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Pondicherry, India

Pondicherry (now known as Puducherry) is beautiful place that lays sun soaked on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal in Tamil Nadu. The sun kissed golden beaches entice tourists for a perfect romantic getaway or camp on the seaside or to take a river cruise. It is a famous tourist destination and a union territory of India. The entire tourism of Puducherry is strongly influenced by its architecture, churches, mosques, culture and food. Puducherry is very famous because of its French connection. This town is situated about 162 KM south of Chennai. The main languages spoken in the region include Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu. Besides, English and French are the other languages spoken by local people. The historical French connection after half a century of independence, makes Puducherry an incredible visual treat for travelers with its soft breezing beaches, cobbled streets, the backwaters, temples, elegant houses, churches, mosques, antique furniture galleries, cotton textile mills, handmade paper, leather, aromatics and mainly, the delightful shopping experience. Puducherry (Pondicherry) is an amazing vacation stopover for tourists.

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Climate
summer

Summer
March - June, Humid & Sunny
Temperature:42°C

monsoon

Monsoons
July - September, Torrential rains lasting for a long time
Annual rainfall -250 cm

winter

Winter
October to February, Cool & pleasant
Temperature:17°C

Best Places to Visit in Pondicherry

Paradise Beach
It is perfect place for having fun and amusement as the sand of the beach is quite soft. However, the beach encounter strong current and one should avoid getting deeper into the sea. The sand at the Plage Paradiso seems like a blend of golden reflection over silvery sheet along a turquoise water vessel. The vibrancy of different shades and peace at the location are a treat for the soul.

French Fort Louis
Amongst the most significant monuments in Puducherry, the French Fort Louis interests lots of history lovers.

Sri Aurobindo Ashram
This ashram was used to be the residence of the great Indian philosopher, Aurbindo Ghose. This house was built in the year 1926, where he lived and spent his last days. But, today this Ashram is identical with Aurbindo Ashram.

French War Memorial
It is a memorial that commemorates death of French soldiers who were martyred during the First World War. On 14th July (Bastille Day) of the each year, the memorial is lighted up to pay homage to the soldiers. It is a must visit attraction in Pondicherry especially on Bastille Day as the commemoration ceremony is a wonderful view to witness.

Chunnambar Backwater
Chunnambar Backwater & Beach is an isolated heaven offering wonderful boating opportunities to the visitors. One can see here many speed boats and boats of diverse sizes, offering rides to the visitors of Chunnambar. On the left shore of the Chunnambar backwaters, there is a huge mangrove and palm forest that offer absolute greenery post monsoon. The ride is certainly full of delight and greatest amazement waits on the other side of the backwater.

Place du Pantheon / Aayi Mandapam and Bharti Park
This monument is the landmark of the Government of Puducherry (Pondicherry), previously called ‘La Place du Panthéon’ and later, changed into ‘Aayi mandapam’. It is surrounded by five parks, well-maintained and reminiscent charming French architecture.

The Puducherry (Pondicherry) Botanical Garden
Founded in the year 1826, this Botanical garden was then called "The Colonial Park". The then, renowned botanist Perottet brought many rare species of plants, over 1500 of them from various places like Madras (Chennai), Ceylon, Calcutta (Kolkata) and Reunion.

Museums in Pondicherry
Being a land of several cultures and civilizations, Pondicherry has many things in its lap to display for the visitors. So, one can find a number of museums displaying different things portraying the history of the city.

  • Pondicherry Museum Puducherry (Pondicherry) Museum is located on Saint Louis Street. It is storehouse of a rare collection of relics and artifacts of the Pallava and Chola dynasties. It exhibits a collection of rare stone and bronzes sculptures excavated from Arikamedu. This museum features an excellent gallery of sculptures along with the archaeological findings of the Arikamedu Roman settlement.


  • Bharathi and Bharathidasan Memorial Museums These museums are founded at the residences of two famous Tamil poets Subramanya Bharathi and Kanakasubburatnam respectively. Both of them were unbeatable writers and their houses have been converted into splendid museums to preserve and maintain their valuable works and creative.


