Far away from the fast life of the city is a serene, quiet little town of Puducherry, popularly known as “Pondy”. It is a famous tourist destination and attracts tourists from all over India and across the world for its famous French connection and heritage, spiritual scenario, beautiful, pristine beaches and backwaters. Its beauty lies in the peaceful and vibrant surroundings. It is a famous week end vacation spot as it can be easily reached from Chennai and Bangalore.
Puducherry is a union territory of India, earlier known as Pondicherry. Its official name from “Pondicherry” to “Puducherry” was changed in the year 2006. Puducherry was earlier a French colony till 1954. Puducherry has many colonial buildings, churches and statues. Puducherry has a wealth of heritage buildings of both Tamil and French. Puducherry layout is distinctly divided into two settlements. The Tamil section architecture is mostly on the west side and the French section architecture is on the eastern side.
Puducherry is a blend of spiritual institution, French colonial heritages, Tamil culture and a cosmopolitan form of life. The city is full of French colonial buildings, clean and wide streets and the sprawling premises of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. This territory is important from spiritual as well as from cultural point of view. Today’s attraction of Puducherry is due to the presence of Auroville, the city of Dawn. It is a perfect place to search for the Divine. The meditation experience in this spherical house (Matri Mandir) is really exciting.
Puducherry climate is hot and humid throughout the year. The best time to visit the place is from October to March when it is pleasant with a minimum temperature of around 18°C; it is perfect for enjoying sightseeing, beach activities and water sports. At this time of the year, the evenings are cool and this time is ideal for all types of tourist activities as the weather becomes pleasant which makes it perfect for sightseeing and other tourist activities.
Puducherry caters to a wide range of tourists with numerous budgeted hotels, medium range hotels and five star luxurious hotels. Budget hotels in Puducherry usually have rates at around Rs 300 to Rs 700 per day, while air conditioned rooms cost slightly more (approx. Rs 200 - Rs 300) than non-AC rooms. Mid range Puducherry hotels generally have rates at around Rs 1,100 to Rs 1,300 per day, and five star hotels usually have rates at around Rs 2,000 to Rs 300 per day. Air conditioned rooms is an important aspect that tourists must consider due to the hot and humid climate of Puducherry.
Puducherry Tourist Attractions
Some attractive and charming destinations include Auroville, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Botanical Garden, Old Lighthouse, Gandhi Statue, and Dupleix Statue. Few more tourist’s attractions include Sacred Heart Church, Church of Our Lady of Angels, Immaculate Conception Cathedral and Notre Dame des Agnes. Few amazing and religious temple visits comprises of Ganesha Temple, Kali Temple and Saneeswarar Temple.
An interesting tourist spot is a French War Memorial constructed in honor of those soldiers who lost their lives in World War I. Annual commemoration is celebrated every year on 14th July; during the period the memorial gets illuminated beautifully.
Bharati Park is a beautiful and peaceful park ideal for a walk .It has a picturesque view of perfectly maintained lawns, flower beds, fountains, and statues all around the park. Raj Niwas, the Governor's mansion is a fascinating blend of Indian and French architecture. Raj Niwas is the official residence of the Lieutenant Governors of Puducherry that was completed in around 1738.
The Puducherry Museum has a marvelous collection of artifacts from the French colonial period such as the French paintings, furniture, mirrors and clocks plus the bed Dupleix slept in, and an earlier version of the rickshaw and a horse-drawn carriage. The museum also exhibits rare bronzes and stone sculptures from the Chola and Pallava periods, plus trade objects from Rome such as coins, oil lamps, urns and pottery.
The sea shore in Puducherry is always neat and tidy with its charming and amazing beauty. Capture the moment to witness the sunrise from any of the beaches on the Cuddalore road stretch, to have an incredible fantastic glimpse with the fishermen boats, the magnificent crimson sun that makes a scenic and amazing background.
For some amazing street shopping, just head to Jawaharlal Nehru Street for loads of clothes that are export surplus goods. Auroville shops sells incense, candles and handmade paper products and visit further north to pick up few terracotta and lamp shades.
How to Reach Puducherry
Chennai airport is nearest to Puducherry. Chennai is well connected with
almost all major cities in India and is directly connected to US,
Middle East, South East Asia and Europe. Puducherry has its own
railway station and is very well connected to the major parts of the
country. Super fast trains are available from Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai,
Bangalore and Chennai and numerous other parts of the country.