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Puducherry Travel Guide

Discussion in 'Destination Guides' started by ChaiNashta, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. ChaiNashta

    ChaiNashta Active Member

    Puducherry was called Pondicherry up until 2006 when the name was changed to Puducherry which is the orignal Tamil name for the town. Till 1954, it was part of French colony therefore town has old churches, colonial buildings, and statues. Places around this town like kakayanthoppe, Arikamedu, Bahur, Ariyankuppam and Villianur are part of Union Territory. Pondicherry is capital city and most visited destination of tourists. Fine cuisine, French imprints and worth seeing places are center of attraction.

    Places to Visit

    • Sri Aurobindo Ashram
    Sri Aurobindo Ghosh established sacred community in 1926. This ashram is prime source of attraction for spiritual seekers as well as tourists. Mira Alfassa and Sri Aurobindo were the two personalities involved in developing the ideals of this spiritual place. There are many offices, playground, a library, art gallery, printing press, dairy, guest house, nursing home and bakery in ashram. Ashram remains open for visitors for 8 hours a day.

    • Auroville
    Auroville means “City of Dawn”. It is small township; just eight kilometers away from the capital city. Just like Ashram, it was established by Mira Alfassa and Aurobindo. Roger Anger, French architect designed this township. Motive behind developing this township was to develop a residential area where all nations would enjoy life regardless of their color, status, nationality and caste. At the time of inauguration, an urn of lotus shape was designed to reflect the motive behind township development. Currently, total number of residents in Auroville is 2,007 and they belong to 44 countries.

    • Immaculate Conception Cathedral
    It is 300 years old cathedral that was designed for Cuddalore and Archdiocese. Church was established in 1791 but improvements in the design were carried on till the year 1987. Every year, feast is organized on 8th December to celebrate the special day of church. Mother Teresa also visited this renowned church. Samba Kovil is another name of this cathedral given by residents of this area.

    • Promenade Beach
    There are many beaches in this beautiful area but Promenade beach is most visited in Puducherry. There are well known statues near the beach such as Mahatma Gandhi statue, Joan of Arc statue, Dupleix statue. Apart from statues, there are many landmarks like old light house and Heritage town hall etc. Cool sea breeze, splendid landmarks and awe-inspiring natural beauty compel visitors to stay whole day near beach area. Away from hustle and bustle of city life, enjoy your holidays at serene beach area.

    • Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

    Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is an amazing building designed in Gothic style in 1907. Christians from all over India prefer to visit this sacred place. The width of the church is 48 meters, length 50 meters and height 18 meters. There are 24 columns in this church. It is festooned with 28 glass paintings of saints. There is adoration chapel as well as parish hall that are dedicated to the lady of Lourdes. In 2005, this holy place was renovated but no major change was made in its structure. Interior, as well as outside area of chapel, is still in its original design.

    • Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple

    Sri Varadaraja Perumal temple was developed in 600 AD and known as the oldest temple in Dravidian style. Pillars of this temple and gopuram are embellished with sculptures of goddesses and gods. Sri Varadaraja Perumal is considered as Lord Vishnu’s incarnation. At first, the temple was house of Sita, Lord Hanuman, and Lakshmana idols. A shrine behind Sri Varadaraja temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu incarnation, Narsimha. It is one of the much loved spot of pilgrimage for Hindus all over India.

    • French War Memorial

    In 1971, French War memorial was developed on Goubert Avenue to pay tribute to French soldiers died in First World War. On 14th July, this memorial is enlightened to give commemorate soldiers. Tourists keep this memorial at top of must visit list.

    • Pondicherry Museum

    Pondicherry Museum is located in mid of town. It has a variety of archeological findings from old Roman Arikamedu settlement and sculptures as well. Museum captivates tourists by rare bronze and unique statues belong to Pallava and Chola dynasties. Temple lamps, snail, handicrafts and shells are exhibited in museum. Pondicherry museum is visited even if tourists stay in Mahabalipuram or Chennai.

    • Pondicherry Lighthouse

    While planning for Puducherry trip, add old lighthouse in must visit list. It was constructed by French leaders in 19th century and started its work in 1836. Government of India constructed new lighthouse in 20th century.

