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Puducherry - A French colonial settlement in India


Pondicherry officially belonged to as Puducherry, and regularly spoken as just Pondy. Shady streets dotted with colorful, colonial-era buildings boasting of splendid architecture, adorn this erstwhile French colony of Pondicherry or Pondy. Also known as Puducherry, it is a Union Territory town which shares its boundary with Tamil Nadu state. The city is settled on the Coromandel Coast of Bay of Bengal, approximately 170km from the main city of Chennai. Watching the sunrise over the deep blue area of the Bay of Bengal is an adventure that everybody should have while in Pondicherry. The city is also home to a number of churches, temples, and mosques. The several beaches in Pondicherry are so beautiful and serene that even time seems to halt. These beaches are so captivating and tranquil that the only sound you can hear is that of the sea waves. Stroll around the sandy stretches or just relax and meditate; they have a certain calming effect on your senses that is hard to ignore.


BEST TIME TO VISIT PUDUCHERRY

The best time to visit Pondicherry is from October to March. Summers (April-June) are quite hot. But to go to Pondicherry differs from person to person because the place changes itself every season and celebrates a spread of festivals which fascinate plenty of tourists.


MAJOR ATTRACTION

The former French colony along the Bay of Bengal is truly enthralling. This coastal town was a French colony till 1954 and still retains many colonial buildings, churches, statues and the systematic town planning by the French and is often called the Europe of India because of its town planning.The top attractions in Pondicherry will create for you a memorable vacation with interesting sights and experiences.


FOOD AND CUISINE

These are sprinkled with cozy cafes and chic boutiques that provide delicious and tasty French cuisine and beverages. Enjoy the local cuisine: Le Cafe, Le Club, and Mango Hill for French fare; La Pasta for Italian and Carte Blanche for Creole cuisine. If you’re someone who has a penchant for cheese, head to Mango Hill to try these 11 varieties of cheese. To indulge in some exotic French staples , head to Rendezvous or le club. For some European and Asian cuisine, Umami Kitchen is the best. For all the biryani lovers, we do have Kamatchi and Aristo. For Vietnamese cuisine, le Paris is one of the best places to visit in Pondicherry. If you’re someone who enjoys street food, then you should try the mutton samosas from the street shop bang opposite the railway station.


HOW TO REACH

BY AIR: Puducherry doesn’t have an airport. The nearest airport is located in the state of Hyderabad and Bangalore.Connecting Pondicherry with other parts of the country by air is the Chennai International Airport. One of the busiest airports in the country, Chennai airport is about 150 km away from Pondicherry and is well linked with not only prime Indian cities but also with international destinations. Once travellers reach the airport, they can hire taxis to reach Pondicherry.


BY TRAIN:

Villupuram Junction railway station, just 37 km away, is the closest railhead to Pondicherry. The railway station is well linked to places like Chennai, Trichy and Madurai via an extensive rail network. After reaching the railway station, travellers can easily avail of buses and taxis service.


BY ROAD:

One of the most cost-effective and convenient ways of reaching Pondicherry is via well-maintained motorable roads. A number of state and private buses ply at frequent intervals from most South Indian cities including Chennai (170 km), Bangalore (375 km), Coimbatore (380 km) and Mahabalipuram (100 km). Those travelling from Chennai are in for a visual treat as the East Coast Road (ECR) leading to Pondicherry is an extremely picturesque highway.


PLACES TO VISIT IN PONDICHERRY

The top attractions in Pondicherry will create for you a memorable vacation with interesting sights and experiences.


TOP BEACHES IN PONDICHERRY

Pondicherry is famous for its beaches that offer peace and serenity to the tourists. The shimmering azure water coupled with immaculate golden sands along its long coastline set Pondicherry Beaches apart from any other beach destination in India.

• Paradise Beach

• Promenade Beach

• Auroville Beach

• Serenity Beach

• Mahe Beach

• Karaikal Beach

• Reppo Beach



PARADISE BEACH


Paradise Beach truly justifies its name and is known for its choice of water activities. Paradise Beach is one of the cleanest beaches in Pondicherry, popular for its golden sands and clear waters. This beach is only accessible by a boat ride. You can enjoy sunbathing or relax under the cool shade of majestic

palm trees lining the beach. The beach has many showering stalls and changing rooms too which you can use if you want to go for a swim in the inviting waters by the shore.

