Welcome back our dear readers to another blog on Pondicherry! As it’s evident from the title, this time our blog is all about tourist places to visit near Pondicherry. There is no doubt that Pondicherry is an amazing place in itself. But, this former french colony is also surrounded by some of the most beautiful tourist attractions in South India. The best thing is that the surrounding tourist attractions comprise of hill stations, trekking spots, wildlife sanctuaries and a lot more. This means that there is something for everyone. 

The tourist attractions near Pondicherry give a perfect weekend getaway where you can relax and unwind, and spend some quality time with your friends, family and loved ones. If you are a planning a visit to Pondicherry anytime sooner, then consider extending your trip a little to explore these surrounding gems that are absolutely worth paying a visit. These tourist places are full of beauty, serenity and tranquility, and offer an unforgettable experience. So without keeping you waiting any longer, let’s quickly get started with our travel guide on tourist places to visit near Pondicherry. 

Places To Visit Near Pondicherry

Here are some of the most amazing places to visit near Pondicherry: 

1. Auroville

Auroville is popularly known as the City of Dawn.
Auroville is a very peaceful and calm spot.

Popularly known as the City Of Dawn, Auroville is one of the most popular tourist attractions nearby Pondicherry. Located around 14 km away from the city, this is in Tamil Nadu and was founded in the year 1968 

by Mirra Alfassa who was a disciple of Aurobindo and was popularly known as the ‘Mother’ of Sri Aurobindo Society. This is basically an experimental township where people from across the world come and live together in peace. They call themselves Aurovilleans and live together on the principles of peace, harmony, sustainable living and divine consciousness. 

This place is the epitome of peace and tranquility and is perfect for those who want to spend some moments in peace. The best part to have the most wonderful experience here is to sit in one of the cafes and talk to the locals about their experiences of living in this city. 

The ideal duration to explore this place is 1-2 days. 

Distance from Pondicherry: 14 km

Best Time: November to March

Popular Attractions: Matrimandir, Marc’s Café, Arka, Youth Centre, Auroville Beach, Peace Tables, Cinema Paradiso, Quiet Healing Centre, Savitri Bhavan, Kala Kendra, Botanical Garden

Book Now: Magical Pondicherry Markets Tour

2. Chidambram, Tamil Nadu

Popular as the Temple Town of Tamil Nadu, this beautiful town is situated in the Cuddalore District of Tamil Nadu. It is famous for housing some of the most magnificent temples. It is 250 km away from Chennai and is the hub of architectural glory and religious significance.

This is place is found very attractive by history lovers especially because it has been ruled by several dynasties over time including Cholas, Pandya’s, Vijayanagar rulers, Marathas and the British. Furthermore, it has a rich heritage and traditions. 

Apart from being of historical importance, this place is no less than a paradise for nature lovers and bird watchers. If you want to relish nature’s beauty and surround yourself with spirituality, then make sure that you visit this place. 

Typically, it takes a day or two to explore this place. 

Distance from Pondicherry: 62 km

Best Time: October to January

Popular Attractions: Pichavaram Mangrove Forests, The Natraja Temple, Sirkazhi, Kali Temple 

3. Vedanthangal, Tamil Nadu

Situated near Mahabalipuram, Vedanthangal is popular for its bird sanctuary. This sanctuary is built around a compact water tank of 30 hectares and is home to at least 30,000 birds every year during the migratory season. 

This sanctuary attracts a plethora of birds including herons, spoonbills, storks, ibises, egrets and a lot more. The locals in the area are responsible for protecting this sanctuary. This sanctuary is definitely worth a visit especially if you are a nature lover or bird lover. What’s more interesting is that it’s the oldest water bird sanctuary in the country. One day is enough to explore this spot. 

Distance from Pondicherry: 89 km

Best Time: November to February

Popular Attractions: Vedanthangal Bird sanctuary, Karikili Bird Sanctuary

4. Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

Mahabalipuram is also known as Mamallapuram.
Mahabalipuram was once home to the demon King Mahabali.

