25 Oct 2013

48 Hours in Pondicherry

Located on the east coast of India is a small city known as Pondicherry, part of the union territory - Puducherry. Colloquially known as Pondy, it is a famous holiday destination in South India providing its tourists with exotic beaches, parks and French style boulevards. The city has the same geographical features as Tamil Nadu with backwaters entering at many locations.  Many of the buildings, churches and museums reflect the French colonial rule that transformed the city permanently. Pondicherry has several places of interest pertaining to different cultures.

Pondicherry is a land of abundant churches, many of which were built during the French colonial rule. Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges, Eglise de Notre Dame de la Conception Immaculee Church and Eglise de Sacre Coeur de Jesus Church are some famous cathedrals with beautiful facades. The Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple and Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple are religious site that show a streak of influence from Tamil Nadu.  

Most people come to “Pondy” to sit back and relax and enjoy the plentiful greenery. Bharati Government Park is the perfect place to soothe one’s senses and peacefully spend a quiet evening in solitude. The Seaside Promenade is a wonderful place to hangout or take a walk in the evenings. The landscape here is breathtaking, making the atmosphere calm and serene. The Paradise Beach, 8 kilometers south of the city, is truly heavenly owing to its calm waters. It is a popular beach in Pondicherry with resorts and cottages. Other beaches include the Promenade beach, Auroville beach and Serenity beach.

The history of this small union territory is preserved in museums and heritage buildings like Jawahar Toy Museum, the French War Memorial and the Ananda Ranga Pillai House. They are open to all tourists and are frequently visited. The statue of Dupleix is a popular tourist spot for dining and sightseeing. Other points of interest include the Chunnambar Boat House, Pudducherry Botanical Gardens and Nehru Statue.

Pondicherry is also famous for its wealthy ashram, Auroville or City of Dawn. It is an experimental township with people from different countries and cultures try to live in harmony and sustain themselves in the most organic ways possible.

Reasonable and daily Pondicherry flights are available from Bangalore, Delhi, Mysore and Mumbai connecting it to different states.