily, 10 am - 5pm

Price
: Adults - Rs. 10 / Children - Rs. 5.

05

Mahatma Gandhi Statue

Mahatma Gandhi Statue

The Mahatma Gandhi statue pays homage to the Father of The Nation. With a foundation laid in 1866 and the inauguration done a century later, the 13-feet high statue is apparently one of the biggest Gandhi statue in Asia.

The monument is encircled by eight exquisitely carved granite pillars brought in from Gingee, a fort close to Pondicherry. There is also a tunnel below the statue, which leads right up to Gingee, but owing to some unfortunate mishaps, the entrance was sealed soon after.

The statue stands strong, right in the city centre, so make sure you pay it a visit on your one day trip in Pondicherry.

Location: No. 40, Goubert Avenue, Beach Rd, White Town, Puducherry, 605001

Timings: Open 24 Hours

Price: Free.

06

Sri Aurobindo Ashram

Sri Aurobindo Ashram

Known to be one of the wealthiest Ashrams in India, this is a must visit on your one day trip in Pondicherry. It is built on the spiritual philosophies of Aurobindo Ghosh, a globally renowned philosopher-poet and yogi.

Visitors from across the world flock the Ashram to seek blessings from the mortal remains of Aurobindo and his entrusted disciple called Mirra Alfassa or ‘The Mother’.The remains lie in the courtyard of the main Ashram building, under a frangipani tree, accessible to all.

Location
: Near Junction of Manakula Vinayagar No. 9 Marine Street, Manakula Vinayagar Koil St, Near Junction of, Puducherry, 605002

Timings
: Samadhi - 8 am - 12 pm and 2 pm - 6 pm

Price
: Free Entry.

07

Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple

Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple

Standing magnificently tall, this temple, dedicated to Lord Ganesha, was built three centuries ago. The interiors bear forty incarnations and forms of Lord Ganesha, intricately carved on the temple walls.

A golden pyramid crowns the temple and the premises are home to Lord Murugan’s shrine, who is believed to have been the younger brother of Lord Ganesha. Together, the shrine and pyramid, create a blissful aura.Rest assured, once here, you’ll be amused by the temple elephant Lakshmi, who gathers coins from tourists and blesses them with her trunk!

Location
: Manakula Vinayagar Koil St, White Town, Puducherry, 605001

Timings
: 5:45 am - 12:30 pm and 4:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Price
: Free Entry.

08

Pondicherry Museum

Pondicherry Museum

Housing a rare collection of bronze and stone sculptures, steeped into our history, excavated from the Pallava and Chola dynasties and Arikamedu, the local museum is definitely one of the many places to visit in Pondicherry in one day.

A major attraction here is the coach, the palanquin and the pousse-pousse, which was an ancient rickshaw, needed to be operated by two people at a time.

Once here, you’re sure to be transported to the mythological era. Spot the fossilised tree trunk, Greek and Roman relics, Hindu deities, handicrafts, coins, French furniture and more.

Location
: Eswaran Kovil Street, Canteen St, Puducherry, 605001

Timings
: 9 am - 5:00 pm. Monday closed

Price
: Rs. 15 per person.

09

Aayi Mandapam

Aayi Mandapam

Among the many places to visit in Pondicherry in one day, the Aayi Mandapam is on our list for its history. Legend has it that the memorial is dedicated to Aayi, a courtesan, whose brothel was ordered to be torn down by the King. After bringing it down herself, Aayi built a pond there to make potable water accessible to the residents.

Her generosity is marked by the structure in Bharathi Park, which is illuminated in all its glory in the evenings. It is flanked by monuments and statues that also make for interesting tourist spots.

Location
: White Town, Puducherry, 605001

Timings
: 9 am - 7 pm

Price
: Free Entry.

10

French War Memorial

French War Memorial

The French Memorial is a beautiful but grave reminder that pays tribute to the bravehearts who laid down their lives during World War I. It was erected in 1937 and inaugurated a year later.

While nobody is permitted to enter the grounds of the war memorial, on the occasion of Bastille Day, every year, the memorial is beautifully illuminated so as to pay homage to the valiant martyrs.

Behind the memorial is a bronze carving that marks the day the then Governor-General of France, Joseph Dupleix, arrived in Pondicherry in 1742. Make sure you visit this too.

Location
: Mahe de Labourdonnais St, White Town, Puducherry, 605001

Timings
: 10 am to 5 pm

Price
: Free Entry.

11

Promenade Beach

Promenade Beach

If you’re looking for places to visit in Pondicherry in one day, don’t miss the infamous Promenade Beach. The 1.5 km stretch is often called the Pride of Pondicherry for its sparkling sands and glistening waters.You’ll spot a juice vendor early in the day, and street-foods lining the beach late in the evenings.

That’s not all, tourists and locals alike, frequent this beach for their evenings strolls or jogs, while a majority are here to simply enjoy the vibe at the popular Le Cafe.

After all, iIt isn’t everyday that you can sip on some delicious coffee and bite into some lip-smacking food while the waves lap at your feet, right?

Location
: White Town, Puducherry, 605001

Timings
: Open 24 hours

Price
: Free Entry.

