Pondicherry is distinctly divided into two. One side of the local canal ‘Pondicherry’
still retains much of its French flavour. This part of the sometime capital
of French India is the setting for Aurobindo Ashram, the roads are called
Rue and the local Bazaar is on St. Laurent Street. It is one of the last
sites of a certain European genteelness that most of India has lost. On the
other side of the canal, you’ll find ‘Puducherry’,
a small time South Indian town where the flavours aren’t basil and
thyme but curry leaves and roasting rai seeds.
The Land of Yoga
and spirituality If you are tired of the rat race that today's world has
become and are in search of inner peace, harmony and spirituality, then
Pondicherry is the place to come to. It has been seat of learning and Vedic
culture since ancient times and was also the home of the great Hindu sage
Agastya. Pondicherry mystic spirit found a great resurrection in the
twentieth century with the establishment of Aurobindo Ashram.
Prime Attractions of
Pondicherry » Auroville
Located 10 kms
north of Pondicherry town, Auroville is envisioned as a universal town,
where people from different nationalities, faiths and beliefs, can live in
peace and harmony.
The construction of this 'universal town' was
started in 1968 under the guidance of the mother, a paries- Born
painter-musician who become sri Aurobindo's disciple and close companion
from 1924 till his death in 1950.
The development of this Utopia
is still in progress. Several countries have offered to set up permanent
pavilions, reflecting the culture and ethos of their countries
» The French Heritage
Ashram Shri Aurobindo, the great seer, poet and prophet of the twentieth
century, made Pondicherry his home from 1910 till his death in 1950. His
vision and ideals continue to draw People from all over the world.
» Pondicherry Museum
On display are the
findings of Arikamedu , the chola bronzes and sculptures, glimpses Of
French heritage, specimens of modern and traditional handicraft,
paintings, armoires, carvings and many other things of historical
» Chunnambar Resort
Water Sports Centre
Known for its virgin beaches and backwaters, chunnaamber has water sports
Centre which offers exciting boating experiences. It is also great tourist
Established by C.S perrotet in 1826, it
preserves a large Varity of exotic species of plants from all over India
Thirukameswarar tamale, architecturally the finest in pondicherry, is
located 9.5 kms away. During may- June, a ten - day annual festival
(Brahmothsavam) is held here which attracts hundreds of devotees. The
temple car rising to a height of 15.25 meters is profusely decorated,
pulled out from its usual position and taken on a procession around the
town. It is an awe - inspiring sight.
» Mansion of Ananda
Rangapillai Built in
1773, this mansion is a fine specimen of indo - French architecture.
Ananda Rangapillai was the courtier of Joseph francois dupleix , the
governor. The dairy which Rangapillai maintained between 1736 - 60 is a
book of great value as a source of information on the history of
Pondicherry and the French in India.
» Eglise de Sacre Coeur De Jesus
Dedicated to the sacred heart of Jesus, this church is noted for its
Gothic architecture and stained glass planes, which depict the entire life
of Jesus Christ.
» Angol - french Textile mills
Establishment over a century ago, a visit to the Anglo - French Textile
mills is an education in itself. The mill gives a ten percent rebate on
purchases made by tourist who go on guided Tours. The acclaimed fabrics
and products of this mill make ideal mementos and gifts.
The beach-comber and the sun-worshipper have miles of nirvana
in Pondicherry. The waters are cool and soothing. The sands clear and
sparkling. In splendid seclusion. Quite often, your only company is a lone
seagull. Or a sandpiper. Many resorts, cottages, cafes and bars command an
excellent view of the sea.
» Serenity Beach
A ten-minute drive to
the north of the town brings you to these virgin sands. The ambience is
well-captured in its name. You can touch the calm. Ideal for a quick dip,
a touch of the sun and a cool reprieve in the shade.
» Serenity Beach
Plage Paradiso (Paradise
» Plage Paradiso (Paradise Beach)
Chunnambar, 8 kms from the town, along Cuddalore Main Road, lies this
stretch of tropical paradise. Flanked h a quiet-flowing creek on one side.
In fact, you can sail downstream to the sands and pitch up a cozy seaside
tent for yourself. Overnighting within the tree-houses on the backwater
banks provides a relishing experience of the great outdoors. A short,
pleasant cruise into the sea from here could reward you with the memorable
sight of playful dolphins in natural habitat, horsing around.
» Karaikal Beach
can catch their magnificent view over the bay, with the pretty Arasalar
river reaching out to the sea. Alternatively, you can canoe or kayak in
picture-book surroundings. Have a round of beach volley ball. Or, armed
with the angling gear, you can reel in a surprise.
» Mahe Beach
Twenty two kms south of
Kannur, on the northern strip of coastal Kerala lies this bewitching beach
strip. From Calicut, you will find this 75 kms north of the town, bordered
by a luxuriant crop of tall palm. And dotted with numerous fishing
» Yanam River Cruise
Yanam, in coastal
Andhra Pradesh, provides a different route to exhilaration. As you enjoy a
sunset cruise down the spectacular Goringa Godavari river which winds
through rich mangrove forests.
How to get there
The nearest major airport is at
Chennai, 162 km away. Vayudoot Air service has regular flights from
Chennai to Pondicherry.
Trains ply regularly from Chennai
State Government buses as well as
private buses, and taxis ply regularly from Chennai to Pondicherry.
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