    Parks & Gardens in Puducherry

    • Botanical Garden

    Botanical Garden was designed in 18th century and included among the places where you can find the influences of French. Gravel lined paths, fountains, French style, exotic plants species, shrubs and pruned trees are some of the attractions here. In 1931, this garden was changed into specified botanical garden by George S. Perrottet, horticulturist and French Botanist. There is musical fountain in this garden that can be viewed at weekends only.

    • Ousteri Wetland and National Park

    National park is almost 10 km away from Pondicherry. It has covered more than 3.9 sq km area. As far as geographic status is concerned, Ousteri Wetland & National park is situated in territories of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. There are avi-fauna and aqua-fauna in this park. Visitors from all over the world visit this park to get some information and enjoy boating service as well. Due to a variety of herbs and trees in this area, migratory birds prefer to stay in this region. Aquatic species and large number of bird species have made this park foremost visiting place for kids and photographers.

    • Bharathi Park

    Bharati Park or government Park is situated in colonial town of Puducherry. It has renowned monument Aayi Mandapam. There are many important buildings around this park such as Legislative Assembly, Lt. Governor’s Palace, Ashram Dining Room, Government Hospital, Hotel Qualite and Cercle de Pondichery.

    • Science Park

    Planetarium and science centre was developed by National Council of Science. It is situated in Lawspet and has special demonstration center where live demonstration are conducted to give interesting information about science. It is an interesting place for students. Side by side, Children Corner is designed to give chance to kids to take part in simple experiments, science kits and puzzles.

    Things to Do in Puducherry

    • Beach Activities

    South India has many tourist destinations but Pondicherry has marked its unique place due to prominent attractions. For foreign visitors, seaside is always a source of fun. There are numerous beaches that appeal foreigners and local tourists to spend whole day to take part in water activities.

    Many landmarks and luxurious hotels are located near beaches like Paradise, Quiet, Promenade and Serenity. Spending a day on beach is full of entertainment as there are many food stalls to enjoy local food items, drinks and snacks. For kids, playing volleyball and cricket are engaging activities here. There is something interesting for all age groups. If you are tired, deck chairs are available to view splashing waves and sparkling sand. Water activities like fishing, kayaking, canoeing, boating, camping and sailing satisfy the adventurous nature of tourists. Seven kilometers away from Cuddalore is tranquil Chunnambar, must do boating activity. There are many sea cruises to get experience of endless sea and dolphins in water.

    • Walk in Puducherry

    Walking aimlessly in Puducherry will give you chance to capture red, yellow and pink French colonial houses in your cameras. It is best way to start your day and view into the culture and history of this region. Walking activity is best enjoyed in winter season.

    • Boating in Mangrove Forest

    Away from hustle and bustle of city life, boat rides are arranged by government authorities. Tourists are allowed to select either row boat or motor boat to view floating forest. Try to visit this place early in the morning so that you can get enough time to take pleasure of boating and other activities in forest.

    • Participate in Yoga Festival

    Puducherry Government started yoga festival in 1993 to elaborate the unison of spiritual, emotional and mental levels. There are special workshops and Yoga dance classes for visitors. Yogic food is provided to purify body.

    Popular Place to Eat in Puducherry

    • Satsanga

    It is popular for Continental cuisine and Indian dishes as well. Prawns, pates and fish are special dishes here. Hotel is perfect place to eat for vegetarians. It is possible to give order and book your table on terrace.

    • La Pasta

    As the name signifies, this place is visited by pasta lovers. Italian dishes, concocts and sauces are available to make your day superb.

    • Baker Street

    Baker Street is famous for French delicacies and offers a wide range of desserts like Baba-au-Rhum, Fruit Tart, Eclairs, Tiramisu and Mille Feuille. On Saturday and Sunday, hotel offers Crepes with Croissants, Pasta, Quiches, Breads and Escargots. Cold desserts, chocolates and macaroons are good in taste. Side by side food items, Baker Street is famous for beverages and fruit juices.

    • Appachi

    To taste spicy regional food items, visit Appachi. Best dishes are fried fish and Chettinad chicken and steamed Appams.

    • Surguru

    Variety of dosas made with ghee is presented with tomato chutney and coconut. Best dishes are Sambhar, Rasam, Avial, Korma, assortment of rice, curry, puri and chutneys so do not forget to try.

