India is literally like a chest full of treasures waiting to be explored. Be it historical sites, ancient monuments, location with natural beauty, right from Snow-capped mountains to pristine beaches. India has it all!
But Pondicherry is like no other city in India. This city is Unique in more than one way and will take you back in time with its beautiful French colonies and establishments, which are preserved to date.
I have been to Pondicherry a couple of times, thanks to its proximity to Bangalore. Pondicherry offers distinctive experience of 2 different cultures where the New Age meets old-world charm. French town on one side and typical Indian town on the other. In addition to this, Pondicherry is a popular Spiritual destination and it’s visited by tourists from across the world. A beautiful coastline further adds to its beauty. Before I share the major tourist attractions of Pondicherry, Here’s a bit about the history of this place.
Pondicherry –the Background
Pondicherry now known as Puducherry was a French colonial settlement till the year 1954. Now it’s a union territory located in the Southern part of India along the Bay of Bengal.
Although this beautiful quaint town has a lot to offer, here is my list of must-visit places.
Walking tour of the French Colony – Visit to Pondicherry cannot be complete without spending some time in the French colony or the white town. Beautiful colonial houses painted in white and yellow, lined on both sides of the street along with trees and bougainvillea climbers. French colony still retains the old world charm and will take you back to that era. Most of the houses are now converted into boutique hotels, restaurants and boutique stores offering jewelry, designer clothes. I would highly recommend taking some time out and enjoying a long stroll exploring the French colony.
Promenade, MG Road – One of the best places in Pondicherry. The promenade is a boulevard by the sea, lined with trees and is a very lively place. Watching Sunrise early morning from here and a walk in the morning is a blissful and refreshing experience. Promenade is usually very crowded during the evenings with tourists as well as locals thronging to enjoy the sea. However, there are some nice restaurants by the sea which are a must-try.
The Rock Beach – By the Promenade is the beautiful rock beach where you can sit and enjoy the sunrise or evening coffee along with the cool breeze and soothing sound of waves. Although since its a rocky beach, most of the time one cannot reach the water but walk along the sea is a great experience, if you walk a little further you reach this half-bridge kind of structure where many of the popular Bollywood movies are shot.
Aurobindo Aashram – One of the most popular places in Pondicherry, especially amongst the tourist looking for Spiritual enlightenment. During the early half of the 20th century, Sri Aurobindo stayed here along with his disciples and Mirra Alfassa, the mother of the ashram. The Ashram has founded the idea of peaceful co-existence in township, which is practiced in the Auroville Township.
Even if you are not spiritually inclined, visit this Ashram is a really good experience. Photography is not allowed inside the Ashram so I could not click any pics but they have a beautiful display of different varieties of Flowers.
The ashram can be visited from 8 in the morning to 12 noon, or from 2 in the afternoon to 6 in the evening. Although I would recommend a morning visit.
The Immaculate Conception cathedral – Immaculate Conception cathedral is the cathedral mother church for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore. This church was built in 1791 and bears a resemblance to the churches in France.
The Auroville – Designed by popular architect Roger Anger, Auroville is the experimental township that aims to develop the idea of peaceful co-existence. The township is located a little far from Pondicherry; visit this place is a unique experience. Auroville is also famous for the beautiful golden architectural wonder “ Matrimandir”. Standing tall in an open green area, the building glows and shines in Sunlight and is considered as a symbol of peace and serenity. If you want to visit the inner chamber of the Matrimandir for individual concentration, you need to book in advance at least a day prior. Unfortunately, we couldn’t visit the inside chamber during any of our visits.
Paradise beach – Paradise Beach is situated in Chunnambar, close to Pondicherry town. Since Paradise beach is a part of a very Small Island, to reach here you have to take a ferry. It takes almost 30 minutes to reach the island; ferry takes you through the beautiful backwaters surrounded by the Mangroves.
Paradise beach has nice golden sand and the fact that you can walk through the entire island is really amazing. There are 1-2 shacks on the beach where you can get some snacks and fresh coconut water. We really enjoyed our trip to paradise beach; you can spend hours sitting on the beach and enjoying the waves. The ferry ride is opened till evening only and of course there are no stay options at the island so plan your schedule accordingly.
