Pondicherry – A Little France in India

Pondicherry is a residue of colonial past that France left in India. This place has an aesthetic advantage of coromandal coast of Bay of Bengal. The beaches, colonial buildings, resorts, monuments and others make this place a good getaway spot.

Pondicherry is a famous tourist destination in India. The monuments of gothic era, museums, religious spots and others make this place a unique destination in South India. The festivals and culture of the land also keeps it apart from other destinations in India.

Pondicherry French Colony

If you are looking for some exotic time with your special one or a thrilling experience with your friends, Pondicherry is the best place. People usually take up road trips from surrounding cities to Pondicherry for a weekend treat. The total place can be scaled within a couple of days. If you love beaches, you can make an interesting vacation out of Pondicherry.

Top Places to Visit in Pondicherry

This French colony of India is a fusion of French architectural beauty and tropical climate beauty. Top tourist attractions of Pondicherry are:

  • Statue of Dupleix
  • Arikamedu
  • Raj Niwas
  • Botanical Garden
  • Church of Sacred Heart of Jesus
  • Our Lady of Angels Church
  • French War Memorial
  • Auroville
  • Sri Aurobindo Ashram
  • Gokilambalthirumaleshwara Temple
  • Manakulavinayagar Temple
  • Old Lighthouse

Top Beaches to Visit in Pondicherry

1. Promenade Beach

2. Serenity Beach Serenity Beach3. Paradise Beach
Paradise Beach, Pondicherry4. Auroville Beach Auroville Beach, Pondicherry5. Mahe Beach Mahe Beach, Pondicherry

Top Museums to Visit in Pondicherry

1. Pondicherry Museum - This museum has an exclusive collection of stone artefacts and relics belongs to the Pallava and Cholla dynasties. You will find the wonderful collection of Bronze sculptures of Gods and Goddess, handicrafts, arts, temple lamps etc.

Timings : 10 AM to 5 PM Closed : Monday & National Holidays

Pondicherry Museum

2. Jawahar Toy Museum - This museum is the ideal place for kids and has several collections of toys and dolls from all over the country and presents the culture of different states and parts.

Timings : 10 AM to 5 PM Closed : Monday & National Holidays

Jawahar Toy Museum

Other Natural Attractions

  1. Botanical Garden
  2. Chunnambar Backwater
  3. Ousteri Lake
  4. Roff Garden

Top Things to do in Pondicherry

The best time to visit the place is during any festival. Villianur temple car festival takes place in May or June. This is a culture-filled festival where people pull the temple car around the town in a music and dance filled parade. Tourists can also join in pulling the car. If you are visiting in January, you ought to visit the International Yoga festival spot to enjoy classic dance, music, yoga performance and others.

Other top things to do in Pondicherry are
  1. Enjoying sunset from any beach or, sunrise. Some people stay in the beach all night long to catch the first glimpse of sunrise.
  2. Boat ride in Chunnambar River or Paradise beach along green plantation or backwaters. Chunnambar boat house provides various options for water activities.
  3. Overnight camping in tree houses in the backwaters
  4. Cruises in backwaters to spot dolphins and for a romantic time
  5. You can also choose jet ski, speed boat or motor boat ride
  6. Birdwatching in Ousteri Lake is an important activity if you are visiting during early summer or winter. It is the best spot to find migration birds.
  7. Scuba diving – you can find many scuba diving spots in Pondicherry. There are schools that teach amateurs.
  8. Canoeing, boating, kayaking, camping and other beach activities are available in Karaikal beach.
  9. Guided bicycle tour along the colonial buildings, French house and others. People also choose walking tours.
  10. Sunbathing
  11. Enjoying the French-Indian cuisine of the land
  12. Enjoy nightlife in any of the bar. Pondicherry has tax exemption on liquor and you would be spending less.
  13. Souvenir shopping for sculptures, carved wooden articles, painting, hand-made paper, silk garments, trinkets, incense, essential oils and others.
  14. Exploring and meditating at Sri Aurobindo ashram and Auroville. Some prefer volunteering or attending sessions in Auroville.
  15. Attending workshops at many cultural centers
  16. Swimming and collecting corals at Auroville beach
  17. Surfing
  18. Walk along the seafront
  19. Yachting and bonfire for some romantic time
  20. Camping at Dune Eco village
  21. Learning pottery at Golden bridge pottery center
  22. Traditional Ayurveda treatment at aurvedic centers. It is best to enjoy these treatments during late monsoon or winter. This is the time when the herbs are lush and at bloom. Beware of fake treatments. Any massage that you get in beaches are just a far cry from the actual therapy.

How to Reach Pondicherry?

Pondicherry is located 162 km from Chennai, Tamilnadu. The nearest international airport is in Chennai. The nearest domestic airport is located in Pondicherry. You can find direct cabs and buses from the airport to Pondicherry. You can also find direct flights from New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad and other important cities to Pondicherry. The frequency of the flights varies with season. Pondicherry has a busy railway station that connects the city with many important destinations in the country like Chennai, New Delhi, Jaipur, Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata and others. Pondicherry is well connected with other cities via road. You can find private and public buses and cabs from various important cities to Pondicherry like Chennai, Ernakulam, Coimbatore, Bangalore and others.

Best Time to Visit / Weather in Pondicherry

Summers are hot and humid here. The temperature can go as high as 42 degree C. The humidity can go as high as 93%. Summer start in March and ends in June. Peak summer season is during April and May. You can experience rare showers during June. Frequent showers start in July. The temperature will be mild but the humidity will be high. Heavy rainfall is possible in Pondicherry. The temperature can go as high as 33 degree C. The winter starts in October and ends in February. The temperature is mid and humidity is low. The temperature can go as low as 15 degree C.

Summers attract very few tourists to Pondicherry. You can find less traffic and better deals during this season. Monsoon is again a lean tourism season but you can find tourists who visit the place to enjoy rain and the beach. Winter is the best time to visit the place. The temperature will be pleasing and it is the best time to enjoy many water sports.

Also Read : 10+ Itinerary Favorites Tourist Places in Tamil Nadu

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