Peace and Pondicherry are synonymous. Places to visit in Pondicherry are too many and too beautiful. The former French colony along the Bay of Bengal is the closest one can get to a beachy calm. Sightseeing in Pondicherry is as easy and organic as the gradual rise and fall of the waves. With no scarcity of beautiful sunsets and sunrises, Pondicherry or Puducherry or Pondy as the locals call it has plenty of reasons for you to visit it, which attracts tourists from different parts of the world.
Here Are The Best Places To Visit In Pondicherry
1. Watch As Colours Emerge In The Sky At Rock Beach
Sunrise at Rock beach is one of the things that makes it the place to visit in Pondicherry. While the waves crash at your feet, let the sun and the sound of the sea work their magic and relax your brain and body. The huge stones on the side of the beach create music with the waves. It’s perfect for early morning or evening strolls as the shoreline extends to a road.
2. Attain Peace At Auroville
Also called the City of Dawn, Auroville is one of the must-visit places in Pondicherry. Situated 10 km from Pondicherry, the place provides solace to all spiritual seekers. Started as an experimental community, it was founded by “The Mother” in 1968. She was an ardent follower of Sri Aurobindo, a spiritual leader. Set amid the forest area and beaches, it has a Quiet Healing Center where a variety of healing therapies, courses, and workshops on therapies are conducted. It is one of the most famous tourist places in Pondicherry.
What makes Auroville one of the best places to visit in Pondicherry are its markets and food. Auroville Main Road Market is one of the most famous markets in Pondicherry, well known for its handicrafts and merchandise like trinkets, souvenirs, cloth bags and charms made and sold by the people of Auroville.
Food is an integral component that makes Auroville the sightseeing place in Pondicherry. Even though alcohol is prohibited in the area, it doesn’t discourage tourists from crowding the eateries here. The place has many bakeries, cafes, and restaurants that serve food made from local produce. The Auroville Bakery and Restaurant is a quaint café that is most famous for its breakfast. Omelettes, walnut brownies, croissants, and cinnamon rolls are some of its showstoppers. Also check out the ragi dosas, idlis, and chutneys that the other restaurants serve, made of fresh and organic produce. A good change of scene for our preservative-stuffed bodies.
The Auroville beach is not as famous as the other major Pondicherry beaches, but it is exquisite. It is dangerous to swim in, so it isn’t very crowded. The beach is also famous for being the nesting ground for Olive Ridley sea turtles.
3. The Church Of Angels: Eglise De Notre Dame Des Anges
Inspired by the Eglise De Notre-Dame Des Paris and the Basilica at Lourdes, this church is one of the most striking places to see in Pondicherry. Pondicherry’s fourth oldest church, it’s distinguished by its yellow, red and blue stained glass. In the last 250 years, Eglise De Notre Dame Des Anges (Our Lady of Angels) has been rebuilt many times—first the English destroyed it after taking control from the French, and later conflicts between the English and French also adversely affected the church. When the French first built the church, mass was conducted only in French but now, it provides mass in English, French, and Tamil.
4. The Holy Ground: The Basilica Of The Sacred Heart Of Jesus
The church was constructed in the 1700s by French missionaries. Consisting of 28 glass portraits of saints who were related to the church, The Basilica Of The Sacred Heart Of Jesus leaves you speechless. The church is popular for its portrayal of Jesus Christ’s life through stained glass panels. Located in the south of Pondicherry, it is an excellent example of Gothic architecture and is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Pondicherry.
5. Nothing Quiet About The Serenity Beach
One of the most famous beaches in Pondicherry, Serenity Beach is filled with people. With fishing boats moored at the shore, seaweed draping the rocks, this beach gives off a laid back beach town vibe. It is also one of the major surfing destinations in Pondicherry with huge waves and surf schools. A lot of cafes and bazaars will also keep you entertained.
6. Nirvana At Paradise Beach? Quite Achievable
Situated where Chunnambar River merges with the Bay of Bengal, this beach is one of the biggest beaches in Pondicherry. The beach is also called the Plage Paradiso, French for Paradise Beach. It cannot be accessed by road but there is a ferry ride that takes five minutes, travelling across the backwaters. Since it is slightly isolated, the beach is also known to be the cleanest beach in Pondicherry. A walk along its shoreline is highly recommended because the sand here is grainy and softer than other beaches.
7. Fulfill Your French Desires At The White Town
Pondicherry is known for being a French colony. But the first Europeans who arrived in Pondicherry were the Portuguese, then the Dutch, later the Danes, and finally the French. The French governor Francois Martin was the first person to develop the current town of Pondicherry.
There are many places to visit in Pondicherry, but the one that attracts the tourists’ attention the most is White Town. The French lived in White Town when they lived in Pondicherry. The entire area is full of French colonial architecture, culture, and cuisine. The White Town Promenade is magnificent with an amazing view.
8. Fantastic Hindu Architecture In Town: Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple
Although colonised by the French, the city has a Hindu mythical story attached to it too. As legend goes, the place was called Agastiswaram, since sage Agastya built his ashram here. The place has a lot of Hindu roots, even in White Town. Sightseeing in Pondicherry is incomplete without visiting this extraordinary temple—Sri Manakula Vinayagar temple. The Hindu god Ganesh is worshipped here, and its walls are famous for depicting the myths attached to Ganesh and all his avatars. Situated close to the Promenade, the temple is a famous tourist spot in Pondicherry.
This Typical Quaint Town Is Worth A Visit
Pondicherry gives off a cosy but chill vibe. Once you have a bike or bicycle, you feel like you own the town. One of the best ways to explore Pondicherry is through a bicycle tour. Many tours offer to explore the architecture and culture and give you an opportunity to enjoy the food. A bicycle ride lets you explore at leisure, instead of rushing from one spot to another. Early morning is the best time to explore the long winding roads, while also being environmentally friendly. With a mix of the traditional and current, Indian and French culture, the town’s beauty will relax and soothe your body and soul.