Pondicherry Tourism & Travel Guide

For a dose of south Indian culture with a side of French flavours, travel to the city of Pondicherry (also known as Puducherry), perched on India’s east coast in Tamil Nadu. Peppered with Gallic landscapes of bougainvillea draped colonial townhouses, pastel villas and leafy boulevards, Pondicherry is a haven for both – the traveller in the quest for spiritual awakening, and the leisure-seeking tourist. One of the Puducherry’s most sacred attractions, is the internationally acclaimed Sri Aurobindo Ashram located off Goubert Ave. Drawing lakhs of devotees from across the world every year, the grounds are home to the shrines of Sri Aurobindo and Mirra Alfassa (The Mother), and a meditation hall, which is one of the most peaceful places to visit in Pondicherry. Another must visit destination is the township of Auroville that was founded in 1968, located 8kms away from Pondicherry. The community, houses people of 45 nationalities. One of the lesser known things to do in Puducherry is bird watching at the Ousteri Wetlands, 10kms from the heart of the town. You could spend your mornings at city’s major beaches - Auroville, Serenity, Promenade and Paradise, and end your trip with a walk along the seafront promenade, as you chase the setting sun.
Best time to visit

Peak Season is during the winters, from October to February. Pondicherry is very pleasant during this time of the year, with the temperatures dropping below 20 degrees Celsius.

Budget
For Budget Travellers: INR 600 - 1300 a day
For Mid-range Travellers: INR 1500 to INR 3000 a day
For Luxury Travellers: INR 8000 and upwards
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Serenity Beach
Pondicherry
This Serenity Beach is a ten minutes drive toward the town's north. This virgin shoreline, with its peaceful surroundings is a perfect spot to laze away your day. Beautiful and outstanding, the name "Serenity" is exceptionally selected for this shoreline. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that this shoreline is a heaven for honeymooners. You will feel casual and quiet, as well as feel a feeling of having a place. This shoreline will give you an extraordinary perspective of the Indian Ocean and you can invest your energy in a voyage. Since the shoreline is not extremely well known yet, it is detached and peaceful. So keep all of your considerations about extravagant excursions to Paris and Italy away, and make the most of your special night on Indian waters where you will get a desire for time to achieve a standstill. Comparatively this shoreline is cleaner calmer and has a popular surf school toward one side of this shoreline.
Auro Beach
Auroville Beach, Tamil Nadu 605101
Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Rue de la Marin
This is the prime attraction of Pondicherry and is also known as Auroville. This is like a meditation center where everyone is not allowed to enter. You need strict permission to visit the place and then meditate here. The whole structure of the Ashram is of a ball which is wrapped with golden discs. you need to take off your shoes and enter this ashram with white socks. As you enter this ashram you have to cross a number of stairs and then enter the innermost chamber. Here you will see a huge flower with 12 petals and also 12 huge columns or pillars. The number 12 is a representation of the 12 common aspects of the Universal Mother. This is also the reason why this place is also known as the Mother House. The Pillars inside this chamber do not reach the ceiling. This is to depict that meditation and knowledge does not have any end to it. You find immense peace over here and also get a lot of answers for the inner questions which bother you.
Dumas Street
Dumas St, White Town, Puducherry, 605001, India
The Dumas Street is an important location of Pondicherry and is mainly known for the more famous Dumas Guest House. This place has been in existence for a very long time now and is one of the best in town. People from all parts of the world come and stay over here and also recommend the place to others. They have kept up with their popularity of being one of the oldest resorts and they surely live up to all expectations. Also the Dumas street is very close to the beach and also the shopping arenas and other tourist attractions.
Sea Side Guest House
Goubert Ave, White Town, Puducherry, India
If you are looking for budget hotels with very good facilities, then this is the wisest option in the city of Pondicherry. This is a lovely place with spacious rooms have awesome sea views. The staff are friendly and of course the food here is very good too. The room service is prompt and the people here are really gentle. You will however not get any WiFi or pool facilities but its location close to the beach grabs all attraction.


