Tourist Places in Pondicherry
Flanked by a flowing creek on one side, this one is a beach lover's paradise. There is plenty to do here including trekking, beach volleyball, catamaran rides and also cruises in the backwaters.
Once the palace of the French Governor Dupleix, Raj Niwas now serves as the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry Union Territory. It is located in the Government Park and some parts of it are open to the public.
French Fort Louis
The French Fort Louis in Pondicherry is very popular with history freaks and tourists of the city. According to historical sources, it was constructed around the year 1709. The magnificently built French Fort Louis has a pentagonal shape and is bordered with a moat. It has five bastions and a couple of gates. The exciting part of Pondicherry's French Fort Louis is the underground chambers which were made to store arms, ammunition and other commodities.
Immaculate Conception Cathedral
This 300 year old church is the cathedral for the Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore. Its construction started in 1791 before the French occupation of Pondicherry.
Ousteri Wetland and National Park
Located about 10 km away from Pondicherry and covering an area of around 3.9 square kilometers, the Ousteri Wetland and National Park is home to a large variety of avian and aquatic species.
Consecrated in 1907 and renovated in 2005, the building of Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a fine specimen of Gothic style of architecture. The church is a well-known pilgrimage spot for Christians in India. Its windows are decorated with stained glass paintings of 28 saints. The church premise has a grotto, a parish hall and an adoration chapel.
Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple
It is considered to be the oldest Hindu temple in Pondicherry dating back to 600 A.D. Built in Dravidian style of architecture, this temple is dedicated to an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
The Government Park in Pondicherry is a testimony to French architectural brilliance. It is located at the centre of the old colonial town and surrounded by influential government buildings such as Raj Niwas (the Lt. Governor's Palace), the Legislative Assembly, Ashram Dining Room, Government Hospital, the Cercle de Pondichery private club and the old Hotel Qualite. The lush green lawns and flower gardens in the park provide a rejuvenating ambience making it a perfect place to relax. The magnificent Aayi Mandapam at the centre of the park is one of the reasons behind the popularity of the Government Park. The tower follows Greco-Roman style of architecture. It is referred to by the name of Aayi, once a renowned courtesan who, according to a local legend, destroyed her home and made a water tank in its place for the people of the region.
Ananda Ranga Pillai Museum
Ananda Ranga Pillai Museum is renowned as the dubash of Dupleix, the former Governor General of the French colonies in India. It boasts a stunning architecture that combines French and Indian styles. The mansion houses a collection of diaries that store a lot of information on 18th century French India.
Sri Aurobindo Ghosh, the great patriot, philosopher and spiritual leader, spent his years of spiritual awakening in Pondicherry. The Ashram, which was built by Sri Aurobindo himself, is visited by millions every year to seek peace and spiritual enlightenment. The Auroville township located close to Pondicherry was set up to promote the aims and ideals of this ashram. It was designed by the renowned architect Roger Anger and is a great place to learn more about India and its spirituality.
Manakula Vinayagar Temple
Constructed around 1666 AD, this Hindu place of worship in Pondicherry is dedicated to Lord Ganesha.
The Botanical Gardens is a great crowd-puller for its colourful flower beds, musical fountain, gravel lined paths, rare tree species and around 1500 varieties of plants.
Chunnambar Backwater is in close proximity to the main city. It has facilities for a range of activities such as boating, yachting and sun bathing.
19th Century Light House
The 19th Century Light House is located at a distance of five km from the western border of the city of Pondicherry. Standing pretty on the Red Hills in Gorimedu, the Light House is among the prime attractions of Pondicherry.
Also known as the Goubert Avenue, the Promenade is one of the best places to visit in Pondicherry. It is designed in a French style, has boulevards and swaying palm trees all around. The seafront is best experienced in the early morning to soak in the breeze and the calmness of nature. The place is also a great hangout in the evenings, thanks to the bustling bazaars.
The Pondicherry Museum is a hub for history lovers, art enthusiasts and explorers. The museum is known for its rich collection of artefacts on literature, Dravidian culture, French historical anecdotes and other artefacts that reveal facts about the city's history and architecture.
French War Memorial
The French War Memorial is a fitting tribute to the valiant warriors who lost their lives in the World War-I from 1916 to 1919. A major highlight of this Memorial and Pondicherry tourism is the grand Bastille Day celebration on 14th July every year when the monument is all decked up to look its best.
Statue of Dupleix
By virtue of being a former French colony, the union territory of Pondicherry continues to bear traces of its colonial past and the Statue of Dupleix is a testimony to this place's intrinsic French connection.
Statue of Joan of Arc
The erstwhile French colony of Pondicherry abounds in historicity. The historical statues like that of the Statue of Joan of Arc portrays the legendary French lady in her triumphant best as she stands overlooking the picturesque town.