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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.

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Rock Beach

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.

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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
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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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?


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Traveller Tales from Tamil Nadu

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Praveen kumar

06 December 2018

"Awsm experience... I opted for the Corporate package, I enjoyed a lot in that .... food was also delicious..... private beach having good & calm atmosphere... "

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Manish Manish

04 February 2019

Wonderful experience, camping, trekking, food ...everything worth it...friendly staff and very cooperative..recommended.

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Gaurav Yadav

13 September 2019

Awesome place for kids to enjoy and activities planned keep the families engaged.Overall a good opportunity to spend some quality and dedicated time with friends and dear ones.The food quality was good...

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Rajkumar

27 December 2018

"Had a wonderful Christmas at the country club. The Food was really good. Everything about the buffet was very well organized. Had good fun.. Highly recommend for day outs. "

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RAKESH TRIPATHI

14 May 2017

"Perfect for day out with family. "

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Mighara Hulangamuwa

15 October 2019

It was a truly amazing experience for me and my friend. We reached the place before the check in time but still without a hesitation the staff managed to accommodate us in our tent leaving us enough ti...

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Pratyush dayal

11 October 2019

"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...

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Ritik Bansal

14 October 2018

"The only pure veg day outing option i know of in Bangalore. Plenty to do, specially for kids. Food is also decent for the price. 10/10 in value for money. Would certainly visit again."

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R Chandrasekaran

01 October 2019

"Really enjoyed. It was a different quiet ambience. Thank u."

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What You Should Know More About Tamil Nadu

  • Q. Travel advice

    • Carry cotton clothes and a few warm clothes when travelling to hill stations.

    • There may be robbers, pick pockets in crowded areas, so keep your belongings safe.

    • You must never ever smoke in public places, especially, in Chennai, as it has strict laws about smoking in public areas.

    • Do not ask for liquor in restaurants or buy them from shops. Only a few marked shops are allowed to sell them.

    • Do not ever utter a word against the actor Rajinikanth or any of the actors in the film industry, as it can land you in trouble.

    • Learn a few Tamil words, as people in this state love their mother tongue and will help you better if you start speaking in their language to get around.

    • Do not use auto rickshaws if you do not know Tamil, as they have a bad reputation of looting tourists by charging whopping prices. Always use the public transportation as it is safer and cheap.

    • Do not litter on beaches as Chennai and many other places keep the beaches clean.

    • Never wear revealing clothes anywhere in Tamil Nadu, as it is mostly a traditional state, and you will most certainly get petrified with glares if you wear them.

    • Dress as traditionally as possible when you go to temples as people in this state adhere to religious customs and norms.

    • Do not discuss or speak inside the temples. Keep your curiosity outside the walls of the temples.

    • There is hardly any scope of nightlife in Tamil Nadu, as there are a few pubs and bars in Chennai.

    • You can stay at hotels and resorts near beaches.

  • Q. Drinking Law

    Tamil Nadu has been a dry state for a very long time. You might not get drinks easily from a liquor shop. Most of the restaurants too do not serve liquor. You must never get drunk in public areas, as this is considered to be a serious offence in Tamil Nadu.


  • Q. Our Recommendations: What you can’t afford to miss?

    Hill Stations

    Ooty, Kodaikanal, Yercaud, Yelagiri Hills, Kolli Hills, Coonoor, Valparai, Red Hills, and Kotagiri are the most popular hill stations in Tamil Nadu. You can visit them for their landscape beauty, cooler climate, lush green vegetation, tea gardens, rivers, streams, lakes, taking walking trails in the dense forest areas, boating and horse rides, waterfalls, mountain peaks, and view points in the Nilgiri’s mountain range. You can find trekking and boating activities, and places to see at most of these hill stations. These are the best options for travel and holidays spent in Tamil Nadu.

    Temple tours

    Most of the places in Tamil Nadu are visited for the architecture delights, and experiencing the divine energies in temples. You can take the temple tours at Meenakshi temple in Madhurai, Kanyakumari temples in Kanyakumari, Ramashweram temple, Navagraha temple, and many more temples that have splendid architecture and vibrant aura of scared deities spread across these sites.

    Wild life and nature

    You can visit the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhumalai, and spot flying squirrels, hyenas, wild boars, crocodiles, otters, elephants, deers, and many other exotic wild species of animals. You can also visit Topslip, which is a Tiger Reserve forest 76 kilometers from Coimbatore. 53 kilometers from Mahabalipiuram is a Vedanthangal bird Sanctuary which is 200 years old. At the Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary near Thanjavur you will find many migratory birds like, flamingos and water fowls. Also seen are turtles, dolphins, and many other wild life species, like chintal, black bucks, plovers, and terns. Treks and walking trails are the best things to do here.

    Historical monuments, caves, and museums

    The Droog Fort, 15 kilometers away from Coonoor is one of the trekking sites for travelers. You can reach this fort only through a trek. Saraswathi Mahal Library in Tanjore is known to be one of the oldest libraries that have palm leaf manuscripts collection in them. The Padmanabhapuram Palace in Kanyakumari can be visited for its intricate rose wood carvings, murals, musical bow, carvings with more than 90 different designs on each ceiling, including carvings in Chinese language. The Manora Fort is placed 65 kilometers away from Thanjavur. It has a hexagonal structure in white color, looks serene overlooking the Bay of Bengal.

    You can also visit museums in Chennai, Mahabalipuram, Madurai, and Thanjavur and take a look at artifacts by Chola and Pallava kings, art galleries, and rare collections from various eras. Caves in Tamil Nadu exist from 2nd century BC. Most of the caves are located in and around Madhurai and can be reached by air, road, or rail.


  • Q. What you will like there?

    Sightseeing and wild life

    You will love the hill stations and landscape view in the Nilgiris range. You will also love the nature walks and wild life sanctuaries trip. You can experience variable weather in Chennai and hill stations. To escape from the heat of the city, hill stations are your best rescue. You will not find a lot of water sports activities in Tamil Nadu.

    Temples and pilgrimage

    Tamil Nadu has a rich culture and ethnicity. People visit temples in Tamil Nadu to pay their holy patronage to the deities. The temples have splendid and intricate architecture and are scared to followers of Hinduism.

    Shopping and food

    The food of Tamil Nadu is spicy and exotic. You get to taste the best of South Indian cuisine in most of the places in Tamil Nadu. You can shop for embroidered saris, silk clothes, artifacts, souvenirs, and handicrafts.


  • Q. Recommended reads for destination

    Website :

    Tamil Nadu Tourism

    Forum :

    Tamil Nadu Travel Forum

    Books

    History and Culture of Tamil Nadu by Chithra Madhavan