Popular for the intricately carved temples and rock cut caves, Mahabalipuram is also known as Mamallapuram. It’s of historical importance and is a very popular tourist attraction that is situated on the Coromandel Coast along the Bay of Bengal. Want to know something interesting? This place was once home to the famous demon king Mahabali and was later named as Mamallapuram. 

This place is all about serenity and has a very attractive atmosphere. The impressive setting with a lot of beautiful white sandy beaches leave the tourists spellbound with their beauty. Typically, 1-2 days are required to explore to this spot. 

Distance from Pondicherry: 99 km

Best Time: November to February

Popular Attractions: Mahabalipuram Beach, Shore Temple, Five Rathas, Arjuna’s Penance, Tiger Caves, Crocodile Bank, Kovalam Beach, India Seashell Museum, Krishna’s Butter Ball, Descent of the Ganges, Krishna Cave Temple, Varaha Cave Temple, Ganesh Ratha Temple, Sculpture Museum, Trimurti Cave, Alamparai Fort, Sadras

Book Now: Mahabalipuram and Pondicherry Trip

5. Thanjevur, Tamil Nadu

Thanjavur is the City of Temples.
Thanjavur has a rich historical heritage.

Popular as the city of temples, this place is also known as Tanjore. This is a place of cultural significance and is famous for Tanjore paintings, antiques and handicrafts, saris and textiles, carnatic music and musical instruments and the gloriously amazing temples. 

Thanjavur has a rich historical heritage and has a very important position in the molding of ancient and modern South Indian Civilization. Since this place is of religious significance, it’s a must visit spot for all pilgrims. This is one of those places where you can witness the marvelous and dynamic cultures of the past as well as present. 1-2 days are enough to explore this place. 

Distance from Pondicherry: 167 km

Best Time: October to March

Popular Attractions: Brihadeeswara Temple, Saraswathi Mahal Library, Shiva Ganga Garden, Vijayanagar Fort, Alangudi Guru Temple, Schwartz Church, Swami Malai Temple, Thanjavur Maratha Palace, Royal Palace Museum

6. Tranquebar 

Famous as the land of the singing waves, another name for this place is Tharangambadi. This place is all about tranquility and is a tiny beach town in Nagapattinam district that dates back to the 14th Century. Situated at the confluence of the Kaveri river and the Bay of Bengal, this place exhibits a beautiful blend of many cultures. This place can be explored in a day. 

Distance from Pondicherry: 115 km

Best Time: August to February

Popular Attractions: Fort Dansborg, The Town Gate, The Zion Church, Old Danish Cemetery, The Masimalani Nathar Temple

7. Chennai

Chennai was formerly known as Madras.
Chennai is cultural, dynamic and progressive.

Famous as the Detroit of India, Chennai’s former name was Madras. Capital of Tamil Nadu, it’s locates on the Coromandel Coast of Bay of Bengal. Deeply immersed in tradition, this place is equally dynamic and progressive as well. Interestingly enough, this is among the four metropolitan siblings of India. It has a very rich cultural history and an equally progressive, metropolitan culture. 

What makes Chennai worth visiting are the South Indian Temples, British-era museums and monuments, culinary delights and Marina Beach which is the second largest urban beach in the world. 2-3 days are enough to explore Chennai. 

Distance from Pondicherry: 152 km

Best Time: October to March

Popular Attractions: Marina Beach, Breezy Beach, MGR Film City, Government Museum, Marundeeswarar Temple, Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Valluvar Kottam, Connemara Public Library, Killi Hills, Elliot’s Beach, VGP Golden Beach, ISKCON Temple, Vivekananda House, Akkarai Beach, Dakshinachitra Museum, Santhome Cathedral Basilica, Madras War Cemetery, MGM Dizzee World, Nettukuppam, Thousand Nights Mosque, Mylapore, Express Avenue, Thiruvanmiyur Beach, Neelankarai Beach, Santhome Beach, Pebble Beach, Kasimedu Beach

