Pondicherry is the capital of the union territory of Puducherry, situated on the southeast coast of India. It is also known as the French Capital Of India. Pondicherry is famous for its mesmerising beaches, luscious cuisine, heritage buildings, French quarters, ancient temples, churches, Matrimandir, and many more places.
Here is a list of Places to Visit in Pondicherry with spectacular views and other things to do when you take a trip to Pondicherry.
1. French Colony- Explore French Architecture
Pondicherry is a former French Colonial town. The French Colony still replicates the French architecture, streets and buildings are named in French, and houses are painted in bright yellow colour and decorated with bougainvillaea plants. Everything is unique, elegant, and rare to find in India. Most of the houses in the French Colony are converted into cafes or hotels. Also, you can stay here, but the prices are high.
2. Matrimandir- Experience spirituality
There is a large open space in Auroville where the Matrimandir, also known as the Soul of the City, is located. It is an experimental township established by The Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, where men and women of all countries and religions can live in peace and harmony. The Matrimandir is a geodesic dome covered by golden discs, the inner chamber of this dome serves as a meditation hall. The Matrimandir is a premise of spiritual significance and bliss for practitioners of yoga. You can visit the park but if you want to go inside the Matrimandir you need to make a prior booking, it is free of cost.
3. Rock Beach- Relish Nature
Rock beach, also known as Promenade beach, is located along the Bay of Bengal. It has numerous rocks attached to it beautifully. Also, the seashore, sea-facing cafes, restaurants, and pubs swell its beauty. You can enjoy the cool breeze and evening walk alongside the beach. You can also visit War Memorial Dupleix Park which is alongside its coastline.
4. Serenity Beach- Surfing
The Serenity Beach is mesmerising in all aspects. This beach is calm and clean and its major attraction is white sand. It is less crowded which makes it the perfect spot to recline. Apart from embracing the beauty of the beach you can also surf here, it’s a perfect spot for adventure seekers. You can get enrolled in one-day training and enjoy surfing.
5. Eden Beach- Swimming
Eden Beach is India’s first Blue Flag Beach, it is exquisite. The beach has made umbrella huts from coconut thatch roofs, installed solar panels and a greywater treatment plant, and uses bamboo in dustbins to washrooms to maintain an eco-friendly environment. Overall, Eden Beach gives a disparate feeling. Also, it has a safe area for swimming.
6. Paradise Beach- Water Sports
Paradise Beach has a calm, and clean environment. Palm trees and huts make it even more attractive. Chunnambar boat house gives boat-ride to Paradise Beach as getting there by land route is not possible. You can perform activities like ATV Ride, Fish Spa, Bungee Trampoline, Water Zorbing, Kids Trampoline, and Gyro Ride.
7. Auroville Beach- Sunbathing
Auroville Beach also known as Auro Beach is part of Auroville Ashram. Crystal blue water, golden sands, and silent waves are alluring. It,s an ideal place to chill out and have serene leisure time. Sunrise and sunset here is spectacular and it is a perfect spot for sunbathing.
8. Mahe Beach- Sunrise and Sunset
Mahe Beach is famous for its phenomenal sunrise and sunset view, it’s a treat to the eyes. You can also collect shells and watch fishermen go fishing and enjoy a leisure walk.
9. Pondicherry Museum- Revisit History
Pondicherry Museum is well known for having a vast collection of fine lost-wax bronzes that belonged to the Chola Empire. It also has rare sculptures from the Pallava Dynasty and a collection of old statues of different gods and goddesses. The museum also exhibits notes and coins of French, British, and Russians.
10. Botanical Garden- Explore Flora
Apart from being a tourist spot, the Botanical Garden is an educational place with a variety of trees and plants. Here you will find rare and exotic species of plants, herbs, and shrubs. Few of them also have medical importance. Other attractions of this park are the dancing fountains, Jawahar Bal Bhavan, and a children’s park that has a small toy train that gives a quick tour of the place.
11. Ousteri Wetland and National Park- Boat Ride and Birdwatching
The Ousteri Wetland and National Park consist of manmade Ousteri Lake also known as Osudu Lake, mud flats, wetlands, and wide species of flora and fauna. You can take a boat ride and delve into the beauty of the lake consisting of exotic fishes and plants. Migratory birds are also present usually in the morning. For birdwatchers, it is no less than a paradise.
12. Manakula Vinayagar Temple- Worship Lord Ganesha
Manakula Vinayagar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ganesh. There is a strong visual resemblance between the temple and traditional Dravidian architecture, and it is aesthetic. It is a pilgrimage site and a popular tourist spot. In addition to the many festivals and events held here, Brahmothsavam and Golden Chariot Run stand out as the most prominent.
13. Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus- Seek Blessings
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church is a replica of Gothic Revival architecture. This church includes The Grotto for Our Lady of Lourdes, Parish Hall, Adoration Chapel, Latin Rite Cross Shape, stained glass panels depicting events, and many more things. Whenever a trip to Pondicherry steps over here and takes blessings of Jesus.
14. Our Lady of Angels Church- Pray
Our Lady of Angels Church is built in Greco-Roman architecture under Louis Guerre. It is the fourth oldest church in Puducherry, and the only church to offer mass in three languages i.e Tamil, English, and French. Our Lady of Angels Church is a gateway to peace and rest of mind from the rush and crowd of the city.
15. Old Lighthouse- Take a Glimpse of City
Lighthouse gives a panoramic view of Pondicherry. Getting to the top is exhausting, but once you’re there, the view is mesmerising; you can see nearly all of the city from there.
16. Pichavaram Mangrove Forest- Dive Deep Into Nature
Pichavaram is a mangrove forest that displays nature’s elegance. Trees have their roots in water, backwaters have a rare variety of shells and fishes, and various species of birds are also present. Getting here early in the morning and taking a boat ride deep inside the forest is refreshing and also enhances knowledge about the creation of Mother nature.
17. Cafes- Eat and Repeat
Pondicherry is a foodies paradise, cafes here offer a variety of delicious, mouth-watering, and pocket-friendly food from various parts of the world. So, whenever you visit Pondicherry, try out new cuisines. Some of the best cafes in this are La Maison Rose, Le Cafe, Filter Coffee, Coromandel Cafe, and Cafe des Arts, try their best dishes and you won’t regret it.
18. Craft Bazaar- Shopping
Craft Bazaar is a market that mainly includes handicrafts. You can see shops loaded full of exquisite man-made goods. They have accessories, jewellery, jute bags, leather jackets, lamps, statues, toys, clothes, footwear, etc that may attract your eyes. This place is the best place to buy gifts for family and friends.
19. Clubs- Enjoy Nightlife
The sky over Pondicherry is filled with stars and the enthusiasm of youth at night. Dance and music with seafood, cocktails, and beverages add a pinch of exhilaration to the environment. Some of the best clubs in Pondicherry are Le Aqua, Le Club, Asian House, The Rooftop Bar, Toxic, Lounge and Icecubes Club, Dragon Lounge, and The Storyteller’s Bar.
20. Aurobindo Ashram- Internal Yoga
Sri Aurobindo Ashram is a community of people from different parts of the world and cultures living together to practice internal yoga, seek knowledge of oneself, and conquer desire. This ashram was established by Sri Aurobindo with the objective of the evolution of mankind towards self-concentration and divinity. It is a place of bliss for those seeking salvation.
Note – It is advisable to book a hotel in White Town, since it is the closest to all the tourist spots, and to rent a scooter in order to get around since taxis are hard to find.