Pondicherry is a former French Colony in the Southern state of Tamil Nadu and just 105 miles from Chennai. This quaint coastal town is famously known as 'The French Capital of India'. Serenity is what awaits you as you tour this small but well planned town. The French used European style town planning and made the most of the tiny area Pondicherry holds. Although you can roam the town in a day, it still offers a plethora of adventurous activities along the Coromandel Coast. The town has a canal running between it with the French Quarter on one side and the Indian Quarter on the other. Many tourists have described the attractions in Pondicherry as a "French surprise in an Indian curry." This breathtaking town is filled with urban architecture, immaculate beaches and a unique cuisine that will leave you with yummy in your tummy.
Auroville: Tour the City of Equality with Harmony
Auroville began as an experimental town, inspired by Indian Philosopher and freedom fighter Sri Aurobindo. The main aim of this universal township is human unity in diversity. This unique town houses over 2,000 people from 59 different countries. The idea is to create a land filled with humans irrespective of their creed, caste or religion.
Founded in 1968, Auroville is crowned with the Matri Mandir in the middle of it. A magnificent sphere shaped golden structure that acts as a meditation center for the Aurovillians. Tourists are not allowed to enter this spiritual dome but an advance booking can get you to the viewing point of this center. Auroville is Utopia coming to life and is one of the unique attractions in Pondicherry.
Paradise Beach: Take a Backwater Boat Ride to Heaven
If you're looking for a secluded haven, Paradise Beach is the place for you. This private, pristine beach boasts white smooth sand scattered alongside azure waters. Paradise Beach is not connected by land and the 5-minute ferry ride from Chunnambar Boat House is a beautiful journey. You will sail through the backwaters of Chunnambar to reach this heavenly paradise.
The beach's aesthetic beauty has the locals to thank for their relentless efforts towards keeping this coast unblemished. Paradise Beach is among the famous tourist attractions in Pondicherry attracting scores of visitors every year.
Sri Aurobindo Ashram: Reflect on your Spirituality
Sri Aurobindo was a famous philosopher, poet and yogi who stood as one of the many influential leaders during the Indian freedom struggle. He founded this Ashram in 1926 after retiring from politics and permanently settling in Pondicherry. Aurobindo once said, "Peace is the first condition, without which nothing else can be stable." The Indian philosopher's Ashram evokes a pure sense of peace, resonating with his above beliefs.
The Ashram is also the resting ground for this spiritual mind, attracting tourists from all over the world. Whether you seek spirituality or knowledge, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram has it all. With libraries and assembly halls, one can connect with their inner selves and understand their philosophies all at the same time. Among the attractions in Pondicherry, the Ashram is a must for first-time visitors.
Bay of Buddha Restaurant: Eat your Heart Out!
The first Pan-Asian restaurant in Pondicherry, Bay of Buddha is a rooftop eatery with an immaculate view of the Rock Beach. Located in White Town, this obviously classy restaurant rocks an earthy ambience and a diverse set menu. The fragrant, delectable dishes to try here are Tom Kha Kai, Seafood Sushi Platter and Holy Basil Cheesecake.
A fusion of Southeast Asian elements, this eatery boasts multiple cuisines including Vietnamese and Japanese food. Bay of Buddha runs for just the dinner service, so it is advised to make reservations to enjoy your eating binge.
Pondicherry Museum: Take a Walk through Pondy's Past
Situated in the Bharathi Park at Saint Louis Street, the Pondicherry Museum has an enviable collection of relics. There are over 80 intricately carved bronze sculptures from the Pallava and Chola dynasties. However, the best artifacts housed here are from the 2nd Century Arikamedu-Roman settlement.
The port Arikamedu was used to import and export goods to the Roman Empire. The excavations conducted here found some amazing pottery and statue artifacts. A fossilized tree trunk welcomes you in the courtyard of this museum making it one of the top attractions in Pondicherry.
Pondicherry is filled with rare and unprecedented beauty that everyone needs to see at least once in their lives. While the above five are the most famous attractions in Pondicherry, it deserves a few special mentions.
Ousteri Lake is an IUCN designated wetland and attracts scores of migratory birds every year. It is also the perfect place for bird photographers to build your Instagram portfolio. Pondy Bazaar is a hub for handmade art pieces. This shopping line has an official tour where the guide enlightens you about the Pondy Bazaar's past.
Now that you have a fairly clear idea of the things to do in Pondicherry, get those bags packed and gear up for an adventure. Finding the right flight to a foreign land can be taxing so why not give Indian Eagle a shot. This airline booking agency is ideal for those looking to book last minute flight tickets to India.