Puducherry, popularly known as Pondicherry is located in the South and is one of the Indian territories of India. The city is on the south-eastern coast in the state of Tamil Nadu with which it shares its traditional culture and background. The city has many monuments, churches, buildings, temples, and statues which are all in French style and preserve the colonial ambience. The best time to visit the territory is from October to March.
If you have made your mind to plan a trip to Pondicherry then here are, 10 must-visit places.
1. Eglise De Notre Dame Des Anges
This church is also known as Our Lady of Angels Church and is one of the most popular places to visit in Pondicherry. It is known for its mind-blowing masonry. The church has an architectural structure that is inspired by France. The church faces the Bay of Bengal and is located on Dumas Street. The church has divine feels. Seeing the colour of the church, it was also known as the White Chapel. The structure resembles the Basilica at Lourdes which is located in Southern France.
Before entering the church, pray to Mother Mary who is holding Jesus in her arms. Walkthrough the church and you will find various paintings and portrayals from religious texts. There are also statues of Joan of Arc and other saints. It is the only church in Pondy, where mass is held every Sunday, in three languages that are; English, French, and Tamil. Visit the church and experience the divine connection. The church is open on all days except Mondays from 9:00 am to 6:30 pm.
2. Paradise Beach
Paradise Beach is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Pondicherry. A ferry ride from the beach takes you to Pristine Beach that fascinates every traveller with its golden sand and blue water. The picturesque beach has pre-built shacks, nice changing rooms, clean toilets, and showers. The beach is best known for its water sports activities like Canoeing, Jet Skiing, or Kayaking. Hot bajjis at the beach is a finger-licking food that should be tried by all.
The beach is a heaven on Earth for photographers and has attractions beyond imagination. Some sights are so beautiful that one cannot just stop itself from capturing the scenario. Enjoy New Year’s Eve or Christmas Break on the beach, although Paradise beach can be visited throughout the year the sports activities are concentrated during the winter season.
3. Aurobindo Ashram
The most peaceful place one can find in Pondicherry is the Aurobindo Ashram. The trip is incomplete without visiting this place. The Ashram is well-known across the world and traces back to the time of 1926. The ashram was founded by Sri Aurobindo and has huge libraries. The place conducts several educational activities like asana, sports, strength training, and swimming.
At the center, there is a frangipani tree under which is the Samadhi of Sri Aurobindo. If you incline traditions, spirituality, yoga, meditation, this is the best place to find your inner-self. The ashram is open on all days from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
4. Auroville, Pondicherry
Famously known ‘City of Dawn’, Auroville is a futuristic township. It is the spiritual collaborator of Aurobindo. Here you will find people from all walks of life and from every single part of the world who come together to live under one roof against the barriers like caste, status, religion, and creed. Here people live with love, respect, and harmony for one and another.
The huge golden globe which is known to be Matrimandir is situated at the center of the Auroville, which is known to be a massive meditation center where one could find inner peace. To build this, soil from 124 countries was brought and was put together in an urn and mixed. Amidst Matrimandir Gardens one can find the Urn. There is no entry fee levied to visit the place and can be visited at any time of the day.
5. Arikamedu, Pondicherry
Are you someone who loves History? Then this would be the place you must visit. Arikamedu dives deep into history with its archaeological site of South India. The monument was built in the 19th century and is adorned with glassware, stone beads, roman lamps and it is also one of the less explored places in Pondicherry.
The place was later used for archaeological excavations and it also features some Black and Red ceramic statures. Being a history buff will pull you here. The place is open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on all days of the week. The entry fee for the place is Rs 10 for adults, Rs 5 for kids, and Rs 50 for International tourists.
6. Chunnambar Boathouse
The boathouse is also known as “Plage Paradiso”. It is an amazing boating and picnic spot located at the backwaters where the Chunnambar River meets the Bay of Bengal. Here, you can sun lounge and get sun-kissed and also play beach sports with friends and family. It is one of the famous places to visit in Pondicherry.
You can experience different types of boats here like, motorboats, speed boats, sailboats, rowed boats, water scooters, paddled boats, and pedaled boats that sail through the backwaters and amidst the mangrove trees. Many restaurants serve Chinese and Tandoori food. Adventure enthusiasts can enjoy Jey skiing here. There are frequent ferry services from Chunnambar Boathouse to Paradise Beach. The place is open from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm, and the entry fee for the boathouse is Rs 10 per head.
7. The Pondicherry Botanical Garden
The garden is spread across 22 acres of land. And it is known to be no-miss Pondicherry sightseeing places. The lush green garden was built by the French who brought exotic plant spices from around the world and nurtured them here.
Today, after decades, the garden boasts of 1500 species of plants and some placards indicate the actual and the common name of the spices. There is also additional information like the use, the amount of oxygen generated, medicinal use, and many others. The main entrance of the garden is similar to French architecture. The place is open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and is open on all days of the week.