Serenity Beach – Yet another gorgeous but lesser-known beaches in Pondicherry. This secluded Fishermen beach is perfect for those looking out to spend a peaceful time by the beach or taking a dip in the sea. A lot of fisherman boats can be located on the shores.
So this was all about my favorite hangouts in Pondicherry! A visit to this quiet town is a must for those looking for a different kind of experience.
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44 thoughts on “Why Pondicherry is like no other City. Must visit places in Pondicherry !”
The colonial architecture is really lovely. Surprised to know that the French had settlement in India also. I’d love to visit India (and Pondicherry) one day, the land of my mom’s ancestors!
Ya I loved the French colony too.hope you get to visit soon
Omg this place looks amazing! I can’t wait to explore India one day! x
Yes it’s really amazing place. Hope u get to visit India soon 😊
It looks great! Good tip, thanks for sharing!
Thanks so much.glad u liked it
So many things to do! Love it <3
Thanks so much
I love the bright yellow buildings and I’d definitely want to visit the Gandhi statue. Looks like a beautiful city, thanks for sharing
Yes it’s really beautiful.you should visit sometime
What a cute place, and your photos are beautiful. 🙂
Thanks so much.
Great article! I’ve always been intrigued by Pondicherry and in particular its history. I’d love to visit one day, so thank you for providing a taster of what to expect!
Thanks so much. Hope you get a chance to visit soon 😊
I’m trying to come up with an India itinerary and I think this just made the list! It looks absolutely stunning!
I am really glad that my post helped you. Hope u make it to India soon and enjoy us time here
The sunset shot in the end is quite beautiful.
Thanks so much 😊
Pondicherry reminds me of Life of Pi. I haven’t been but the beaches and the promenade look lovely!
Ya life of Pi was shot here. Glad that u liked it. Hope you soon get chance to visit 😊
I love when I find a blog post about a city that is entirely new to me. Thanks for bringing a new one to my attention. It looks beautiful!
Thanks Meg. I am so glad that you found it interesting and something new to discover.
I’ve been wanting to go to India for quite some time! Maybe finding this is a sign I should take the plunge?! 🙂
Oh definitely you should plan.i am sure you will love it. Let me know when you are travelling Jamie 😊
WAhat an amazingly beautiful place. I love how diverse India is and the beauty of the landscape by the water. Always love the french and indian fusion of cultures that creates such besutifularchitexture. Great share!!
Thanks so much. I am glad that you liked the post. Yes this place has a very different feel to it .
India has so much to offer. Never knew about this place and it looks lovely!
Thanks Cherene. Hope you get to visit soon 😊
I’ve never known of this part of India! Looks stunning
Thanks Mona.glad that u liked it. Yes India has got so many places to visit. Even I have not explored all of it yet 😊
Wow! I would definitely visit Pondicherry when in India, Especially after reading your post, Madhu. I fell in love with the place and your suggestions. How many days would be enough to see all the highlights there?
Hey Agness.I am so glad that you liked my post and planning to visit the place. I think just to visit the highlights around 2-3 days are enough.if u plan to attend meditation than May b a bit more.do let me know u Need any help 😊
Pondicherry looks like an amazing place. A visit to the quiet town must be a different kind of experience. Paradise beach looks so relaxing. Thanks for sharing!
Ya it’s an amazing place to be 😊glad u liked it
I have never heard of this city before, but thank you for sharing! It is gorgeous! What a blessing to be able to go there and discover it!
thanks so much .glad you liked the post 🙂
What a beautiful city! It looks so different than anything else I have seen in India! I liked the architecture especially, very unexpected! I even had to double check to the first paragraph – is this India I am reading about?!
Ha ha yes its different from other Indian cities..lot of french influence as it was a french colony earlier
Pondicherry looks lovely especially the beach. They picked the perfect name for it!
Thanks Anisa.glad you liked it
I had last visited Puducherry when I was in College. After reading your post I want to go back there. I think it is time to take my kids to the beautiful beaches of Puducherry 🙂
Thanks Richa..yes kids will really enjoy Pondi😊