Experience The Wonders of ‘The Paris of the East’

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About Pondicherry

Pondicherry, also referred to as ‘Puducherry’ or simply ‘Pondy’ is one of the seven union territories of India. Puducherry  has a French influence to it which can be seen in the many small dwellings and cafes dotting the region. Shri Aurobindo Ashram is a major tourist attraction as are the lovely beaches which form a substantial portion of Pondy’s beautiful landscape.

Pondicherry is also a centre to pursue spiritual activities such as yoga and meditation. All in all, Puducherry offers a plethora of options to suit every traveller’s palate. Head to the city now using Paytm Bus promo codes.

Pondicherry is also a centre to pursue spiritual activities such as yoga and meditation. All in all, Puducherry offers a plethora of options to suit every traveller’s palate.

Why Go There:  Relaxation | Biodiversity| Spiritual Pursuits
Ideal For:  Relaxation Trips | Nature Walks | Experiencing French Old-World Charm
Things to Bring Back: Ceramic and pottery products, leather goods, textiles and food products


Places to Visit in Pondicherry

19. Auroville Ashram

Based on the concept of ‘Universal Town’, Aurobindo Ashram was founded in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo and his disciple, a French lady known as ‘Maa’. The ashram is based on the notion that people of diverse faiths and cultures can come and stay together in peace in one place. The project was backed by the Govt of India. In 1966, UNESCO passed a resolution calling the project as “a project of importance to the future of humanity”. This conceptual town was opened in 1968. ‘Matrimandir’ is the city’s major attraction where one can watch a video about the conceptual city and concentrate in silence.

Open Time: Mon-Sat: 9.30AM to 5PM, Sun 9.30AM to 1.30PM only
Distance from the city: 10 km
Time required: 1 day
Ideal for:  Spiritual Pursuits
Best time to visit: All year round
Location: Navigate


18. Aurobindo Ashram

The ashram was set up by Sri Aurobindo Ghosh in 1926 with aim of experiencing and achieving spiritual enlightenment. Mirra Alfassa, one of Aurobindo’s followers played a key role in the establishment of the ashram. There are several devotees, students and patients residing in the ashram premises.

There is a tomb and a courtyard below the Frangipani tree where Sri Aurobindo and his disciple Mirra Alfassa have been buried.

Open Time: General timings- 4:30 AM – 11:00 PM | Visitor’s timings- 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Distance from the city: 3 km
Time required: 1-2 hours
Ideal for:  Spiritual Pursuits
Best time to visit: All year round
Location: Navigate


17. Raj Niwas

The eighteenth-century structure serves as the residence of Pondicherry’s Lieutenant Governor. The monolithic pillars and a water monument present in the premises’ garden are major attractions.

Distance from the city: 3 km
Time required: 1-2 hours
Ideal for:  History & Heritage lovers
Best time to visit: All year round
Location: Navigate 


16. Pondicherry Museum

The museum is situated in Bharathi Park and houses the remnants of the Arikamedu Roman civilisation. Bronze statues, temple lamps, art and handicrafts are displayed here. There are also inclusions of the Chola and Pallava dynasty art sculptures in the museum.

Open Time: Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Distance from the city: 3 km
Time required: 1-2 hours
Ideal for:  Art & Heritage lovers
Best time to visit: All year round
Location: Navigate 


15. Jawahar Toy Museum

Also referred to as ‘Doll Museum’, the Jawahar Toy Museum located at the old lighthouse building features about 140 colourfully attired dolls and other toys.

Distance from the city: 3 km
Time required: 1-2 hours
Ideal for:  Kids
Best time to visit: All year round
Location: Navigate 


14. Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple

This ancient temple dedicated to Lord Ganesh was built almost 500 years ago and is located behind the Raj Niwas. The temple houses an imposing idol of Lord Ganesha called Vellakkaran Pillai. Festivals such as Brahmotsavam festival (especially the 18th day) and Vinayaka Chaturthi are celebrated with great aplomb.

