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Top 5 Must See Tourist Places in Pondicherry (Pudhucherry), India

Updated on April 5, 2011

Pondicherry or Puducherry, India

Pondicherry – the erstwhile colony of the French - has many aesthetic and typically French colonial buildings, churches, temples, and statues. The charm of Pondicherry or Puducherry as it is called now, is further enhanced with the orderly and well planned French style avenues. Tourism is a thriving industry in Puducherry and still growing at a steady place and the city is a popular weekend destination for people fond of traveling.

The French have left many legacies and relics behind and these constitute major tourist attractions of the place. Added to this, Sri Aurobindo, an indomitable freedom fighter and an extraordinary spiritual leader spend his evening years here. Pondicherry has got administrative regions in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.

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Pondicherry, India
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Auroville, Pondicherry, India
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Matri Mandir, Auroville, Pondicherry (Puducherry), India
Matri Mandir, Auroville, Pondicherry (Puducherry), India

Magic of Auroville


The term, Auroville, means the city of dawn. This city that was built in 1968 under the direct guidance of Mother (Sri Ma), the foremost disciple of Sri Aurobindo – is still in a state of continuous expansion. The city is a noble endeavor and aims to be a model city where people from all communities from around the world will forget their differences and live in peace and harmony as members of the one family of Man.

Auroville covers a physical area of over 50 square kilometers and is inhabited by about 1700 people, though it can accommodate in excess of 50000 people. The town is set amidst a circular cover of greenery and at the core of the township is the exquisite Matri Mandir (temple of the Mother). This temple serves as the nerve center of the town. The chief feature of this exotic structure is a 30 meter high globe.

The town of Auroville is divided into industrial, residential, cultural, and international zones. Two areas are marked as Green area and Peace area. Auroville is one of the highlights of tourism in Puducherry, till recently known as Pondicherry, is a popular tourist destination located on the west coast of southern India – primarily because Pondicherry still reflects the French culture in many different aspects.

Sri Aurobindo Ashram at Auroville Documentary

Sri Aurobindo Ashram

The aim of Sri Aurobindo Society is to work towards individual perfection, social reformation and human oneness – rooted in an unassailable spiritual foundation. The prolific writing of Sri Aurobindo reflects his genius as a scholar, writer, poet, philosopher, spiritual thinker, revolutionary, patriot, visionary and mystic.

Sri Aurobindo settled in Pondicherry and established the Ashram in 1920. His philosophy and teachings found many followers here, and this Ashram became one of the centers of Vedic and philosophical studies.

The Ashram is a peaceful and spiritually-inclined community developed over the years by the active participation of members from all countries and communities. The Ashram is a great a monumental example of unity in diversity and promotes human oneness.

The Ashram also houses the Samadhi (memorial) of Sri Aurobindo and Sri Ma (mother). These apart, there are farms, gardens, cottage industries, library, and various other manufacturing units that cater to the day to day requirements of the Ashram inmates. The Aurobindo Ashram is a world in itself.


Puducherry museum

This museum displays some rare and interesting artifacts pertaining to the history of Pondicherry that dates back to the 1st century AD. The most significant exhibits are the Roman articles discovered at Arikamedu. The French section showcases the history of French colonization in Pondicherry.

The museum is also home to a collection of quaint sculptures, intricate paintings and sea shells. The museum is one of the important places to visit in Pondicherry and it draws a host of tourists round the year.

Sun Rise at Promenade Beach


The Promenade 1.5 kilometer long stretch overlooking the Bay of Bengal and offers a romantic getaway from the daily chores, to the locals and an opportunity to spend some quality time for the tourists. The aesthetically erected statue of Mahatma Gandhi encircled by fine monolithic pillars and a sturdy War memorial are the marvels to watch here.

Pondicherry has also been blessed with a beautiful coastline and those who like adventure can ride a bike to the Promenade beach. Tourists love to come here for a walk, swim or sunbath.

Visit Pondicherry

It is worth visiting Arikamedu that is a famous spot where ancient sites have been excavated and many interesting artifacts have been found. The Chunnambar beach is also a sought-after destination among tourists and offers excellent recreational opportunities. Chunnambar Resort is a must-see place while visiting Pondicherry. This place is known for its fascinating beach and the water sports opportunities.

The other tourist attractions in Puducherry include the awesome Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Bhartidasan Memorial Museum, the adorable botanical gardens, the Aayi Mandapam, a 19th Century Lighthouse, Romain Rolland Library and the stately mansion of Ananda.

The French style buildings, churches and museums, the tree-lined shady boulevards along the seashore would dimly remind you of the earlier era. The pristine beach and the palm trees swaying in breeze bring an enjoyable air of serenity – no tourist to India should miss visiting Pondicherry.


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    • profile image

      george45 5 years ago

      we we its a very nice place

    • profile image

      Alan 5 years ago

      I seriously felt Pondicherry is overhyped. We visited all the places not to be missed but were utterly dissapointed. My list of dont miss places are Auroville and Chunnabar Boat house. The second one is not on most lists but ask for it and it is definitely worth it.

    • theindianblues profile image

      theindianblues 7 years ago from Some where on the Globe

      I visited this place couple of times. I love to be there at Matri Mandir all the time. Nice gardens good atmosphere, cultured people around and the pin drop silence are mostly attracted me.

      Good narration and great hub to refer others.

    • andygrant profile image

      andygrant 7 years ago

      I got a chance to visit Pondicherry some months ago, but due to my busy meeting schedules I could not find time to enjoy the beauty of this place. Hope I will get one more chance to go there.