  • Ananda Ranga Pillai Museum During the French rule in Pondicherry, Ananda Ranga Pillai was the governor of the city. His diaries were repository of information that tells us about the 18th century French India. The architecture of his mansion is converted into a museum, which is a flawless blend of French and Indian styles. One can visit this place after a special permission of visiting the mansion.


  • Jawahar Toy Museum Jawahar Toy Museum ideally represents the culture of the region and displays a unique selection of toys and decorated dolls. Situated close to the lighthouse, the museum is more likely to be a doll's house. It is usually visited by children who love beautiful puppets and toys.


Churches in Pondicherry
Enjoying a strong connection with French culture, Pondicherry is home to 34 small and big churches. Some of the popular churches to visit in Pondicherry are

  • Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus This church of the city is a delicate architectural marvel, which enjoys graceful exteriors. The church is said to be one of the most wonderful achievements of this French settlement. It is the most honored religious site in Pondicherry, which features beautiful neo-Gothic architecture built in 1908 by the French missionaries. It is the 1st basilica in Pondicherry and 6th in Tamil Nadu.


  • Eglise de Sacre Coeur de Jesus Church This church was constructed during the 17th and 18th century and enjoys a Gothic architecture. Interiors of the church demonstrate the whole life of Jesus Christ through stained glass panels. The architectural marvel and classic allure of the church is a distinct mix of traditional Indian and French style that can awe its visitors.


  • Church of Our Lady of Angels Constructed by French Missionaries in 1865, The Church of Our Lady of Angels replicates the Basilica at Lourdes (sited in Southern France). Its masonry is the most prominent aspect of the church. The frontage of the church features two columns. The setting of the church is extremely charming. Dotted with trees and flowers, the church looks awesome.


Temples in Pondicherry
Everyone knows Pondicherry for its modern aura, beaches and beautiful churches. But, very few know that at the back of the Pondicherry’s western culture, there are several peaceful temples. A number of famous temples are built at this classy land. Explore top temples to visit in Pondicherry.

  • Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple It is supposed to be the oldest Hindu temple in Pondicherry. The temple is built in Dravidian style of architecture and features sculpted pillars and a brilliantly painted Gopuram decorated with the sculptures of the Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The temple is dedicated to Sri Varadaraja Perumal, who is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The temple is a renowned pilgrimage center for the Hindus in Pondicherry and South India.

  • Sri Gokilambal Thirukameswarar Temple The delightfully and intricately carved temple provides a clue to the temple’s rich past. It is a holy place of pilgrimage importance for all the Hindus. If you are visiting Pondicherry in May or June, be sure to visit the temple. The ten-day annual festival of Brahmotsavam is celebrated here, beginning on the appearance of the full moon, to receive Lord’s blessings.

  • Manakula Vinayagar Temple It is an old temple in Pondicherry, which is built about 300 years ago. The remarkable aspects of this temple are the golden spire and the majestic wall, which portrays about 40 structures of Lord Ganesha. In this temple, Lord Ganesha poses with his consorts and stands in three legs making it his rarest form.

  • Kanniga Parameswari Temple Offering an ideal blend of Dravidian and French architecture, this temple features Goddess Sakthi as its prime deity. It is a serene temple with brilliant art works and sculptures. Pillars of the temple enjoy stainless glass paintings and intricate French style designs. The shrine of the goddess, sanctum sanctorum and the stupa are created in Dravidian style.
Some other popular temples in Pondicherry are Sri Vedapureeswarar Temple, Panchavati Anjaneya Temple, Navagraha Temple, Irumbai Shiva Temple and more.

Top Places to Visit in Pondicherry
Enjoying a perfect French connection, boulevards dotted with tall trees, the charming regal heritage buildings, the spiritual landscapes, the endless stretches of immaculate virgin beaches and backwaters, Pondicherry draws a number of visitors. There are a number of tourist attractions in Pondicherry that you may visit on your trip to this destination.

Arikamedu
It is one of the most visited places in Pondicherry, which is the most famous archaeological site in Southern India. It used to a trade centre for the Romans, which is situated 4 km away from the south of Pondicherry, on the bank of Ariyankuppam River. One can see here a large number of excavated materials signifying the presence of Roman. Coins, ceramics and other materials were during excavation at Arikamedu.

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Beautiful Sights of Pondicherry
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