Book Now: Chennai to Pondicherry Tour via Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram

8. Chhetinad

Next on our list is Chhetinad which is located in the Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu. This place has rich cultural heritage, beautiful art and grand architecture. Apart from being a temple town, this place is also very famous for its delicious cuisine. Want to know something interesting? The word Chheti is a Sanskrit word that literally means wealth. It is derived from the original traders of this region who used to deal in salt and spices for marbles and other decorative items that were used in the construction of their properties. This place has a wonderful culture and a very exclusive township that consists of grand mentions, attractive museums, palatial homes and magnificent temples. 

Chhetinad basically comprises a town called Karaikudi and a collection of 96 surrounding villages. This place is absolutely both exploring because not only it has a very rich culture but has some very interesting traditions as well. From temples and palaces to museums and amazing food places this place has everything you need to have a perfect vacation. 1-2 says are sufficient to explore this place. 

Distance from Pondicherry: 151 km

Best Time: November to March

Popular Attractions: Chhetinad Palace, Chhetinad Museum, Chhetinad Mansion, Vairavanpatti, Karpaka Vinayakar Temple, Soorakudi, Athmanathaswamy Temple, Iraniyur, Mathur, Velangudi, Thirumayam Fort, Athangudi Palace,

9. Thiruvannamalai 

Home to Arunachala Temple, this town has a very important and interesting history that mainly consists of stories about temples and ashrams. Thiruvannamalai is home to some of the most magnificent and stunning architecture. 

Situated on the top of the Malai Hill, this holy town is most popular for its Arunachala Temple and various other temples and ashrams that are dedicated to the saints of old times. This place becomes very vibrant during the days of Arunachaleewarat temple festival. Typically, 1-2 days are enough to explore this place. 

Distance from Pondicherry: 111 km

Best Time: October to March

Popular Attractions: Gingee Fort, Sathanur Dam, Annamalaiyar Temple, Ramana Ashram, Virupaksha Cave, Tiruamalai, Mamara Guhai, Skandashramam, Seshadri Swamigal Ashram 

Also Read: Best Cafés in Pondicherry

10. Kanchipuram

Popularly known as the Golden City of a Thousand Temples, this place is very popular for its beautiful Kanchipuram sarees and is a very popular tourist attraction. This place attract tourists from across the world who are interested in learning about Hinduism or just want to marvel at the beauty of the South Indian architecture. 

A cultural and philosophical hub, this place has become one of the most sought after destinations by tourists from across the world. 1-2 days are sufficient to explore this tourist attraction. 

Distance from Pondicherry: 120 km

Best Time: October to May

Popular Attractions: Kamakshi Amman Temple, Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Devarajaswami Temple, Kailasanathar Temple, Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, Kanchi Kudhil, Ekambaranatha Temple, Vaikunda Perumal Temple, Jain Temple, Chitragupta Temple

11. Yelagiri

If you are craving to go to a hill station then this place is no less than a treat for you! Located just 3 hours away from Bangalore, this place is a perfect tourist attraction to have a quick weekend getaway. This is spread somewhere around 30 square kilometers and is present at a height of more than 1100 m above the sea level. This is spot offers to this some of the most beautiful places to explore like the Jalagamparai Falls, Zoological Waterfalls, Rose Garden and a lot more. This place is the ideal spot for those who love nature. 

This is one of those places that seem to be very ordinary or the outside but are very exquisite and magical when you discover them. This place has all the features of a typical hill station. From beautiful sunset points to lakes and parks, this place has it all. This is a very underrated hill station in Tamilnadu and is very rarely overcrowded. What’s more? The locally available honey is said to be one of the purest and tastiest varieties of honey. You can explore this place easily in 1-2 days. 