FAMOUS FOR: Being the cleanest Beach in Pondicherry and for numerous beach activities

LOCATION: 2 km boat ride away from Chunnambar Boathouse

THINGS TO DO: Go for a swim, dolphin spotting, or fishing, set out on a cruise, play beach volleyball, try backwater boating and indulge in good photography (chargeable)


POMENADE BEACH


It is one of the most beautiful beaches in Pondicherry, and is also known as Gandhi Beach or Rock Beach. It stretches for about 1.5 km and offers an amazing view of the scenic landscape and the iconic landmarks that surround it. Promenade Beach is surely among the Best Beaches in Pondicherry for Family getaways. The many seaside cafes, beach shacks and restaurants add to the charm of the beach. Rock beach is regarded as one of the most attractive

sight-seeing places in 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.

FAMOUS FOR: Peaceful environs and beautiful sunrise, Long walkway for walks, sea-facing restaurants and fresh seafood.

THINGS TO DO: Take a leisurely stroll along the beach and witness the mesmerising beauty of sunrises from here. It is also a good spot for photography. Try beach yoga or go for skating, visit War Memorial Museum and the nearby Dupleix Park.

LOCATION: At a distance of 3.5 km from Pondicherry bus station.


AUROVILLE BEACH


Located about 12 km from the main town, Auroville Beach is popular for its beautiful volcanic sands and coloured seashells, shallow and crystal clear water, and sun-kissed shores. The beach is perfect for swimming, playing on the clean sands and cool waters of the shore, taking a lazy stroll and surfing, and one can spot enthusiastic surfers in the morning on the beach enjoying the water sport in the face of the moving waves.

FAMOUS FOR:Clear waters and lovely seashells

THINGS TO DO: Swimming, surfing, strolling, and enjoying the view of Pondicherry lighthouse at night.

LOCATION: Located about 12 km from the main town



SERENITY BEACH


Swathed with pristine golden sands and lapped by shimmering waters of the Bay of Bengal, this treasure trove of nature is secluded, quiet and of course, spectacular. Serenity Beach is a well-known beach in Pondicherry. You can spend your time leisurely on the beach while relaxing to the meditative sound of waves crashing. This beach is also quite popular among surfers who come here to catch the waves. One of the most gorgeous beaches in Pondicherry, Serenity Beach is an unmissable attraction.

FAMOUS for: Its serene and romantic atmosphere, adjoining flea market, and surf school.

THINGS TO DO: Surf the waves, stroll on the golden sands and enjoy boating, kayaking and canoeing.

LOCATION: Kottakuppam



MAHE BEACH


One of the beach in Pondicherry which has entertainment for both family and even for children as there is a park right next to it.The brilliant vista of sunlight bouncing off the shimmering waves, fishermen going about their usual business in colourful boats and transfixing sight that evolves as the sun goes down, is enough to make this lovely beach your favourite one among the lot. In fact, offering the rare opportunity of a relaxing day at the beach to enjoy some quiet time, it is indeed a must place to add to your itinerary. One of the most gratifying Things to Do in Pondicherry would be to go for a lap of swimming in the open ocean here, but take care to bring your own beach umbrella and towel if you plan to do so. Also, since this place is secluded, you may want to bring your own snacks to munch on as there are no cafes or restaurants nearby.

FAMOUS for: Photogenic sunsets, fishing boats etc.

LOCATION: 22 km towards south of Kannur City

THINGS TO DO: Go for an energizing swim, try fishing, collect the beautiful sea shells, watch sunrises and sunsets, take lots of pictures and visit the nearby fishing villages or tag along with a fisherman and go explore Dharmadan Island in a boat.



KARAIKAL BEACH


Karaikal offers you one of the cleanest and moist unspoiled shore with shallow blue waters to team with it that takes your heart away. Giving you ample of opportunities for a splendid vacation here, it is the right destination for you if swimming is what that can never get you tired. Apart from swimming too, there are a lot of beach activities and water sports that you can enjoy here.

