18 Incredible Places To Visit In Pondicherry For A Magical Trip

Photo of 18 Incredible Places To Visit In Pondicherry For A Magical Trip 1/2 by Postcard Chronicles

Pondicherry is a confluence of two worlds, a place where dualism is exhibited at its best through the colonial division of the Old Town into White and Black, French and Tamil. It is a small town that has beautiful amalgamation of contemporary and colonial, hedonistic and spiritual, tranquil and chaotic. There are plenty of places to visit in Pondicherry where the past and the present wonderfully coexist. Not many cities in India can claim to be so compact and yet so cosmopolitan—the expats, people drawn by the ideology of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, French citizens, old Pondicherrians, new settlers—all thrive happily in this city.

The Most Incredible Places To Visit In Pondicherry For A Magical Trip

Photo of 18 Incredible Places To Visit In Pondicherry For A Magical Trip 2/2 by Postcard Chronicles

Enough is said and written about the famous places to visit in Pondicherry like Aurobindo Ashram, Auroville, Rock beach, Paradise beach, café xtasi etc that stand like iconic symbols of the city. But there is much more to the beautiful French town that I was raised in. They city has now become one of the sought out beach destinations in India, while my memories trace back to the days of growing up in the broad, sun-dappled boulevards, watching cyclist pedalling in the streets lined with mustard, apricot and tangerine walls with bursts of bougainvillea cascading over them; catching the different shades of blue water hugged by an even bluer sky.

This is not one of those places you can walk around with a to-do list in hand, for there are few ‘sights’ to see, but much to experience. It is in its streets that the city truly reveals its soul. So many people miss the once-in-a-lifetime moments and the unforgettable encounters when their faces are buried deep in the maps or stuck with other tourists at iconic landmarks. The key to the most life-altering, memory-making and utterly beautiful travel is to do it like a local. And here is the list of off-beat places to visit in Pondicherry/things to do in Pondicherry for all travelling souls.

Which Are The Best Places to Visit in Pondicherry?

While Basilica of Sacred Hearts and Cathedral Church are quite popular places to visit in Pondicherry, the Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges (Our Lady of Angels Church) depicts the Greco roman architecture. It is among the most popular places to visit in Pondicherry. This is the only church that celebrates mass in 3 languages with French mass happening every Sunday.

For all the Life of Pi fans this is where the Richard Parker Zoo scene was shot. The flower show conducted every year attracts a lot of locals and outsiders to visit the place. For people who love to just chill among the lush of green trees, Botanical Garden is among the most scenic places to visit in Pondicherry for you.

The beautifully restored INTACH building on Aurobindo street has a permanent display for pictures on how they restored the old buildings to conserve the city’s heritage and architecture. For all the art and architecture lovers, this building is one of the most insightful places to visit in Pondicherry.

Want to have a glimpse of Rome? Visit Arikamedu, the only city with an archaeological record of Roman presence in India. It is among the most popular places to visit in Pondicherry. Famous for manufacturing amazing bead jewellery, the glass beads site here was considered as the “mother of all bead centers” in the world.

The new light house provides the best vistas in the city and its coastline. This is one of those places to visit in Pondicherry where photographers will fall in love with the city.

This beach is a 20 min drive to the north of the town and is among the most captivating places to visit in Pondicherry Fishing boats are parked on the shore and one can see kids do summersaults off the deck. Most of the beach is covered with creepers and the green helps cool the place

Veerampattinam is the biggest coastal village in the Union Territory of Pondicherry and is very close to Arikamedu archaeological site. The village has one of the longest beach and most beautiful beaches in the south of India. It is among the most picturesque places to visit in Pondicherry. It is also home to one of the biggest festivals – The Temple car festival, where hoards of devotees pull massive wooden chariots using thick natural rope. A sight to behold indeed!

Places near Pondicherry

Pichavaram mangrove forest is one of the most popular places to visit in Pondicherry. It is at a distance of 78 kms from Pondicherry, the Vellar estuary in the north and Coleroon estuary in the south. The backwaters offer abundant scope for water sports such as rowing, kayaking and canoeing. The Pichavaram forest not only offers waterscape and backwater cruises, but also another very rare sight of the mangrove forest trees that are permanently rooted in a few feet of water.

Constructed in the late 17th century during the Mughal era, the Alamparai Fort once had a 100-metre long dockyard stretching into the sea, from which zari cloth, salt, and ghee were exported. The remains of the fort still exists. Standup paddle boat ride is done on the backwaters here. It is one of the most historically significant places to visit in Pondicherry.

What to do in Pondicherry?