    • Tanto Pizzeria

    In Pondicherry, Tanto Pizzeria is best place to enjoy Italian food. Quality ingredients and variety of pizzas compel visitors to order delicious food items.

    • Café Des Arts

    It is concept store where you can get French food of your choice for breakfast. Café Des Arts is popular for its tasty menu, vintage décor and Crepes. If you do not have mood to go outside, just order beverage and read your favorite book. Near Café Des Arts, there is Nirvana store famous for adorable artifacts.

    • Right Path Café

    It is located near visitor’s center and offers open area for visitors. Enjoy organic food while sitting under trees. It is typical café where you can find menu on a board hanged on entrance.

    • Le Café

    It is near the sea side and remains open 24/7 to serve customers. If you love to take part in nighttime activities, add this café in your list. Delicious sandwiches, beverages and Lasagnas are available.

    • Café Artika

    If you are in search of solitary place where you can enjoy good food and blend of art, you are at right place. If you are interested to show your artwork, Café Artika has a gallery to accomplish your objective. It is possible to bring your laptop, have some juice and concentrate on your work without any disturbance. Whether you want Ratatouille Pasta, Green Smoothie, juice or coffee; you will never get dissatisfied here.

    • De L’orient

    It is perfect place for breakfast buffet as well as romantic dinner. There are colorful lights, lanterns and sweet smells that make your time memorable. Do not forget to try desserts, chocolate ice cream, chocolate cake and chocolate mousse. De L’orient offers best wines to its customers.

    • La Maison Rose

    If you are in search of a place where varieties of drinks are available, La Maison Rose is your perfect destination in Puducherry. Basically it is an adorable colonial chalet along with a restaurant. There are a great number of trees around this restaurant. You can spend your time by strolling near trees, sit under Mango trees or order different drinks or food items.

    Shopping in Puducherry

    Pondicherry is capital of Puducherry and famous for plenty of shopping options. Markets are at walking distance so you can buy anything without any difficulty. Quality products are available at low rates so do not miss a chance to get good value for your amount.

    • Mission Street

    It is must have place for shopping where you can find hand painted quality silk clothing, footwear of non-leather, oils, jewelry, handmade paper products, incense, perfumed candles, ceramics and handicrafts. Rates are not cheap however quality of products is second to none. If you have selected an item but it is not available in your size, it is possible to give order and get customized product.

    • Casablanca

    It is department store where you can find international brands. Linen stuff is available on upstairs. In addition to linen, there are quality home wear item, leather hand bags, briefcase, belt, suitcase and wallets. Find a wide range of hidesign products here.

    • Titanic Factory Outlet

    It is famous for international brands such as Timberland, Tommy Hilfiger, Gap, Ralph Lauren and Guess etc.

    • Aurobindo Ashram

    A small shop where greeting cards, books and memorabilia items are within access. It invites customers to purchase perfumed candles, souvenirs, handmade paper and incense sticks.

    • Diva

    Diva offers fabulous jewelry items at low rates. Latest Indian clothing and traditional jewelry is available. Most of visitors purchase these items to give as gift to their friends and family members.

    • Auroshree Boutique

    Handicrafts and clothes are selected from all parts of India to offer something different to customers. Paintings, silver jewelry, sandalwood items, brass and handcrafted bronze selection is also presented here.

    • Hidesign

    It is center of leather goods and variety of products for women and men. Best wallets and bags of Hidesign in this flagship store bring customers from all over India.

    • Serenity Beach Bazaar

    Serenity Bazaar held on weekend and known as most visiting marketplace. It is just at walking distance from seaside area. Purchase leather bags, traditional handicrafts, ceramics accessories and much more of your interest here.

    • Muthu Silk Plaza

    Your visit to Puducherry remains unfinished until and unless, you buy some silk products. South India is famous all over the world for wide range of quality silk fabric. Handcrafted saris, designer clothes and fabric of pure silk are presented at reasonable rates here.

    • Antique and Art Work

    After Casablanca, La Boutique d’Auroville is must visit place where handmade paper, leather items, exclusive pottery and garments attract customers. To purchase antique colonial furniture and wood items, Curio Centre is most recommended place. Art Colony has handicrafts, wood carvings and antiques as well. If your first choice is to purchase art work, Cottonwood has great collection of paintings, canvas by Stridher and Dhanasegar.