Distance from Pondicherry: 242 km

Best Time: November to February

Popular Attractions: Punganur Lake, Nature Park, Jalagamparai Falls, Telescope Observatory, Swami Malai Hills, Velavan Temple, Government Herbal Farm, Yelagiri Adventure Camp, Nilavoor Lake, Amirthi Zoological Waterfalls, Moksha Vimochana Temple, Murugan Temple

12. Velankanni

Serene and peaceful, this place is located in Tamil Nadu on the coast of Bay of Bengal. It is popular for the Roman Catholic pilgrim center and thousands of devotees frequently visit it for its shrine of Our Lady of Good Health also known as Mother Mary. Velankanni is also famous as the “Lourdes of the East”. What’s more? It has become one of the most important Marian sanctuaries of the world. 

This place is definitely worth exploring for the rich culture that it has of Colonial rule. You can easily explore this place in a day. 

Distance from Pondicherry: 159 km

Best Time: October to March

Popular Attractions: Velankanni Church, Velankanni Beach, Velankanni Church Museum, Nagapattinam, Sikkal

13. Kumbakonam

Famous as the Cambridge of India, this place is located between two great rivers of South India, Cauvery and Arsala. It’s a very gorgeous Temple Town located at the heart of the Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu. If you love history and want to understand India’s cultural roots and Hinduism then this is just the place for you. 

What’s more? This town is also famous for its grand festival known as Mahamaham Festival. This town is one of the oldest in Indian history and is famous for its magnificent temples Chola Heritage and amazing educational institutes. You can explore the beauty of this place in 1-2 days.

Distance from Pondicherry: 128 km

Best Time: November to February

Popular Attractions: Adi Kumbeshwara Temple, Nageswaran Temple, Mahamaham Tank, Sarangapani Temple, Airavateswara Temple, Kashi Vishwanath temple, Swaminathaswamy Temple, Uppiliappan Temple, Thenupuriswarar Temple, Suryanar Koil Temple, Mahalingeswarar Temple, Kampaheswarar Temple, Brahma Temple, Kanjanur Suknar Temple, Chakrapani Temple, Someswarar Temple, Ayyavadi Pratyangira Devi Temple, Thirunageswaram Temple, Varahaperumal Temple, Sri Vittal Rukmini Samsthan, Tiruvidaimarudur Conservation Reserve, Ramaswamy Temple, Banapuriswarar Temple,

14. Nagapattinam

Famous as the Land of Serpent Gods, this town has its presence on the coastline of the Bay of Bengal. It is of major historical significance and is also a very popular pilgrim centre with Divya Desam of Velankanni, temples and mosques that are spread all over. Nagapattinam derives its name from Nagur, the land of serpent gods and is of cultural and historical significance. Apart from various holy sites, this place also has a long stretch of beach. Interesting, isn’t it? One day is enough to explore this tourist spot. 

Distance from Pondicherry: 147 km

Best Time: October to March

Popular Attractions: Dutch Fort, Archaeological Museum, Sikkal Singaravelar Temple, Kayarohanaswamy Temple, Soundaryaraja Perumal Temple, Nellukadai Mariamman Koil, Poomouhar Beach, Mayiladuthurai,

15. Dhanushkodi

Famous as the Tamil Nadu’s Ghost Town, this is a small sparsely populated beach town that is located on the coast of Tamil Nadu. This town was hit by one of the worst storms in India in the year 1964. Since then Tamil Nadu has rebuilt this town and it has now become one of the most unique and beautiful beach towns in India. 

This small town wonderfully redefines the meaning of isolation. It is cut off from the hustle and bustle of the usual world and offers a very unique and calm vibe. One day is sufficient to explore this serene place. 

Distance from Pondicherry: 481 km

Best Time: October to February

Popular Attractions: Dhanushkodi Beach, Gulf Of Mannar Marine National Park, Adam’s Bridge, Pamban Island, Church and Station Ruins, Ramar Patham Temple

Must Read: Best Beaches In Pondicherry

Parting Words

Pondicherry is on the list of a lot of travel lovers and we definitely know why! This town has everything that can satisfy a tourist’s soul. What most people do is, they visit Pondicherry first and then they combine the best places near Pondicherry to have a refreshing short trip. These destinations are beautiful, attractive and popular, and offer their travelers a wonderful mix of tourist spots. Places to visit near Pondicherry offer the perfect retreat from the busy daily lives. 