Bangalore
Best time to visit - January,February,March,September,October,November,December
If you live in a hot part of the country, Bangalore's good weather will immediately put you into a good mood. While the centre of the city has remained as it was during the British Raj, the area encircling it is on a constant boom with a vibrant student culture, popular pubs and a major electronic and industrial lifestyle. As a tourist, you can go see the Bangalore Castle. Modelled on the lines of the Windsor Castle, the one on Bangalore is a great example of the Tudor architectural style. It has beautiful gardens and the wooden carvings. The glass house at Lal Bagh and its botanical garden is a good place to relax while taking a walk. Cubbon park is one of the primary reasons why Bangalore was formerly nicknamed as the Garden City. The picturesque greenery in the middle of the city is stupefying. You can visit the Peninsular Gneiss to witness the oldest granite formations and also the look at the city from an elevated land. For a perfect end to the day, grab a beer at Toit or Peco’s. Follow it up with a grand meal at Koshy’s or Ebony, or the hundreds of other quirky restaurants in the city.
Chennai
Best time to visit - January,February,October,November,December
Located off the coast of Bay of Bengal is Tamil Nadu’s capital and India’s fourth largest city. Formerly known as Madras, the metropolis is the main transportation hub for southern India. Travel to Chennai for the unique exhibit of architecture from the British Raj, peaceful pilgrimage sites and a delectable South Indian cuisine. Tourists can start their day with a walk by the beautiful Marina Beach, teeming with fishermen and their boats, and makeshift bazaars fringing the shore. Among the other places to visit in Chennai, start with the characterful neighbourhood of Mylapore that houses the vibrant Kapaleeshwarar Temple. Then head to Rajaji Salai’s Fort in St George that once was home to the British East India Company. The Government Museum inside the imposing Pantheon complex of the colonial era is a popular attraction. The state museum is decked with bronze antiques dating back to the 7th century Pallava era. Surfing along the Covelong beach and walking through the bustling bazaars of George Town are a few of the most common things to do in Chennai. Also, don’t leave here without getting yourself an authentic South Indian thali from the illustrious Saravana Bhavan.
Tirupati
Best time to visit - January,February,March,November,December
Known all over the country for the sacred Sri Venkateswara Temple, Tirupati is located in the Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh. The temple is actually located in Tirumala along with a number of other temples, though Sri Venkateshwara Temple or Tirupati Balaji is the main attraction for visitors. Tirumala is always bustling with energy owing to the many tourists as well as the number of festivals celebrated here. Legend has it that one should visit Sri Varahaswami temple before visiting Sri Venkateswaraswami. Varahaswami owned the seven hills and agreed to give them to Sri Venkateswaraswami with the demand that he too should be worshipped. And for this, Sri Venkateswaraswami asked his pilgrims to visit the Sri Varahaswami temple before visiting him. For first timers there are a few things you should keep in mind including appropriate clothing, no alcohol and carrying extra locks for your rooms as well as vehicles. Before visiting the temple, you'll need darshan tickets, which are available at various TTD counters across the country. A beautiful place with immense spiritual energy, Tirupati is a must visit.
Thanjavur
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
Thanjavur is more of a pilgrim centre than a tourist destination. It is also popularly known as the Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu. The city is dotted with temples and palaces that are reminiscent of the Dravidian civilisation, making it not only a temple town but also a cultural headquarter. The ancient Brihadishwara Temple with its ochre foundational blocks is a magnificent piece of South Indian temple architecture with the intricate detailing on its walls, ceilings and pillars. The Thanjavur Royal Palace is another marvel that speaks largely of the royalty of the past empires. There is an art gallery that not only houses art pieces and sculptures from the Chola period but also offers a beautiful view of the entire town. It is a delight to watch festivities such as Pongal, Ekadasi or Saraswati Puja over here when the entire city puts up a show and comes to life. There is a worldwide demand for Tanjore paintings, which have almost become souvenirs for festive occasions of the Thanjavur culture. The artistic brass plates and handloom silk sarees too are beautiful collectibles that are only available in Thanjavur. You can stay at Svatma or Ideal River View Resort to make the trip a rejuvenating one.
Madurai
Best time to visit - January,February,September,October,November,December
With an intriguing history, the oldest inhabited city in the world is a delight to discover. Visited by people from all over the country, no tour of the south is complete without a visit to Madurai. Shree Meenakshi Sudareshwara Temple is a 2000-year-old temple and is a must visit when in Madurai. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. There are four towers in the temple and each tower is embellished with a thousand sculptures symbolising an assortment of mythological themes. There are huge lines at multiple points in the temple so do keep patience. There are also a few rules that one must remember, especially women. Other points of interest in Madurai are Gandhi Museum, Pazhamudhir Solai and Koodal Azhagar Temple. The food in Madurai is a delight for food lovers! There are small stalls selling mutton rolls, which will have your taste buds thanking you.
Tiruchirappalli
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
This city in Tamil Nadu does not provide much to see unless your sightseeing interests include religious dwellings. In that case Trichy can keep you busy throughout the day with a plethora of temples to visit, such as Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Brahmapureeswarar Temple, Jambukeswarar Temple and the Rock Fort Temple. There is also a majestic Gallo-Catholic church, St. Lourdes, which interestingly lies at the conjunction of a temple and a mosque, an attribute to secularism and diversity. The city is also home to a planetarium, located at the Anna Science Centre, which is worth a visit. Sangeetha, Hotel Kannappa Mannarpuram and Saba are good restaurants for vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Flights to Trichy operate from all around the country, and there are also bus and train services to this city.

Best Time to Visit Pondicherry

Peak Season is during the winters, from October to February. Pondicherry is very pleasant during this time of the year, the temperatures going as low at 17 degrees celsius.  

Shoulder Season: Monsoons (March to June)  are a lovely time to be in Pondicherry. These are the months that the region is at its vibrant best. Especially in August, when the entire city comes out to celebrate Sri Aurobindo’s birth anniversary.

Off-season: July to September are the months when temperatures go as high as 41°C. As the crowds are less, the hotel prices hit an all time low and Pondicherry can be experienced devoid of all the touristy cliches.

 


Budget for Pondicherry

For Budget Travellers: INR 600 - 1300 a day

  • Accommodation in hostels and basic fan rooms in guesthouses: INR 400-750
  • Food in coffee shops and local cafes: INR 200-350
  • Public Transport in buses (one-way ticket): INR 5 - 10
  • Sightseeing: INR 10 - 100

For Mid-range Travellers: INR 1500 to INR 3000 a day

  • Accommodation in mid-range hotels and homestays with air-conditioning and TV sets: INR 800 - 1200
  • Food in cafes and restaurants: INR 360 - 750
  • Local transport in local taxis: INR 100 - 400
  • Sightseeing & Guided Tours: INR 10 - 1000

For Luxury Travellers: INR 8000 and upwards

  • Accommodation in 4* or 5* hotels: INR 4000 and upwards
  • Food in upscale restaurants and bars: INR 1000 and upwards
  • Local transport in cabs: INR 500 and upwards
  • Adventure activities and Guided Tours: INR 500 and upwards
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