    Many sightseers want to capture Puducherry shopping experience in their camera. On M.G. Road, Sunday market arranges more than 100 stalls where you can view local life as well. In short, Puducherry is one of the best places where reasonable rates and unique items will insist you to keep on buying something extraordinary for all your family members.

    Best Season to Enjoy Puducherry Trip

    Puducherry has different climate conditions. When you are planning your trip to Puducherry, get some detail of best season. It is useless to go outside in warm climate as you cannot view French Colonial area, botanical parks and much more due to high temperature. Here is the description of weather conditions in different months:

    • Winter Season

    Winter season in Puducherry starts from the month of October. In this month, temperature is low and cool breezes compel sightseers to take part in water activities. Winter season ends in February so bring woolen clothes during this season to keep you warm. Temperature in winter goes as low as 17 C.

    • Summer Season

    From March, summer season starts which is known as the unbearable season of the year. Four months of summer season are intolerable for visitors as temperature exceeds from 41 C. From March to June, you will find a few sightseers in Puducherry. People who prefer to enjoy in less crowd visit in summer and spend most of the time in water activities.

    • Monsoon Season

    Monsoon season from July to September is most humid time of the year. Due to heavy rainfall and high temperature, visitors skip their plan in monsoon. For rain lover, it is good to visit beach area and take part in playful activities. Celebration of Sri Aurobindo starts in month of August. If you are eager to join this celebration, plan your trip in monsoon.

    • Best Time of Year

    Puducherry is full of historical places and art work. Planning holiday trip means to have fun in each and every moment. Monsoon and summer season do not let tourists to carry on day time activities. Best time of year starts from October. December is most visited month when people gather at this place to celebrate Christmas and New Year.


    Whether it is your holiday or business trip, selection of accommodation matters a lot. Friendly atmosphere, in heart of city, beautiful outdoor sceneries, urban retreat and luxurious rooms are foremost priorities of visitors. In Puducherry, hotels are designed to give worldwide tourists all amenities and luxurious environment at best rates. Check rates of all hotels, availability in your selected dates and number of rooms before confirming your room booking. Here are some of the best accommodations in Puducherry that are first choice of foreign visitors:

    • Abirami Residency
    It is perfect place for travelers who demand contemporary amenities and responsive atmosphere.
    • Accord Puducherry
    Arboreal locale five-star luxury hotel is located in mid of city. It is easy to get transportation to visit different places.
    • Ajantha Beach Guest House
    If it is your dream to stay in a room, from where you can view sunrise and sunset view, then this guest house is perfect for your holiday trip.
    • Akshaya Cottage
    Stay near cashew plantation to view beauty of nature all the day. It is magnificent experience to live luxurious life in the lap of nature.
    • Alps Residency Pondicherry
    You are welcome in French city where all facilities are given to make your trip memorable. Rooms are offered at best rates here.
    • Anandha Inn
    To live in world of style and comfort, Anandha Inn offers breathtaking interior decoration and unique architecture. It is one of the beautiful hotels in Puducherry.
    • Anandham Residency
    Anandham Residency offers traditional Indian way of welcoming guests. Boutique hotel has serene environment and deluxe interior.

    • Anantha Heritage Hotel
    It is designed to give touch of historic French city as well as Tamil Nadu culture. You will love Franco Tamil décor and welcoming staff here.

  2. Tabitha

    Tabitha New Member

    Are most of these places within easy traveling distance? My partner and I wish to travel by either bus or train and don't want to drive a rental car. We are interested in interesting old architecture and some of these places sound like they are definitely worth a visit. Is it better to visit in October and what is the average temperature then?

  3. Vinaya

    Vinaya Member

    I have heard about Pondicherry aka Pudcherry, however, I never have had an opportunity to visit this French town in India. When I was in Chennai, I was thinking to visit to this coastal town, but had to cut my trip short and return home . Thanks for this wonderful guide to Pudcherry. Next time I am in South India, I will make sure to visit Pudcherry.
  4. paudu

    paudu Member

    This seems like a very charming historical region. It's wonderful that influences from so many different countries are all combined in one place, and have been kept intact for visitors.