FAMOUS FOR: Various beach activities and adventure water sports, especially swimming.

LOCATION: Karaikal

THINGS TO DO: Swim in the clear shallow waters, enjoy going for kayaking or canoeing and play a game of Beach Volleyball.



REPPO BEACH

Reppo Beach is nothing short of a paradise with its extraordinary seascape and completely laid back and relaxed atmosphere.Rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul as the sand drifts past your feet and the powerful waves play hide and seek with you at the Reppo Beach. Beautifully located towards the north of Pondicherry, this prominent beach offers enchanting views of sailing boats in the background along with an occasional cargo ship making its way through the turbulent waves of the ocean. In order to reach the beach, you will have to

embark on a ferry as this beach is a little isolated. Don’t forget to have some refreshing coconut water and some snacks near the beach at the small shacks.

FAMOUS FOR: Its gripping beauty and peaceful ambience.

THINGS TO DO: Swimming, surfing, sunbathing, boating, walking, shopping, 9*sunset and sunrise viewing and photography-

LOCATION: Mariyamman Koil Street, Kottakuppam


POPULAR RELIGIOUS PLACES TO VISIT IN PONDICHERRY


Visit the religious places which are a mix of Indian and French architecture.

• Church Of The Scared Heart Of Jesus

• Eglise De Notre Dame De La Conception Immaculee Church( our lady of angels church)

• Arulmignu Manakula Vinayar Temple

• Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple

• Kamakshi Amman Temple

• Sri Gokilambal Thirukameswar Temple (Villianur Temple)

• Kanniga Parameswari Temple

• Sri Aurobindo Ashram

• Matrimandir


CHURCH OF THE SCARED HEART OF JESUS



The Church is considered as a sacred place to visit in Pondicherry and is situated 2.5 km away in the south of Pondicherry. It was established by the French missionaries in 1908 and is considered as one of the most beautiful Catholic Churches locally. It was in 2011, that the church was given the status of Basilica. It also sees the celebration of many occasions like New Year, Christmas Eve along with Easter Day as well.

Inside the church there are glass pictures of 28 saints who were related to the devotion of Sacred Heart of Jesus. Statues of the four evangelists were erected, beneath which there are four lamp posts describing their lives and inviting Jesus and the twelve apostles, on the front facade. The Grotto for Sacred Heart of Jesus facing the City Railway Station were added and the church illuminated inside and out with chandeliers, focus and flood lights.


BEST TIME TO VISIT

The best time to visit Puducherry is from October to March.

Major Attractions in and Around Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

• Sunday Market

• Vedapureeswarar Temple

• Ganesh Garden

• Sita Cultural Center

• Pondy Cycle Tour



EGLISE DE NOTRE DAME DE LA CONCEPTION IMMACULEE CHURCH (OUR LADY OF ANGELS CHURCH)



Our parish Our Lady of the Angels is very important both historically and politically for the city of Pondicherry. It is the only parish in India where we have masses in three languages French, English and Tamil.The architectural beauty of our Church built in 1855 is the apple of everyone’s eye. Facing the sea, it is a centre of attraction for the tourists and a peaceful place to pray and meditate.

Our Lady of Angels Church is a working church with hourly prayer and daily services and follows Roman Catholic sect of Christianity. The chapel was controlled by Capuchin priests, Holy Spirit Fathers subsequently and finally during 1887 changed hands to Foreign Mission Fathers from Paris.


BEST TIME TO VISIT:

The best time to visit the Notre Dame de is the winter season. Commences in the month of October, the season receives pleasant and favourable weather conditions that allow travellers to explore the city to its fullest.



ARULMIGNU MANAKULA VINAYAR TEMPLE



Facing the east near Bay of Bengal, the temple was known as Bhavaneshar Ganapathy, now called as Manakula Vinayagar. In Tamil Manal means sand and Kulam means pond near the sea. The temple is spread over an area of about 8000 sq. ft with outer mandapam, raja gopuram and outer enclosure. Measuring 18 feet in height, the gold plated kodikambam is a spectacular highlight of this temple. The outside wall of the temple depicts various forms of the Ganesha with its timelines and locations. The rich architectural beauty of the shrine is enhanced by a golden vimana.


