Despite being a small town close to Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry is the most popular tourist destination.
This tiny Union Territory of India, also known as the French Capital of India, is a captivating French colony with enchanting villas that lures visitors with their architecture.
Beautiful beaches line the coastline of Pondicherry, which is located along the Bay of Bengal.
It is referred to as Pondy locally and Puducherry officially.
This place combines the virtues and beauty of the Tamil, French, and English cultures in a harmonious way.
The town’s historic culture and architecture are a masterpiece that should be explored.
In this article, you will get to know about the following places that you can visit in Pondicherry,
- Basilica of Sacred Heart of Jesus
- Old Lighthouse
- Chunnambar Boat House
- Botanical Garden House
- Paradise Beach
- Shri Karaneswar Nataraj Temple
Let’s see each of these attractions in detail…
1. Basilica of Sacred Heart of Jesus
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is an architectural masterpiece set up by the French.
Since it is among the 21 Basilicas in India, it is one of the most famous sights in India and Pondicherry.
The Basilica was set up in 1908 and is famous for its renowned Gothic Architecture.
Many visitors visit this holy place to see the eye-catching Gothic Architecture. The grand structure is decorated with stained panels of glass.
The Church has beautiful glass paintings of 28 saints of the Church and other artworks that describe the life of Jesus.
Another impressive thing you can observe here is the interiors, etched with Biblical phrase that enhances the overall spiritual ambiance of the place.
You can visit this holy place during grand occasions like Christmas, New Year, and Easter.
2. Old Lighthouse (Pondicherry)
Needless to say, lighthouses are significant structures that are built in any coastal town across the world. Similarly, the old lighthouse of the Puducherry was erected in 1836 by French engineer L. Guerre.
It is a remarkable architectural piece and a prominent landmark on Beach Road.
The lighthouse is 29 meters in height and stands on a rectangular platform. It has three openings, a staircase, a doorway for the watchman, and a shop.
The new Lighthouse was constructed in 1970 at the Kirapalaiyam Village after the old lighthouse was in dilapidated condition. It was built to guide the ships across the Red Hills.
Although the old lighthouse now serves as a museum it has an aesthetic charm. Visitors are often entertained by music fiestas and cultural occasions that take place here.
The visiting time to the lighthouse is from 3:00 PM-7:00 PM. During this time you can enjoy gorgeous sunsets with your dear ones.
3. Chunnambar Boat House
The Chunnambar Boat House is one of the best places to experience the backwaters. Chunnambar is a small hamlet located 7 kilometers from POndicherry and is blessed with natural delights.
Among all the natural attractions, the boat house is one of the places flocked by plenty of tourists every year making it one of the tropical vacation destinations in Puducherry.
You can relax at the beach or have a wonderful houseboat experience that can enhance your vacation mood.
You can also enjoy other water sports here and other thrilling activities like night camping.
You can also rent a houseboat and sail through reservoirs filled with blooming water lilies and through the paddy fields. While pedal boating in the backwaters, you can observe a simple rural community.
You might see locals gathering coconuts from deep groovings and fishermen catching fish. A must-try in Chunnambar is the exotic seafood at the well-known multi-cuisine restaurant Seagull.
4. Botanical Garden House
The Botanical Garden House is a wonderful tourist attraction spread across a massive area of 22 acres.
The lush green Botanical Garden was established in 1826 and has been a major landmark here. C.S. Perrott who was a French Colonist played a vital role in setting up the Garden.
There are more than 1500 exotic plant species in the Botanical Garden. It is open every day from 10 AM to 5 PM.
In Pondicherry, the garden is the ideal picnic spot where you can spend time with your loved ones amidst nature.
Locals and visitors alike are drawn to the area because of the well-kept lawns, colorful flowerbeds, and musical fountains.
The park’s French-style entrance gate, a toy train for kids, an aquarium, and Japanese rocks are some of its additional attractions.
Visitors from all over the nation come to witness the annual “Flower Festival” that takes place here.
Auroville is a distinct town area developed around the idea of a “Universal Town.”
Mirra Alfassa, a disciple of Shri Aurobindo founded it in 1968. She designed the town with the idea that it would enable humanity to flourish despite barriers related to gender, religion, and politics.
People from about 195 different nationalities live in this town.
For those seeking peace, Auroville is a popular destination close to Pondicherry.
The stunning Matrimandir building, which locals affectionately refer to as the “soul of the city,” is Auroville’s main draw.
It is in the middle of the town, surrounded by forested areas and verdant grasslands.
Your trip to Auroville will be worthwhile due to the pleasant weather and friendly community that you will meet here.
Auroville is well-liked by visitors to Pondicherry because the town provides top-notch wellness and spiritual services.
To refresh your body and mind, you can opt for yoga, practice meditation, indulge in Ayurvedic beauty treatments, and attend physiotherapy sessions.
Even just taking a stroll along Auro Beach and stepping into the cafes is a rejuvenating experience.
6. Paradise Beach
Paradise Beach, a remote beach in Chunnambar, is one of the top tourist attractions in Pondicherry.
This breathtakingly gorgeous beach lined with golden sand is known locally as “Plage Paradiso” and has a serene atmosphere.
You can spend a relaxing day with your family and friends while having a laid-back lifestyle along the shores of clear water and soaking in the tropical atmosphere.
In order to reach the beach from the city, you can go for a ferry ride. Your trip to the beach will be a refreshing one.
Another interesting thing that you can observe here is the dense mangrove forests that line the entire coastal route.
Paradise Beach is a haven for nature lovers and a delight for bird watchers as it is the natural habitat of a wide variety of rare and lovely bird species.
November to March is the ideal time to plan a trip to the famous weekend getaway from Pondicherry.
Water sports like canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and jet skiing are available at the beach for thrill seekers.
7. Shri Karaneswar Nataraj Temple
Sri Karneshwara Temple is one of the most unusual and distinctively designed temples in the entire world in the shape of a pyramid.
This temple is a very popular religious tourist destination in Pondicherry located at Gangaiamman Koi Street at the Pudukuppam beach.
Shri Karaneswar Nataraj Temple temple is devoted to Lord Shiva and is situated where a former temple was destroyed by Tsunami.
Later a new shrine with this unique pyramid design was constructed in 2000 by Dr. Karan Singh, the chairman of the Auroville Foundation.
The geometrical design of the temple maximizes the internal energy and spiritual aura of the place.
Lord Shiva as Nataraja, the god of dance, is the presiding deity here.
You can visit the temple from 6:00 AM to 12 PM and 4:00 PM to 9:00 pm during all months of the year.
February and March are the ideal time to visit the temple as it gets beautified by its own charm.
These are some of the best places and tourist attractions that you can visit in Pondicherry.
Your ideal vacation is waiting for you in Pondicherry.
You can have a once-in-a-lifetime experience at sun-kissed beaches, unearthly ashrams, elaborate museums, plush family parks, and swanky clubs.
You can take pleasure in staying in opulent resorts or indulging in night-long crazy parties.
The delectable seafood, adrenaline-pumping activities and bohemian stuff, and shopping in Pondicherry will give you an unforgettable experience for a lifetime.
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