“ I was witnessing the unison of sun and water with my feet immersed in the sand. I never realised that I had spent a quarter of an hour watching the blue expanse turn orange. The French vibes surrounding the quaint beach added to the beauty of the sunset. The blend of sea and soil and French and Indian is the soul of Pondicherry which has now become a part of me.”
– Pondicherry Chapter, Diary of a Traveller
If you are craving for tranquility amidst picturesque views and would like to witness a beautiful amalgamation of French and Indian culture, then Pondicherry should be on your travel bucket list.
Exploring the historical boulevards of Pondicherry:
- Pondicherry was a French Rivera till 1954
- It is a haven of colonial buildings, churches, and statues
- It is often called the Europe of India because of its town planning.
- The clean and quiet beaches are a major tourist attraction
From the French cafes and bakeries offering scrumptious delicacies to culturally rich churches and museums, Pondicherry has a lot to offer to all. Some of the must visit points in and around the territory are:
Auroville meaning “The City of Dawn” was founded in 1968 by Sri Aurobindo and Mira Alfassa. Located 8 kilometers from Pondicherry, Auroville township’s idea is to create a universal town where people from all over the world would live in harmony and peace irrespective of their caste, color, nationalities etc. 2,007 people from over 44 different countries reside here. The major highlights of Auroville is the Matrimandir. It has a lotus-shaped dome almost 30 meters high and is covered by golden discs that reflect sunlight.
- Promenade beach:
Also known as the Goubert Avenue, Promenade beach is one of the most popular beaches in Pondicherry. Designed in a French lifestyle the 1.5 km long beach has various landmarks and statues. Some of the popular landmarks are the statue of Joan of Arc, the Heritage town hall, and the old lighthouse. It is the ideal place for an early morning stroll. There are also a few cafes and restaurants offering scrumptious delights.
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- Ousteri Lake:
Located at a distance of approximately 10 kilometres from Pondicherry, Ousteri lake is recognised as one of Asia’s important wetlands by The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). Covering a surface area of 390 hectares, the lake consists of water, marsh and mudflats. The lake is a home to more than 40 migratory birds. Boat riding in this lake on a serene evening will complete your Pondicherry tourism experience.
- Botanical Garden
Established in the year 1826 by C.S. Perrotet, this 22-acre park houses over 1500 species of indigenous and exotic plants. The musical fountain show held on weekend evenings is a delightful event. With six beautiful fountains, a large aquarium, pruned trees and a motley of flowers, Botanical Garden is a must visit point.
5. Basilica Of The Sacred Heart Of Jesus
Constructed 109 years back, the Basilica Of The Sacred Heart Of Jesus is a famous pilgrimage spot for the Christians in India. The building is constructed in a gothic style. The windows of the church are adorned with glass paintings of twenty eight saints who were devoted to the sacred heart of Jesus.
Pondicherry is the ideal place to visit for those who love picturesque coastal cities of India imbued with a rich culture. In here you can witness two disparate cultures blend seamlessly thus making a culture of its own.