An exceptional French colonial hub in India, Pondicherry is recognized for its beautiful promenades, picturesque colonial-style cafes, and partying scene. It is a wonderful destination for a seaside vacation. If you are planning a visit to this stunning coastal town, then there are several tourist attractions and destinations that you should certainly not miss. And the best time to visit is between October and March as the temperature ranges from 15 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius.
Once you step into Pondicherry, you will doubt if you are in India or France. The French colonized the place several years back, but some of those attractions still hang around in this union territory situated one hundred sixty km south of Chennai. The road signs are in French as well as English and Tamil; the architecture is French, numerous people there speak fluent French and most restaurants serve wine and steak. Here are some of the must-visit attractions in Pondicherry that you should visit when here:
- White Town Promenade, Pondicherry: This is the residential quarters of the French in Pondicherry. The whole neighbourhood has great examples of colonial French architecture and is frequently compared to seaside towns in the south of France. With legacy buildings and a huge number of French cafes, the prime highlight is the White Town Promenade, one of the most stunning promenades in India. With distinct seating, wonderful sea views, and stunning cafes such as the Le Cafe, the White Town Promenade is one of the most popular tourist places in Pondicherry. Concealed at the back of the French exterior are the impacts of Indian and local Tamil cultures too, apparent in the street food and handicrafts markets.
- Matrimandir, Auroville: This is an essential architectural landmark in the region neighbouring Pondicherry, this golden meditation temple is situated right in the middle of Auroville and acts as a de facto centre of the whole town. While Aurovillians can only visit into the ball-shaped Matrimandir, visitors who schedule a day beforehand can go to the viewing point close to the structure.
- Puducherry Museum: Here, you can trace the French roots and even older histories. Discover the magnificent collection of relics, artefacts, and historic treasures. From Chola and Pallava dynasties to archaeological findings of Arikamedu Roman settlement, there is a range of eras of history preserved here. Considered among the leading attractions in Pondicherry, the museum has bronze statues of Indian Gods and Goddesses, stone-carved statues, models of modes of transportation, fossilized trunks of ancient trees, church relics, brass temple lamps, coins, handicrafts, fossils and shells.
- Paradise Beach: Paradise Beach is possibly the most gorgeous beach in Pondicherry. The beach is unreachable by road and can only be reached by means of a five-minute ferry ride from the boathouse. The beach is well prepared with lifeguards, and in spite of its remoteness, there are a few eateries and restaurants. Paradise Beach is not only larger than other beaches in Pondicherry, but it is also one of the cleanest and less crowded beaches in the Union Territory. A range of water sports facilities is also accessible for enthusiastic tourists to try a hand at fishing as fishing nets and rods are easily available for rent.
- Serenity Beach: This is one of the most popular beaches in Pondicherry which is famous for its natural beauty and is also a popular surfing destination. The beach has board rental shops and well-known surf schools, as the waves here are ideal for surfing. Comparatively isolated, it is one of the most preferred places for honeymooners. In the early hours of the day, fishermen add to the attraction as they gear up for the day.
- Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple: This well-known old temple is the only Hindu place of worship in White Town. Devoted to the Vinayaka or Ganesh, the elephant-headed Hindu god, the temple is well-known for its portrayal of the god of all the forms, and in addition for the myths attached to it. The temple is one of the few in the area that predates the French profession of Pondicherry and is one of the most well-liked places of worship and pilgrimage in the town.
- Promenade Beach: The Promenade beach is among the most well-known places to visit in Pondicherry. The stretch is marked with monuments, popular sites, eateries, cafes, restaurants, shopping options, roadside food stalls, and hotels. When here, do not forget to witness the statue of Marquis Dupleix and pay respect to the Father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi.
- Auro Beach: Near to Auroville, Auro Beach is one of the most stunning beaches in Pondicherry. Known for the small waves and shallow waters, it is one of the must-visit tourist attractions in Pondicherry, particularly during sunset or sunrise. Take a stroll on the golden sands, swim in the sea, relax on the shore or try surfing for both professionals and beginners. The long stretch of beach has all amenities for visitors which include an option of dining, stay, yoga, shopping, etc.
- Botanical Garden: The Botanical Garden in Pondicherry is spread over an area of 22 acres in the centre of the city. The garden is a well-known retreat for tourists and locals. It is spread with flower beds, pruned trees, and fountains. Perrotet was in charge of changing the place into a botanical garden. His memorial can be seen within the garden premises. He launched numerous exotic plants from across the world. In 1960 the garden became the centre of horticultural development in Pondicherry. There are 28 plots in the Botanical Garden, and each one has an individual theme. Other attractions of the Botanical Garden comprise musical fountain, Children’s toy train, Japanese rock and aquarium. The aquarium houses a variety of fish and other marine life.
So, there are several places in Pondicherry to discover. If you are planning to visit this place this vacation, then make sure that you make a booking for accommodation in advance. Several Pondicherry hotels are located in and around the city to offer accommodation facilities along with the advanced amenities to the tourists.
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