BEST TIME TO VISIT

Ganesh Chaturthi is very devotionally celebrated in the temple with special pujas. Brahmotsavam in the month of Avani (August/September), 10 day Pavithra Utsavam, monthly Chaturthi days (fourth day from New moon or full moon day) are other festivals celebrated in the temple.

LOCATION: Manukula vinayagar koli st, white town.



SRI VARADARAJA PERUMAL TEMPLE


Varadaraja Perumal Temple Kanchipuram is dedicated to Lord Vishnu which is located in Vishnu Kanchi. This temple was built in 25 acres of Land. Varadaraja who is referred to as the king of Devas is a boon-giver. This temple is one of 108 Divya Desams (holy abodes) of Lord Vishnu. The atmosphere around the temple is so religious and spiritual that one should once visit the temple to experience it. The other name of the temple is Perumal Koil and is believed to be highly sacred in Vaishnavism. Temple is also famous for its unique idol of Lord Vishnu, which is made up of Wood and kept in the Silver box.

BEST TIME TO VISIT: October to march is the best time to visit. the temple sees a large number of visitors during winters, and especially during spring season when the beauty of surrounding landscape is at its best.

TIMING: Morning 6: 00 AM to 11:00 AM,Evening4:00 PM to 8:00 PM

LOCATION: Kancheepuram-631501


HOW TO REACH: Chennai will be the nearest airport to Kanchipuram temple. The nearest railway station to Varadharaja Perumal temple is Kanchipuram Railway station which is 4 km from the temple. The city of Kanchipuram is connected directly to other cities of this state by several roads and highways. There are many private and government buses available at the Kanchipuram bus stand, which is located at a distance of 750m from this temple, and these buses directly take you to the temple.


KAMAKSHI AMMAN TEMPLE



In a country like India, Goddess Durga is worshipped in many avatars. Kamakshi Amman temple is one such temple that is dedicated to Hindu Goddess Kamakshi, an incarnation of Goddess Durga or Parvati who is also the presiding deity here. It is believed to be built by the Pallava kings in the 6-century and is one of the most revered temples in Pondicherry.

The religion of Hinduism has many different deities, and each of the temples built for these Gods and Goddesses have their own different stories and histories to tell. One of such popular temples in India is the Kamakshi Amman Temple in Kanchipuram, which is also one of the 51 Shakti Peethas in the country.

During festivals, the footfall significantly increases in this shrine as people flock here to seek the goddess’ blessings. The temple celebrates its annual festival in spring, which is the chariot festival called Ther and floats festival called Theppam. Navaratri, Aadi, and Aippasi Pooram, Sankara Jayanthi and Vasanta Utsavam are some of the other vital festivals that are celebrated here.


BEST TIME TO VISIT:Travelers prefer visiting this temple during this time in summers. The temple witnesses large number of devotees during pilgrimage seasons and festivals.


VISITING TIME: This temple is open on all days and the timings are 5.30 am to 12 pm and 3.30 pm to 8.30 pm.


HOW TO REACH: The city of Kanchipuram is connected directly to other cities of this state by several roads and highways. There are many private and government buses available at the Kanchipuram bus stand, which is located at a distance of 750m from this temple, and these buses directly take you to the temple. Also, this temple is located at a distance of 1km from the Kanchipuram CJ railway station.



SRI GOKILAMBAL THIRUKAMESWARA TEMPLE (VILLIANUR TEMPLE)



It is also known as Villianur Temple and is dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of Thirukameshwara and Goddess Kokilambal. The temple has exquisitely sculpted majestic towers and several pillars with carved images. It is also known for the annual temple car festival celebrated here during May and June.

Sri Gokilambal Thurkameshwara Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva who is manifested here as Shivalinga. Along with that, the temple complex also comprises the shrines of Devi and Lord Murugan. It is said that these temples trace their history from the Chola Period. Throughout the year, the temple remains thronged with thousands of devotees, however, the numbers increase in the month of May and June during the time of annual Temple Car Festival. The festival is the most important celebration of Sri Gokilambal Thirukameshwara Temple that also make this shrine one of the most-visited temples in Pondicherry during this time.