Wake Up Pondy Cycle Tour

Stroll through the streets and explore the best places in Pondicherry on a customised and quirky vintage cycle. The trail starts from SITA cultural centre and goes via kuruchikuppam through goubert market and heritage town. This will give you a perspective of the city at dawn when the streets are empty and all yours.

Surfing sessions

Kallialay Surf School is one of the best places to visit in Pondicherry for your surfing sessions. If you are confident of swimming in the sea, Spanish brothers Juan and Samai Reboul will make sure you stand up on your board by the end of lesson one.

Scuba Diving

One needs to understand Pondicherry is no Andamans, but even our seas have so much to offer. Temple Adventures are the only people who take scuba diving sessions on the east coast. This is India’s first and only east coast scuba diving center.


There are plenty of sightseeing places to visit in Pondicherry, but it has also boosted a bit of its adventure tourism with scuba diving and surfing. Parasailing can also be done for the ones who are looking out for adventures.( Mind you, it’s an overland experience)

Arts and culture

Even if you’re someone who has come for a few days trip, you can find classes that suit you from kallaripayatu to French cooking. If you enjoy learning, then this is among the most enlightening places to visit in Pondicherry.

It is one of the most popular places to visit in Pondicherry. A gorgeous 18th-century mansion where women bend their heads over pieces of lace, their needles working nimbly, while old tunes drift out of a transistor radio. Choose from among intricately embroidered bed linen, tablecloths and handkerchiefs.

Be it capoeira or samba, this is the city’s exclusive address for latin cultural arts. P.S. The rooftop has a travellers café that serves amazing tibetian momos. If you would like to taste some lip-smacking dishes, it is one of the best places to visit in Pondicherry.

If you enjoy local artistry, then it is among the best places to visit in Pondicherry. Discover local art and watch free performances by various artists from across the globe while staying in the artsy rooms

If you’re someone who wants to weave some art into their holiday, then it is one of the most enjoyable places to visit in Pondicherry. Check out this place which is a little ahead of aurodhan.

This is among the most unique places to visit in Pondicherry and is formed by thespian Veenapani Chawla. Head out to this place that has a sunlit stage among the acres of green where you can witness theatre acts performed by renouned artists.

Where to stay?

For every kind of traveller, Pondy offers a beautiful place to stay. From its super luxurious La Villa, Villa Shanthi, Hotel de L’Orient to affordable homestays, we have it all. For story-book like guest houses head to the white town area and stay in one of the above mentioned places. Most of these places are located in Rue Dumas, Rue Roman Rolland and Rue suffren ( between “rue”means street).

If you wish to stay in palatial restored tamil mansions, then you should pick La Maison Tamoule or Maison Perumal. The lemongrass scented rooms and the vintage teak furniture gives you the real essence of our heritage.

Where to eat?

This by itself needs a separate post. Anyways I have mentioned a few places to visit in Pondicherryhere. For all the food lovers, there are plenty of places to visit in Pondicherry that offer a plethora of cuisine options. If you’re someone who has a penchant for cheese, head to Mango Hill to try these 11 varieties of cheese. To indulge in some exotic French staples , head to Rendezvous or le club. For some European and Asian cuisine, Umami Kitchen is the best. For all the biryani lovers, we do have Kamatchi and Aristo. For Vietnamese cuisine, le Paris is one of the best places to visit in Pondicherry. If you’re someone who enjoys street food, then you should try the mutton samosas from the street shop bang opposite the railway station. This food stall is city’s famous spot of mutton samosa and soup. If you are looking for the best places to visit in Pondicherry to satiate your chocolate cravings, then Head to Zuka.

When should I visit Pondicherry?

We only witness different variations of summer. There are plenty of places to visit in Pondicherry and the ideal time to visit these destinations would be from November to February mid as the weather is pleasant and not burning hot. When you visit Pondy, don’t be surprised by shop keepers with strings of jasmine in their hair conversing in fluent French or if an autorickshaw-driver greets you with a resounding ‘Bonjour’. The French connection is the strongest, which collides with Indian sensibilities to create a concoction that’s uniquely Pondicherry.

Pondicherry is a place that makes us pause to find the parts of ourselves we lose while rushing between traffic lights, trapped in glass cabins of the corporate life, chasing the undefined. It is a place that has a part of my heart and my life forever.

Photo of Pondicherry Harbour, Pondicherry Harbour, Netaji Nagar No 1, Puducherry, 605004, India by Postcard Chronicles

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Which are your favourite places to visit in Pondicherry? Share your recommendations in the comment section below.