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12

Rock Beach

Rock Beach

Known to be one of the finest beaches Pondicherry has to offer, feel free to lose yourself amidst nature’s charm at the Rock Beach. Situated in the heart of the city, right next to the Promenade Beach, and surrounded by the most popular sights in town, the beach is lined by huge rocks.

A trip here during sunrise or sunset is absolutely surreal, as you watch the mighty waves crash against the rocks ever so often.

Location
: White Town, Puducherry, 605001

Timings
: Open 24 hours

Price
: Free Entry.

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13

Our Lady of Angels Church

Our Lady of Angels Church

Translated from the French term, Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges, the Church should certainly feature on your list of places to visit in Pondicherry in one day. With a mix of limestone and egg whites, lending it a white marble texture, the structure is built in Greek-Roman architectural style.

Inside, you’ll be welcomed by rare oil paintings and pastel colours which soothe your senses as you walk in. Bang opposite the church is a statue of Virgin Mary cradling Baby Jesus in her arms.

The diversity here is visible through the Mass, which is read in French, English and Tamil.

Location: Dumas St. and Surcouf St, Puducherry, India

Timings: 7 am - 6:30 pm

Price: Free Entry.

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14

Paradise Beach

Paradise Beach

Looking for Paradise? It’s right here amidst the pristine beauty of Pondicherry! Offering a rustic ambience, Paradise Beach is where time stands still, yet the endless activities are a good reminder of how quickly time flies by. Feel the sand between your toes, the waves lapping at your feet, and the soft rustle of the coconut trees that transport you into a surreal space.

You can dine at the multi-cuisine shack here, take a dip in the waters, indulge in some beach sports with your loved ones, or even enjoy a game ot two with strangers. Everyone’s welcome here! All of this and more makes Paradise Beach a must-visit on your one day trip in Pondicherry.

Location: Chinna Veerampattinam, Puducherry 605007

Timings
: 9 am - 5 pm

Price: Boat rides and activities are charged.

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15

Chunnambar River

Chunnambar River

End your day with a serene boat ride or even better, a tree-house stay, at the Chunnambar River, 8 kms from Pondicherry. Yes, a tree-house stay! You read that right. Following your picnic at the adjoining Paradise Beach, the backwaters are not only home to a quaint resort, but also offer a host of activities including trekking, yachting, boating and beach sports.

With a panoramic view of abundant greenery, a slice of ‘Paradise’ by its side, quite literally, and the gently flowing river, an overnight stay or a short trip to Chunnambar is probably the nicest ways to end your day at Pondicherry.

Location: Pondy-Cuddalore Road, Nonankuppam, Puducherry 605101

Timings: 24 hours

Price: Boat rides and activities are charged.

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"One of the best experience of my life even though my ears are still blocked due to high pressure but the overall xperience was just awesome. Best Instructors provided to us. Not only they are good in their work, they are fun loving, crazy kinda guys & gel up very well.\nPool demonstration & training was more than good as compared to other personnel who provide scuba diving."
"Great tour, and on time start and completion, covered more than what was in the itinerary and never felt hurried. Thanks to shabbeer and thrillophilia for making the day memorable... "
"The facility was good. the best part was that there were only two of us. instructors were friendly and extremely helpful. only problem is that you can't be sure of under water visibility in Pondicherry. someday it is clear, sometimes you can't see anything."
26 June 2019
Excellent
This was my first scuba diving experience, and it was just awesome. I have no words to express my happiness here. All credits goes to the instructor Mike and Khushboo and other team members, they very calm composed and teaching all the important things we have to take care during the dive. I had my best experience. I will definitely do this again here.
"Really nice and complete tourist tour of Pondichéry. \n\nWe booked for 2 just the night before! The service is very reactive. The car was comfy and with A/C. The driver was on time and flexible. He shared some knowledge about different places while driving. \n\nWe strongly recommend this tour as its price is definitely worth it. Check the different places that you'll visit to plan and make the most out of this great 8 hours."
Pondicherry is so beautiful and different from other places in India. I went to Pondicherry with my friends and we enjoyed a lot. We went to the church, Aurbindo Ashram and we even did boating in Chunnambar backwaters. Promenade Beach was so beautiful and alluring. We had a great time on the beach. The stays and food included in the package were very nice. Even the driver was so kind and nice.
We went to Pondicherry for a family vacation and we had a lot of fun there. The place is so beautiful and clean. Weather was also pleasant and soothing. We enjoyed a lot on the beach and w even visited the Church and Aurobindo Ashram. The trip was well organized and the facilities provided were amazing. Thanks for the great experience!!
03 February 2020
Superb
So much thrilling adventure and what a view. Inside a water. I did this when I was on Pondicherry tour. The instructor was kind person, it was my second experience, first I have done this in goa but it was so different and like it was whole different world inside the water. Fun activity must do if you are in Pondicherry.
10 March 2020
Excellent
Very beautiful place with so enjoyable weather and such an amazing instructor. We were 4 friends and had his. Thrillophilia arranged it nicely for us and with good instructor it became possible. Thanks
11 March 2020
Excellent
My first experience went extremely memorable as I am hydrophobic but the guide was polite and he made me believe that you have all the safety equipment and oxygen under the water, finally after some time and a bit of briefing I dive and it was super fantastic. I really enjoyed it and will definitely do this again.

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