Places to Visit in Pondicherry

The eternal favorite with the tourist and travelers, Pondicherry is always different from other tourism destinations of the country. Ruled by the French for more than three hundred years, Pondicherry has retained French influences.

The wonderful buildings made by the French stand pretty as glorious examples of the classic French architectures. The French and the Indian culture has mixed in this lovely town to bring out a very acceptable social structure. These factors added with picturesque landscapes have made the place a hot tourist destination. The presence of several Pondicherry attractions excites and enthralls the visitors.

Places to See in Pondicherry



French Fort Louis

One of the important monuments in Pondicherry and one of the many Pondicherry attractions, the French Fort Louis in Pondicherry is very popular with the history freaks and tourists of the city. The French Fort Louis in Pondicherry was one of the earlier establishments of the French in Pondicherry.

According to historical sources, the French Fort Louis in Pondicherry was constructed around the year 1709. It was built in accordance to a French Fort's model, which was established by Vauban at Tournai in the French speaking Belgium. The magnificently built French Fort Louis has a pentagonal shape. It boasts of five bastions and a couple of gates. The exciting part of Pondicherry's French Fort Louis is the underground chambers. These chambers were made to store arms, ammunitions and other commodities.

The French Fort Louis in Pondicherry is bordered with a moat. The French Fort Louis in Pondicherry served as the Citadel of the city for more than fifty years and has withstand many attacks and calamities.

Aayi Mandapam

The ever popular Government Park of Pondicherry is one of the major tourism attractions of the city. In the heart of this wonderful park stands the Aayi Mandapam. The Aayi Mandapam in Pondicherry is one of the wonderful monuments of the city and one of the Pondicherry Attractions also.

According to the historians, it was built during the sixteenth century. It was named after a lady courtesan called Ayi. She destroyed her own house to erect a water reservoir to supply water for the city. At that time Napoleon III was the ruler of France. Later on, the French authority named the place to remember her contribution to the city.

The magnificent Aayi Mandapam in Pondicherry is one of the reasons behind the popularity of the Government Park or the Bharati Park. The tower stands majestically at the center of the park, enhancing its look. The Aayi Mandapam monument was built in accordance to the Greco - Roman style of Architecture. Visitors in the park get enchanted with the presence of this wonderful architectural brilliance. Especially in the evenings, the Aayi Mandapam looks beautiful with the help of sparkling illuminations.

The illuminated Aayi Mandapam at Government Park stands as a distinct landmark in the night sky of the city, pronouncing its proud presence.

Ananda Ranga Pillai Museum

The beautiful coastal paradise of Pondicherry is noted for its panoramic rhapsodies. Apart from the emerald green sea waters lashing against the white sun kissed sands, Pondicherry also happens to be an erstwhile French settlement shrouded in history. Amongst the notable historic edifices dotting the union territory's landscape, the Ananda Ranga Pillai Museum in Pondicherry holds a special place.

Ananda Ranga Pillai Museum's claim to fame rests in it being the renowned dubash of Francois Dupleix, the former Governor General of the French colonies in the Indian subcontinent. During the former Governor's days of glory, this old monument resting on the western fringes of Pondicherry was popularly nicknamed the 'native quarters'. A stunning architecture depicting by a splendid amalgam of contemporary French and Indian panaches, very much in vogue in that era continues to captivate tourists till date.

is situated at Pondicherry, was the famous dubash of Dupleix, the governor of Pondicherry, while it thrived under French glory. Also known as 'natives quarters', it is one of the oldest buildings which exist on the west side. The mansion features a nice collection of diaries which serves as a storehouse of information on 18th century French India. The architecture of Ananda Ranga Pillai Mansion is a unique blend of French and Indian styles.

Ananda Ranga Pillai Museum was the celebrated dubash of Dupleix, the governor of Pondicherry while it flourished under French glory. Pillai's completion of diaries serve as a store house of information on 18th century French India.

His mansion, completed sometime in 1738, is one of the oldest surviving buildings on the west side, then known as "natives quarters". It's architecture represents a curious mix of French and Indian styles.

Aurbindo Ashram

The great patriot, nationalist, philosopher, spiritual leader and guru - Sri Aurobindo Ghosh spent his years of spiritual awakening in Pondicherry. The great thinker was so popular in this part of the world that till today he is adored and respected with the same fervor.

The Aurbindo Ashram in Pondicherry, which was built by the leader himself, is visited by millions of followers and devotees every year. The Ashram has earned the status of a pilgrimage center and has emerged as one of the major Pondicherry Attractions.

The Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry is perhaps the most visited tourism site of the Union Territory of Pondicherry. The home of 'The Mother' and Sri Aurobindo during their Pondicherry halt, the Ashram was built in the year 1926. The Aurobindo Ashram is maintained by a registered trust. The sprawling complex of the Ashram is the residence of one thousand and five hundred members. People from all over the country and from all parts of the world have taken membership of the Sri Aurobindo Society.

