Pondicherry is a blend of spiritual institution, French colonial heritages, Tamil culture and a cosmopolitan form of life. The city is full of French colonial buildings, clean and wide streets and the sprawling premises of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. This territory is important from spiritual as well as from cultural point of view.
Pondicherry’s beauty lies in its un-spoilt beaches and well laid out parks and gardens. The city’s temples and churches and imposing monuments of the colonial era are some of the worth visiting sites in this small port city.
But today’s attraction of Pondy is due to the presence of Auroville, the city of Dawn. It is a perfect place to search for the Divine. The meditation experience in this spherical house (Matri Mandir) is really exciting.
Beaches And lakes In Pondicherry
Pondicherry has a lovely beach, 1.5 kms long, where one can relax, sunbathe, swim or take a stroll along the promenade. On the sea-front are two important monuments - Statue of Mahatma Gandhi set amidst eight exquisitely sculptured monolithic pillars and the War Memorial raised by the French to honour the soldiers who died in World War I. The Goubert Salai along the Bay of Bengal is lined with grand colonial buildings.
It is about 15 km from Pondicherry town; a popular picnic spot on the Pondicherry-Villupuram route.
Boat House, Chunnambar
The backwater and the lush greenery on both sides of Chunnambar provide an ideal setting for boating. Boats are available on hire on all days of the week. A most enjoyable hydroplane and facilities for boating and fishing make this an ideal site for relaxation and picnic.
Gardens And parks In Pondicherry
The Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden in Pondicherry was created in 1826. The garden has rare and interesting plants procured from Calcutta, Madras and Sri Lanka. Currently it possesses a proud collection of 1,500 species of different plants and herbs.
It is about 30 km from Pondicherry town. Large fossil bearing areas fenced in to create the country's first National Fossil-Wood Park here. These petrified trees lying scattered on low mounds and stream sections, date from the Cretaceous Age (100 million years ago). The Chandramouliswara Temple, a monument of great architectural grandeur dating back to the Chola period, is an added attraction. Every Pournami (Full Moon Day), people gather here to worship Goddess Kali.
Museums In pondicherry
The Museum provides a glimpse into Pondicherry's rich past and present. It has the Sculpture gallery, an interesting French Gallery. The Museum brings back to memory the glorious past of Pondicherry from the days of the pre-Christian era down to the present day. It provides glimpses of the art and culture of the people of this region during the Pallava, Chola and Vijayanagar days.
Jawahar Toy Museum
The Jawahar Toy Museum is located in the old Light House building near Gandhi Maidan. Here toys and puppets from different parts of India are on display.
Romain Rolland Library
The library established in 1872, has a rich collection of 300,000 volumes, including rare editions in both French and English. The reference section on the first floor is open to the public. The library has a mobile section that takes 8,000 books to the nearby villages for the interests of the people.
Anglo-French Textile Mills
Visiting the century old Anglo-French Textile mills in Pondicherry is not only educative but also of tourism importance. The mill gives 10% rebate to the tourists who go on guided tours/buses on the purchases made. The world claimed fabrics and products of the mill will not only be a memento of Pondicherry but also can be used as gifts besides being products of utilitarian/aesthetic value in the houses.