In this festival, a 15 m high chariot put up on the streets for a sacred journey and is pulled by the devotees.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

The best time to visit Sri Gokilambal Thirukameshwara Temple is the winter season.

LOCATION: at a distance of 750 m from villanur railway sation.

VISITING TIME: 6 AM – 12PM and 4 PM – 9 PM

HOW TO REACH: Buses are available for every 10 minutes from Puducherry Main Bus Stand and Villupuram Bus Stand. From Pondicherry, take the Villupuram bound Bus or Villianur Bus and get down at Villianur Bus Stop. Share Autos are available from Villianur Bus Stop to reach this Temple. Nearest Railway Station is located at Villianur and Puducherry. Nearest Airport is located at Puducherry and Chennai.



KANNIGA PARAMESWARI TEMPL



A popular place of religious importance- Kanniga Parameswari Temple is visited by hundreds of devotees every day. Dedicated to Goddess Shakti, this temple exhibits a unique blend of Tamil and French architectural styles. Matrimandir is not merely an object of allure for architectural connoisseurs, and spiritual seekers. Its relevance cuts across the man-made boundaries of religion, caste, creed, geography and so on. For, Auroville was conceptualized as a global village, welcoming one and all to the teaching of Sri Aurobindo. The name 'Matrimandir' means literally 'Temple of the Mother'. According to Sri Aurobindo's teachings, the 'Mother' concept stands for the great evolutionary, conscious and intelligent principle of Life, the Universal Mother. This is thus a reprieve for even the far-removed- atheists and agnostics, believers, and those on different paths of life, but with a singular aim of seeking peace.

BEST TIME TO VISIT: The best time to visit in winter season when the weather of the city remains cool and pleasant.

LOCATION M.G. Road, Pondicherry - 605001


OPENING/CLOSING TIMING

Kanniga Parameswari Temple remains open all days a week from 6:00 AM to 11:00 AM and from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM.


HOW TO REACH At a distance of 3 km from Pondicherry bus station, sri kanniga parameshwari temple on MG road.you can take bus or cab to reach here.



MATIMANDIR



Matrimandir is not merely an object of allure for architectural connoisseurs, and spiritual seekers. Its relevance cuts across the man-made boundaries of religion, caste, creed, geography and so on. For, Auroville was conceptualized as a global village, welcoming one and all to the teaching of Sri Aurobindo. The name 'Matrimandir' means literally 'Temple of the Mother'. According to Sri Aurobindo's teachings, the 'Mother' concept stands for the great evolutionary, conscious and intelligent principle of Life, the Universal Mother. This is thus a reprieve for even the far-removed- atheists and agnostics, believers, and those on different paths of life, but with a singular aim of seeking peace.

FAMOUS FOR: Edifice of spiritual significance for practitioners of Integral Yoga, Individual silent concentration centre, Learning a new way of life and living.


BEST TIME TO VISIT

The place experiences hot summers for most of the year, hence visiting during October to March would be best suited.

How to Reach

Take an auto or bus to reach the East Coast Road Junction once inside Pondicherry. The nearest airport is Chennai Airport. Take a road trip from Chennai to Pondicherry or catch a train till Guindi Station and then take a bus for Pondicherry, ECR Road.


ATTRACTIONS NEAR MATRIMANDIR

• Visit the Viewing Point

• Visit the 12 gardens and Amphitheater

• Savitri Bhavan

• Unity Pavilion

• Bharat Nivas



SITHANANDA SWAMY TEMPLE



Another prominent religious site in the list of Pondicherry temples is the Sithananda Swamy Temple. Surprisingly, it is not one of those regular shrines, which were dedicated to pay homage to celestial beings. The main deity in here is a saint, Guru Sithananda Swamigal. It is believed that he was buried alive in here, and on the very spot, a Shiva Lingam has been erected. It is, in fact, the Jeevan Samadhi of the saint and dates back to the 19-century.

Every Thursday, the pilgrims visit the temple and perform special darshans to his idol. It has been an emerging place of worship for students as well.

The sprawling 45000 square feet area of the temple includes beautifully crafted sculptures, vast ceilings that boast of intricate paintings, large pillars of the hall, evergreen trees, and shrubs. A unique feature of the temple is its bell, which was made in France with an engraved image of the saint.