The main building of the Ashram lies beside the courtyard bordered with lush green trees. Beautiful flower gardens adorn the place, which has the Samadhi at the center. The serene Aurbindo Ashram in Pondicherry comes alive during the festivals. Thousands of tourists, followers and visitors come to see the place. Despite the large crowd the members manage to maintain discipline within the complex, restoring its peaceful environment.

Back water lakes & Gardens

Where tourism is concerned Pondicherry has no scarcity of delightful tourist spots. The peaceful yet exciting beaches, the monuments with colonial nostalgia and the Back water lakes & Gardens in Pondicherry are among the major Pondicherry attractions.

Speaking about the Back water lakes & Gardens in Pondicherry, few places need definite mention. They are:-

  • Botanical Gardens
  • The Government Park or the Bharati Park
  • Chunnambar Backwater
  • Keezhoor


Located at the southern side of the New Bus Stand, the Botanical Gardens is a great crowd puller for the nature lovers and green activists. It also attracts the general tourists with its colorful flower beds, paths lined with stones and gravels and never before seen trees. The musical fountain will please the children and adults alike. The Bharati Park serves as the lungs of the Pondicherry City with its long stretch of green patch. The well maintained park is adorned with artificial hills, numerous trees, ponds and granite benches. It is a very popular picnic spot.

Keezhoor is a village with rich presence of the four hundred years old banyan tree. One of the most popular areas of the Union Territory of Pondicherry, the Chunnambar Backwater is very close to the main city. The Chunnambar Backwater area is a hot bed of varied activities like yachting, boating, sun bathing etc. The sports freaks will have a gala time here with the provision of sports like beach volley, horse riding in the beaches and many more. One can watch the lovable dolphins entertaining the spectators with their tricks. In one word the place is must visit for anyone who loves to enjoy.

19th Century Light House

One of the most frequented tourist spots in the city, the 19th Century Light House in Pondicherry stands pretty on the Red Hills in Gorimedu. Located at a distance of five Kilometers from the western border of the city, the 19th Century Light House in Pondicherry is among the prime Pondicherry Attractions.

Speaking about the Back water lakes & Gardens in Pondicherry, few places need definite mention. They are:-

  • Botanical Gardens
  • The Government Park or the Bharati Park
  • Chunnambar Backwater
  • Keezhoor


Located at the southern side of the New Bus Stand, the Botanical Gardens is a great crowd puller for the nature lovers and green activists. It also attracts the general tourists with its colorful flower beds, paths lined with stones and gravels and never before seen trees. The musical fountain will please the children and adults alike. The Bharati Park serves as the lungs of the Pondicherry City with its long stretch of green patch. The well maintained park is adorned with artificial hills, numerous trees, ponds and granite benches. It is a very popular picnic spot.

Keezhoor is a village with rich presence of the four hundred years old banyan tree. One of the most popular areas of the Union Territory of Pondicherry, the Chunnambar Backwater is very close to the main city. The Chunnambar Backwater area is a hot bed of varied activities like yachting, boating, sun bathing etc. The sports freaks will have a gala time here with the provision of sports like beach volley, horse riding in the beaches and many more. One can watch the lovable dolphins entertaining the spectators with their tricks. In one word the place is must visit for anyone who loves to enjoy.

Ariyankuppam Archaeological Site



The tropical paradise of Pondicherry is also a dream come true destinations for erudite scholars keen on quenching their intellectual appetite. The union territory that also happened to be an erstwhile French colony is shrouded in age-old history. The Ariyankuppam Archaeological Site, is a historically eminent site that holds a special place in Pondicherry's history. Guillume Le Gentil, a legendary astronomer happened to visit the tiny coastal union territory of Pondicherry sometime during the period spanning between 1768-1771. During his visit, he chanced upon some dilapidated walls, mound of bricks and the ramshackle relics of some primordial wells in a quaint town called Ariyankuppam, sited at a stone's throw distance of 4 km from Pondicherry. This aroused the inquisitiveness of the speculative mind of the astronomer. His suspicions proved right and archealogical excavations very soon confirmed that the ruins were indubitably the tatterdemalion relics of an ancient village.

The earliest excavation that occurred in the Ariyankuppam Archaeological Site took place way back in the 1940's. A thorough exploration of the northern frontiers of the archaeological site divulged the debris of brick warehouse while the southern region unveiled some ancient courtyards replete with tanks and drains. The remains of several pieces of pottery and other artifacts of Indian as well as Mediterranean origin have also been unearthed by the repeated diggings. Beads, semi precious stones and ancient Roman artifacts including a set of wine and sauce jars that bore telltale symbols of once upon a time beauty have also been found in large numbers.

