Pondicherry (Puducherry) Tourism
Pondicherry, a union territory, got its new official name Puducherry in 2006 which means "New Village". Pondicherry Tourism is one of the most visited tourist destinations in south India. It comprises of four coastal regions Pondicherry, Karaikal and Yanam situated on the east coast and Mahe situated on the west coast. Pondicherry was a French Colony till 1954 when the French handed it over to independent India and one can still see the French heritage in colonial buildings, churches, statues and the overall planning of the town. Pondicherry is a quite little town on the southern coast of Indian peninsula away from the hustle and bustle of a big city and visitors love to come to this place to enjoy and get engrossed in the calmness and serenity of its beaches.
Climate and Best Time to Visit
Pondicherry's weather is generally hot and humid throughout the year, typical of a coastal city. During summer between the months of March and July the temperature routinely touches 40 degrees centigrade. The west coast monsoon brings some relief towards the end of July and the rains lasts till the month of November. Winter which brings in loads of tourists to this coastal town begins in December and runs through February. This winter period is the best time to visit Pondicherry Tourism.
How to Reach
By Air : The nearest airport from Pondicherry is Chennai which is around 160 kilometers followed by Trichy (Tiruchirapalli) at a distance of 280 kilometers. Chennai airport is well connected with major domestic as well as international cities.
By Rail : The nearest railway station from Pondicherry is at a distance of 35 kilometers at Villupuram which is fairly connected with south Indian cities like Chennai, Madurai and Trichy.
By Road : The best way to access Pondicherry is by road, either by a bus or a taxi. Pondicherry Tourism is well connected by road to Chennai, Bangalore, Tricy, Madurai and Coimbatore.
Tourist Attractions Pondicherry
» Sri Aurobindo Ashram : This is one of the well known ashrams of India that is visited by huge number of devotees from India as well as across the globe for spiritual salvation. Sri Aurobindo Ghose, the renowned freedom fighter, poet and philosopher founded the ashram in 1926 which still houses the mortal remains of Sri Aurobindo and his chief disciple – The Mother.
» Auroville : An experimental township in making, Auroville is designed to accommodate more than fifty thousand people from all over the world. The idea is to make a universal town where people from across the world can stay in peace and harmony.
» Beaches : Pondicherry has four main beaches equally popular among the locals and tourists. Promenade Beach, the pride of Pondicherry has a 1.5 kilometer promenade running along the beach and one can come here to relax at any time during the day. Landmarks like the War Memorial, the Statue of Joan of Arc and Old Light House etc. are located near this beach. Paradise Beach located at a distance of 8 kilometers can only be accessed by boat. Auroville Beach is close to Aurovilla just off the east coast and Serenity Beach is around 05 kilometers north of the town.
» Manakula Vinayagar Koil : Dedicated to Lord Ganesha, this temple is more than 300 years old. The wall of this temple shows 40 different forms of Ganesha.
» Varadaraja Perumal Temple : This is the oldest temple of the town dating back to 600 AD and is built is traditional Dravidian style. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
» Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus : This is one of Pondicherry's finest churches built by the French Missionaries in 1700s in contrasting Neo-Gothic manner. The beautiful stained glass panels in this church are of major tourist attraction.
» Church of Our Lady of Lourdes : Located in a small town of Villianur at a distance of 11 kilometers from Pondicherry, it was built in 1876 on the model of Basilica of France. This church has a tank and tradition of taking a holy dip in the tank is similar to what is common in all Hindu temples.