Also, drop by Kuil Thoppu, which is placed right adjacent to the temple. This is where the Mahakavi Bharathiyar would contemplate and write mesmerizing poetries and verses. One can see a refreshing water tank with fishes inside the premises which is an appealing add-on.


BEST TIME TO VISIT: The Best time to visit Sithananda Swamy Temple in guru puja, maha shivratri.

TIMINGS: 6:00 AM – 12:00 PM, 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM; every day

LOACATION: lawspet main road, lawspet, punducherry.

HOW TO REACH

The Temple is located at about 5 Kms from Puducherry Main Bus Stand, 4 Kms from Puducherry Railway Station, 2 Kms from Puducherry Airport, 146 Kms from Chennai Airport and 150 Kms from Chennai. The temple is situated in the ECR Road Sivaji Statue Junction, which is very busiest point in the vicinity. The Temple is situated on Pondicherry Bus Stand – Jipmer Hospital (Gorimedu Bus Stop) Bus Route. All the buses plying in this route will stop at the entrance of the Temple itself. Devotees coming from Chennai can take Chennai to Pondicherry Bus via ECR, get down at Shivaji Statue Bus Stop. The Temple is situated just opposite to this Bus Stop.


AUROBINDO ASHRAM



Aurobindo ashram is a small community of ashram dwellers in Pondicherry who believe in Sri Aurobindo. Visit the ashram to connect with your inner self. Easily a top pick for one of the best tourist places in Pondicherry. Mirra Alfassa, a French national more famously known as Mother, and her spiritual collaborator Sri Aurobindo, an Indian national, had a major influence on the spiritual movement in Pondicherry in the early twentieth century. 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.


BEST TIME TO VISIT: The best season to visit the ashram is during the winter season and especially during August as it marks the birthday (15th August) of Sri Aurobindo.

LOCATION: The ashram is located near Rue de La Marine beach.


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HERITAGE FRENCH CONSULATE AND OTHER BUILDINGS



Built in the French colonial style, the consulate building is set in a plot with a garden facing the sea. The portion of the building along Rue de la Marine is the oldest part of the complex. There have been several new additions especially

along the Rue St Gilles. The construction materials used are bricks and lime mortar plaster. Older parts of the building have ‘Madras Terrace’ roofing system that uses wooden beams and rafters . The French consulate building is closer to Promenade beach and has a touch of yellow on its walls. Other monuments worth a visit are the Legislative assembly, Pondicherry Museum and almost every building that one stumble across in the White Town. The best area to explore the French part by foot is the sea-facing promenade that runs parallel to the Goubert Avenue. The 1.5-kilometre stretch of the promenade, a miniature version of Mumbai’s Marine Drive, is where its residents gather every evening to catch the sea breeze and the blue vista of the moon rising on the Bay of Bengal. At dusk, it’s buzzing with food vendors, people on evening walks, and friends chatting and loafing. The other side of the avenue is lined with a row of heritage buildings and scattered statues which let you soak in Pondicherry’s history. The avenue is also traffic-free and pedestrian-friendly between 6pm and 7.30am every day.The most convenient starting point for a stroll is the French cultural centre, Alliance Française. Located inside a white villa on the southern edge of the promenade, it looks out to the sea from one end and the French Quarter on the other. It has a charming garden restaurant, Le Café de Flore, and is bustling with regular film screenings, exhibitions, music and talks, much of the time. Back on the promenade, little reminders of France dot the rest of Goubert Avenue. A whitewashed 19th-century lighthouse stands on one end.


RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS IN THE WHITE TOWN



The old French town is the most important place to visit since it has kept much of its heritage. It is also called the White Town, as white (i.e., French) people stayed in this part of the town in the olden days. The heritage houses were designed based on the Franco-Tamil architecture, an amalgamation of the two styles.

The houses in the French part of the town have certain distinct characteristics. Most of the houses have a courtyard with some greenery and an arched gate. Bougainvillea is an integral part of their gardens. High compound walls ensure the privacy of the occupants. White, peach and yellow are the predominant colors used on the walls.