Open Time: 5:45 AM to 12:30 PM and Evening: 4:00 PM to 9:30 PM.
Distance from the city: 3 km
Time required: 2-3 hours
Ideal for:  Religious people | Lord Ganesh Devotees
Best time to visit: All year round
Location: Navigate 


13. Gokilambal Thirukameswar Temple

This temple is situated in ‘Villianur’ about 11 km from Pondicherry. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. One can see glimpses of the French influence through the different customs and traditions carried out at the temple. A car festival is organised by the temple wherein a 15 meter tall chariot is pulled through the town streets by the devotees.

Distance from the city: 6 km
Time required: 2-3 hours
Ideal for:  Religious people | Lord Shiva Devotees
Best time to visit: All year round
Location: Navigate 


12. Varadaraja Perumal Temple

This is a 12th century temple situated in the town of Villianur. The temple architecture is quite alluring and highly regarded by its followers.

Distance from the city: 3 km
Time required: 1-2 hours
Ideal for:  Religious people
Best time to visit: All year round
Location: Navigate 


11. Meeran Mosque

The Gothic-Islamic style mosque is a 350-year-old mosque in Pondicherry. The mosque was built by the Arcod Nawabs. A bronze Kallasa adorns the front facing tower. The mosque also serves as a grave for Meeran and Suubhi Erai Perriar Mullah.

Distance from the city: 2 km
Time required: 1-2 hours
Ideal for:  Muslims
Best time to visit: All year round
Location: Navigate 


10. French War Memorial

This structure was built in memory of the soldiers who were martyred in World War I. The memorial is situated in the Goubert Avenue. Every year on 14th July, a commemoration ceremony is held wherein the structure is lit up and looks very attractive.

Distance from the city: 3 km
Time required: 30 min
Ideal for:  History & Heritage lovers
Best time to visit: All year round
Location: Navigate


9. Arikamedu

Named after the Tamil word ‘Arikanmedu’ meaning eroding mount, this port town is about 30 min drive from Pondicherry. This very prehistoric Roman trade centre was unearthed during an excavation in the year 1940. Many excavations then followed the first dig. A glass bead manufacturing unit is a major attraction of this place. This factory is called as the mother of bead manufacturing units worldwide.

Open Time: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Distance from the city: 2 km
Time required: 2-3 hours
Ideal for:  People keen to explore ancient architectural sites
Best time to visit: All year round
Location: Navigate 


8. Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

This Basilica was set up by French missionaries in 1908 and was accorded the status of Basilica in 2011. The church is located about 2.5 km from the Pondicherry bus station. The church is a beautiful specimen of Gothic architecture. The church is Pondy’s first ever Basilica and celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2008-09.

Open Time: Monday – Saturday: 7:00 AM – 6:30 PM,
Sunday: 8:00 AM – 6:30 PM
Distance from the city: 2 km
Time required: 1-2 hours
Ideal for:  Religious people | Christian faith followers
Best time to visit: All year round
Location: Navigate 


7. Church of Our Lady of Angels

Referred to as ‘Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges’, this church is known for its perfect stone art. The white marble surface is highlighted using a blend of limestone and egg white. Located in Rue Dumas, the structure has a striking similarity to Basilica at Lourdes in south France.

Distance from the city: 3 km
Time required: 1-2 hours
Ideal for:  Religious people | Christian faith followers
Best time to visit: All year round
Location: Navigate

6. Botanical Garden

The botanical garden was founded by C.S. Perrotet in 1862. The garden houses many unusual and rare plant species as well as an aquarium.

Distance from the city: 2 km
Time required: 1-2 hours
Ideal for:  People interested in botany and fisheries
Best time to visit: All year round
Location: Navigate 


5. Ousteri Wetland and National Park

This national park lies on the Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu border and is about 10 km away from Pondicherry. A rich and diverse aqua-fauna as well as avi-fauna can be found here. The place also welcomes many migratory birds. House boat facilities can be availed by tourists at the park.