While you explore these wonderful gems, you can try delectable cuisines, enjoy the festivals there, shop and indulge in the exciting activities to make the most of your trip. These wonderful tourist destinations near Pondicherry have something to offer to everyone which is why they attract tourists from all over the world all year long. Typically, it takes a day or two to explore all of these tourist spots. So if you are planning to go to Pondicherry, don’t forget to add some of these nearby attractions to your list. 

How many of these tourist attractions have you explored? How was your experience? We would love to hear about your experiences in the comments section. 


Which are the best places to visit in Pondicherry in one day?

Pondicherry has a lot of beautiful and unique attractions all of which are worth witnessing. However, if you want to explore Pondicherry in one day, then you can go to Paradise Beach, Aurobindo Ashram, Botanical Garden, Jawahar Toy Museum and Serenity Beach. 

What are the famous places to visit in Pondicherry with friends?

Some of the best places to visit in Pondicherry with friends include Promenade beach, Ousteri Lake, Temple Adventures Centre, Paradise Beach, Karaikal Beach, Green Quarter, the Light House, Zero House and a lot more. 

What are the things to do in Pondicherry?

There is a lot that you can do in Pondicherry. You can explore the serene beaches, enjoy the delectable cuisine, enjoy water sports and other adventurous activities, go shopping, relax and rejuvenate at spas, go for a cycle tour and do a-lot more to have a great time during your trip. 

Which are the places to visit in Pondicherry for couples?

Places to visit in Pondicherry for couples include Serenity Beach, Rock Beach, Puducherry Museum, Botanical Garden, The Sacred Heart Basilica, Arikamedu, Bharathi Park Puducherry, Pondi Marina etc. 

Which are the best places to visit in Pondicherry in 3 days?

Some of the best places to visit in Pondicherry in 3 days include Botanical Garden, Bharathi Park, Mahatma Gandhi Statue, Serenity Beach, Puducherry Museum, Paradise Beach etc.

What is famous in Pondicherry for shopping?

Some of the most popular things in Pondicherry for shopping include jewellery, pottery items, clothing, handicraft items, textiles, candles etc.

Which hill station is near Pondicherry?

There is not one but many hill stations near Pondicherry. Some of the best hill stations near Pondicherry include Yercaud, Yelagiri, Kolli Hills, Javadi Hills, Kotagiri to name a few. 

Which is better Kodaikanal or Pondicherry?

Both the places are wonderful for tourists in their own way. If you wish to enjoy the beauty of hills then head to Kodaikanal. If you wish to go to a place that has beautiful beaches then you can visit Pondicherry. 

Which is better Ooty or Pondicherry?

Both the places are great for tourists in their own way. If you wish to go to a serene hil station with lush greenery then Ooty is perfect for you. On the other hand if you wish to go to a place that has beaches, adventure and is a fusion of culture and modernity then Pondicherry might be a better choice for you.

What is famous to eat in Pondicherry?

Some of the most famous things to eat in Pondicherry are mutton rolls, crab masala fry, khow suey, quiche etc.

How many days are enough for Pondicherry?

Typically, 4 days are sufficient to explore all the tourist attractions in Pondicherry. If you are short on time, then 2-3 says enough to explore all the major attractions. 

What is the best time to visit Pondicherry?

Pondicherry is a place that has a warm climate. The best time to visit Pondicherry is from October to March. The climate during this time is generally very relaxed and cool, suitable for visiting beaches, sightseeing and indulging in adventurous activities.

When not to visit Pondicherry? 

Tourists must avoid visiting Pondicherry during the monsoon months from June to September. 
The weather is extremely humid during months which is why it is better to avoid visiting Pondicherry during these months. 


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