CHUNNAMBAR BOAT HOUSE - BACK WATER



Chunnambar Boat House also known as Plage Paradiso is a popular boating venue and is famous for its backwaters and lush greenery on either side. Tourists can enjoy boating at the Boat House situated near the Chunnambar River. Sunrise Panorama’ the three tree top houses in Chunnambar offer you the bliss of ecotourism. you can either read a novel, paint, listen to music meditate or even stay overnight, all on the top of a tree. Sunrise panorama’ (a two storey tree top house) gives you an unrestricted view of the backwater up to its mouth. ‘Palm house’ on the other hand overlooks the artificial pond and park. ‘Nest brid’ is the perfect above for the adventure loving folks, it has a rope ladder that leads to a small balcony. All in a tree house.


BEST TIME TO VISIT: The best time to visit this tourist destination is between the months of January and March. The overall temperature is quite great throughout the year though.

THINGS TO DO: Kayaking at Chunnambar Backwater, bird watching at the lakeside bird sanctuary, A lakeside restaurant serves meals, snacks and beers.

HOW TO REACH: This site is located at around 8 km from the main town of Pondicherry and can be reached by bus, taxi or auto rickshaw.

Top Attractions around Chunnambar Boat House

• Ma Pondie Cherry

• Sadhna Forest

• Park Monument



PARK AND GARDEN IN PONDICHERRY


Besides infusing a fresh air of life in the city, the gardens and parks in Pondicherry allow a leisurely stroll and catching some moments of peace. There are top two.


BHARTI PARK


Also known as The Government Park, this well-maintained garden is often regarded as the best picnic spot in Pondicherry. It has ponds, huge trees and quite a lot of historical structures, including French sculptures and a museum nearby that displays artifacts from the Roman period.

The Government Park or Bharati Park is in the green centre of the French Town and its lush trees provide ample relief from the scorching sun on a hot summer day. With children playing in the ponds, on the hill or in the traffic park, grown-ups sitting or lying on granite benches, families on a picnic and occasional sit-ins of striking citizens, the park is the most appreciated public area in the town. Strolling under the cool trees is as dynamic as it gets unless people rush to the spot when an occasional movie is being shot.

BEST TIME TO VISIT: The ideal time to visit this place is between month of October to march.

LOCATION : 20, Rue Saint Gilles St, White Town20, Rue Saint Gilles St, White Town

TIMINGS :6 AM 6 AM -- 9 PM9 PM

HOW TO REACH: 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.



BOTANICAL GARDEN



Established in the 19th century by the French administration, this garden bears magnificent French gates. The Botanical Garden along with Aquarium was established in 1826. Apart from its exotic plant collection from all over the world, the dancing fountains and aquariums add to its beauty. There are 28 plots in the Botanical Garden and each one has separate theme. Visit this elegant garden for French feels while strolling through the greenery. The Botanical Gardens is spread over an area of 22 acres in the center of the city. The garden is a famous retreat for locals and tourists. It is spread with pruned trees, flower beds and fountains. Perrotet was responsible for transforming the place into a botanical garden.


BEST TIME TO VISIT: The ideal time to visit this place is between month of October to march.


LOCATION: Maraimalai Adigal Salai, Near Anna Statue, Orleanpet

TIMINGS 10 AM - 5 PM


HOW TO REACH

The nearest airport to the botanical garden, Pondicherry is, Chennai International Airport which is a distance of about 157 kilometers and would take about 3.5 hours to reach the garden from there by cab. You can also board a bus to reach there, which operate from the Chennai city bus stand. If you are planning to travel by train, then it would be closer than the airport, since it is at a walking distance of 11 minutes from the garden.


Ousteri Lake, Pondicherry bird watching



Ousteri Lake is a beautiful artificial lake built a century ago, and is one of Asia’s important wetlands. The lake extends to about 800 hectares in which 390 hectares lies in Puducherry and the rest in Tamil Nadu. It is the largest lake of Puducherry. Covering an area of 390 hectares, this massive lake is the largest catchment area for fresh water in Pondicherry. Over 40 species of migratory birds such as the Open-bill Stork, Golden Oriole and Painted Stork among others migrate to this lake every year. The lake is one of the prominent tourist spot in Puducherry. The Puducherry Tourism Department Corporation has made a small boat club in the lake for tourists. The Puducherry government is

proposing to make Ousteri as a National park. It also has proposed to set up telescopes to watch the birds and make the region as an eco tourism destination.