Distance from the city: 10 km
Time required: 1-2 hours
Ideal for:  Exploring diverse flora & fauna
Best time to visit: All year round
Location: Navigate 


4. Bharathi Park

This is a well organised and well sustained park which is in close proximity to many important government buildings.

Distance from the city: 3 km
Time required: 1-2 hours
Ideal for:  Rest | Relaxation | Nature Walks
Best time to visit: All year round
Location: Navigate 


3. Paradise Beach

Also known as Plage Paradiso, the Paradise beach is located in Chunnambar in the vicinity of the Pondicherry town. One has to take a ferry along the backwaters to reach this beach which is a situated in a secluded place. The ferry in itself is a pleasant ride especially in the monsoons when the backwaters are filled with dense mangroves forests.

Open Time: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Distance from the city: 4 km
Time required: 1-2 hours
Ideal for:  Photography | Nature Walks| Relaxation
Best time to visit: All year round
Location: Navigate 


2. Pondicherry beach

Also known as Promenade beach, this popular beach has War Memorial at its one end and Dupleix Park on its other end. The beach witnesses a plethora of activities such as walking, swimming, volleyball etc.  The beach is close to several city landmarks such as Mahatma Gandhi statue, old lighthouse, Heritage town hall etc. The beach is dotted by many restaurants which serve authentic local cuisine making this place a traveller’s delight.

Distance from the city: 12 km
Time required: 2-3 hours
Ideal for:  Photography | Nature Walks| Relaxation
Best time to visit: All year round
Location: Navigate 


1. Seaside Promenade

Pondicherry is blessed with an awesome Seaside Promenade. The place is well kept and clean. One can experience sprays of water foam while enjoying coolers or other delicacies in one of the cafes along the promenade.

Distance from the city: 3 km
Time required: 1-2 hours
Ideal for:  Photography | Nature Walks
Best time to visit: All year round
Location: Navigate 


How to Reach Pondicherry

Nearest Airport:
Chennai Airport(125 km away)
Book Your Flights and Save Money From: Ixigo Flight Offers | Easemytrip Offers | Goomo Offers

Nearest Railway Station:
The Villupuram Railway Junction

Nearest Bus Stop:
There are bus services that connect Pondicherry to Chennai, Trichy, Coimbatore etc
Book Your Bus and Save Money Using: Railyatri Offers


Where to Stay in Pondicherry 

La Villa | Palais De Mahe – CGH Earth | Villa Shanti| Le Dupleix
Avail Discounts On Hotel Bookings Using:  Redbus Hotel Offers | Booking.com Offers


Nearby Places to Visit

  • Chidambaram (63 km)
  • Vedanthangal (90 km)
  • Mahabalipuram (99 km)
  • Thanjavur (166 km)
  • Chennai (170 km)

Hidden Gems:

Chunambar Boat House is a village located about 8 km from Pondicherry. The town is known for its Paradise beach.

Immaculate Conception Cathedral is a beautiful church established in 1686. This St Peters church is the only surviving structure among the many buildings which were destroyed by the British.


CashKaro Recommendation

  • Pondicherry is blessed with beautiful coastal beaches. You can undertake a number of water sports activities such as banana boat rides, scuba diving, parasailing etc.
  • The cuisine served in Pondicherry restaurants have a French, English, Portuguese as well as Tamilian influence. Restaurants like ‘Kasha ki Aasha’, ‘Carte Blanche’, ‘Appachi Chettinad’ etc offer delectable spread.

The Most Fun Way to Travel

You can travel by car from Chennai to Pondicherry. Enjoy Tamil Nadu’s scenic beauty by travelling the east coast road and savour the region’s delectable local cuisine by taking suitable halts.

If you do not wish to take your car, you can rent one from: Myles Offers | Zoomcar Offers | Uber Offers


Other places to explore


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