Government Park in Pondicherry

Being a former French colony, Pondicherry retains the quintessence of French flavor which can be evidently seen in the French-styled colonial architectures that surrounds and adorns this spectacular Indian Union territory. The Government Park in Pondicherry is an able carrier of this essential French architectural brilliance.

Pondicherry is an extremely well planned and well maintained town bedecked with some of the most exquisite parks and gardens you will ever come across. The Government Park in Pondicherry serves a classic example of a stunning and aesthetic entertainment park which is frequently visited by leisure travelers and tourists bewitched by its intriguing serenity.

The Government Park in Pondicherry is aptly located in the central region of the old colonial town. The significance of this unique park is derived from the fact that it is surrounded by some of the most prestigious government buildings like the Lt. Governor's Palace, the Legislative Assembly, Government Hospital, Ashram Dining Room, the Cercle de Pondichery private club, and the old Hotel Qualite.

Pondicherry's government park not only provides the lush green lawn and flower flooded picturesque beauty of a typical garden, but also offers a riveting and rejuvenating placid ambiance making it a perfect place for relaxing. Fondly known as Bharati Park of Pondicherry, this government park is a must visit place while you stay in the Union Territory.

French War Memorial

The union territory of Pondicherry has a strong French connection as evinced by several noted French commemorative edifices, like the French War Memorial in Pondicherry.

The various monuments, memorials and other historic edifices play a key role in augmenting the panoramic beauty of the coastal union territory. Amongst them, the graceful and majestic French War Memorial stands tall as one of the architectural wonders of Pondicherry. Situated in the beautiful promenade called Goubert Avenue, the French War Memorial was constructed in honor of the brave soldiers who sacrified their lives in the altar of the World War I.

A highlighting factor of the French War Memorial and Pondicherry tourism is the gala Bastille Day celebration on 14th July, when the monument is all decked and illuminated to look its best. The pomp and grandeur of the celebrations are tinged with sentiment and nostalgia that arouse the patriotic fervor in tourists.

Pondicherry currently happens to be one of India's much coveted tourist destinations. The quaint seashore union territory is shrouded in age-old history and laced with traces of French cultural legacy.

The French War Memorial in Pondicherry, a fitting tribute to the valiant warriors is another talking point of union territory's heritage.

Statue of Dupleix

The union territory of Pondicherry happens to be a former French settlement and continues to bear traces of its colonial past. The Statue of Dupleix in Pondicherry, standing tall in the union territory aptly depicts the intrinsic French connection.

The legendary Francois Dupleix had many a claim to his fame. The former Governor General of the French settlements in India was one of the greatest antagonists of Robert Clive, the mastermind behind the supposed Partition of Bengal. Dupleix was an able administrator who held office till the year 1754. Ironically, however he reached the pinnacles of success, glory and recognition long after the end of his career in 1780 when two statutes were laid in France and Pondicherry to pay a tribute to his untiring services.

The statue stands proud and tall, towering at a height of 2.88 m over half a dozen, massive and elaborately decorated pillars. Initially the statue of Dupleix in Pondicherry was sited in Place Du Republique. From there it was relocated to its present site, in a picturesque locality where it overlooks a beautiful and colorful children's park, alive with the exuberant cries of kids at play. The park is located at the southern extremity of a long and well maintained boulevard known as Goubert Avenue.

A visit to Pondicherry takes tourists through lanes of history alive with traces of French connection and cultural legacy.

Statue of Joan of Arc

The Union Territory of Pondicherry is blessed with picturesque natural landscapes. The erstwhile French colony also abounds in historicity that is evinced by the numerous historical statues like that of the Statue of Joan of Arc.

The Statue of Joan of Arc, sited in the union territory's capital Pondicherry town portrays the legendary French woman, Jeanned' Arc in her triumphant best as she stands overlooking the picturesque town. Today she stands tall in glorious pristine marble in a beautifully tended sprawling garden, ahead of the L' Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges.

Joan of Arc, the celebrated French avant-garde lived during the 15th century and is noted for her tremendous courage and valor. A great believer in Christ, her pious soul was aroused by repeated visions of the Almighty. Highly inspired, she responded with alacrity to retrieve her country from the clutches of the English.

A ground breaking revolutionary, Joan of Arc's courage and confidence remained undefeated even when she was severely wounded in the battlefield. She had to surrender after a tragic combat near Compiegne. After a highly scheming and convoluted trial, Joan of Arc was charged with the serious allegations of heresy and sacrilege.

Eventually, the unjust verdict was altered by the then Pope who firmly held his ground on her innocence and goodwill. Another 24 years down the line, she became a martyr and her path breaking work was an inspiration for many. Finally she was beatified in the 1909 and accorded the status of a saint, a decade later in 1909.

Last Updated on : 26/09/2013