The 390 hectares lake (part of it lies in Tamil Nadu) supports a variety of fauna and flora. According to the Tourism Department, different species of golden oriole, open-bill stork, tailor bird, painted stork, white ibis, white-breasted water-hen and spotted owlets visit the water-body particularly after November every year.

BEST TIME TO VISIT: winter is the best time to visit this place.

TIMINGS: 9.00 AM – 5.00 PM, Ousteri Lake remains daily accessible for tourists.

THINGS TO DO: You can indulge in bird watching on a boat ride and enjoy taking photographs with your loved ones against the backdrop of the picturesque lake. Relax at the sunset at Ousteri Lake.

LOCATION: Oussudu village, Vazhudavoor Road, Puducherry.

HOW TO REACH 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.


MUSEUM OF PONDICHERRY

Among the top places to visit in Pondicherry are a series of museums that throw light on life from the bygone eras. These are top two.


JAWAHAR TOY MUSEUM



Located close to the Old Light House on Goubert Avenue in Pondicherry, the Jawahar Toy Museum is home to a wide variety of dolls and toys collected from different parts of the country. Located close to the Old Light House on Goubert Avenue in Pondicherry, the Jawahar Toy Museum is home to a wide variety of dolls and toys collected from different parts of the country. The visitors come across an interesting display of a wide variety of toys and dolls decorated and painted in the brightest colours and costumes. It has around 120 dolls which have been collected from various parts of the country including states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Assam, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab.

FAMOUS FOR

• Dolls and toys

• Fairyland

• Puppets


VISITING TIMINGS: Timing 10 am to 5 pm,closed on Mondays and national holidays.

LOCATION: Near Old Lighthouse, Goubert Avenue, Pondicherry

HOW TO REACH

Aurobindo Ashram Bus Stop is the nearest bus stop to Jawahar Toy Museum.



PUDUCHERRY MUSEUM



The Puducherry Museum is located on Saint Louis Street .The museum is located in the former Law Building. The museum has a collection of rare bronzes and stone sculptures from the Pallava and Chola dynasties and artefacts excavated from Arikamedu (an ancient port just 7 kms. from city that had trade links with the Roman empires).

The bronze gallery displays the images of gods and goddesses together with a wide collection of temple lamps used across different dynasties down the centuries.

BEST TIME TO VISIT: The ideal time to visit this place is between month of October to march.

FAMOUS FOR: On the ground floor, the major attraction is the central space with 3 curious transport mechanisms - a coach, a palanquin (sedan chair) and a pousse-pousse (an earlier version of the rickshaw) which required two attendants, one to steer and one to push.

VISITING TIME: open on all days except Mondays and national holidays between 10:00-17:00 hrs.

LOCATION: Romain Rolland Street, Puducherry 605001


HOW TO REACH Distance from pondicherry bus stand: visitors have to travel a distance of 3 km from the pondicherry bus stand to reach the pondicherry museum.

FRENCH WAR MEMORIAL

French War memorial located on the Goubert Avenue in white town just opposite to the Mahatma Gandhi statue. It is one of the most notable and historic landmark tourist spot in Pondichery. This French war memorial was built in 1971 and it is solemn reminders of those brave French soldiers who, fought during the First World War.

The French War Memorial displays a magnificence pure white marble architecture with very long pillars and unique collection of armoury.

Every year on the 14th July (Bastille Day) the memorial is beautifully illuminated and homage is paid to those brave martyrs. Being located in a small area, the memorial does not take much time to explore. A stroll around French War Memorial is enough to treat your eyes with a glance of this historical monument.

BEST TIME TO VISIT: The ideal time to visit this place is between month of October to march.

TIMINGS: Every day from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

LOCATION: Beach Road, Goubert Avenue, Pondicherry - 605001, India


HOW TO REACH:

French War Memorial on Goubert Avenue is located in French Quarter (White Town).We can reach it at a distance of 3.5 km from Pondicherry Bus Station

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